Child Care

While most other industrialized countries provide some level of childcare support on the logical assumption that care and early education of children is a social good and a human right; quality, affordable and accessible child care continues to be elusive for the children in the United States and specifically the State of California. Our children are our greatest national resource and their daily well being from their earliest developmental stages until they reach school age must be among the highest priorities facing government and policy makers.

In the current climate of welfare-to-work social reform/legislation and the need for most families to have dual incomes, providing child care must be a part of the equation, along with job skills training and adequate transportation. And, since the responsibility for childcare falls disproportionately on the shoulders of working women, it is a matter of basic equality that affordable and quality childcare be readily available.

To this end, the Santa Barbara Women’s Political Committee strongly favors the adoption of a national child care policy.
We support:

  • Legislation that increases funding of existing programs and the expansion or development of additional child care resources, including day care facilities, family day care homes, in-home care, drop-in centers, and available 24/7;
  • Public and private funding of affordable, high-quality child care programs for the care of infants, pre-school and school-aged children as well as public and private funding for the expansion and development of child care services for children with special needs, including developmentally and physically challenged, care for mildly ill children, children at risk of abuse and neglect, foster youth and homeless children;
  • Employer-sponsored child care, including employer-tax incentives, employee child care benefits, on-site facilities, paid Family Medical Leave, alternative flexible work schedules, resource and referral, and supplementary child care services;
  • Policies that create standards for training and certification which ensure quality care and provide sufficient financial incentives to attract the most qualified and well-trained child care professionals possible.
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Crimes Against Women

The crimes that throughout the course of history have been perpetrated against women must be stopped. These crimes include sexual harassment, exploitation, molestation, incest, rape, battery, assault and depictions of violence against women in pornography.

Women and girls are the primary victims of sexual and domestic violence; however these crimes are perpetrated against men and boys too. The perpetrators in nearly all cases of sexual and domestic violence are men. Sexual and domestic violence is found in our families, the media, in our schoolyards and college campuses, in our workplaces and collective attitudes that blame the victim and excuse the perpetrator. Rape during wartime not only terrorizes civilians or those identified as the enemy, but women in the armed forces are not safe from their own military associates.

Crimes against women cross all socioeconomic backgrounds, races, nationalities, cultures, and ages. Crimes against women have at their root an intersection between sexism and other forms of oppression. They are unconscionable, therefore unacceptable and the Santa Barbara Women’s Political Committee is committed to ending these crimes.

We support:

  • Intervention and Education programs which include: Outreach to all women with special emphasis to those from underserved populations, including non-English speaking, immigrant & undocumented, women, members of the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) Community and women with disabilities;
  • Training for law enforcement, medical personnel, social service providers, attorneys, and judges to eliminate gender and cultural bias;
  • Risk reduction programs including self-defense, moving women and children to shelters, awareness and assertiveness training;
  • Programs which focus on male responsibility to stop sexual & physical violence and psychological abuse;
  • Programs which hold perpetrators accountable for their crimes;
  • Programs which encourage men to become involved in finding solutions to ending violence against women;
  • Training for women and men to provide services to survivors of sexual and domestic violence;
  • Funding for prevention and intervention services, battered women shelters and legal services, multidisciplinary response teams, psychological counseling and restitution for victims;
  • Research and data gathering with special emphasis on prevention programs;
  • Legislation which clarifies and broadens the definitions of crimes against women; positively impacts survivor rights; addresses gun control; and assists in creating a more sensitive and survivor responsive criminal justice system; VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) – protecting it and making it permanent;
  • Prevention programs which challenge cultural and societal norms that tolerate and create an environment which sexual and domestic violence occurs;
  • Intervention programs which take into account the survivor’s race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and abilities, and provide services in a manner consistent with the background of the survivor in a competent and comprehensive manner.

We oppose:

  • The silencing of women and their experience of sexual and domestic violence;
  • The exploitation of rape to prolong or expand a war.
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Educational Equity

The Santa Barbara Women’s Political Committee believes that all individuals have the right to a quality public education. We believe that the experiences, strengths, and needs of girls and women from diverse backgrounds – race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, sexual orientation, religion, age and ability – must be considered in order to promote excellence and equity for all students. Both female and male students must see themselves reflected and valued in contemporary teaching and learning. Thus, we advocate equity, academic freedom, protection from censorship, biasfree education, and fair and responsible funding for all levels of education; we are committed to the elimination of barriers that impede girls and women from obtaining quality public education.

We support:

  • Preparation and training of all school personnel to increase gender awareness and bring gender equity to every aspect of schooling;
  • Formal school curricula which include the experiences and expertise of women and men from diverse backgrounds, so that both female and male students see themselves reflected and valued in contemporary teaching and learning;
  • Robust education and training of female students in engineering, mathematics, science, and technology at all levels, particularly to boost the number of females pursuing these and other non-traditional educational fields and career pathways;
  • Establishment and enforcement of school policies and procedures that effectively address and eliminate sexual violence and sexual harassment, including student-to-student violence and harassment. Such policies and procedures will inform students about the reporting process, and prepare school personnel to swiftly and competently handle such grievances;
  • Equal access to all school programs, sports, and extracurricular activities, pursuant to Title IX of the 1987 amended Civil Rights Act;
  • Fair consideration of female educators, at all levels in the hiring process and in promotion reviews as well as recognition of the unique contribution these women make to scholarship and education;
  • Inclusion of women in leadership positions such as school administrators and education policy-making organizations at the local, state, and national levels and the encouragement of young women to participate in educational reform activities in their communities;
  • Affirmative action policies as applied to education;
  • Adequate and equitable and fair funding for quality public education for all students;
  • Supporting and advocating policies that promote greater access to higher education for women and other underrepresented populations.

We oppose:

  • The use of public funds for non-public elementary and secondary education;
  • All efforts to subvert Affirmative action policies and practices.
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The Environment

The Santa Barbara Women’s Political Committee believes that a feminist approach to public policy requires strong stewardship and nurturing of our environment. The continued existence of the human race and of the Earth itself depends on decisions made yesterday, today and tomorrow – political, economic and social decisions – made on a global as well as local scale. For too long decisions have been made without sufficient regard to the profound impact on women’s lives. The right to a clean environment is the right of all, regardless of race, ethnicity, or economic status.

We support:

  • Population policies that give women the right to plan for and raise healthy children in a healthful environment to create and maintain an ecologically balanced world;
  • Efforts to improve air and water quality, in order to protect both environmental and human health; such efforts should include the reduction of pollutants, whether released into the air, soil, or water;
  • The aggressive reduction of the use of fossil fuels, due to the environmental degradation that results from their production and combustion;
  • Efforts to substantially improve energy efficiency and conservation and to bring large amounts of renewable energy online with a sense of urgency;
  • Local communities of all socioeconomic backgrounds setting ambitious goals to reduce their own environmental footprints;
  • Measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change and ocean acidification;
  • Protection of open spaces that support wildlife habitat, local food production and recreational opportunities.
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Gender Balance

Until women are represented in politics in proportion to their percentage in the population, the political system will not adequately address issues of particular concern to women. We support efforts to attain gender and racial balance in our elected and appointed offices to reflect the community they represent.

At least fifty percent of the population of Santa Barbara County is women, yet women are vastly under-represented on citizen commissions. It is important to address the under-representation because women are more likely to make feminist policy and appointments on commissions are a stepping stone to elected office.

We support:

  • Gender-balanced appointive boards and commissions;
  • Consideration by all appointing authorities of gender balance and the specific inclusion of women of color in the appointment process.
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