Emerge California Honors Women’s Equality Day
with Support for Child Care Initiatives
Prominent Democratic Women’s Organization Supports Initiatives
to Promote Gender Parity Among Elected Officials
Sacramento, CA — Emerge California, the state’s premier candidate training program for Democratic women, honors Women’s Equality Day with support of two initiatives leveling the playing field for women running for office.
Emerge California announced today its support of a groundbreaking child care bill now making its way through the state legislature. The proposed legislation, Assembly Bill 220, authored by Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), would allow candidates for office to use campaign funds for child care expenses associated with campaign activities. Currently, candidates running for federal offices are allowed to do so, but there is no legislation authorizing this at the state and local level in California.
While women make up more than half of the state’s population, just 30 percent of the state legislature and all local offices throughout California are held by women. Because the proposed bill is such a crucial step toward increasing women’s participation in the political arena, Emerge California decided to support AB 220 — the first time the organization has endorsed legislation in its 17-year history.
“I’m extremely honored to receive Emerge California’s first-ever legislative endorsement in support of AB 220,” said Assemblymember Rob Bonta. “In fact, the idea for this bill came from an Emerge California Board Member, so it’s especially gratifying to have the formal support of this incredible organization. This bill will help advance much-needed gender parity among California’s elected officials by removing a real barrier to anyone and everyone seeking to serve in elected office. Parents of young children represent important voices that must be heard at all levels of government.”
Amber Maltbie, political attorney and Emerge California’s Immediate Past Chair, is the board member who first brought the bill idea to Assemblymember Bonta.
“During my time serving on the Emerge California Board of Directors, and as an attorney who has advised dozens of candidates over the years, I realized that child care costs were a major factor for women in their decision on whether to run for office, but there was no solution in allowing candidates to use their campaign funds for child care,” said Maltbie. “If we want to see more women serving in elected office at all levels of government, we have to address the barriers that women still face when running for office. Assemblymember Bonta’s bill is a major step forward in doing this.”
Emerge California’s support for AB 220 dovetails with its own new Child Care Initiative. The initiative raises funds in order to provide child care grants to any woman who is currently in the Emerge California candidate training program.
“In my first few months as the new Executive Director, I saw how child care costs were a real barrier for program members’ full immersion in our candidate training. We took action to meet a real need,” said Melanie V. Ramil, Emerge California Executive Director. “Our child care grants – and the passage of AB 220 – will help ensure that child care costs are not a barrier and will increase access to the political arena for any woman or mother who thought that running for office was not an option.”
Emerge California’s mission is to increase the number of women in elected office and focuses on delivering their signature 6-month, 70-hour candidate training program to Democratic women across California. Founded in 2002, Emerge California has been changing the face of California politics by recruiting and training women to run for public office and win, by providing comprehensive training and access to a powerful network. The organization has trained over 550 Democratic women, including 100 Emerge California alumnae who are serving in elected office today. Alumnae include Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis, State Board of Equalization Chair Malia Cohen, Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, San Francisco Mayor London Breed, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott. For more information, go to https://ca.emergeamerica.org/.
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