CCRWF Partnership Launches #HowICare at 2015 Women’s Policy Summit

In September 2014, CCRWF proposed a partnership with the California Work and Family Coalition to increase public awareness of California’s Paid Family Leave (PFL) program.

  • What if the 2015 Women’s Policy Summit could be a launch pad for a social media campaign on PFL?  What could we accomplish by tapping into the power of the 500 California leaders who would attend?
  • And would it be possible to commission a new Field Poll on the current level of public awareness of PFL? We knew that 43% of Californians were aware of PFL in 2011 – but had the numbers gone up or down?

It’s a testament to the power of partnerships that we made all this happen!

Not only did we raise funds for a new Field poll on public awareness of PFL (recently mentioned in a New York Times article!), more than 500 California leaders at the Women’s Policy Summit committed to a new social media campaign, #HowICare.

By signing on to #HowICare, Summit participants promised to send five messages by email, Facebook or Twitter to friends, family and colleagues to raise awareness of PFL.

Tweeters include California Speaker of the State Assembly Toni G. Atkins and state Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson.

Click here to access the sample email, tweets and FaceBook post.  And please consider signing on to support #HowICare.

The results of the Field Poll were sobering – and a call to action. The number of California voters who know about California’s Paid Family Leave Program declined in the last four years from 43 percent to 36 percent, just over one in three voters.

The Field Poll also found the decline in awareness of PFL was greatest among ethnic voters, women, and those with no more than a high school education.  Read the poll’s complete findings here.

This means many people are forced to choose between caring for their loved ones or paying the bills—and don’t know they have another option that would help them.

The Field poll was commissioned by CCRWF in partnership with the California Work and Family Coalition, with additional funding contributed by Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center, California Legislative Women’s Caucus, Equal Rights Advocates and AARP-CA.

For additional information on California’s Paid Family Leave program, go to


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Policy Papers & Video Links Now Available for 2015 Women’s Policy Summit

The 2015 Women’s Policy Summit, hosted by CCRWF, was held on January 14, 2015, at the Sacramento Convention Center, convening over 500 California policy leaders.

A central mission of the Summit is to work with leading advocates to prepare and release priority recommendations at the start of the legislative session — all focused on advancing the health, wealth and power of women and girls.

Below are links to the policy recommendations and other materials released at the Summit.

Click here to access the videos for each session, provided by The California Channel.


Women, Poverty and Economic Empowerment
Leading advocacy organizations will release their priority recommendations to help women and their families rebound from the Great Recession with jobs and benefits that help them thrive.

How can California’s welfare system (CalWORKs) offer strategic and effective support for low-income families? What other recommendations related to workforce development, wages and education make sense at the start of a new legislative session?

Opening Remarks & Moderator

Senator Holly J. Mitchell

Policy Partners
Recommendations on CalWORKs
Jessica Bartholow, Advocate
Western Center on Law and Poverty

Recommendations on Child Care
Mary Ignatius, Statewide Organizer
Parent Voices

Recommendation to Increase California’s Minimum Wage
Judy Patrick, Director of Public Policy
Women’s Foundation of California

Recommendations to Limit Abuses of the E-Verify System
Ronald Coleman, Government Affairs Manager
California Immigrant Policy Center

Recommendations to Protect & Build Assets Among Women-Headed Households
Prepared by the California Reinvestment Coalition, Western Center on Law and Poverty & California Asset Building Coalition

Women, Working Families and the Workplace
What additional workplace supports are needed to help parents and caregivers manage both work and family obligations? What next steps would make California’s child care system more responsive to working families? This plenary will be a fast-paced session that showcases priority legislation, releases new survey results from The Field Poll – and uses the power of our assembled leaders to launch a statewide Paid Family Leave Awareness Campaign.
Opening Remarks & Moderator
Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson
Policy Partners

Recommendations for Working Parents and Caregivers
Sharon Terman, Senior Staff Attorney
Director, Work and Family Program
Legal Aid Society – Employment Law Center

Recommendations to Promote Predictable Scheduling
Jenya Cassidy, Project Director
Work and Family Coalition, Next Generation

Recommendations to Close California’s Gender Wage Gap
Noreen Farrell, Executive Director
Equal Rights Advocates

Recommendations on Child Care & Child Care Provider Wages
Tonia McMillian, Co-Chair
Raising California Together

Just 36% of Voters Aware of State’s Paid Family Leave Program
Mark DiCamillo, Senior Vice President and Director of the Field Poll
Field Research Corporation


Keynote Speaker

The Honorable Toni G. Atkins
Speaker of the California State Assembly
Keeping the California Dream Alive
for Women and Working Families
Click here for the video link.

Introduced by Assembly Member Cristina Garcia

Women’s and Girls’ Health in California: A Statistical Overview
California’s Office of Health Equity – with input from the CCRWF Women’s Health Advisory Committee – is releasing a chart book of statistics on women’s and girls’ health, rich with data from all of California’s diverse communities.

Where have we made progress? What are the red flags for policymakers and service providers? Be among the first to learn how this statistical profile can inform policy and practice.

Policy Partner

Women’s Health in California: A Statistical Overview
Developed with input from the Women’s Health Advisory Committee of CCRWF
William Jahmal Miller, Deputy Director
Office of Health Equity, California Department of Public Health

Addressing Human Trafficking and Violence Against Women and Girls
How can we work together to decrease domestic violence and sexual assault? What are the next steps to provide more services to victims of human trafficking? And what local policies and programs have proven effective in efforts to prevent violence against women and girls? Join us as top leaders identify strategies for 2015 and beyond.

Policy Partners

Recommendations on Funding for Rape Crisis Centers
Sandra Henriquez, Executive Director
California Coalition Against Sexual Assault

Recommendations on Addressing Domestic Violence
Krista Niemczyk, Public Policy Manager
California Partnership to End Domestic Violence

Recommendations to Fund Direct Services for Victims of Human Trafficking
Kay Buck, President and CEO
Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking

Rose Herrera, Councilwoman, City of San José
President, League of California Cities Women’s Caucus

Closing Remarks
Senator Kevin de León

Senate President pro Tempore


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CA Title IX Coalition Releases Report for Legislative Hearing on Landmark Law

The California Title IX Coalition today is releasing recommendations (Results & Recommendations from Nine Local Assessments) to increase implementation of Title IX in school districts throughout the state.  Based on local assessments of high schools conducted by 9 community teams, as well as input of Title IX Coalition members, five recommendations will be presented at a state Senate Judiciary Committee informational hearing: Attaining Equal Opportunity for Girls in California’s Secondary Schools: How our Schools are Complying with Title IX.

The California Title IX Coalition is convened by CCRWF and includes AAUW-CA, Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center, Equal Rights Advocates, and California Women’s Law Center

The Top 5 Recommendations offer guidance to implement the federal law’s mandated requirements.

The Senate Judiciary hearing was organized at the direction of Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, the chair of the committee and chair of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus.  Senator Jackson successfully authored SB 1349 in 2014. Beginning in the 2015-16 school year, this new law will require information on athletic participation, broken down by gender, to be posted on school district websites.

The California Title IX Coalition report makes 5 Top Recommendations:

Statewide Responsibility for Implementation of Title IX

1.     To provide local school districts the knowledge and tools to implement Title IX, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and the California School Boards Association should collaborate to offer bi-annual trainings, model policies, templates for communications, and other best practices.

Local Responsibility for Implementation of Title IX

2.     The Superintendent in every school district throughout the state should ensure, prior to the start of each school year, that a Title IX Coordinator is identified and trained – and clarify if the Coordinator’s responsibilities are district-wide or if they will be working with Title IX Coordinators assigned in each school. Superintendents should require schools to prominently post on their websites contact information for their Title IX Coordinators and also provide contact information in bi-annual notices to administrators, teachers, staff, students and parents.

3.     Each local school board should hold an annual meeting to evaluate the status of Title IX implementation for their district, using the Title IX Compliance Check List or other systematic evaluation instrument. The focus of the local evaluations should be data-based and action-oriented, providing an opportunity for school board members to assess compliance and set objectives for implementation.  At minimum, the evaluation should focus on the Title IX Coordinator, athletics, sexual harassment, and pregnant and parenting teens.

4.     Superintendents and local school boards should ensure that schools offer optimal training of administrators, staff, and teachers, and that parents and teens are notified of the schools’ Title IX policies, practices and complaint procedures.

Responsibility for Oversight

5.     The California Legislative Women’s Caucus, in partnership with the Education and Judicial Committees in both the State Senate and State Assembly, should hold an annual oversight hearing to ensure that the California Superintendent of Public Instruction and local school districts are moving forward to implement Title IX.

The goal of the Coalition’s work is to bring a stronger focus on implementation and to provide school districts with the model policies, templates, tools, and trainings they need to successfully open up doors and opportunities for girls and young women throughout California.

For more information about the California Title IX Coalition, email

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Just 36% of Voters Aware of State’s Paid Family Leave Program

CCRWF joined with the Work and Family Coalition to commission questions on a Field Poll on Paid Family Leave awareness in California.

Slightly more than one in three California registered voters (36%) reports being aware of the state’s Paid Family Leave Program, that provides up to six weeks of paid family leave for eligible workers. This proportion is down from 43% who said this in a similar Field Poll completed in June 2011.

While awareness of the program declined across nearly all major voter subgroups, particularly large declines were observed among ethnic voters, voters with no more than a high school education, and women.

For complete findings, go to

The poll questions were funded by contributions from Next Generation, CCRWF, Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center, Equal Rights Advocates, and AARP-CA.


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Register Now for the 2015 Women’s Policy Summit

Register now for the for 2015 Women’s Policy Summit: Advancing Women’s Health, Wealth & Power, to be held on Wednesday, January 14, at the Sacramento Convention Center.

Click here for direct links to:
Register for the 2015 Women’s Policy Summit.
Download the agenda for the 2015 Women’s Policy Summit (which includes a mail- or fax-in registration form).

Click here to apply for a Summit scholarship.

Click here for information about Pathways to Policy (P2P).

What is the Women’s Policy Summit?

The Women’s Policy Summit is a major policy forum held in California’s Capital to help launch the legislative session with proposals to advance the health, wealth and power of women and girls in all of their diverse communities.

Highlights from the 2015 Summit
The 2015 Women’s Policy Summit will be long on vision, action proposals and some of the best networking opportunities in the state with people who want to get things done!

Plenaries for 2015 include: Women, Poverty, and Economic Empowerment; Women, Working Families and the Workplace; Women’s and Girls’ Health; and Preventing Violence Against Women and Girls.

At the 2015 Women’s Policy Summit, we’ll also be working with partners in the Work and Family Coalition to launch a Paid Family Leave Awareness Campaign. And California’s Office of Health Equity will release a new Chart Book of statistics on women’s and girls’ health, rich with data from all of our state’s diverse communities.

Speaker Toni G. Atkins is Summit Keynote
We are proud to announce that our luncheon keynote speaker is recently elected Speaker of the Assembly Toni G. Atkins.
You won’t want to miss her speech: Keeping the California Dream Alive for Women and Working Families.

Register now!

The Women’s Policy Summit is co-sponsored by the California Legislative Women’s Caucus; the Latino, Black, API, and LGBT Legislative Caucuses; and the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls — along with more than 60 nonprofit organizations.

Special thanks to The California Wellness Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, and The California Endowment for their support of the 2015 Women’s Policy Summit.

A limited number of scholarships are available for the 2015 Women’s Policy Summit. Please click here to complete the application for a Summit scholarship.

Registration for Legislative Members and Staff

Members of the Legislature can support our work by registering at – or receive a complimentary ticket by registering at

Legislative Staff can receive complimentary registration for the Summit General Sessions by registering at:

To attend the Summit Luncheon, legislative staff will need to purchase a ticket or apply for a scholarship.   Click here to register for the 2015 Women’s Policy Summit Luncheon.   Click here to apply for a Summit scholarship.

For Additional Information
Questions? Please contact

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Waiting…and hoping Governor Brown will sign AB 1517

A broad coalition of public safety and women’s organizations is waiting to see if Governor Jerry Brown will sign AB 1517, ground-breaking legislation that would establish timelines for law enforcement to forward rape kits to labs and for labs to process rape kits and enter DNA profile information into the Combined DNA Index System, known as CODIS.

This legislation received unanimous, bi-partisan support on the floors of both the State Assembly and State Senate.

Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, author of AB 1517, authored this op-ed piece in the Contra Costa Times, published on Saturday, September 20:

Gov. Jerry Brown can put California at the national forefront of efforts to prioritize testing sexual assault evidence, getting DNA from so-called “rape kits” into a national database rather than languishing in law enforcement evidence rooms.

When a survivor of sexual assault agrees to undergo a forensic exam, his or her body is the crime scene. It is painstakingly examined in a process that can take six hours or more and results in collection of evidence that is commonly referred to as a “rape kit.”

Although any survivor would reasonably expect a rape kit to be analyzed and the DNA extracted for timely entry into the CODIS national database, reality has proved disappointing: 17,000 untested kits discovered by New York City; 12,000 in Los Angeles County; thousands more in Detroit, Houston, New Orleans, and Memphis.  Read more.

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