Lorraine Boyce has worked tirelessly to empower women for almost seventy years. In Escondido, she helped found Friends of Planned Parenthood and a family-planning clinic; she was actively involved in city politics and mentored young women with political ambitions; and she founded child-care centers that provide assistance to single, low-income mothers. It is for these reasons that she is being inducted into the San Diego Women’s Hall of Fame as an Empowerer.
Boyce received an R.N. degree from USC and a B.S. from National University. Her life’s work promoting women’s health and family planning began while working as a nurse in the obstetrics ward of Los Angeles County General Hospital. Boyce married her husband William after World War II was over; they later moved to Escondido where they raised six children.
Boyce was an active member of Planned Parenthood; she served on the board and helped found a clinic in Escondido. She was also involved with the League of Women Voters, whose concerns over the shortage of low-income housing prompted Boyce to run for city council. She was successful and served on the Escondido City Council for eight years (1970-1978); two of these years she served as the first woman Mayor of Escondido (1974-1976). During this period, she mentored women interested in engaging in local politics and she served on the Governor’s Advisory Committee on Early Child Development Programs for the State of California. This committee work lead Boyce and her colleagues to establish the Escondido Community Child Development Center (ECCDC) in 1974.
Over the past forty years, the ECCDC has grown and expanded into four different sites, one of which bears Boyce’s name, and currently serves more than 500 families. Lorraine Boyce’s life-long commitment to family planning and child-care for working mothers makes her an empowerer of women.