Ruth Hull-Richter has led the progressive movement in the America's most conservative county: Orange, California. Ruth is the peace activist who put together the Patrick Henry Democratic Club of America out of the remnants of the 2004 Southern California Kucinich campaign. She insisted the California Democratic Party call for an end to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. She fought against the right-wing turn of the party and fought to bring it back to the left.
It has not been an easy road. Ruth was a long term domestic violence victim who was trapped by the pressures and silence of home schooling her peace activist children into college. Ruth was not able to stop the beatings she incurred regularly or her own mother's death that resulted in part from retaliation over Ruth's decision to get a restraining order against Ruth's husband. Despite her tragic losses, Ruth had a major success as her courageous daughter Natasha took over the fight to end war and restore progressive values. When Natasha applied for colleges, progressive leaders flocked in to provide reference letters to UC Berkeley. There she is an A student.
Natasha became committed to the cause of peace at a very young age, writing California Democratic Party resolutions in opposition to the death penalty, calling for a voter verifiable paper trail and for the impeachment of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Natasha went further. She convinced California leaders to give the state's voters that paper trail. She was the inspiration and force behind the founding of the California Democratic Party's Progressive Caucus. Natasha's mother was master of ceremonies at the first meeting of Natasha's Progressive Caucus and proudly watched as Natasha was elected a founding officer of the caucus.
Ruth and Natasha are working to end the chains of domestic violence. Domestic violence is the leading cause of death of women between 14 and 44. This abuse is perpetuated by a justice system that punishes victims for getting restraining orders.
Colleen Fernald ran against Dianne Feinstein in 2006 on a campaign of peace and protecting the planet. She collected endorsements from peace groups around California but was unable to gain the support of weapons manufactures who were top donors to politicians in 2006. Those donations went to her opponent Dianne Feinstein.
Colleen has continued to campaign for peace and the environment. She has spoken at public meetings about the dangerous aspects of weather modification on America's children.
Like Cindy, Colleen lost a child she loved dearly. Colleen was an abuse victim who lost custody to her alleged abuser. The mother accused the father of rape and was backed up on this by her daughter Charlotte Molinari. The daughter was traumatized over being ripped away from her mother. Later, Charlotte was found hanging from a tree under mysterious conditions that hinted at foul play. Charlotte let it be known that she loved her mother and wanted to be with her. The father tried to prevent the mother from attending the funeral but an special order allowed the mother into the funeral.
Colleen's case is an another symbol of why domestic violence and divorce laws work an injustice against women. She is working to change the system.
Colleen briefly suspended her 2012 campaign for U.S. Senate after getting word of her daughter's death. Now she is back fighting for peace, for mothers and for the rights of daughters like Charlotte to be safe and free from abuse.
Susan Sarandon has been setting an example for decades with her host of movies about Social Justice: Dead Man Walking about the wrongfulness of the death penalty; The Other Side of Midnight about violence against women, Thelma and Louise about women's liberation; and more.
Sarandon and her longtime paramour Tim Robbins have two kids, Miles and Jack, who have watched as their parents have worked for peace over war and mercy over cruelty.
Susan Sarandon has been one of the leading activists against the war, speaking at peace rallies and hinting that she would like to portray Cindy Sheehan in a movie. See the section on Cindy Sheehan above.
Sarandon's activism has been long and has covered a variety of issues. She has spoken out against police violence and against the death penalty. She begged for clemency for Stan "Tookie" Williams and others on death row. In 1983 she was part of a delegation to Nicaragua promoting "social, environmental and economic justice." In 2004, she called for international monitors to monitor the U.S. elections. In 2006, she received the Action against Hunger Humanitarian Award. She led protests against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in 2011.