CCRWF Executive Director Kate Karpilow moderated the 2014 Women’s Policy Summit closing general session — Building Political Power: What are we doing . . . and what else needs to happen to achieve equity? She presented statistics documenting the decline of women’s representation in the State Legislature, summarized in the column below.
Please take a few minutes to read the thought-provoking columns below – from Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, Emerge California Executive Director Kimberly Ellis, and close the gap CA Director Betsy Cotton. Their proposals are strategic and provocative, and will undoubtedly launch a much-needed debate.
If you have any doubt that a call to action is necessary, consider the following red flag statistics – evidence of a dramatic decline over the past decade in the number of elected women in California’s state legislature.
#1 California State Legislature
Overall, the total number of women in the State Senate and Assembly decreased from 2003 to 2013 from 36 to 32, out of a total of 120 seats.
#2 State Assembly
Since 2003, the number of women in the 80-member State Assembly decreased from 25 to 20 (down from 21 at the beginning of 2013). Democratic women decreased in the Assembly from 20 to 13, while Republican women increased from 5 to 7.
#3 State Senate
Since 2003, the number of Democratic women in the 40-member State Senate decreased by 1 – from 11 of 11 women members a decade ago to 10 of 12 currently (up from 8 of 10 earlier in 2013).
#4 Women of Color in the California Legislature
The percentage of women of color decreased from 44% of women legislators in 2003 to 34% (at the close of 2013, based on Caucus membership).
Women in the LGBT Caucus decreased from 4 to 3. Continue reading