The late Toni Carabillo founded the Feminist Majority with Eleanor Smeal, Peg Yorkin, Judith Meuli, and Katherine Spillar in 1987 and later became the organization’s vice president. In 1988, she co-authored a book with Judith Meuli entitled The Feminization of Power.
Her intense involvement in the feminist movement began when she joined the National Organization for Women in 1966.
In 1967, she helped found the California Chapters of NOW. She served as President of the Los Angeles Chapter from 1968 to 1970 and from 1980 through 1982. She was a member of NOW’s National Board of Directors almost continuously from 1968 to 1977, served as a National Vice President from 1971 through 1974, and chaired NOW’s National Advisory Committee from 1975 until 1977.
It was during her second tenure as president of Los Angeles NOW that the memorable “Last Walk for the ERA” in August 1981 was organized and more than 10,000 people marched on the Avenue of the Stars and more than $300,000 was raised for the ERA Countdown Campaign. She was simultaneously director of the NOW ERA Countdown Office in Los Angeles during the final ratification drive, which raised an additional $155,000 in six months through nightly phone banks and home parties for a total of nearly half a million dollars.
She was co-editor of NOW’s national newsletter, NOW Acts , from 1970 to 1973 and co-editor of its national newspaper, the National NOW Times, from 1977 until 1985. She was an associate editor of The Eleanor Smeal Report, a national “insiders” newsletter with a feminist perspective, which was published from 1983 to 1990.
She developed a chronology of the feminist movement of the 20th century as a computerized data base, using this as the basis for the book The Feminist Chronicles, 1953-1993. The data base was used as the source for NOW’s 25th Anniversary Show in Los Angeles in December 1986, subsequently released as a two-hour video tape. With the Feminist Majority, she participated in the production of two video tapes, Abortion: For Survival and Abortion Denied: Shattering Young Women’s Lives.
In 1969, she co-founded the Women’s Heritage Corporation, a publishing company that produced the Women’s Heritage Calendar and Almanac and a series of paperbacks on such figures as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucy Stone. In 1970, she formed a graphic arts firm with Ms. Meuli in Los Angeles.
Professionally, Ms. Carabillo was a writer and graphic designer. She earned an A.B. degree from Middlebury College, Vermont, and an M.A. from Columbia University.
Prior to 1970, she was assistant manager of Corporate Communications for System Development Corporation (SDC), a think tank working on national defense systems. At SDC, she supervised a corporate publications unit of writers, a graphic design department, an employee publications unit, and a corporate exhibits staff, in addition to editing a ground-breaking, award-winning magazine explaining computer technology and applications.
Her eleven-year career with SDC ended not long after she was involved in an unauthorized survey of women employees that revealed a pattern of sex discrimination in salaries and career opportunities.
As a feminist advocate, Ms. Carabillo appeared on both national and local television and radio. She is the author of many Op-Ed articles, a number of which were nationally syndicated. Her biography appears in Who’s Who In America and Who’s Who of American Women.
Judith Meuli is currently the national secretary of the Feminist Majority, an organization she founded with Eleanor Smeal, Toni Carabillo, Peg Yorkin, and Katherine Spillar in 1987 to encourage women to become involved in public affairs and the electoral process.
In 1988, she co-authored a book with Toni Carabillo entitled The Feminization of Power. The book grew out of a traveling exhibit that Meuli and Carabillo created for a twelve-city Feminization of Power campaign tour to empower women to run for office in 1988.
She has been an activist and an organizer in the feminist movement since she joined the National Organization for Women in 1967.
In 1968, she was elected to serve for two years as secretary of the Los Angeles Chapter of NOW. From 1971 to 1977, she served almost continuously as a member of NOW’s National Board of Directors. From 1971 through 1974, she served as Chair of the National Membership Committee, instituting reforms for the fast-growing organization such as central dues collection and an anniversary payment system. In 1974, she also chaired NOW’s National Nominating Committee. In 1976, she was elected coordinator of the Hollywood chapter.
She was co-editor of NOW’s national newsletter, NOW Acts, from 1970 to 1973, editor of Financing the Revolution, a catalog of fund-raising tips, in 1973, and co-editor of NOW’s national newspaper, the National NOW Times, with a circulation of 250,000, from 1977 until 1985.
For the major part of her professional life, Ms. Meuli has pursued both a career as a writer, graphic designer and jewelry designer and a career as a real estate broker and developer. In the latter role, in 1990, she designed and constructed a building to house the media center and archives for the Feminist Majority.
Ms. Meuli holds a bachelor of science degree from the University of Minnesota. For 10 years after graduating, she was a research scientist at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and the University of California, Los Angeles, where she studied renal physiology.
Her career as a scientist ended when Ms. Meuli discovered that although she taught medical students research and surgical techniques, she was discouraged from entering medical school because she was female and, at thirty years old, she was considered too old.
In 1969, she co-founded the Women’s Heritage Corporation, a publishing company that produced the Women’s Heritage Calendar and Almanac and a series of paperbacks on such figures as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucy Stone. In 1970, she formed a graphic arts firm with Ms. Carabillo in Los Angeles. Women’s Graphic Communications produces and distributes books, newspapers, political buttons, and pins.
Ms. Meuli designed many of the symbols and logos of the women’s movement, such as the designs for Woman’s Equality, Human Liberation, Sisterhood, Matriarchy Lives, Woman’s Peace, Older Women’s League, Equal Rights Amendment, Woman Thinker, Failure Is Impossible, NOW’s Commemorative medallion, and many feminist issue pins in cloisonné enamel.
Her biography appears in Who’s Who In America and Who’s Who of American Women.
June Bundy Csida
June Bundy Csida has been a member of Los Angeles NOW since 1970 when she coordinated a search for surviving pre-World War I suffragists to participate in NOW’s historic Women’s Strike for Equality celebration on August 26. The event marked the 50th anniversary of the day women won the right to vote.
Inspired by those gallant pioneer feminists, one of whom, Ernestine Kettler, served a jail sentence for picketing the Wilson White House, Ms. Csida became active in Los Angeles NOW and filled various chapter offices (vice president, secretary, public relations officer) throughout the ’70s. Also during those years she assisted NOW’s National Vice President Toni Carabillo with media relations and was a contributor and columnist for the National NOW Times.. In 1971, she persuaded several Los Angeles TV and radio stations-including two network outlets-to create and air public service spots for NOW, a first for the organization.
In 1972, she set up a special public forum on the then- startling theme Rape – the Number One Crime Against Women. The following year she and her husband, Joseph Csida, also a long-time NOW member, wrote Rape (How To Avoid It And What To Do About It If You Can’t), the first book-length feminist treatment of the shocking facts about the under-reported, under-prosecuted crime against women and children.
Ms. Csida is also the author of: Elizabeth Cady Stanton, The 19th Century Renaissance Woman; American Entertainment, a Unique History of Popular Show Business (with Joseph Csida), a chronological history of events in music, theatre, films, television, radio, dance, vaudeville, circus, fairs and carnivals since Colonial days; and A Complete Guide to Healthy Pets.
As a contributor to the World Book Encyclopedia Year Book for 14 years, Ms. Csida wrote annual reports on radio and television and many special features, including a special report on The Second Feminist Revolt, tracing the history of women’s fight for equality from its origin in Seneca Falls, N.Y., in 1848 through 1972. She was also a contributor to The People’s Almanac #1 and #2, writing on rape, murder, and animals.
As a writer-reporter for Billboard magazine for 15 years, Ms. Csida wrote record, night club, theatre, radio, and television reviews, eventually serving as TV-radio programming editor.
Ms. Csida scripted and researched the syndicated TV series Movie Museum, a history of silent cinema featuring the film library of D.W. Griffith’s and other silent movie classics; a syndicated radio series, Show Ms!, a feminist tribute to women musical stars from the ’20s to the ’80s; and Billboard magazine’s annual Yearbook, a syndicated radio series covering current events and best-selling records for rock, middle of the road, and country.
In 1986, she wrote a tribute to male feminists which was delivered by actor Ed Asner at NOW’s 20th anniversary show.
At the age of 20, in an era when most women stayed at home or worked as secretaries, Ms. Csida went out on the road as advance agent for the top novelty band of the day, Spike Jones and His City Slickers. Prior to joining Billboard, she ran her own publicity agency in partnership with Auriel Macfie.