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.


Wonk Note #1: Implementing the Repeal of MFG

After a four-year battle to repeal a provision in the state’s welfare program that prohibited payments for children born while their mother’s were receiving CalWORKs, counties throughout the state have moved forward to notify eligible parents they will be receiving additional benefits.

Senator Holly J. Mitchell campaigned tirelessly to repeal what is known as the Maximum Family Grant (MFG), succeeding last year with a budget provision that removed the restriction. Senator Mitchell worked with a coalition of over 100 organizations, led by the Western Center on Law and Poverty (WCLP) and California Latinas for Reproductive Justice (CLRJ).

Earlier this week, Jessica Bartholow from WCLP appealed to coalition members to work with California’s 58 counties to ensure full implementation of the MFG repeal and provided this fact sheet in both English and Spanish.

Join the United State of Women Action Network

3000 local activists from throughout the nation were encouraged to connect and organize on a December 3 conference call featuring White House officials and women’s rights leaders.

The #UnitedDayofWomen Strategy Kickoff Call, a follow-up to the United State of Women Summit held in June 2016, launched a grassroots effort to protect and extend the policies and services – equal pay, Title IX, child care, and more – achieved during the Obama Administration.

The goal? White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett put it this way: “Create a network and keep engaging new women and allies to create equity for all women and girls.”

You can read a succinct recap of the call, or listen to the 40-minute SoundCloud recording.

Wondering how to turn your post-election depression into productive activism? Check out strategies recommended on the United State of Women Action Network.

Latinas Trounce Trump

Latino voters overwhelmingly support Hillary Clinton (66%) to Donald Trump (20%), according to a Fox News poll conducted August 7-10.

But take a close look: There’s a whopping gender gap.

A majority (56%) of Latino men favor Clinton, and give her a 30% advantage over Trump.

But an astounding 75% of Latinas favor Clinton, giving her a 61% advantage over He-Who-Would-Build-A-Wall.

When Bill Clinton ran in 1992, his theme song was a Fleetwood Mac standard, Don’t Stop (Thinking About Tomorrow).

Hillary Clinton should be negotiating the rights to another Fleetwood Mac super hit: Landslide.


Fox News Poll

2016 Presidential Vote Preference
Among Latino Registered Voters

.                                                   Men      Women
Clinton                                    56%      75%
Trump                                     26%      14%
Clinton Lead                             30%      61%

August 7-10, 2016  Men + or – 5% Pts., Women + or – 4.5% Pts.



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”