First District Supervisor Das Williams recently appointed Geordie Scully as first district commissioner to the Santa Barbara Commission for Women. Ms. Scully served Monique Limón as the district representative and environmental advisor in the California State Senate from 2021-2022.
“I really want young leaders on the commission and both of my recent appointments reflect that. She has been an incredible activist for a number of years. I appreciate her understanding of climate change and how it disproportionately affects people of lower income, as well as her understanding of childcare,” Mr. Williams told the News-Press.
“I am humbled and ecstatic to be appointed as women’s commissioner. I hope my work on the commission inspires younger women to get involved and also women who would not traditionally consider themselves community leaders to get involved. Imposter syndrome is real and you can’t let it stop you from getting more involved,” Ms. Scully told the News-Press.
The News-Press asked Ms. Scully how her time serving Senator Limón in the senate has prepared her for this: “Senator Limón has been a mentor to me, she sits on the statewide Commission for Women and Girls and she is just so supportive of her staff serving the community, it has inspired me to take on more. I hope to bring my knowledge of the state budget process and the statewide governmental structure to benefit the commission and the greater Santa Barbara county.”
Ms. Scully spoke of how she plans to bring an environmental lens to the commission: “Globally, women are poorest and most vulnerable to climate impacts. Eighty percent of those displaced by climate catastrophes are women. We also see violence against women go up to 98% after climate disasters. That is what we saw after Hurricane Katrina. Women perceive a higher danger from climate change. Women are not represented well in leadership climate negotiations even though they’re disproportionately affected. Improving equality will help this. Women need a place at the table when it comes to climate negotiations. When women are at the table there is more follow-through and more success.
“A great example of this is the Paris Climate Agreement. Research suggests that we need a bare minimum of 30 percent of women in leadership decision-maker positions to benefit climate negotiations (This is not saying men are not supportive of climate initiatives, this is just studies that show effective climate negotiations have at least this many women involved). In Santa Barbara we do fairly well in the climate space and I will say that every climate leader in our community I know is a woman. The head of sustainability of UCSB, the County of SB, the City of SB, CEC, and EDC are all women.
“So with climate change and recognizing this is happening in Santa Barbara, we saw with the 1/9 debris flow. We need to recognize that women will be disproportionately affected by this,” Ms. Scully said.
She outlined her primary goals related to this: “First, be cognizant of this problem in disaster response and make sure to check in after disasters to ensure that there is an equitable response to all those affected. Second, do the work now to prop women (and families) up with child care support, equal pay and equal opportunities here in Santa Barbara County. Shout out to Senator Limón for making a huge step toward that work with SB1162, which requires employers to post salaries for positions that will narrow the pay gap between men and women.”
The News-Press asked Ms. Scully how she plans to improve childcare for women in Santa Barbara county: “I am still doing my research to understand the gravity of the situation in Santa Barbara county … I plan to get a real picture of the issue and find the most valuable way to spend my time addressing the issue. I don’t want to duplicate efforts and I want our work to be something actually meaningful and helpful for families in Santa Barbara county.”
Ms. Scully spoke to her other goals she hopes to accomplish on the commission: “My go-to is always participation, collaboration, and relationship building. My fellow commissioner Erica Reyes and I are working to get the women’s commission on all the social media platforms with the goal of making the commission (and really the county government) more easily accessible to the community at large. I hope to use this platform to share with the community the status of women in Santa Barbara county to work to improve the issues we face.
“I have taken this position to work to represent all women’s voices in Santa Barbara County and I plan to challenge the status quo with the goal of more equitable outcomes for traditionally marginalized members of our community,” said Ms. Scully.
Those wishing to contact Ms. Scully can write to email@example.com.