Sacramento Campaign

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CTGCA Symposium (30 of 107)
Hon. Susan Eggman, Hon. Fiona Ma, Hon. Cristina Garcia, & Hon. Margaret Abe-Koga

CTGCA Symposium (53 of 107)
Hon. Karina Cervantez & friend

CTGCA Symposium (62 of 107)
Amanda Renteria & Karalee Hargrove
Rachel Van Wert Quote  

CTGCA Symposium (87 of 107)
Rachel Van Wert, Monique Limon & Heidi Harmon

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Pratima Gupta, MD
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Brenda Knight quote 2

eloise reyes brenda knight
Eloise Gomez Reyes & Brenda Knight
  Jim Araby quote2

CTGCA Symposium (88 of 107)
Jim Araby, UFCW, Hon. Nancy Skinner & Sam Rodriguez, UFCW
Linda Seifert Quote  

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Linda Seifert & friend

CTGCA Symposium (85 of 107)
Dave Lowe, CSEA, Blanca Rubio & Susan Rubio
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Charu Khopkar, Assembly Democrats, Lisa Gasperoni, LG Campaigns & Shawnda Westley, CDP

CTGCA Symposium (93 of 107)
Magdalena Gomez & Alma Hernández, SEIU

CTGCA Symposium (77 of 107)
Hon. Holly Mitchell & Hon. Dezie Woods-Jones

16in16 hashtag
Photos by Olivia Parker – 2015

Did You Know?

California Congressional Delegation
2005 2015 19/53 Women in Congressional Delegation 19/53 Women in Congressional Delegation36% Women in Congressional Delegation 36% Women in Congressional Delegation18 Women Democrats 18 Women Democrats
California State Legislature
2005 201510th California’s ranking in the country for women in state legislature 20th California’s ranking in the country for women in state legislature25/80 Women in the State Assembly 19/80 Women in the State Assembly31% Women in the State Assembly 24% Women in the State Assembly12/40 Women in the State Senate 11/40 Women in the State Senate30% Women in the State Senate 28% Women in the State Senate43% Women of color 43% Women of color84% Women Democrats 63% Women Democrats16% Women Republicans 37% Women Republicans0 African American women in the State Senate 1 African American women in the State Senate1 African American women in the State Assembly 3 African American women in the State Assembly6 Latinas in the State Senate 0 Latinas in the State Senate6 Latinas in the State Assembly 5 Latinas in the State Assembly0 Asian-Pacific Islander women in the State Senate 2 Asian-Pacific Islander women in the State Senate3 Asian-Pacific Islander women in the State Assembly 2 Asian-Pacific Islander women in the State Assembly


By Christina Jansen women-get-it-done-logo

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 women all over the Bay Area. They conceived an idea to connect with politically minded women like themselves and become the movers and shakers of their generation. Before long, one of them turned to Maeder and said, “The world is waiting for women like us.”

Out of this sunny day, Women Get It Done was born. (Gives a whole new meaning to ‘grass’-roots organizations) Today there are almost 500+ young and politically minded women in the WGID network. At its core, WGID is about one simple idea: women helping women through the power of networking. When this idea is realized, other events naturally flow: pay equity, more women running for office, women breaking the glass ceiling and more. Maeder recognized very early on that “when you put two people together, you change their lives.” This has become the definition of success for WGID; putting the right people together.

WGID is a springboard to launch their visions of everything from fundraising soirees to political rallies. All it takes is bringing these women together and then letting them do what they do best. No nonsense talk over wine and whisky has spawned events supporting Hillary Clinton for 2016, workshops for leadership in fundraising, attending state assembly debates, and its annual event celebrating National Women’s History Month, “SHEnanigans in San Francisco.”

The group calls WGID more of a “fight club” than a sorority. Members want to talk shop and get to know the women around them. Come the first Monday of each month, they may kick off their heels but never turn off their brains.

Women Get It Done is focused on connecting and engaging young women in politics but the long-term effects may end up being the most significant. It may be that 10, 20, 30 years down the line, these very women will indeed end up being the movers and shakers of their time. The group has even recruited a number of women peers who can act as mentors for less experienced members. This is just one more aspect that WGID is still developing to support women’s rise.

In fact, WGID relies on its members to shape the agenda and set the tone. WGID practices a bottom up style of decision making where members can suggest almost any idea they have for the organization. If members have a project they want to start they can bring it up at meetings or post it on Facebook. Maeder has made a point of trying to say ‘yes’ to everything.

There is little doubt these women will be a big part of the Bay Area political future. They are a force to be reckoned with as individuals and in a group. For now, they have created a network that connects them all. Want to get in on the action? Get out your phone book. Networking is the key to becoming a member. The group continues to grow through word of mouth. So, ask the women in your life if they have heard of Women Get It Done.

See the list of close the gap CA’s allies here.

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Dear Senator Darrell Steinberg:


Recruit Women

Dear Senator Darrell Steinberg,

Recruiting women is the answer. Recruit to fill open seats with progressive women. Ask legislators who are terming out to recruit talented women as successors. When there are enough women to do it, women will change the culture in Sacramento.

Studies show women legislators are attentive to ethics, and advocate for transparency and inclusiveness. Just the antidote the Legislature needs.

Thank you,


158 signatures

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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.


In 1968, the 12 founding members of what would become Black Women Organized for Political Action, or BWOPA, formed Bay Area Women for Dellums, an organization that soon grew to more than 200 members, raised $75,000, and succeeded in helping elect the first African-American Congressman from Northern California, Ron Dellums.

Spurred by the victory, the women continued to meet and engage in political issues. Forty-five years, seven chapters, and 600 members later, BWOPA remains the oldest and largest organization of its kind in California, and one with a long legacy of political accomplishments including Charter Member Ella Hill Hutch, the first African-American woman elected to office in the Bay Area, former California legislators and Congresswomen Barbara Lee and Maxine Waters and former Congresswoman Diane Watson.

“We’ve played a major role in the election of many dynamic women, and we have big plans to accomplish much more,” says President Dezie Woods-Jones. “African-American women traditionally have not been engaged in politics, whether it is because they hold a negative view of it, or they don’t see roles in it for women.”

Dezie Woods-Jones
BWOPA President Dezie Woods-Jones

To that end, BWOPA’s focus is threefold. Chapters of the “mothership,” as Woods-Jones refers to the main organization, focus on member education and advocating for local and regional issues. The political action committee, with a separate board, endorses, assists and advises political candidates. To prepare women for future candidacies and to provide interested people with a grounded civic education, BWOPA developed the Training Institute for Leadership Enrichment (TILE) in 1999, an independent nonprofit to incubate “a new and necessary generation of future civic, political, community and business leaders,” as Woods-Jones says.

Since 2000, close to 1,500 women have participated in leadership development training, through Leadership University, TILE’s four-day certificate leadership training program, or frequent one-day workshops, including “Effective Advocacy” and “Running for Office 101: Nuts & Bolts.”

“This year, we launched our new vision with a laser focus on building partnerships throughout the state and nation to significantly increase black women in leadership roles by 2020,” says LaNiece Jones, TILE and BWOPA’s executive director. “The curriculum is presented by seasoned public policy experts, elected officials and scholar-practitioners to empower women to explore social issues, and strengthen and hone their skills to take their leadership to the next level.”

See our other Allies.


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Women Take a Seat

By Catherine Adams Lee

Re-posted from Catherine Adams Lee’s Blog

blogathonBest 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 bringing together great women for a great cause – increase the number of progressive women in the California Legislature.

Here are some stats I learned last night:

  • Women only hold 26% of the California Legislature seats but are over 50% of the population, and that number is declining.
  • 57 seats will be open on account of changes to term limits laws in 2012, which means nearly half the seats in the state legislature will come open in the 2014 or 2016 elections. This is opportunity now.
  • Women often wait to be asked to run rather than self nominate. So start asking them.
  • Women win elections as often as men, they just don’t run as frequently. Let’s break this pattern.

take a seat

Why should we have more women in politics?
We had two former legislators open our eyes, Liz Figueroa, former CA State Senator and Assembly member, and Sally Lieber, former CA State Assembly member. Women are more focused on policy than politics and women initiate legislation from a women’s perspective for women. Examples, such as these bills: Stopping pelvic exams in teaching hospitals on women who are unconscious and unable to give their consent; Stopping female genital mutilation; Against human trafficking; Against women prisoners having to turn in their used feminine hygiene products before they can get a fresh one; Against shackling both arms of women prisoners to the bed while in labor. All bills brought to the floor by women. My mouth was agape! You mean we had to pass legislation so these atrocities can be considered horrible, illegal and prosecutable?!

Women legislators help men too.
Both legislators shared stories and experiences of being approached by numerous male constituents during their term who needed help on family matters for which they were unable, or reluctant, to go to male legislators. As Liz commented, “Constituents are often more likely and able to talk to women about their personal issues than a man”.

Why be a woman in the CA state legislature?
“Women who go to Sacramento have such a chance to make a difference,” said Sally. The California state legislature is the largest in the country. We have the most resources, dedicated staffs and are full time. Did you know some states only meet once every two years!? Women can become committee chairs (rare when women get to the US Congress). California’s legislation has not only influenced, but actually become the basis for federal legislation, such as the ‘do not call’ act first carried by Liz in CA. We have her to thank for the peace and quiet at the dinner table and no more telemarketing robocalls, both state-wide and nationally.

Women do make a difference.
How you can help.

Editor’s note: We had a social media meetup, aka #ctgtweetup on Sept 10, 2013 with Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, co-hosts Glennia Campbell, Jill Asher, Stefania Pomponi and other bloggers. Thanks to Catherine Adams Lee, one of the participants, for this recap.

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Dates and Deadlines for 2016 Primary

Candidate Filing June 7, 2016

Signatures-In-Lieu of Filing Fee Period

Jan 1 – Feb 25, 2016

Declaration of Candidacy Period – this is it!

Feb 15 – Mar 11, 2016

Nomination Paper Period

Feb 15 – Mar 11, 2016

Candidate Statement Period for County Sample Ballots

(County, Senate, and Assembly)

Feb 15 – Mar 11,2016

Declaration of Candidacy Extension Period

(If Incumbent Does Not File)

Mar 12 – Mar 16

Randomized Alphabet Drawing to be listed in Ballot

Mar 17

Notice to Candidates for Voter-Nominated Offices

Mar 26

Certified List of Candidates

Mar 31

CDP Endorsement Deadlines

A full calendar and explanatory information can be found at the California Secretary of State website.

For more information on the CA Democratic Party (2014) endorsements, see the CDP guide.

ALLY SPOTLIGHT: Emerge California

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.

Founded in 2002 by a passionate group of Bay Area women, Emerge California aims to speed up the rate at which women are running for and winning elective office. By training women, exposing them to the real world of partisan competition and party operations, Emerge gives its graduates a road map to run, win and seek higher office.

“Emerge California isn’t just another training program,” said Kimberly Ellis, president. “Our alumnae are running for office, winning, sitting at decision-making tables, and championing progressive policy.”


The numbers speak for themselves—of more than 250 Emerge California graduates, half are currently running for, appointed to or serving in elected office, and of those who have run, almost 70% have won. More than 100 program participants have been appointed to local and state boards and commissions.

Participants in the seven-month Emerge program engage in over 70 hours of in-depth candidate training, mastering subjects such as public speaking and communication, fundraising, media and messaging, networking, campaign strategy, field operations, technology and new media, diversity, cultural competency and ethical leadership through intensive, cohort-based learning. Training includes sessions on the Democratic Party platform and labor issues, and graduates emerge, excuse the pun—or not—“ready-to-run” for office.

The organization’s progressive efforts could not have come at a more pivotal moment, as the number of elected Democratic women in office remains flat or even declines. Fewer than 30% of California state legislators are women, and the Golden State has yet to elect a female governor. Emerge California has been so successful that it is now part of a national organization working in 14 states that has, collectively, trained more than 1,000 women.

To recruit the Class of 2014, Emerge California embarked on an extensive “Tour de Emerge” providing webinars and in-person information sessions across the state through September.

Note: Applications for the Class of 2015 are due October 3, 2014.

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By Kim Huynh

Women union members are among the most active and forward-thinking members of the larger progressive movement. “We register voters and we encourage women to seek political office so that diversity is reflected in our representation,” said Nikki Linnerman, president, of the Central California chapter.

The Coalition of Labor Union Women, or CLUW, aims to strengthen and unify female presence within unions, as well as increase the involvement of women in the democratic process.


So what has the chapter—incidentally one of CLUW’s most progressive, with over two dozen male members—been up to?
central CA CLUW

Helping Women:
*Central CA CLUW has helped support such nonprofits as New Haven in Modesto and W.E.A.V.E. in Sacramento by collecting items for survivors of domestic violence, and has assisted with outreach to female veterans in Fresno County to help them transition to civilian life.

Encouraging Political Engagement:
* The chapter is partnering with Mi Familia Vota, a national Arizona-based nonprofit to help turn out the Latina and Latino vote.
* In 2012, Central CA CLUW coordinated successful non-partisan voter registration drives across 11 counties, handing out more than 1,000 voter registration forms.

Empowering Women to Run:
* Union leaders know that women run for political office because they are asked. And though women are 50% less likely than men to seriously consider it, less likely to actually run, significantly less likely to run for higher office—when women do run, they are just as likely to win. Central CA CLUW provides nonpartisan support and resources to potential female candidates. Last year, two of its members ran for the State Senate,  one for re-election as mayor, and four ran for their local Democratic Central Committees.  Members were also elected national delegates to their unions, and President Yvonne Walker of SEIU Local 1000, California’s largest state employee union, became VP of the California Labor Federation, which counts more than 1,200 AFL-CIO and Change to Win unions among its members.

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