Board Member Fiona Ma Honors Community Organizer and Entrepreneur with SHEro Equalizer Award
Sacramento—State Board of Equalization (SBOE) Member Fiona Ma, celebrated the close of October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness month, by presenting her first SHEro Equalizer Award to Marily Mondejar. This award is given to an individual who exemplifies the dedication and drive of a fearless female leader. Their role as an “equalizer” is to be a tireless advocate for issues and causes to further expand women’s rights.
“I am pleased to present my first SHEro Equalizer Award to Marily Mondejar,” stated Board Member Ma. “As an entrepreneur, community organizer, and an untiring advocate against domestic violence and trafficking of women, Marily throws out a wide net and brings together women from all over the world to unite for important causes like domestic violence and human trafficking.”
Marily is the Founder & CEO of the Filipina Women’s Network (FWN) and has dedicated the last decade to transforming how global Filipina women view themselves and how others perceive them. She has spearheaded initiatives to bring about this transformation which include producing alternative and more positive search results on the Internet for the term “Filipina,” leading a campaign to end domestic violence, and facilitating the creation of a pipeline of Filipina leaders with the skills to compete at all levels in all sectors in our state. Under Marily’s leadership FWN produced the first All Filipino women and all Asian women cast of the vagina monologues.
As the sixth of 13 children, Marily learned early how to get her voice heard by her family and carried this over throughout her career in roles such as a senior business leader, as a board member for organizations working on the status of women, and as commissioner on various commissions and task forces appointed by San Francisco Mayors Gavin Newsom and Edwin Lee.
Marily also draws from her experience as a survivor of an abusive relationship, a single mother, and a U.S. immigrant who started from scratch to promote networks for advancing the status of Filipina women globally. Marily has helped shift the language of mentorship to “femtorship” and the mindset of Filipinas from being a silent force in society to a catalyst in changing the face of power in America and worldwide. Her impact can be measured by the countless number of women she brought along with her and those they will in turn bring along with them to positions of leadership.
Marily is the founder of the Filipina Women’s Network, the nonprofit association for women of Philippine ancestry in the U.S., an organization she grew from 50 members in 2002 to over 10,200 list members today. The Filipina Women’s Network received the Organization of the Year award during International Women’s Day 2010.
Marily serves (and has served) on nonprofit boards and commissions including Leadership California, the Friends of the SF Commission on the Status of Women, the Sweatfree Procurement Advisory Group, the Justice and Courage Oversight Panel, Image Industry Council International, the American Society for Training and Development, to name a few.
In 2010, she was honored by the California Asian Pacific Islander Joint Legislative Caucus (nominated by Speaker Pro Tem Fiona Ma) with the Award for Excellence in Civil Rights; in 2012, she was selected by KQED as Local (S)Hero to celebrate Women’s History Month; in 2013, California Woman of the Year by Senator Leland Yee; for KapitBisig Women’s Human Rights Award by Westbay; for Community Service by Asian Pacific Labor Alliance (APALA).
Marily was appointed by San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee in 2012 to the Commission on Community Investment and Infrastructure (CCII), the successor agency for the San Francisco Redevelopment Commission. CCII exercises land use, development and design approval authority for development projects which include Mission Bay, Hunters Point Shipyard/Candlestick Point and Transbay Terminal and manages the former Redevelopment Agency assets in Yerba Buena Center. These projects represent $20 billion in assets and will create jobs, affordable housing, commercial space, parks and open space areas.
In 2011, she served on the San Francisco Redistricting Task Force convened every 10 years after the Census results are released, that redrew the boundaries of San Francisco’s 11 districts, laying the groundwork for the city’s political future for the next decade.
The five-member California State Board of Equalization (BOE) is a publicly elected tax board. Established in 1879 by a constitutional amendment, the BOE was initially charged with responsibility for ensuring that county property tax assessment practices were equal and uniform throughout the state. Currently the tax programs administered by the BOE are concentrated in four general areas: sales and use taxes, property taxes, special taxes and the tax appellate program. The BOE collects $60 billion annually in taxes and fees supporting state and local government services. It hears business tax appeals, acts as the appellate body for franchise and personal income tax appeals, and serves a significant role in the assessment and administration of property taxes. For more information on other taxes and fees in California, visit www.taxes.ca.gov.
Fiona Ma represents close to 10 million people living in District Two on the State Board of Equalization. Her district includes the following 23 counties: Alameda, Colusa, Contra Costa, Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Monterey, Napa, San Benito, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, Tehama, Trinity, and Yolo.
For more information, please visit Board Member Ma’s website at: http://www.boe.ca.gov/ma/