In 1871, Ellen R. Van Valkenburg sued Santa Cruz County Clerk Albert Brown after he refused to include her name in the Great Register of voters. She argued that under the 14th Amendment, "many American women like herself were granted citizenship, and therefore, the rights of citizenship which included voting." California’s District Court ruled against her but she decided to appeal. The following year, the Supreme Court of California supported the lower court, again denying her and other women the right to vote.
In 1911, despite poor results in the San Francisco area, the Equal Suffrage Amendment passed by 3,587 votes thanks to support from rural areas of the state. San Francisco then became the most populous city where women could vote.
Historical Essay - Mae Silver
Organizers of the 1911 Amendment 8 campaign gathered in San Francisco for a publicity shot.
California Constitutional Convention Working Papers
Petitions for Women’s Suffrage to the California Constitutional Convention (1879)