FAIRFIELD — A pair of public officials were recognized for their “character, courage and commitment” during a Women’s History Celebration at St. Stephen CME Church, Sunday.
The Women’s Missionary Society collaborated with the Fairfield-Suisun City-Vacaville Section of the National Council of Negro Women for a service that honored City Councilwoman Pam Bertani, Judge Ramona Garrett, U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Stephanie Williams and church parishioner Melisha Perkins.
“I love all of you for coming out to help celebrate these four women that we have selected to be honored today,” said Clarice Roberts. “This is actually a celebration for all of you.”
Roberts praised Bertani’s intellect and passion as she introduced the councilwoman to the congregation.
“You (can) understand why Pam is doing what she’s doing – she loves Fairfield – and she only wants the best for (the city),” Roberts said.
Bertani, a patent lawyer and litigator, is principal of the Winston Bertani Law Group in downtown Fairfield. She is currently running for a Solano County Supervisor seat. After accepting the award, Bertani paid tribute to her mother, who died in December.
“My mother taught me something, which is why I’m standing here right now,” she said. “My mother taught me that we drink from wells we did not dig, and we prosper from people we did not know. And so we’re ever bound in community – whether we like it or not.”
Garrett, who served as presiding judge of the Solano County Superior Court from 2008-09, overcame diversity to kickstart her judicial career.
“I became a teenage mother at 18, and I have lived within the legal profession for 36 years,” she said.
Garrett began law school at the University of California, Davis, at age 25 – two years after she got off welfare. Fifteen years later she became the first woman and the first African-American judge to sit on the municipal court in Solano County.
“It has been quite a marathon race in which to run,” she said. “It has been my challenge to run my leg of this race with courage, determination and hopefully wisdom, so when my life journey ends it may be said . . . that gender and race need not be disabling handicaps in the race of life.”
St. Stephen CME Church is located at 2301 Union Ave. in Fairfield. The Rev. David Isom is the pastor.
Reach Adrienne Harris at 427-6956 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/aharrisdr.
This version corrects the time when Judge Ramona Garrett served as presiding judge.