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Tell Us: Who Are the Women Who Make Benicia?

And watch "Makers," a landmark documentary featuring compelling stories about the women who have changed America—and the world.

Activists and authors. Diplomats and developers. Journalists and justices.

They’re all women who have blazed trails and shaped the world in which we live. And now they’re telling their stories in Makers: The Women Who Make America, debuting Tuesday, Feb. 26, on PBS.

The women featured in the landmark digital and video initiative from AOL and PBS represent everyday groundbreakers and high-profile pioneers. The documentary examines the movement for equality, and shows how change didn't come easy.

“It never, ever occurred to me that I could be Secretary of State,” says Madeleine Albright.

Who are the women who have lead the way in Benicia? Who do you look up to as a trailblazer in town? Tell us in the comments section below.

Makers is the “remarkable story of the most sweeping social revolution in American history, as women have asserted their rights to a full and fair share of political power, economic opportunity, and personal autonomy.”

In the documentary, feminist Gloria Steinem recalls the start of the women’s movement.

“We thought these injustices were so great, surely if we just explain them to people—[laughing]—they will want to fix them.”

And artist and activist Faith Ringgold offers a realization she discovered early on.

“You can’t sit around waiting for someone else to say you who you are. You need to write it and paint it and do it.”

The world premiere broadcast is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 26, at 8 p.m. Eastern on PBS.

Katherine J. Ellis February 24, 2013 at 04:10 PM
Annabelle, who leads the Voena choir should be recognized for her work with the children in this area. Her ideals for the children go above and beyond the typical 'anything is okay' attitude and lifts them to levels of excellence few programs do. I am looking forward to my granddaughter singing with this group.
"The Black Panther of Poetry" February 24, 2013 at 05:31 PM
ELLY HARKIN, A.KA. "The Rose Of Benicia" http://patch.com/N-d0pb
Riley Willerson February 24, 2013 at 09:55 PM
Voena? Come on, that organization is reserved for only the pivledged. In the past they have been awarded city funds, even though their tuition can be up to $3000. other Benicia non profit organizations were denied funds, one that comes to mind was Benicia Pefoming Arts" non profit. I would agree that the voena exposes individuls to the world of music, but only a select few will be allowed to participate,
rob pearson February 24, 2013 at 09:56 PM
I can tell you who it isn't and that is our mayor. She spends our money like it is her own! Now we have to have her for another year? Nope! It is not mayor Patterson in any way shape or form. Rob Pearson
Gary W Smith February 26, 2013 at 01:40 AM
Maria T. Matthews, previous co-owner of a Benicia Basking and Robbins Ice Cream Store and sparkplug in the Rebuilding Together Solano County organization. She has been instrumental in getting an organization that assists senior, disabled and veterans, home and local organizational meeting places, in renovating the homes and facilities, thus bringing these locations up to a more user-friendly standard.
Babaloo February 26, 2013 at 05:38 AM
good for them,,,BRAVO...the ladies mentioned... YES>>> the "mayor"....NO WAY..i have to agree with ROB...NO BUENO...NO BUENO...Vote for Pedro...is my MOTTO,,at least PEDRO works hard...
Riley Willerson February 27, 2013 at 04:33 PM
Our Mayor was voted into office by the people of Benicia, obviously she was far the better choice than Alan. She continues to support small business as well as environmental issues, as in fighing off Seeno. So, our great nation that supports the proces of elections for the people by the people seems to once again make others unhappy of the outcome that was the voice of Benicia citizens. Oh I love our country, how about accepting the out of the process "Voting, a terrible thing to waste"
Robert Livesay February 27, 2013 at 06:23 PM
These are opinions. I happen to agree withy Rob on Mayor Patterson. Riley you may want to take a look at what happened to CODA. Take a look at our budget the last three years. Leadership skills should deserve attention. This mayor has no leadership skills. It has now been proven over and over. If you call 90 or 135 vote margins big time I guess then she should be women of the year. If she choses to run again in 2016 she will get hammered because more voters will turn out. The odd year election was an advantage to the mayor. No on mayor Patterson.
Robert Livesay February 27, 2013 at 06:23 PM
These are opinions. I happen to agree withy Rob on Mayor Patterson. Riley you may want to take a look at what happened to CODA. Take a look at our budget the last three years. Leadership skills should deserve attention. This mayor has no leadership skills. It has now been proven over and over. If you call 90 or 135 vote margins big time I guess then she should be women of the year. If she choses to run again in 2016 she will get hammered because more voters will turn out. The odd year election was an advantage to the mayor. No on mayor Patterson.
Gary W Smith March 04, 2013 at 03:04 AM
The mayor already got her fame. Focus on other people for goodness sake. There are a lot more women making Benicia work than an elected semi-socialist.
Riley Willerson March 04, 2013 at 05:52 AM
Yes Robert, thats what you said in the last election "She would loose" and in November 2012 you also stated that Obama would loose as well, you see Robert your rack record is 0 in your predictions.
Katherine J. Ellis March 04, 2013 at 06:08 AM
It is just too sad that what was supposed to be a poll for women who are influential in Benicia has deteriorated to a discussion on whether our current mayor is doing a good job. Are there only three worthy women in Benicia to be suggested for comments? Come on-we can do better than that.
Robert Livesay March 04, 2013 at 04:24 PM
Sorry fellas just because she wins does not mean she is doing a good job. I will continue on her until she is out of politics. Yes I may have not been right on the President but I never said Mayor would lose. I have only been wrong on two elections since 1952. Not a bad record. I love my odds.
Roger Straw March 04, 2013 at 06:46 PM
Not true, Bob. Here's one of many of your self-promoting failed predictions, including that Mayor Patterson would lose: “As I have said in the past, the mayor will be making some campaign changes. How do I know? I know politics. She is going to change her self-affirmed, tree-hugging, enviro-greenie image. Too late, Mayor Patterson….. She has set her image and it is too late to try and change. Live with it and try to win with it. She will not, but she will be hard at work in the next two months doing a complete makeover...." (Bob Livesay, Benicia Herald, 6/3/11)
Roger Straw March 04, 2013 at 06:50 PM
Benicia has at least three women clergy: Rev. Renie Stamm-Kirk of Community Congregational United Church of Christ and Rev. Beverly White of Heritage Presbyterian Church, and Reverend Jeanne Forte of St. Paul's Episcopal Church. The times they have a'changed - and for the better!
Roger Straw March 04, 2013 at 07:11 PM
Oh, and let's not forget Marilyn O’Rourke, Benicia’s first woman mayor, who served from 1984 to 1992. More: http://beniciaherald.me/2011/11/04/former-mayor-endorses-incumbent/
Robert Livesay March 04, 2013 at 07:26 PM
You are correct Rev. Roger Straw how can this city ever forget her. I am sure tey want to.
Robert Livesay March 04, 2013 at 07:30 PM
I do believe if we go back in time we will find out that city was made famous by women. They too should be honored or at least a few placks put up down First Street.
Tamra Amato March 06, 2013 at 02:37 AM
Ahhh Riley... anyone can be in VOENA. I know, my son was in it years ago. Believe me I am not a rich person. They have fundraising to help with expenses.... They do expose children to music of the world and just as importantly the audiences they sing for get exposed to the music the choir and a good message. Also the WORLD gets exposed to a wonderful unifying choir led by an exceptional artist___ Annabel from Benicia.

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