MARTINEZ – Noralea Gipner, a former Martinez City Council member who led a successful public safety sales tax campaign and was instrumental in efforts to improve services for the homeless, has been named Contra Costa County Woman of the Year by Sen. Bill Dodd.
“Noralea’s hard work and dedication to her community is nothing short of impressive,” Sen. Dodd said. “Through her leadership, much has been accomplished to improve essential services and enhance public safety. I am happy to give her this much-deserved recognition.”
“Over three years ago I had a dream to aid our homeless citizens of Martinez,” Gipner said. “With the help of friends, we formed Homeless Action Coalition, my non-profit. The pandemic gave me the opportunity to create Camp Hope and the results so far are amazing; better health, a sense of belonging, opportunities for rehab, housing, and employment for many of our folks.”
Gipner, a Martinez native, is president and CEO of Homeless Action Coalition and founder of Camp Hope. The licensed cosmetologist and longtime community volunteer was elected to the Martinez City Council in 2016 and served through 2020. During that time she is credited with leading the city’s 2018 campaign for Measure X, the half-cent public safety sales tax, and for helping to bring a second baseball team, the Martinez Sturgeon, to town. She also was responsible for obtaining services such as showers and clothing and long-term places to live for the homeless. At the same time, she developed strong partnerships with the police department, county health workers, faith groups and other advocacy groups in her efforts to address the needs of the homeless community.
She has received many honors including the 2020 Community Service award from the Kiwanis Club, the 2019 Ruby award from Soroptimist and 2008 Woman of the Year from the Martinez Chamber of Commerce.
Senator Bill Dodd represents the 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Solano, Yolo, Sonoma, Contra Costa, and Sacramento counties. You can learn more about the district and Senator Dodd at www.sen.ca.gov/dodd.