San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon on dresses, roses and personal empowerment

Heidi Harmon

San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon has an inspiring interview with the The California Report on her personal style, what it re-enforces and the sense of empowerment it gives her.

Harmon, whose signature attire is “strong but feminine” dresses (reporter John Sepulvado’s words) and a rose accessory — in her hair or pinned to her dress — that pays homage to her Pasadena roots.

Harmon shares her sentiments on not bending to norms once elected, becoming something you’re not, and her attire as a personal statement with intent, despite at times the judgmental feedback she’s received:

“That’s the mistake I think people make. They come into politics probably for really good reasons. They’re probably mostly decent people that really care about something. Something’s impacted them or their families and they want to advocate for a different way, and then they get in and there’s that really strong tendency to listen to the voices that suggest ‘oh, no, no, no, no, you can’t vote that way, you can’t you can’t say that, you can’t dress like that, because you’re not going to get re-elected.’ … For me, I have no interest in presenting in a more masculine way, which has traditionally been the model for women in business. … When I walk into a room, I want it to be really clear that a woman has entered this space. So, to me, it’s a commitment to that more feminine approach, which I think is really important, and a commitment to courage, that I am not going to allow others to decide how I am going to be in this position. … I think there’s always something threatening about a woman who takes her space, and I think this suggests that to some extent. I have something to say. I have people’s voices that aren’t being heard that I have an opportunity to represent, and I’m here to work with you, and I’m also here to take up my own space.”


About Luke Fretwell

Luke Fretwell is the founder of GovFresh, co-founder/CEO of ProudCity and co-host of the podcast, The Government We Need. Connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn or email at


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