Gubernatorial candidates: Commit to making CA a model employer

I’ve spent the past several months writing about equity issues for California’s state workers.

The upshot? Progressive California is falling short.

State lawmakers have passed progressive policies promoting gender pay equity and paid family leave that benefit most private sector employees — but not all state employees.

This needs to change.

Wouldn’t it be terrific if the gubernatorial candidates committed to making California a model employer?

Below are op-eds published in the Sacramento Bee.

California’s paid family leave program is a national model. Shouldn’t state workers get it, too?
August 27, 2017 – Sacramento Bee
In one of the lesser-known ironies of California’s nationally recognized paid family leave law, the program is out of reach for the majority of the State of California’s own employees.

How long will women have to wait for pay equity?
June 25, 2017 – Sacramento Bee
A woman taking a job today with the State of California might close out her career before the state achieves gender pay equity.

Is rigged research widening the state’s gender pay gap?
June 18, 2017 – Sacramento Bee
Successful collective bargaining by powerful, and mostly male, public safety unions has helped perpetuate the gap pay gap between men and women who work for the State of California.

Women are paid less than men even in government jobs. Even in California. Why?
June 11, 2017 – Sacramento Bee
California laid the groundwork in 1981 for closing the gender pay gap for state employees, but has been far less successful than Minnesota.

Professional women asking why state undervalues, underpays their work
April 2, 2017 – Sacramento Bee
California has failed to implement pay equity for state workers, despite a law establishing the clear intent of the State Legislature that women be paid equal wages for work of comparable value.

New Leadership for CA Women’s Caucus in 2017

2017 launches with new leadership at the California Legislative Women’s Caucus.

Assembly Member Cristina Garcia steps in as Chair; and Senator Connie M. Leyva is Vice Chair.

Garcia, elected to a two-year term, also serves as First Vice Chair of the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls. Known as a strong advocate for women’s issues and a champion of electing more women to public office, Gacia went to the mat this past year for AB 1561, her “No Tax on Tampons” bill. The legislation received majority support in the Senate and Assembly, but was vetoed by the Governor.

Garcia is now working with Caucus members to set their policy priorities for the new year.

Without doubt, 2016 was one of the Caucus’ most successful years ever – and a tip of the hat goes to the Immediate Past Chair, Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, for her leadership and tenacity.

Working with the Stronger California Advocates Network, the Caucus championed a proactive policy agenda on economic security and secured a multi-year budget commitment of over $500 million for subsidized child care.

While not a complete list, two other major successes are worth noting:

  • Culminating a years-long battle, Senator Holly J. Mitchell succeeded in repealing the Maximum Family Grant, a provision in the state welfare program that had denied aid for infants born into poverty.
  • Senator Leyva also had a big win, securing passage of the 2016 Domestic Workers Bill of Rights (SB 1015), which establishes permanent overtime protection for California’s 300,000 domestic workers.

The bad news for the Women’s Caucus is that their numbers in 2017 are diminished. Twenty-six women now serve in the State Senate and Assembly – down from 30 the previous year.


Clueless in Congress

US Capitol - Govt photo Screen Shot 2015-10-02 at 6.38.15 PMKathleen Parker’s September 29 column offers unintended insight into the bizarre mind of at least one Republican congressman.

Complaining about the sophistication of the Freedom Caucus – the group that played a role in pushing out Speaker John Boehner – this unidentified House members says:

“These are the guys who couldn’t get a prom date. . . . They’d rather rape and pillage than do the hard work. They can’t get to first base much less hit a home run.”

Seriously? Continue reading “Clueless in Congress”