New CSW Logo

Resources for Women and Girls in Sonoma County

In 2011, the Commission on the Status of Women worked with other community groups in an effort to establish a coalition of agencies whose services are available to women and girls of Sonoma County. A result of those efforts is an online reference guide that identifies services available and how to access those services.

Organizations that wish to be included on this list, or wish to inform us of a change in the services provided should contact us at

What’s on this Page

Expanding Your Horizons is a conference to increase the awareness of young women and their parents of the importance of adequate preparation in math and science.

(707) 664-2241

Back to top

The Family Justice Center Sonoma County empowers family violence victims to live free from violence and abuse by providing comprehensive services centered on and around victims in one location. Open 8:30am to 4.30pm, Monday through Friday.

2755 Mendocino Avenue, Suite 100
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
(707) 545-8255

Back to top

An organization within the County of Sonoma family of service organizations working to "maximize the healthy development of all Sonoma County children from the prenatal stage through age five through support, education, and advocacy."

490 Mendocino Avenue, Suite 203
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
(707) 565-6686

Back to top

The Community Child Care Council of Sonoma County (4C's) offers education, resources, and direct services that aid in their mission of supporting the well-being of every child in our community, and improving the quality and availability of Child Care in Sonoma County.

131-A Stony Circle, Suite 300
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
(707) 544-3077

Back to top

Sonoma County’s resource for education and information on Domestic Violence, Teen Dating Violence and Sexual Assault.

P.O. Box 4716
Petaluma, CA 94955-4716

Back to top

La Luz is a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting Sonoma Valley neighbors, who contribute to the economic, cultural and social well being of our community.

17560 Greger Street
Sonoma, CA 95476
(707) 938-5131

Back to top

The LSP-SC mission is to serve and strengthen Hispanic families and children by building healthy communities and reducing disparities within Sonoma County.

930 Shiloh Road, Bldg 44, Suite D
Windsor, CA 95492
(707) 837-9577

Back to top

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization encouraging the informed and active participation of citizens in government. It influences public policy through education and advocacy.

555 Fifth Street, Suite 300o
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
(707) 546-5943

Back to top

The Living Room is the only daytime drop-in center in Sonoma County that specifically serves homeless and at-risk women and their children. Open 8.30am to 3.30pm, Monday to Friday.

1207 Cleveland Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
(707) 579-0138

Back to top

Below is a comprehensive list of boards, committees, and commissions composed of Sonoma County residents, serving Sonoma County. Each shows the purpose of the board, commission, committee, their composition, and membership. This list is presented to inform women in Sonoma County about opportunities for getting involved in public decision making. Most of these boards, commissions and committees have some women as representatives.

Our goal is to have at least 50% women on each board, committee, and commission. Check this website for dates on workshops providing specific information and tools to help you assess where your skills and interests best serve your family and community.

Download Printable Version
(PDF: 100 kB)


Board, Commission or Committee Name Description Term
Planning Commission Planning Commissioners serve at the pleasure of the City Council; commission membership changes in response to changes in the Council.  The commission is the City Council's adviser on matters related to land use planning. On certain matters, including use permits and subdivisions, the Planning Commission can take final action. On other matters, such as General Plan Amendments and re-zonings, the Planning Commission makes a recommendation to the City Council. All final actions of the Planning Commission may be appealed to the City Council. The Council may choose to follow the recommendations of the Commission or not. 4 years


Board, Commission or Committee NameDescriptionTerm
Design Review CommitteeThe Design Review Committee assists the Planning Commission in carrying out its duties by formulating guidelines, reviewing proposals, and making recommendations to the Planning Commission in order to ensure that the site and structural elements of developments are harmonious with the unique environmental, cultural and functional aspects of Cotati.2 years
Measure G Citizen Oversight CommitteeOn June 3, 2014, Cotati voters approved Measure G, the Cotati Essential Services Measure, amending Cotati Municipal Code Chapter 3.05 to extend the City's existing Measure A sales tax and set the rate at one cent for nine years, with annual audits and independent citizens' oversight of Measure G revenue and expenses, and on September 8, 2015, the City Council adopted Resolution No. 2015-64 establishing the 5-member Measure G Citizen Oversight Committee to provide the required oversight of Measure G revenue and expenditures.Serve in accordance with the process for the Planning Commission
 Planning Commission The Planning Commission administers and implements land use policies established pursuant to the Cotati Municipal Code. Term coincides with appointing council member

Back to top


Board, Commission or Committee Name  DescriptionTerm
Community Housing Committee Addresses the community’s affordable and workforce housing needs. The role of the Committee is to advise the City Council on matters relating to policies and programs which will serve to further workforce and affordable housing inventories.3 years
Parks and Recreation CommissionHas the duty of serving in an advisory capacity to the City Council and the Director of Parks and Recreation on policies and programs pertaining to public parks and recreation. 2 Years
Planning CommissionHold public hearings on proposed development plans, conditional use permits, subdivision maps and other land use matters, as well as proposed changes to the Land Use Code, Zoning Map, and the General Plan. They also assist in drafting specific-purpose plans.
Senior Citizens Advisory CommissionServes as an advocate for Healdsburg’s older adult residents by identifying the needs of Healdsburg senior residents, advising the City Council, City Boards, commissions, and departments, as well as private agencies on matters related to these needs; creating / increasing awareness of those needs among the broader population and disseminating information to seniors on services available to them. 3 years
Transportation Advisory CommissionReviews city-wide public transportation documents; recommends rules and procedures governing public transportation service programs, service improvements, coordination, efficiencies, and activities of persons utilizing transportation services and facilities; review surveys and facilitate public input on public transportation programming; review and advise council on transportation programs, including service levels and routes and advise on the subject of comprehensive bicycle and pedestrian master planning and development; recommend and promote strategies for community outreach programs in order to strengthen the transportation image, increase usage, and integrate its role in the community; and recommend to the City Council, after public input, the adoption, amendment or repeal of ordinances, resolutions, or requirements pertaining to public transportation within the city

Back to top


or Committee Name
Airport CommissionMake recommendations to the City Council on those matters which are properly the subject of formal action by the Council. They direct, within the limitations of the Petaluma Charter, the operations of the airport. They recommend ways and means of financing changes and additions to the airport. They approve and disapprove changes in the methods of operation proposed by the Airport Manager. They recommend changes in administrative policy, submit annually a completed financial statement correctly recording the operations of the prior fiscal year and recommend capital improvement projects. Serve one and four year terms
Animal Services Advisory CommitteeThe mission of the Animal Services Advisory Committee is to protect, promote respect for, and enhance the well-being of all animals in the Petaluma Community.3 years
Building Board of AppealsThe Building Board of Appeals consists of five members who are qualified by experience and training in the building and construction fields to hear and decide appeals of decisions of the Chief Building Official relative to application and interpretation of the Uniform Building Code, etc., adopted by the City and as such codes may be amended.Serve at the pleasure of the council
Groundwater Sustainability Advisory CommitteeAdvises the Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) Board on the development and implementation of a groundwater sustainability plan (GSP) and GSA policies. The intent of the committee is to provide community perspective and participation in the GSA. The committee will review and/or provide recommendations to the Board on groundwater-related issues.2 years
Historic and Cultural Preservation CommitteePromotes preservation of historic sites, landmarks, documents, paintings and objects associated with the City of Petaluma. Recommend to the Planning Commission that certain historic sites and landmarks be designated and/or acquired by the City. Administer the committee’s responsibilities as denoted by the zoning ordinance of the City of Petaluma. Advise the City Council on the administration of historic sites and landmarks as may be acquired by the City of Petaluma. Advise the City Council on the acceptance of gifts consisting of documents, paintings and other objects of historic value, as well as money when the same if given to be used for the acquisition of property, real or personal, of historic interest, except for the donations, purchases and acceptance of gifts for the Petaluma Museum. Recommend to the City Council the documents, paintings and objects of historic value associated with the history of the City, to be acquired by the City, except for the donations, purchases, and acceptance of gifts for the Petaluma Museum. Advise the City Council on all matters relating to the historic and cultural preservation of the City, in particular state and federal designations and registration of historic landmarks. Annually submit to the Planning Commission a report of its activities in the preceding year.4 years
Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory CommitteeThe Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee (PBAC) are charged with making recommendations for bicycle and pedestrian facilities in accordance with the Petaluma Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan.  The PBAC is also responsible for developing bicycle and pedestrian projects and submitting them for final adoption by the Sonoma County Transportation Authority. Additionally, PBAC reviews development applications, solicits public comment and forwards bicycle and pedestrian related improvement recommendations to the Planning Commission and City Council.4 years
Planning CommissionThe Planning Commission performs the duties prescribed in the present or any future zoning ordinance (Title 21) or subdivision regulations (Title 20) of the City or any similar ordinance, statute, rule or regulation of the State, County or this City pertaining to the districting or zoning or dividing the City into districts or zones and regulating the construction of improvements, the use, division or minor subdivision of property within the City. Also, the Planning Commission is charged with the responsibility of studying the needs of the City with respect to and advise and recommend to the Council concerning the establishment, modifications, and change of zones or districts and designations of the uses to which property contained therein may be prohibited, restricted and regulated and other duties as may be delegated by the City Council. 4 years
Public Art CommitteeThe Public Art Committee reviews and approves public art applications and related materials for any public art project on public property or as part of a public construction project as defined in Chapter 19.6 of the Zoning Ordinance, and provides general oversight of the Public Art Program, its projects, and sites.4 years
Recreation, Music, and Parks CommissionThe Recreation, Music, and Parks Commission was established to serve in an advisory capacity to the City Manager, City Council, and Recreation Services Director on all matters pertaining to public recreation, including the management, conduct, and care of the parks and playgrounds in the City, cultural arts programs, musical entertainment and programs by the municipal band and other musical organizations. The Commission studies the needs of the City and the means of meeting such needs in connection with all such matters pertaining to public recreation, cultural arts, music and other entertainment. The Commission counsels the Recreation Services Director and the City Manager in connection with the preparation of the annual budget for the Recreation Services Department, and makes recommendations with respect thereto to the City Manager and City Council. The Commission assists in the planning of recreation and cultural arts programs for the residents of the City and promotes and stimulates public interest therein, and, to that end, solicits to the fullest possible extent the cooperation of special authorities and other public and private agencies interested therein. The Commission studies present and future needs of the City with respect to recreation, music, and park facilities, programs, and events, and makes recommendations to the City Council and City Manager concerning the same.4 years
Senior Advisory CommitteeThe Senior Advisory Committee advises the City on issues and programs for seniors and active adults and the operation of senior facilities. 2 years
Sonoma County Library Commission / Petaluma Library Advisory Board

Sonoma County Library Commission: Council appoints one Petaluma resident to a 4-year term on the Library Commission. That person also serves as the Commission’s Liaison on the Petaluma Library Advisory Board.

Petaluma Library Advisory Board: Council appoints a Council Liaison to the Petaluma Library Advisory Board for a term of 1 calendar year.

Technology Advisory CommitteeThe Technology Advisory Committee assists the City of Petaluma in making efficient, economical, and productive use of technology and telecommunications. The committee studies local issues and submits recommendations to the City Council to ensure that the citizens of Petaluma benefit from the opportunities that today’s technology has to offer and to promote access to electronic information and community resources for all, protecting individual privacy and supporting free expression.2 years
Transit Advisory CommitteeThe Transit Advisory Committee with the assistance of the Transportation Manager, assures review of critical issues related to the City’s transit operations and the regional bus and rail operations within the City of Petaluma.2 years
Tree Advisory CommitteeThe Tree Committee is charged with duties designated and delegated by the City Council on matters pertaining to the management of tree resources within the City. The Committee also serves as a forum for the coordination of tree-related policies, and advises the City on matters referred by City departments, and other Council-appointed hearing bodies. 2 years
Youth CommissionThe purpose of the commission is to be an advocate for the well-being and development of youth through age 21 in the City of Petaluma and in the five areas of their mission: health, safety, recreation, jobs, and community engagement.varies by age

Back to top

Rohnert Park

Board, Commission or Committee NameDescriptionTerm
Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory CommitteeThe Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee maintains the City's Bicycle Master Plan, reviews issues concerning bicycle transportation and safety, and participates in countywide bike trail coordination efforts.
Golf Course Oversight CommitteeThe Golf Course Oversight Committee (GCOC) is a standing committee of the Parks and Recreation Commission. The Committee assists city staff in monitoring the lease agreement between the Golf Course operator and the city to insure that maintenance standards established in the lease agreement are met. The committee also provides a mechanism for public feedback, complaints and input to the golf course management, city staff, the Parks and Recreation Commission and, indirectly, to the City Council on matters relating to the operation and maintenance of Foxtail Golf Course.
Mobile Home Rent Appeals BoardThe purpose of the Mobile Home Parks Rent Appeals Board is to ensure that the Mobile Home Ordinance is administered fairly for both mobile home park residents and park owners. The overall purpose of the mobile home ordinance is to alleviate the hardship of unreasonable rent increases while still assuring owners' right to a fair return. Mobile Home Park owners and residents may file space rent petitions. If a petition is filed, the Board serves as a quasi-judicial body that issues rulings on the space rent issue.
Parks and Recreation CommissionThe Parks and Recreation Commission is a group of five community volunteers appointed by the City Council to advise them on matters relating to city parks, cultural arts and recreation facilities and services. Following the course of annual Commission goals, Commissioners work in committees to discuss regular topics such as the Aquatics Program, Dog Park, Sports and Fitness Center, Youth Sports, Parks and Facilities, or any other special issues, and bring recommendations to the entire Commission for consideration.
Planning Commission The Planning Commission is appointed by the City Council. The Commission is charged with development of the General Plan, implementation and administration of the Zoning Ordinance, and review of development applications.
Senior Citizens Advisory CommissionThe Senior Citizens Advisory Commission advises the City Council and the City Manager on all matters relating to policies and programs which will serve all senior citizens of the Rohnert Park community.
Sister Cities Relations CommitteeThe purpose of the Rohnert Park Sister Cities Relations Committee is to foster international understanding and friendship through exchanges of people, artifacts and ideas with citizens of foreign cities and to develop an increased appreciation of cultural diversity in order to better understand one's own culture. Rohnert Park's sister city is Hashimoto, Japan.
Successor Agency Oversight BoardThe City Council of the City of Rohnert Park elected to serve as successor agency to the former Community Development Commission on January 10, 2012. Each successor agency has an oversight board that supervises it. The oversight board is comprised of representatives of the local agencies that serve the redevelopment project area: the city, the county, special districts, and K-14 educational agencies. Oversight board members have a fiduciary responsibility to holders of enforceable obligations, as well as to the local agencies that would benefit from property tax distributions from the former redevelopment project area.

Back to top

Santa Rosa

Board, Commission or Committee NameDescriptionTerm
Art in Public Places CommitteeThe Art in Public Places Committee (APPC) oversees the Public Art Program in Santa Rosa. The Public Art Program is intended to enrich civic life, give voice to the unique creative spirit of Santa Rosa, and galvanize the City's reputation as an arts destination. The Program integrates a wide range of art into public spaces, creating a livable community and contributing to economic development. 4 years
Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory BoardThe City's Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Board provides guidance in the preparation of the City's Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan by identifying pedestrian and bicycle projects and advising on the priority of those projects. The Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan includes the background, analysis of the existing pedestrian and bike pathways, recommendations for new pedestrian and bike pathways, bicycle and pedestrian accident analysis, pedestrian and bicycle education and safety programs, and pedestrian and bicycle amenities.4 years
Board of Building Regulation AppealsThe Board of Building Regulation Appeals (BOBRA) is charged with the task of determining the suitability of alternate materials and types of construction, and to provide reasonable interpretations of the provisions of the City of Santa Rosa Building and Safety Code.
Board of Community ServicesThe Board of Community Services reviews City recreational and cultural policies, facilities and programs, and advises the City Council on their adequacy and effectiveness, as well as advising Council on matters relating to community beautification. The Board also assists the Director of Recreation and Parks in the formulation of rules and regulations for the use of City parks and recreational facilities.4 years
Board of Public UtilitiesThe Board of Public Utilities (BPU), established by City Charter Section 25, is comprised of seven (7) members individually appointed by City Council members. The BPU has general policy authority and direction over the management and operation of the City's water and wastewater facilities. The Board also directs other water operations managed by the City and water facilities owned or operated by the City.4 years
Community Advisory BoardThe Community Advisory Board (CAB) represents views and ideas from the broader community on issues of interest to the City Council. The CAB and the City Council jointly decide on the topics on which they will seek input. The topics have a broad community interest, not just a narrow, neighborhood-based focus. The City Charter requires the CAB to advise the City Council on public safety issues, capital improvement priorities, involvement plans for development issues, and recommendations on public improvement funds that are allocated to the city council.
Cultural Heritage BoardPrincipal duties of the Board include undertaking and updating historic inventories or surveys, recommending designation of Landmarks and Preservation Districts, reviewing proposed alterations to historic buildings, and promoting public awareness of preservation issues. If you are in a historic district or would like more information regarding historic districts, please see the Processing Review Procedures for Owners of Historic Properties. There are currently eight designated Preservation Districts in Santa Rosa: Burbank Gardens, Cherry Street, McDonald, Olive Park, Railroad Square, Ridgway, St. Rose, and West End. At the request of property owners, other potential districts may be considered. Preservation Districts are composed of both contributors and non-contributors to their districts
Design Review BoardDesign Review Board serves as custodian of the City's design policies. The Board reviews both public and private development proposals to ensure that Santa Rosa remains attractive and maintains a "sense of place" which the General Plan sets forth as "unique to Santa Rosa." The Design Review Board reviews design proposals in light of adopted design review policies set forth in the City's Design Review Guidelines. The Board reviews development proposals that have neighborhood compatibility issues and major developments that may have significance to the City's aesthetic character.
Measure "O" Oversight Committee On August 3, 2004, the Council adopted Ordinance 3680 (PDF) which imposed a special transactions and use tax to generate revenues to be utilized for specific Police, Fire and gang prevention and intervention programs, as set forth in the Ordinance. The special tax ballot measure, known as Measure O (M-O), was approved by over two-thirds of the voters and the election results certified on December 7, 2004. The ordinance sets forth permissible uses for the revenue generated, and allocates proceeds from the tax in the following manner: Police 40%, Fire 40%, and Gang Prevention and Intervention 20%. This committee acts only as an oversight capacity and does not set policy.
Planning Commission The Planning Commission provides an invaluable service to the City of Santa Rosa by implementing plans, ordinances and policies relating to land use matters; assisting in writing and implementing the General Plan and area plans; holding public hearings and acting on proposed changes to the Zoning Code, Zoning Map, General Plan, tentative subdivision maps, and undertaking special planning studies as needed. Ultimately the Planning Commission is charged with carrying out the California Planning and Zoning Laws in the City of Santa Rosa and was established by Santa Rosa City Ordinance 1415.

Back to top


or Committee Name
Design Review BoardThe Design Review Board / Tree Board (also known as the DRB) meets 1st and 3rd Wednesdays at 4:00 pm at City Hall, 7120 Bodega Avenue in Sebastopol. The DRB is appointed by the City Council. The DRB reviews a wide range of development projects to ensure a high quality of design in Sebastopol. The DRB also reviews sign applications and landscaping and lighting as it relates to building development. The DRB also serves as the City's Tree Board.
Planning CommissionThe eight-member Planning Commission is appointed by the City Council to serve four-year terms. The members of the Planning Commission shall be from among residents of the City of Sebastopol or shall be the owner of a business within the City of Sebastopol. The Commission is responsible for making recommendations to the City Council on the General Plan, Zoning Ordinance, Subdivision Ordinance, Cultural Heritage Ordinance, and other ordinances relating to land use, growth, and development review. The Commission also reviews various types of development applications such as Use Permits, Variances, and Subdivisions.
Public Arts Committeenone4 years

Back to top


or Committee Name
Community Service & Environment CommissionThe Community Services and Environment Commission advises the City Council on matters related to the preservation and enhancement of parks, recreational facilities, open space and the natural environment and reviews major Plaza Use applications.
Cultural & Fine Arts CommissionThe role of the Cultural and Fine Arts Commission (CFAC) is to develop and establish a balanced arts and cultural program that promotes, enriches and advances the cultural and fine arts community.
Design Review and Historic Preservation CommissionThe goal of the Design Review and Historic Preservation Commission is to protect the architectural heritage of Sonoma and promote excellence in town design through its review of proposed projects and developments.
Oversight BoardThe City of Sonoma began serving as the Successor Agency to the Sonoma Community Development Agency on February 1, 2012 under a new State law, Assembly Bill 1X 26, which was upheld by the Supreme Court on December 29, 2011. The Successor Agency is governed by a seven-member Oversight Board. Meetings of the Oversight Board will be open to the public and noticed under the Brown Act.
Planning CommissionThe Planning commission prepares, revises and implements the comprehensive long-term General Plan for the physical development of the City and surrounding areas. It conducts hearings and makes decisions and/or recommendations on a variety of land use applications.
Sonoma Valley Citizen's Advisory CommitteeThe Sonoma Valley Citizen’s Advisory Commission was created through a Joint Powers Agreement between the County of Sonoma and the City of Sonoma. Its purpose is to provide a public forum to deliberate planning decisions impacting both the City of Sonoma and the unincorporated areas of the Sonoma Valley.
Tree CommitteeThe role of the Tree Committee is to preserve and properly maintain both public and private trees within the City as set forth in Chapter 12.08 of the Sonoma Municipal Code.


Board, Commission or Committee NameDescriptionTerm
Parks and Recreation Commission
Planning Commission The Commission generally acts on matters related to planning and development. On certain matters, including use permits and subdivisions, the Planning Commission can take final action. On other matters, such as General Plan Amendments and rezonings, the Planning Commission makes a recommendation to the Town Council. All final actions of the Planning Commission may be appealed to the Town Council. 4 years
Public Art Advisory CommissionThe Commission shall serve in an advisory capacity to the Town Council and the Parks and Recreation Director or his or her designee to support the Town by establishing Windsor as an art destination that raises the potential for education, innovation, collaborative community engagement and cultural exploration. This Commission was established in 2015.4 years
Senior Citizen Advisory Commission

County of Sonoma Boards, Commissions, Committees and Task Forces webpage

Back to top

Mission: to bring women into full participation in American society.

Back to top

The mission of NAMI is to provide education, support, and advocacy for all people affected by mental health challenges.
Main phone/Warn-line: (707) 527-6655

Back to top

The Open Education Database is a great tool to find a list of dedicated college scholarships for women. Eligibility requirements vary, and some are limited to: single parents, women returning to pursue their collegiate education, or specific areas of study. There is a special category for women interested in the STEM fields.

Back to top

A second Open Education Database site for single mothers following their dreams to higher education.

Back to top

An international organization for business and professional women who work to improve the lives of women and girls, in local communities and throughout the world.

(707) 545-6089

Back to top

Working in partnership with the community, Verity strives to eliminate all forms of violence, with a special focus on sexual assault and abuse as well as human trafficking. Walk-in crisis counseling available weekdays from 9:00am to 5:00pm.

835 Piner Road, Suite D
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
24-hour Rape Crisis Hotline (707) 545-7273

Back to top

The Mission of Global Leadership Initiative (WGLI) is to promote a values based leadership program that unleashes the power of women to initiate change in their communities.

(415) 737-9454

Back to top

Women's Recovery Services (WRS) is a haven where women struggling to live free from addiction can find the support and specialized treatment they need.

(707) 527-0412

Back to top

YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. The leading provider of Domestic Violence services in Sonoma County.

(707) 546-9922

Back to top

Contact Information

Commission on the Status of Women
Human Resources Department
County of Sonoma
Business Hours
Monday – Friday
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Sonoma County Administration Building
575 Administration Drive
Suite 116B
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
38.464975, -122.725632
Follow Us