SBWPC Interview with Senator Hannah Beth Jackson – October 11, 2018

Maya Upton and Karen Cahill, interviewers

Please update us on your mentoring of women to participate in the political process since our last interview a year ago. (e.g., appointments to boards or commissions, encouragement to run for office)

Senator Jackson told us that she has always mentored women across her offices. She spoke about her broad and far-reaching support of many women, including her endorsement and support of Monique Limon, Kristin Sneddon, Cathy Murillo and other female candidates throughout the district.

Please tell us about diversity on your staff and any changes that may have taken place this year, particularly as regards women and their roles.

Senator Jackson shared that she has always had a woman in the position of Chief-of-Staff and that her staff overall consists of many woman, people of color, and LGBTQ identifying individuals.

Since our last interview, please update us about how you have addressed gender and other inequities and imbalances regarding women, race, people of color, immigrants, etc. Please include your efforts to protect/defend these groups in relation to bias, violence, etc.

Senator Jackson shared a long list of legislation she has authored or supported that focus on protecting the rights of Women. She was especially proud of Senate Bill 826 that had only recently been signed by Governor Brown. She authored the bill that is now a law promoting equitable and diverse gender representation on California corporate boards. Every publicly-held corporation is now required to have at least one woman on board by the end of 2019. (SBWPC supported this bill.)

What is your current position on single payer medical coverage and what work have you done in this area? Please include your thoughts on how funding would be provided.

Senator Jackson related that she supports the concept of single-payer, but that much work needs to be done in order to sort out long term funding. She spoke about the unacceptable greed which negatively affects the process of improving the system and recommended that everyone watch the Ken Burns documentary on the Mayo Clinic. (PBS, Ken Burns: The Mayo Clinic: Faith, Hope, and Science)

What can you tell us about your efforts on gun safety/gun violence legislation, and what legislation and/or trends you anticipate for the future?

Senator Jackson sponsored a bump stock ban that got signed in 2018. Since sitting down with Senator Jackson, she has introduced SB 55, which would extend the 10-year prohibition on firearm possession to several alcohol-abuse-related and drug sales criminal convictions. This bill is based on findings out of the California Firearm Violence Research Center showing a correlation between certain alcohol-related-crimes like DUI and drug sales to later abuse of firearms. The research center was established by State budget funding in 2016 that Jackson approved.

What new patterns, trends, and challenges do you see ahead in CA and its legislature (or in the United States and in Congress)? What role can SBWPC play to help?

Senator Jackson reminded us that she was founding member and would like to see the SBWPC speak out with a much louder voice. She suggested we focus on improving visibility in the community including encouraging leadership to submit Op-Eds and increasing our social media presence.

SBWPC has submitted letters of support for bills you have authored. Please comment on to what extent you find these effective and how SBWPC might help going forward.

Senator Jackson said that sending a letter to the relevant committee chair and providing a copy to her office is an effective way to support her legislation. Promoting her bills through social media, letters to the editor, and op-eds is another great way to show support.

What else would you like to share with the SBWPC? (e.g., bills of which you are especially proud, contributions you have made or foresee making in the future)

Senator Jackson shared that she expects to continue her work to advance causes supporting woman, providing access to education, providing access to medical care and protecting the environment. She is working on expanding Paid Family Leave for all California’s working families and has recently introduced SB 135 as part of that effort.