CA Getting Stronger

Categories: Advocacy, In the News


Good news!!! CA women have 6 major steps forward to celebrate. Stop by the office Monday 9:30-11:00 to cheer together and send a postcard thanking our champions.

Governor Brown signs the New Parent Leave Act, surrounded by the “Wonder Women” of the CA Women’s Legislative Leadership Caucus.

Yesterday saw major victories for women in California – and you helped make it happen! The Women’s Caucus passed six new bills for women’s empowerment, including several that we supported at YWCA San Francisco & Marin. Major kudos to our coalition partners from Stronger California and the California Work and Family Coalition who fought up and down the state to make this happen.

The New Parent Leave Act (SB 63)

Millions of workers have new access to job-protected paid leave for new parents thanks to this law. It extends 12 weeks of job protection to new parents at companies with 20-49 employees when they take paid leave to care for a new child. And we fought to make sure this groundbreaking legislation covers ALL new parents – moms, dads, foster parents, adoptive parents, single parents, LGBTQ parents – so no one is stuck without the chance to bond with their new child. This is also critical to ending workplace discrimination against women of childbearing age by making sure all parents can take on those early, essential childcare responsibilities.

Prior Salary (AB 168)

Employers can no longer ask about a job candidate’s prior salary or base an offer of employment or compensation off of salary history. Studies have shown that this is one of the most important keys to addressing the wage gap, because women who make less in one job are tracked to make less in future positions throughout our careers if employers can base salaries on that information. This is a huge win for job applicants who have been historically under-compensated or who are making big moves. So polish those negotiation skills and get ready to aim higher!

Governor Brown & our Stronger CA partners playing the “Official Woman Card.”

Making CalWORKS Work (AB 273, AB 480, AB 557)

A series of bills fix some of the challenges in CalWORKS that used to make it even harder for low-income women to make it out and up. Now ESL and GED classes will count towards qualifying for childcare assistance, so working parents can work on their skills towards better jobs without leaving their children uncared for. CalWORKS will also provide financial assistance for diapers, a major expense that previously went overlooked and often prevented CalWORKS recipients from using childcare if they couldn’t drop off enough diapers to get through the day. And finally, AB 557 created necessary protections for domestic violence survivors, ensuring that CalWORKS recipients don’t have to stay in abusive relationships because they can’t afford to leave.

Free Menstrual Products in Schools (AB 10)

Thanks to the self-proclaimed “Tampon Queen,” Assemblymember Garcia and the advocacy of girls and women across the state, including a dedicated team at YWCA Berkeley/Oakland and the young women (left) at the Marin Teen Girl Empowerment Conference, public middle and high schools in California will now provide free menstrual products so that no girl has to skip school because she can’t afford these basic and necessary hygiene products. We’ll let the girls speak for themselves on how much that matters:

Never fear: this letter’s recipient, Assemblymember Levine, did exactly what these young ladies asked!

Join us Monday to celebrate! In the middle of fires and federal disasters, it’s more important than ever to be together and be joyful when we make a difference. If you can come send a postcard Monday between 9:30 and 11:00 at our San Rafael office (4380 Redwood Highway), we’d love to see you.

Be safe, be good to each other, and be so thankful for each other’s efforts, for the champions, electeds, and activists who helped make this happen.