San Diego appoints 11 members to newly revived Commission on the Status of Women

A woman gestures and speaks into a microphone at a podium
Former Rep. Susan Davis, pictured in a file photo from 2019, is one of the mayor’s 11 appointees to the revived Commission on the Status of Women.
(Hayne Palmour IV/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Members include former U.S. Rep. Susan Davis, nonprofit executives and business leaders


Eleven women will serve on the city of San Diego’s newly revived Commission on the Status of Women, a panel focused on helping women overcome inequities and barriers to success.

The commission, which has been dormant since 2001, includes former U.S. Rep. Susan Davis, Laurie Black, Marlyn Carrillo, Lakeya Cherry, Wendy Urushima-Conn, Gail Friedt, Joy Utomi Hartmann, Solange Jacobs, Sophie Tarazi, Dana Toppel and Natasha Wong.

Mayor Todd Gloria appointed Davis, Black, Cherry, Hartmann, Tarazi and Wong to terms that expire in 2023. He appointed Jacobs, Friedt, Toppel, Carrillo and Urushima-Conn to terms that expire in 2024.

“It’s long past time we revive this commission to ensure the city is supporting women’s long march toward equality,” Gloria said in March when he announced his plan to revive the commission, which operated from 1991 to 2001.

It was a revival of a similar panel known as the Advisory Board on the Status of Women that had been established in 1973.

Davis, a Kensington resident, served in the U.S. Congress from 2003 to 2021 and the state Assembly from 1994 to 2000.

Commission on the Status of Women will focus on breaking down social, economic barriers

Black leads her own consulting firm and is past president of the Downtown San Diego Partnership. She lives in Bankers Hill.

Carrillo manages communication platforms and media strategy for the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. She lives in Normal Heights.

Cherry is an executive leadership coach and chief executive of the Network for Social Work Management. She lives in North Park.

Urushima-Conn, a former TV reporter, is president and chief executive officer of the Epilepsy Foundation. She lives in Rancho Bernardo.

Friedt is a critical care registered nurse who lives in Hillcrest. Hartmann is a state deputy attorney general who lives in Linda Vista.

Jacobs is a marketing executive living in El Cerrito.

Tarazi is an attorney who previously worked for the International Rescue Committee. She lives in Tierrasanta.

Toppel is a nonprofit executive who serves on the California Commission on Aging. She lives in Del Cerro.

Wong is president of Balboa Park’s House of China and also serves on the board of directors of the Asian Pacific American Coalition. She lives in La Jolla.