On Friday, December 8th, Run Women Run Founder Councilwoman Barbara Bry met with members of RWR at Planned Parenthood Action Fund of the Pacific Southwest for our December installment of our “Brown Bag Lunch Series: Lunch with a Leader”.
Listening to Barbara Bry talk about her candidacy, the campaign, and her life both before and after, was truly inspiring. If I were to write her biography, the progression to elected leader would be obvious as would her successful first year in office.
Growing up in a political household, with lawn signs out front and a mother dedicated to progressive principles, Barbara developed an appreciation for community engagement and leadership.
As an adult, when there was a vacuum, she stepped in – joining existing boards including Planned Parenthood and the Jewish Community Foundation, and creating new organizations where she saw a need, e.g., Athena (to support women in the tech and life sciences) and Run Women Run, (to support pro-choice women running for office).
Her education and professional experiences, as a journalist and a high-tech entrepreneur, added significantly to her breadth and knowledge and understanding of how the world works. Her experiences in work and in family life provided her with a unique insight as to how her skill set and pragmatic approach to problem solving could affect positive change in her community.
As she looked back on the events that led to where she is now, she described a networking process that came naturally to her–a network that grew over time based on her varied community work and her reputation as someone who gets stuff done.
Her decision to run for City council was due in large part to encouragement by her daughter, Rachel, who has a keen political sense and significant experience in political campaign management.
She credits her victory to her team, led by Hilary Nemchik, campaign manager, and her daughter Rachel Kruer, strategy czar. She also credits her own ability to be organized and steadfast in making fundraising calls, knocking on thousands of doors, speaking at community coffees and keeping a laser focus on the goal – while all the while, enjoying the ride!
It’s not surprising that some of her colleagues believe that she’s acted bolder than most first year City Council members, e.g., taking on Soccer City and Vacation Rentals. It’s also not surprising that she’s had more successes than setbacks.
As elegant and refined as she is, she warns that underneath, she is tough as nails and diligent in pursuing her goal to make San Diego safe, clean and prosperous for us all.
Barbara’s lunch talk to her audience of 40+ was inspiring. I came away thinking that more women will run for office because of her and because of that, things will get better!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
ANNE M. HAULE – Anne is a writer, activist and adventurer who moved to San Diego 8 years ago to be near her daughter after retiring from her law practice in Chicago. Anne is the Volunteer Attorney Coordinator for the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties. She also lobbies for for NARAL and the ACLU.
Her writing is published in the San Diego Free Press, the Women’s Museum of California, The Reader, and the Uptown News. She also authors a blog called “Musings of a Boomer Feminist” which can be found at Boomerfeminist.com. When she’s not engaged in her writing or activism, she enjoys traveling for adventure and for culture. Anne’s recent travels included trips to the Copper Canyon in Mexico, the Channel Islands, Italy and a home exchange in Sweden. Anne is the proud mother of Kath Rogers, who is also an activist lawyer, and the proud grandmother of Annie, an Australian Shepherd rescue dog.