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The California Democrats 2019 Fall Endorsing Convention. (Evan Symon for California Globe)
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Women’s Rights A Centerpiece Of The California Democrats Convention

Women are taking a central role at the Convention, but are ignoring Republican contributions to women’s rights

By Evan Symon, November 18, 2019 12:23 pm

At the California Democrats Fall Endorsing Convention this weekend in Long Beach the issue that is seen and heard everywhere is the role of women in the party.

Building on Hillary Clinton’s strong performance in 2016 and the California legislature having more female members than ever before, every facet of the convention made sure to include the representation of women.

“More and more women are being drawn to what California has done,” said Mackenzie Hollister, a UC Berkeley student and Delegate. “We’ve had female Senators for years, a large presence in the state Legislature and in the Senate. A lot of the party leaders are now women. Even the Republicans have seen the tide. They just had a woman win an Assembly seat.”

“You know, we’ve had generations working on greater equality for women, and this is where we are. And at this convention, with all the focus, I think it just goes to show how far we’ve come and how many people don’t even think twice about it.”

Another delegate, Andrea Cortez of Stockton, felt the same way.

“We have Warren this year who might win it all. With Geraldine Ferraro as [a Democratic party candidate] VP in ’84, all it was to many of us was a gimmick to get votes,” explained Cortez. “All everyone talked to her about was her gender. [Sarah] Palin was largely the same, but with a lot more scrutiny on her life and her experience. With Clinton and Warren though, they’re just candidates. It’s what we wanted.”

“Now all we need is a female president,” she chuckled.

Despite all the praise over the gains of women in the last several decades, there were still many displays of inequality at the Convention.

Women’s Rights and Equal Pay protest outside the Long Beach Convention Center. (Evan Symon for California Globe)

Outside the convention a protest brewed. Fueled by the gender pay gap, dozens of women dressed as suffragettes to get their point across.

“Men are paid about a dollar more per hour for the same amount of work in the same jobs,” said protester Janice Stephens. “We need legislation to ensure that men and women are paid. We’re slowly reaching that right now, but we can easily make it law. But we don’t. It’s insane.”

Another protester next to her, Betsy. who only gave the Globe her first name, chimed in with a slightly different response.

“Virginia is going to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment next year. They’ll be the 38th state, and that means it may become an amendment,” noted Betsy. “This would give us all equality, and that’s what we want. California approved the ERA in 1972, but we’ve been waiting nearly 50 years for this.”

A woman next to her, Danielle McClure, also joined into the interview.

“I was in Washington in ’72 trying to get it passed,” said McClure. “It’s been a long time coming.”

Back inside the convention hall, booths for the League of Women Voters and Planned Parenthood were among the most popular, spreading the message of female empowerment and voting. Kelsie Hall, a podcast host and a rare Republican at the Convention, said to the Globe “Everyone I talked to today is really trying to get the point across that only Democrats have helped women and ignore the fact that Republicans have been for the majority of issues here too. They aren’t bringing up the fact that Nixon supported ERA. They aren’t talking about the massive support from Republicans. They aren’t mentioning the fact that female Republican participation has been on par with the rise the Democrats have had.

“You’re right to mention that they’re really pushing that angle, but what they’re trying to do is make it seem as if women have only one choice for a party to support,” McClure added.

With the election less than a year away, Democrats are hard at work at solidifying their female voting bloc, but as the Convention shows, they aren’t using the whole story to get support.

Evan Symon

Evan V. Symon is the Senior Editor for the California Globe. Prior to the Globe, he reported for the Pasadena Independent, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and was head of the Personal Experiences section at Cracked. He can be reached at evan@californiaglobe.com.
Evan Symon
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4 thoughts on “Women’s Rights A Centerpiece Of The California Democrats Convention

  1. the author of the ERA was GOP. The ERA began as GOP. It was not popular with the DEMS.
    BTW – It was the Long Beach Suffrage 100 demonstrating outside. I am the Director of the LBSuffrage00.
    Most importantly, Suffrage is unfinished business. Thanks for the nice photo.

    1. HI, Friend Zoe 11 20 2019
      SO true that the GOP was the first to talk up ERA, but those were totally different times. Here in Florida, Speaker of FL House screamed NO at me when I ventured to ask him 6 months ago whether he would hold a Hearing/Vote on Florida’s ratification! Yes, he did, in front of crowds of people just chatting. Undaunted, I asked him why (since this was the nineteenth year we have urged an ERA Hearing, without luck. After 19 years of 18/7 work, unpaid here, it’s No easy thing. I’ve been run off the road and been issued public death threats that took me to our Atty General, laughed and did nothing. FLORIDA is one of the southern neo-medievalistic states. So, we phone-lobby the other states with ERA ratification legislation. AND, shepherd cosponsors to the ERA bill 4 of us created and launched 10 years ago, now passing thru the US House handily, the first ERA legislation to be Heard there in they say 37 years. Last yr I told FL legislature, “I’m gonna be 85 years old…Don’t make me die before you pass ERA..You WILL pass it, SO Do IT NOW!”
      Please email me from my site, would sure like to hear from you and how you are & whatcha doing now.
      Sandy Oestreich, founder-pres., Nat’l ERA Alliance Inc 501c3
      Dear , dear Zoe, sure with we could chat once again.

    2. HI, Friend Zoe 11 20 2019
      SO true that the GOP was the first to talk up ERA, but those were totally different times. Here in Florida, Speaker of FL House screamed NO at me when I ventured to ask him 6 months ago whether he would hold a Hearing/Vote on Florida’s ratification! Yes, he did, in front of crowds of people just chatting. Undaunted, I asked him why (since this was the nineteenth year we have urged an ERA Hearing, without luck. After 19 years of 18/7 work, unpaid here, it’s No easy thing. I’ve been run off the road and been issued public death threats that took me to our Atty General, laughed and did nothing. FLORIDA is one of the southern neo-medievalistic states. So, we phone-lobby the other states with ERA ratification legislation. AND, shepherd cosponsors to the ERA bill 4 of us created and launched 10 years ago, now passing thru the US House handily, the first ERA legislation to be Heard there in they say 37 years. Last yr I told FL legislature, “I’m gonna be 85 years old…Don’t make me die before you pass ERA..You WILL pass it, SO Do IT NOW!”
      Please email me from my site, would sure like to hear from you and how you are & whatcha doing now.
      Sandy Oestreich, founder-pres., Nat’l ERA Alliance Inc 501c3
      Dear , dear Zoe, sure with we could chat once again.
      PS To Moderator: 1. you accused me of not checking re Captcha, so I went back making sure 2. then you accused me of duplicating my message: “Youve said that already” Here’s hoping you publish it this time SandyO

      1. ““Everyone I talked to today is really trying to get the point across that only Democrats have helped women and ignore the fact that Republicans have been for the majority of issues here too. They aren’t bringing up the fact that Nixon supported ERA. They aren’t talking about the massive support from Republicans. They aren’t mentioning the fact that female Republican participation has been on par with the rise the Democrats have had.”

        THIS IS NOT TRUE unless writer is referring to CA’s experience WHICH IS TOTALLY AND STUBBORNLY WRONG IN THE NOW STILL-UNRATIFIED STATES! I believe that those states are STILL UNRATIFIED SIMPLY BECAUSE THOSE GOP-RIDDLED STATES CONTINUE TO REMAIN UNRATIFIED BECAUSE GOP IN THOSE STATES REFUSE EVEN TO HOLD HEARINGS AND A VOTE ON ERA! I believe we of Natl ERA Alliance Inc–headquartered in Florida, was the first organization to re-ignite that fine Amendment, and we have been lobbying for ERA ratifications for NINETEEN SOLID, NONSTOP YEARS, 18/7, UNPAID. We have had republicans run us off the road! Issue public death threats that sent us to the Attorney General! We have been denigrated, insulted, and refused at officials’ visits.
        Likewise, all states seeking ERA hearings experience experience similar. So we are not so apt to whitewash the GOP vis a vis fairness and decency in dealing with the Equal Rights Amendment.
        WE ARE NOT ENAMORED OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY.

        I saved the Worst Behavior until last: We speak at general public hearings about the Equal Rights Amendment regularly wherever we are allowed. Earlier this year I chose to speak at one whose Chair was the Senate President. After I spoke my allotted 3 minutes, I sought out the Senate President to ask if I might speak with him. He growled, “30 seconds”. So I asked my question: “Are you going to schedule a Hearing on the Equal Rights Amendment?” He brought his face close to mine and SCREAMED “NO!!” so loudly that everyone turned to see what the scream was about! I mean, he literally SCREAMED! His name is Galvano, and this is the truth.
        Yes, the ERA long ago was first championed by Republicans. But President Reagan in 1980 took it off the GOP platform. Since then wherever we have lobbied for it before Republican officials, we have been sneered at and refused a simple Hearing and Vote for the Equal Rights Amendment.
        In FACT, US Senator Marco Rubio, when asked when he would, when a House Speaker, hold ERA Hearings, he Said on video: “Women don’t need it, and it’s outdated”!! WHO IS HE TO TELL US WHAT WE NEED AND NO, IT’S DEFINITELY NOT OUTDATED as long as women experience the soul-searing CRIME of rape, sex-inequal wages for same job, hours and credentials. HOW DARE HE..?!
        Since the GOP refuses to say Why, we assume that lawmakers are afraid that corporate heavy donors will refuse to Fund GOP lawmakers when they Hear the ERA BECAUSE CORPORATIONS REFUSE TO PAY SEX-EQUAL WAGES FOR EQUAL WORK, EQUAL HOURS, EQUAL CREDENTIALS, so continue to pay us about 20% less in wages than males! ! They refuse the Facts that:
        1. Several respected economists predict that once ERA is Constitutionally codified for the main purpose of making SEX DISCRIMINATION AGAINST MALE OR FEMALE A US CONSTITUTIONAL VIOLATION, America’s GDP will climb by 15% as in other wiser nations that passed similar ERA wording Years Ago.
        2. ERA is unique in that it requires No Funding!
        3. Studies show that rates of divorce and abortions are lower in ERA-ratified states.
        4. Besides America as a representative democracy actually does not hold when the majority of this nation is treated as Second Class: lower representation in Congress though plenty of women are running for office; sex discrimination cases are heard under the rubric of Intermediate Scrutiny, and not the proper, higher Strict Scrutiny by the courts.

        BESIDES, GUYS AGAINST ERA, ARE YOU AWARE THAT 1) ERA BENEFITS MALES TOO? and that 2) WE FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHTS,TOO, DESPITE YOUR HORRID TREATMENT OF US WOMEN AND LITTLE GIRLS.

        I could go on but suffice it to say, We will Fight Back SERIOUSLY at the 2020 polling booths nationwide.

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