California Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) today announced that Ivy Bottini, an activist and artist who lives in West Hollywood, has been selected as the 50th Assembly District’s 2017 “Woman of the Year”.
Bottini had a decades-long career as an illustrator and graphic designer before becoming a trailblazing activist best known for her feminist and LGBT work. Over the course of her career as an activist, Bottini organized marches, founded several non-profits and led campaigns against statewide initiatives that targeted and sought to marginalize the LGBT community.
“Ivy Bottini has left a lasting impact on the lives of countless people,” Bloom said. “She fights, unrelentingly, to bring justice and equality for marginalized people and communities, and has championed women’s rights and LGBT rights even when it came at personal cost. I am proud to celebrate her accomplishments as an artist, a mother, and an activist.”
Bottini began her career as an illustrator and graphic artist in New York. She studied at the Pratt Institute School of Art in Brooklyn, where she obtained a certificate in advertising graphic design and illustration. She spent several years working at art and advertising agencies before beginning her 16-year tenure as an art director and illustrator at Newsday, a major east coast newspaper. After moving to Los Angeles in 1971, Bottini studied acting and spent several years working as an actress.
Bottini was a founder of the first New York chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW), where she fulfilled the roles of both activist and artist and designed the organization’s national logo. In addition to her women’s rights work, Bottini also advocated for lesbian rights, and was even forced out of NOW for doing so.
Bottini intensified her LGBT activism in Southern California, where she helped found a number of nonprofit organizations including the Los Angeles Lesbian/Gay Police Board, AIDS Network LA and AIDS Project Los Angeles. She also worked on issues such as affordable housing and co-founded Gay & Lesbian Elder Housing Inc., which built the first affordable housing complex for gay and lesbian seniors in the country. Bottini was also politically active and successfully led several campaigns, including the 1978 “No on 6” campaign, which challenged an initiative that would have banned gays and lesbians from teaching in California public schools.
“At a time when LGBT rights and women’s rights are increasingly under attack, it is important to recognize those trailblazers who inspire today’s aspiring leaders to reach their fullest potential,” Bloom said. “Ivy Bottini exemplifies the courage, resilience, and principled steadfastness that we should all aspire to have in fighting for justice and equality in our communities.”
Ivy Bottini will be recognized at a ceremony in Sacramento on Monday. More information about the Woman of the Year Event and the history of the California Legislative Woman’s Caucus is available online.