On Monday, Lancaster City Council Member Angela Underwood-Jacobs addressed attendees at Pepperdine University’s Women Leaders in Politics and Policy Symposium, an event held by the Pepperdine Center for Women in Leadership. The conference highlighted the challenges and opportunities for women in policy and political leadership through the exploration of three subject areas: Women Leading in Non-Profit Policy, Women Leading in Government Agencies, and Women Leading in Elected Office. Council Member Underwood-Jacobs participated in the latter panel, along with Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, Orange County Supervisor Michelle Steel, 79th District State Assembly Member Shirley Weber, and Calabasas Council Member Alicia Weintraub.

“I am deeply honored to have this opportunity to represent women in the local government sector. I am also extremely proud of the fact that the City of Lancaster – the city I serve – has local businesswomen serving as Deputy Mayors; several female executive team members on City staff; and, numerous female community leaders on our City commissions,” said Council Member Underwood-Jacobs. “I believe wholeheartedly that women need to make sure their voices are heard. It is our onus as women in power to help facilitate such opportunities, as well as encourage others to assist and engage.”

During the symposium, Council Member Underwood-Jacobs noted that the growth of the Lancaster community, and the fact that she is raising her children here, inspired her to run for public official office. Harkening back to a childhood memory involving disparagement against her family, she stated that she wanted to be part of the positive changes taking place throughout the City she now calls home. Additionally, she strongly desires to provide an example for her children; seeking to inspire her daughter and instill a reverence in her son as a woman in political leadership.

Underwood-Jacobs also emphasized the significance of breaking through the “glass ceiling” mentality that often stifles the affluence of women in power. She encouraged attendees to set their own standards for success.

When asked to advise women considering running for office, Council Member Underwood-Jacobs shared that running for political office at any level is a serious endeavor. Passion and dedication become one’s strongest allies. She also conveyed that the words “democrat” and “republican” divide communities and extinguish opportunities for positive discourse that can contribute to a better world.

“Women, please understand that you are enough,” Council Member Underwood-Jacobs concluded. “Take a risk. Deeply consider, if not you – then who?”