FAQ

What is close the gap CA?

close the gap CA is a campaign to increase the number of progressive women in the California legislature by recruiting talented progressive women to run for open, winnable seats in 2014 and 2016. Changes to California’s term limit law in 2012 mean another opportunity like this will not occur again until 2022. With women accounting for only 26% of the California legislature, and the number of progressive women continuing to drop, we can’t afford to wait. In 2016,
there are 16 seats that progressive women can win. Help us elect 16 in ’16!

Why do we need close the gap CA?

Research confirms that the presence of more women in a governing body leads to more comprehensive policies, greater transparency and a focus on getting things done. Many talented women will not self-nominate for public office and need to be recruited. California needs the policy know-how, experience and leadership skills of progressive women to,

    1. Close the funding and achievement gaps in education.
    2. Close the access gap to contraception and affordable health care.
    3. Close the wage gap and obstacles that contribute to poverty of women & children.

Get the facts!

Why is it important to have women in office?

We all lose out when half of the talent remains on the sidelines. California needs the policy know-how and the leadership skills that women offer. With more progressive women in the Legislature we can close the funding and achievement gaps in education; close the access gap to contraception and affordable health care; and close the wage gap and reduce obstacles that contribute to the poverty of women and children.
 
What’s the best way to explain that to family, friends and voters? Find out in our “Why Women?” webinar.

Why now?

Fourteen progressive women will be leaving the CA Legislature in these two election cycles due to term limits and early vacancies. With changes to California’s term limit law, if we do not act now, we will not have an opportunity to fill multiple open seats with progressive women again until 2022.[/expand]

Why open seats?

Open Seats = Opportunity
Every progressive women currently serving in the California Legislature except for one won open seat races.
Get the facts!

How many Senate and Assembly seats will be open?

At least 59 Seats will be open on account of term limits, early retirements or vacancies in 2014 and 2016.
See our “16 in ‘16” targeted seats.

 

2014

2016

Open Senate Seats

10

10

Open Assembly Seats

23

15

How diverse is the California’s Legislature?

Far less diverse than California’s population and headed in the wrong direction.

2005

2015

0 African American women in Senate 1 African American woman in Senate
1 African American woman in Assembly 3 African American women in Assembly
6 Latinas in Senate 0 Latinas in Senate
6 Latinas in Assembly 5 Latinas in Assembly
0 Asian-Pacific Islander in Senate 2 Asian-Pacific Islander in Senate
3 Asian-Pacific Islander in Assembly 2 Asian-Pacific Islander in Assembly

How does close the gap CA work?

      • Ask termed out legislators in winnable districts to support a woman replacement.
      • Partner with the women’s, environmental, education, labor, social and economic justice communities to identify and recruit viable progressive women to run in every winnable seat.
      • Guide prospective candidates through an extensive exploration of a winnable candidacy.
      • Connect prospective candidates to local, state and national networks and campaign resources that train, fund and support women candidates.
      • Educate state leaders, the press and public on the decline in the number of women legislators and the benefits of more women’s voices in policy- and decision-making.
      • Provide leadership and support for other states to start their own close the gap campaigns.

Why don’t more women run?

Research confirms that unlike men, women often wait to be asked to run rather than self-nominate. Women win elections as often as men but they are less likely to run unless recruited. close the gap CA is focused on closing the gap in the number of progressive women serving in the CA Legislature by recruiting talented, progressive women to run for the open seats.

What does success look like?

With the assistance of local progressive coalitions committed to identifying, recruiting and electing a talented progressive woman in each of the winnable open seats in 2016, we will replace every progressive women termed out or vacated and add to their numbers!

How do I get involved?

We need office volunteers, researchers, phoners and help with fundraisers.
Visit: closethegapCA.org
Follow us:  @closethegapCA
Call: (650) 326-2216 Voice Mailbox #3
Email: alice@closethegapCA.org