(Sacramento, CA) During the California Legislative Women’s Caucus first meeting of the new year, State Senator Liz Figueroa (D-Fremont) was unanimously elected to lead the group’s legislative efforts and address the state’s growing fiscal challenges. Receiving strong support from her colleagues, Figueroa pledged to work hard towards collaboration with all vested parties and to broaden the group’s legislative and political agendas.
Having served as Vice-Chair during last year’s legislative session, Figueroa is well poised to continue the Caucus’ positive strides of protecting and advancing women’s issues. Figueroa replaces outgoing Chair, Assemblywoman Hannah-Beth Jackson.
“I am honored by my colleagues support,” said Figueroa. “I embrace this opportunity as well as the many challenges. My goal is to provide strong leadership and guidance by ensuring that issues important to women and working families continue to take center stage in budgetary dialogue.”
With equal diligence, Figueroa will champion issues of health, education, childcare, gender equality and domestic violence. In addition to traditional areas of concern, Figueroa is placing high importance on inclusion by reaching out to Republican female legislators as well as Governor Schwarzenegger’s administration.
“Continued growth and success for the Caucus requires input and a strong working relationship with all vested parties,” said Figueroa.
The Women’s Caucus which was formed to encourage collegiality, participation in and cooperation among elected women in California government and to promote the interests of women, children and families through legislation has made great strides since its inception in 1985. Throughout the years Caucus members have sponsored many groundbreaking legislative proposals and continue to play a vital role in budget negotiations. This year the group will fight to ensure the budget is not balanced on the backs of California’s women and children.
During the 2003-04 budget negotiations, the Women’s Caucus was able to preserve affordable access to childcare by saving Stage 3 childcare funding, ensured funding for domestic violence shelters, and successfully fought to protect funding for the MediCal Optional Benefits program. Capping last year’s accomplishments was the Caucus’ involvement in assisting the Administration win bipartisan support for the unprecedented $15 billion bond deal.
Assemblywoman Carol Liu, the newly elected Vice Chair will be a valuable ally in championing the group’s agenda.
“I anticipate this will be a very busy year for the Caucus. There are many difficult issues affecting women and children that must be dealt with and I’m looking forward to working with Senator Figueroa and the other Caucus members to begin addressing these problems.”