When San Jose and Santa Clara County were making headlines in the 1970s for electing waves of women to office, Lee Sturtevant was right there in the middle of it all. And that's just one of the reasons the South Bay's political community is mourning the loss of Sturtevant, who passed away last Thursday at the age of 91.
I was too young to know Sturtevant in her heyday, but her impact is still being felt. She was a union organizer, a teacher and a key supporter of Democratic Activists for Women Now, helping female politicians break through the glass ceiling at the polls. She advocated for those with developmental disabilities, served as a board member for the San Jose Unified School District and was part of the group that pushed to have San Jose switch to district council elections back in the 1970s.
She served on the staffs of many Santa Clara County elected officials, including U.S. Reps. Zoe Lofgren and Mike Honda, Supervisor Ken Yeager, former Supervisor Blanca Alvarado and state Sen. Dan McCorquodale. In 2008, then-Assemblyman Jim Beall honored her as his district's Woman of the Year.
"Lee has been a great friend and mentor to progressive activists for decades," said Steve Preminger, chairman of the Santa Clara County Democratic Party.
Her family and friends will celebrate her long -- and unabashedly political -- life Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Hall at 2125 Canoas Garden Ave. in San Jose.
ALL-STAR VISIT: Former 49ers Steve Young, Dennis Brown and Allan Kennedy paid a recent visit to the Via West campus in Cupertino to check out Via Services' All-Star World Tour, a five-day camp for kids, teens and adults with special needs. And while they were there, they had the chance to meet with a new member of the 49ers' extended family: Samuel Hinojosa.
A 21-year-old born with Down syndrome, Hinojosa is in Via's Peer Program Leader session and was recently employed to work at one of the clubs at Levi's Stadium, his first full-time job. His first day on the job was at the opening Earthquakes game on Aug. 2 -- a long shift that left him tired but happy. Hats off to the 49ers for broadening their definition of diversity when it comes to hiring.
PENINSULA MOVE: East Palo Alto City Manager Magda Gonzalez is expected to head up the coast soon to take the same position with Half Moon Bay. It's not just an analogy to say she's going from a city with a Four Seasons Hotel to one that boasts a Ritz-Carlton.
Assuming Gonzalez gets the blessing of Half Moon Bay's City Council next week, she'll take over for interim City Manager Stuart Schillinger, who was on loan from his regular job as deputy city manager of Brisbane. Just a reminder to fill out those San Mateo County lineup cards in pencil.