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Did You Know?

  Women represent only 26% of the CA State Legislature.


  • From the Debate Floor

    October 27, 2016

     Discipline and Focus

     Las Vegas, Nevada

    By Mary Hughes

    Last March, as I stood next to Secretary Clinton waiting to have our picture taken, I thanked her for exercising such focus and discipline in the campaign. “What you are doing means so much to so many women,” I ...

  • Should You Caucus?

    April 7, 2016

    by Susan Rose

    I have worked in politics most of my adult life, in various capacities.  I have walked districts and knocked on doors; raised funds for candidates; dialed for issues and candidates and volunteered for organizations like Planned Parenthood.  I have created political action committees to support women candidates and feminist issues; and ...

  • Q2 Report: More Great Women Stepping Up To Run

    July 29, 2015


    July 29, 2015

    THANKS TO YOU, more accomplished, progressive women are declaring their candidacies.  The number of prospective candidates is up and so is our number of target districts.  We’ve researched, interviewed and met with over 400 extraordinary women leaders: elected women, non-profit and private sector women, women activists and advocates.

    To benefit ...

  • Ally Spotlight: California League of Conservation Voters and Leadership for a Clean Economy

    July 15, 2015

    Ca League of Conservation Voters leadership for a clean economy

    By Antonia Madian

    The drive for effective environmental legislators is strong in California, and no two organizations are more representative of that fact than Leadership for a Clean Economy (LCE) and ...

  • Ally Spotlight: California Public Leadership Pipeline Project

    July 15, 2015

    wellstone progressive majority new american leaders project emerge ca

    By Lauren Hirsch

    The California Public Leadership Pipeline Project is a collaboration between Emerge CA, The ...

  • Filing & Money: When Should I File and How Much Do I Need to Raise?

    April 6, 2015

    by Alex Gillis and Betsy Cotton
    Two common questions prospective candidates ask are, “When should I announce my candidacy and how much money do I need to raise to be viable?” For most candidates it is a surprise that these two topics -announcing your candidacy and fundraising – should be considered together.

  • How to Raise $100,000

    April 2, 2015

    By Angela Lyonsjustus
    Let’s face it, raising money is often the biggest hurdle for first time candidates. At first, the goal of raising so much money can seem daunting. However, many first time candidates reach and exceed this fundraising goal.

  • A POLICY AGENDA FOR ALL: Progressive Women Legislators Lead the Way

    March 31, 2015

    By Lauren Hirsch
    On Monday, March 23rd, the California Legislative Women’s Caucus and the Stronger California Advocates Network launched a bold, progressive state policy agenda called A Stronger Calif♀rnia: Ensuring Economic Security for All Women.

  • Run for office. It’s worth it.

    March 11, 2015

    Hear straight from the pros on why we need progressive, accomplished women to run for office.

  • 10 women who could be senator — or governor

    January 1, 2015

    By Betsy Cotton
    After reading list after list of who’s lining up to serve as our next governor or senator, it’s clear that it’s time to expand the talent pool. Let’s look at 10 women who’ve done the work, taken on tough issues, seized the reins in tumultuous times, succeeded unconventionally and pioneered new territory.

  • UPDATE: Mid-terms 2014: How Many Women Won?

    November 17, 2014

    By Sanjana Parikh
    During the general election, women ran in 40 of 100 races for the CA Legislature. However, women comprised only 23% of candidates (45 of 196).

  • 2014 CA Legislative Victories

    October 20, 2014

    By Elizabeth Borges
    To see the power of progressive women in action, look no further than the California State Senate and Assembly. In the most recent legislative session, progressive women sponsored and passed significant bills addressing issues, such as sexual assault, Title IX, workplace practices, access to sports and the environment.

  • Where They Came From

    September 2, 2014

    By Kristin Powers
    Since 1960, 92 women have served in the California legislature. These women come from a variety of backgrounds and not just political ones. Check out where women have thrived before arriving in Sacramento, including the 32 women serving this term.

  • 2014 ELECTION SNAPSHOT: How Many Women Are Running?

    August 26, 2014

    By Kristen Powers
    Races, candidate and contender information for the 2014 elections.

  • An Insider’s Guide to the California Democratic Party Endorsement Process

    August 12, 2014

    By Karen Weinstein, former Chair, Women’s Caucus, CA Democratic Party
    If you are a Democrat running for a seat in the CA Legislature, getting to know your local party activists and leaders and their endorsement process early on can be a huge plus.

  • What you need to know about winning a Labor Endorsement

    July 30, 2014

    By Kristen Powers
    State and local labor unions are a powerful organizing force within any state. Membership can run into the thousands of working individuals concerned about the status of the labor movement and their ability to bargain for better working standards.  Union members vote and are more likely to vote for a progressive candidate. 

  • Santa Barbara Women’s Political Committee

    July 15, 2014

    By Claire Breen
    Defining itself as a leading feminist organization and PAC from the get-go, the Santa Barbara Women’s Political Committee’s first event was nothing short of exciting. In January 1988 more than 200 people gathered at a local restaurant to hear National Organization for Women co-founder Betty Friedan speak while anti-choice opponents picketed outdoors.

  • Needed: Poverty fighters

    June 19, 2014

    By the close the gap CA Team
    One of our goals in recruiting talented women to run for office is finding progressives who will work to close the growing gap between the wealthy and those in poverty.

  • 10 Things To Do Before You File Your ‘Intent To Run’ Papers

    June 16, 2014

    By Janet Cook
    Prospective candidates, here are 10 things to consider and work on before you file your “intent to run” papers with the state. The exploration phase is the perfect time to become a student of your district. Learn about its economy, culture, traditions and people.

  • ALLY SPOTLIGHT: Women Get It Done

    June 3, 2014

    By Christina Jansen
    It does not get better than a sunny Saturday in San Francisco. On such a Saturday almost two years ago, Kate Maeder pulled herself away from work to attend an event in Dolores Park. There on the lawn, she met two women who she hoped would help her change the lives of ...


    May 9, 2014

    By Kim Huynh
    The Los Angeles African American Women’s Public Policy Institute (try saying that three times quickly) began with a simple premise: to provide a pipeline for women to assume political leadership.

  • How much will it cost?

    April 21, 2014

    By the close the gap CA Team
    One of the most common questions we hear and one of the tougher ones to answer has to do with money.

  • ALLY SPOTLIGHT: fem dems

    April 9, 2014

    By Kim Huynh
    Don’t let their size fool you. While membership in this Democratic club ranges from 15 to 30 dues-paying members, the Fem Dems of Sacramento are a small but agile crew, locally based, and determined with a clear plan to make a difference on the ground.

  • First Steps: Questions for Potential Candidates

    March 24, 2014

    By Janet Cook
    Good for you – you’re thinking of running.
    Women make an enormous difference in the state legislature; just imagine the thrill of being able to solve an education, environmental, social justice or economic problem for the entire state.

  • Fun Facts About Our Tour Speakers

    March 3, 2014

    It’s not too early to talk open seats for 2016. To make real progress, think every day is a good day to recruit women to run.

  • ALLY SPOTLIGHT: National Women’s Political Caucus & NWPC Alameda North

    February 25, 2014

    By Kim Huynh
    Spurred by Congress’s failure to pass the Equal Rights Amendment in 1970, a group of prominent politicians and activists including Gloria Steinem, then Congresswomen Shirley Chisholm and Bella Azbug…

  • Building Political Power: 4 Keys to Electing Women

    January 21, 2014

    By Betsy Cotton
    When it comes to women’s representation shaping public policy in the state legislature, California is on a backward slide and in danger of dipping even lower in the 2014 election. A decade ago, women made up nearly 31% of the California Legislature now we are treading water at 26%.

  • Q&A with Delaine Eastin, CTGCA

    January 13, 2014

    By Ruth Rachel
    Background: Delaine Eastin, former California State Superintendent of Public Instruction from 1995-2003, was the first and only woman in history to be elected to that position. She has a rich and extensive biography, with a life dedicated to the education of our youth, and through her work in the California State…

  • A 2014 To-Do List for Women Who Would Like to See More Women in Charge

    January 7, 2014

    By Mary Hughes
    American women have been stuck holding 15 to 20% of the top jobs across all sectors for over a decade now: CEO’s, law partners, members of Congress, on boards of directors. Tired of hearing that statistic? In 2014, do something about it.

  • ALLY SPOTLIGHT: Filipina Women’s Network

    December 18, 2013

    By Afia Bonner
    The Filipina Women’s Network (FWN), founded by a group of prominent Filipina women in 2001, aims for “Filipina women leaders in every sector of the economy including politics,” as CEO and Founder Marily Mondejar says.

  • More Women Legislators = Progress: Nancy Skinner

    December 13, 2013

    Assemblymember Nancy Skinner wrote a law that closes loopholes regulating large-capacity magazine rounds that can transform guns into assault-style weapons.

  • More Women Legislators = Progress: Carol Liu

    December 3, 2013

    State Senator Carol Liu, longtime educator and school administrator, co-authored a bill that focused the state’s community colleges on student success.

  • More Women Legislators = Progress: Toni Atkins

    November 20, 2013

    California became the only state in 2013 to expand reproductive services when Governor Brown signed Assemblymember Toni Atkins’ bill to increase the number of medical professionals who can perform abortions.

  • More Women Legislators = Progress: Hannah-Beth Jackson

    November 14, 2013

    State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson strengthened California’s Paid Family Leave Program by adding grandparents, grandchildren, parent-in-laws and siblings to the list of relatives for whom workers can receive partial pay while caring for them.

  • [Comic] War on Women

    November 14, 2013

    Check out our friend Liza’s comic.

  • More Women Legislators = Progress: Holly Mitchell

    November 11, 2013

    State Senator Holly Mitchell devised the “Mitchell Plan” as an Assemblymember and successfully incorporated a 5% raise in CalWORKS cash grants into the budget.

  • More Women Legislators = Progress: Fran Pavley

    November 6, 2013

    Senator Fran Pavley’s California bill to limit greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks prompted Congress to raise the national standard. Today cars and trucks are cleaner and we can all breathe easier.


    October 28, 2013

    By Kim Huynh
    When HOPE-PAC President Monica Rodriguez ran in 2007 for a seat on the L.A. City Council, some people told her to focus on raising her children instead.

  • 4 Reasons Women Should Run for Office

    October 25, 2013

    by Donna Frye
    First, more women should run for office so we can change the fundamental political rules that are in place – rules that allow someone like …

  • Why Open Seats?

    September 25, 2013

    Click to see and share this image on open seats!


    September 18, 2013

    By Kim Huynh
    It’s not without some irony that a women’s organization active in fighting the political gender gap initially grew out of a campaign to elect a man…

  • Women Take a Seat

    September 12, 2013

    By Catherine Adams Lee
    Best way to spend an evening? Share ideas, stories and experiences with a great group of people. Congratulations to close the gap ca and Planned Parenthood Mar Monte for…

  • Paid Family Leave in California: All is Not Well

    September 2, 2013

    By Susan Rose
    I guess I was a little too bullish about California’s pioneering paid family leave law.
    No time like Labor Day to take another look…

  • ALLY SPOTLIGHT: Emerge California

    August 27, 2013

    By Kim Huynh
    It used to be anaxiom of the national culture: California sets the trends, breaks the mold, embraces change. And if the women of Emerge California have their way, that will be true again, at least where politics and government are concerned…

  • The Do-ers: Assemblymember Shirley Weber

    August 14, 2013

    California Assemblymember Shirley Weber (AD-79) answers the simple question, Why Women?

  • ALLY SPOTLIGHT: Get a Clue about CLUW

    August 9, 2013

    By Kim Huynh
    Women union members are among the most active and forward-thinking members of the larger progressive movement…

  • The Do-ers: State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson

    July 24, 2013

    Jackson, who represents SD 19, in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, joined other senators in calling for an investigation into forced sterilizations of women in California prison…

  • The State of Your State

    June 26, 2013

    By Laurie Kretchmar
    As we ramp up to recruit talented progressive women to run for office, we wondered if there was a correlation between the wage gap and women’s representation in state legislatures…

  • Stop the Party: Red Flag Statistics for California Democrats

    April 11, 2013

    By Kate Karpilow
    Democrats converge this weekend in Sacramento at their annual state convention, in part to celebrate their successes in the 2012 elections…