Local Hero: Ivy Bottini

Ivy Bottini

"My life is an ongoing adventure. While studying art at Pratt Institution, I learned to get out of my own way; those words shaped my life. For 50 years, my passion has been equal rights for women, lesbians and gay men, and it continues."

For more than 50 years, Ivy Bottini has worked tirelessly for the rights of women and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community. She is a true trailblazer who has paved the way for generations to come.

Currently, Ms. Bottini is spearheading the creation of an AIDS Memorial in West Hollywood and the Southland's first LGBT Museum. She is also writing an auto-biography about her life as a successful artist, mother of two daughters and activist.

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Ms. Bottini has founded and directed several organizations that address the rights of women and the LGBT community. She founded the Los Angeles Lesbian/Gay Police Advisory Board. She also co-chaired the Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board for the City of West Hollywood from 2000 to 2010.

Ms. Bottini originated the awareness of the need for LGBT affordable housing. After a year and a half of bringing the issue forward, she co-founded the nonprofit organization, Gay & Lesbian Elder Housing in 1993. The nonprofit developed Triangle Square in 2007. Located in Hollywood, the 103-unit complex is the first affordable housing complex for gay and lesbian senior citizens in the country.

An advocate to those who are sick and dying of AIDS, Ms. Bottini founded the first AIDS organization in Los Angeles, AIDS Network LA and co-founded AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) in 1983.

In 1966, Ms. Bottini co-founded the first chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) in New York City and designed its logo. She introduced lesbian rights in the women's movement and developed the chapter's feminist ideology, which was later implemented nationally. She was forced out of NOW in 1970 for bringing equality and inclusion of lesbians in the struggle for women's rights to the table.

Ms. Bottini has also spearheaded campaigns that have defeated some of California's most controversial measures. She was chair of the "No On LaRouche" Southern California campaign division in 1986. Her efforts contributed to the defeat of Proposition 64, a measure put on the ballot by Lyndon H. LaRouche, which would have restored AIDS to the list of communicable diseases. She was appointed deputy director of the Southern California region against the 1978 Briggs Initiative, or Proposition 6. The measure would have banned gays and lesbians from teaching in California's schools. She also organized gay-rights marches, protests and "die-ins" in the 1980s.

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