May 17th, 2013
Wednesday, June 5, 6:00-8:00 PM
at the University of Southern California Ronald Tutor Campus Center, The Forum (450)
3607 Trousdale Parkway, Los Angeles, CA map
The 2013 citywide elections shed a light on the need for more women to seek and win elected office in the City of Los Angeles. Of the ten largest cities nationwide, Los Angeles has the lowest percentage of women seated on the city council or holding citywide elected office. And in San Diego, San Jose, and San Francisco, women hold over 30% of the city council seats. Los Angeles hasn’t seen these levels since the late 1990’s.
How did the second largest city in the nation and the largest city in California get to this point? More importantly, how can we reverse this decline?
Join our panel of experts in a town hall discussion as California Women Lead issues a Call to Action.
- Cindy Miscikowski, President, Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners and former member, Los Angeles City Council
- Harvey Englander, Founder, Englander Knabe & Allen and veteran campaign strategist
- Dan Schnur, Director, Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at the University of Southern California
- Rachel Michelin, Executive Director/CEO, California Women Lead
Tickets FREE for California Women Lead members. Click here to register»
Tickets $10 for non-members. Click here to register»
March 9th, 2013
EMPOWERING WOMEN TO BE LEADERS ON CALIFORNIA’S BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS
Appointment Secretary Mona Pasquil, Office of the Governor Edmund G. Brown
When you first meet Mona Pasquil, Appointments Secretary for California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., you may not realize at first that she is one of the most powerful women in state government. As Appointments Secretary, Mona recruits, screens and advises the governor on applicants for top key paid staff positions, high level boards such at the California Public Utilities Commission or High Speed Rail Commission or to the hundreds of volunteer boards that keep our government moving. Mona is the key to making that happen.
Sitting in her office just a few steps from the governor, we talked about what inspired her to get involved, what path led her to her current position and what she still wants to accomplish.
How did you get started? Did you always know you wanted a career in politics?
I remember visiting the State Capitol with my fifth grade class and saying to myself, “I am going to work here one day.” From there I went on to major in English Lit , but the “bug” never left. My mother told me if I was still interested in working in the Capitol I should go and find a job, so I did. I started working for my State Assembly member who was John Garamendi (now a member of Congress) as his receptionist. The key to being the receptionist is everyone has to go through you, so I was able to start meeting key people who went on to help mentor me in the future.
After working as a receptionist, I was given the opportunity to work in other aspects of the Assembly Member’s office – press, legislation, local public policy issues. I was very fortunate to have a boss who believed in mentoring and help teach me the skills to be an effective leader. It was because of my work in his office and the mentoring I received that changed my career path.
What other experience helped lead to you the position you are in today?
After working in the State Capitol I had the opportunity to move to the State Treasurer’s office and work for Kathleen Brown as her Legislative Director. It was in her office that I was surrounded by strong, powerful women who helped further develop my leadership skills. It was in her office that I had the opportunity to testify in front of the State Legislature and develop a network that would help in in my future career path.
At one point, you served as Lieutenant Governor of California (the first woman!) – how did that happen and what was it like?
When my former boss, John Garamendi was elected Lieutenant Governor in 2008, I went to work for him as his deputy. He was then elected to Congress and I had the opportunity to fill in as Lieutenant Governor until then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed a replacement. My most vivid memory of serving during that time was a young girl who came through the office as part of her school tour. She was with her mom and I invited them both into my private office. As she looked around her eyes got bigger and she said “Mom, I didn’t know girls could have offices like this.” I was proud and heartbroken at the same time. Proud that I was able to inspire her and show girls could have an office like the Lieutenant Governor and sad that she never thought a girl could. That moment inspired me to remember the importance of mentoring young people, especially girls, and helping them realize girls can have a career in politics.
What are challenges you have faced along the way?
I think the greatest challenge that I, and most women, face is the notion that we can “have it all.” Yes, I do believe women can have it all, but not all at the same time. I have had to make choices and sacrifices to get to where I am today – some easier than others. I also believe that, as women, we need to do more to support each other. I was fortunate to have powerful women (and men) who mentored me from the first day I walked into the State Capitol, but I don’t know if that is still happening, especially in the political arena. I think, we women, need to realize there is still a lot of work to do and we need women willing to take leadership roles, whether applying for an appointment at the state or local level or running for office, so that our voices are heard in the decision making process. We need more women willing to mentor and support young women and empower them to be leaders.
What do you like most about serving the Governor as his Appointments Secretary?
I really enjoy working for Governor Brown and working as his Appointments Secretary. It has given me the opportunity to be the mentor I always wanted to be. Our office spends a lot of time reaching out to different groups looking for applicants and I have the opportunity to meet incredible Californians who want to serve in an appointed position. I have a great team, mostly women, who help recruit folks who can potentially serve. It is a fast pace job and I never know what issues I will deal with when I walk into the Capitol each morning. More importantly, I have the opportunity to travel throughout the state and share with women and young girls that they too can a career in public service.
What do you still want to accomplish? Would you ever consider running for political office?
I never say never – just like the opportunity to serve on the Governor’s Cabinet, you never know what is around the bend. What I do know is I would like to finish a children’s book I started about my time as acting Lieutenant Governor as well as a collection of funny stories about my time working in the political arena.
Finally, what is your advice to women – young, old and in between?
Ask other women to mentor you and be willing to mentor other women. No matter how old or young you are always be educating yourself. And remember – it always comes down to hard work!
February 21st, 2013
On January 30, 2013 California Women Lead hosted its annual Legislative Welcome at Sacramento’s Park Ultra Lounge. Over 250 guests enjoyed a wonderful Sacramento evening as California Women Lead honored the 2013 Legislative Woman’s Caucus. Guests networked with State Legislators, including many who were recently elected, as well as leaders from Sacramento business, political and nonprofit community. This is California Women Lead’s premier event to raise funds to our leadership and appointments trainings around the state and would not be a success without the support of our members and sponsors. Mark your calendars for January 2014 so you can attend next year’s event!
December 3rd, 2012
The number of women serving at the state and local level decreased after November election
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sacramento, CA (December 3, 2012) – Despite statistical gains made nationally for women in elected office, the number of women in California serving at the state and at the local level decreased, according to a report released by the nonpartisan women’s group California Women Lead. The latest statistical snapshot shows a continued need for increased representation by elected women in the State Legislature and on County Boards of Supervisors.
The report, entitled “2012 Post-Election Analysis of California Women,” reveals that the number of California women serving at the state and local level is not as high as one would suspect, and did not mirror the gains woman made in other parts of the country.
According to the report, post November election, the number of women in the California Legislature decreased to 33 (out of a possible 120 seats), a loss of one seat. Prior to the November election, 73 women (out of a possible 296 seats) served on County Board of Supervisors, post November, 67 will serve, a loss of six seats. Significant statistics include:
- Women currently serving in the California State Legislature – 27.5%
- Women currently serving on County Boards of Supervisors – 22.6%
“Our report shows that the current number of women serving in elected office is decreasing, and that’s discouraging,” said Rachel Michelin, Executive Director of California Women Lead. “Women are more likely to seek office when they receive the right support, so California Women Lead continues its efforts to encourage, train and mentor women to be leaders in their communities and beyond, reminding them,’ if not you, then who?’ We are focused on increasing the number of women candidates, and the number of women who are elected, in the 2014 and 2016 election cycles.”
To help counter the apparent lack of parity for California women being elected to local and state office, California Women Lead conducts workshops, with the goal of these workshops is to focus attention on the need for the effective leadership that women uniquely provide, whether it’s serving on a school board, as a county supervisor, as a state legislator, or in the halls of congress; and to offer support and guidance to those women who respond to the call for effective leadership that is so desperately needed.
Click here to download the full report.
October 26th, 2012
The Sacramento Regional Chapter held an Appointments Training Workshop for Women on October 23 at the Rancho Cordova City Hall. Guest speakers included California State Assembly Member Alyson Huber, Sacramento County Supervisor Don Nottoli, City of Rancho Cordova Vice Mayor Linda Budge, City of Rancho Cordova City Clerk Mindy Cuppy, CMC, and Deputy Appointments Secretary Teri Holoman, Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr..
On October 23, California Women Lead, USC Dornsife and the Women’s Student Assembly hosted Women and the 2012 Election at USC. Dan Schnur, Director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at the University of Southern California and Rachel Michelin, Executive Director/CEO of California Women Lead, Catherine Shieh, Finance Director of the USC College Democrats, and Madeline Lansky, President of the USC College Republicans, discussed how young women will affect the 2012 Election.
The East Bay Chapter hosted a Candidates Reception in Danville with Contra Costa County Supervisors Candace Andersen and Karen Mitchoff. Click here to view more photos»
October 26th, 2012
Election Day is quickly approaching and Campaign 2012 will come to an end. I must confess, as a veteran of political campaigns, this cycle has been tougher and uglier than most. The commercials, mail pieces, Facebook posts and tweets took on a very negative tone and don’t get me started about the media coverage!
The tone of this campaign cycle had me thinking about a project California Women Lead spearheaded years ago when we were CEWAER – staff travelled the state and asked elected bodies (County Boards of Supervisors, City Councils, School Boards, etc.) to endorse a resolution entitled Civility in Politics. The project was very successful and got me thinking – Is it time for California Women Lead to resurrect that project for the 2014 election cycle?
Why I think this would be a good project were comments from a woman I met when I was giving a speech in Southern California. She told me she was so turned off by the negativity of this campaign cycle that there was no way she would ever be convinced to run for office, in fact she was thinking about not voting at all. That does not help California Women Lead’s mission to ENGAGE • EMPOWER • ELECT women in California. What frustrates me about the negativity in politics is the sad reality that we have to remind ADULTS to be civil.
A few years ago, when I ran for elected office, as the candidate I knew I was the one ultimately in charge of my campaign – I set the tone. As voters and politically engaged citizens, we need to remind candidates, at the local, state and national levels, that they need to lead by example and consider their tactics when their campaign consultants, managers, or supporters tear their opponents down personally or professionally, all in the name of the “campaign.”
I have always said I learn more about politics by raising my children. As the mom of two girls, I am constantly reminded how my actions set the example for how they act. Sometimes I wish I could tell political candidates “You are on a time out!” like I tell my four year old when she uses “ugly words” against her sister. It is frustrating when I am trying to teach my girls the importance of respecting others, even if they don’t agree with them, when we turn on the TV or listen to the radio and commercial after commercial is a negative attack. We wonder why bullying has become such an epidemic for our young people, but look no further than the folks running to govern our county, state and local communities. It is us up to us as voters to tell candidates, consultants and the media that it is okay to have a healthy debate on the issues, but the tearing down and gross negative behavior in politics has to stop. All that accomplishes is turning people off from the political process and disengaging voters.
I am an optimist and I think if enough of us work together we may be able to bring civility and accountability back to our political process. I have to – I have two little girls who I don’t want growing up saying they would never run for office or serve their community as an elected official. I hope you will consider joining California Women Lead when we kick off this campaign. I am always interested in hearing what you think – send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your ideas on how we can bring civility back to the campaign process.
As always thank you for your support of California Women Lead and our mission to empower women to be leaders.
September 4th, 2012
Courtesy, Beth Rogers
As a Central Coast farmer, Beth Rogers knows the importance of fostering a project to see it to fruition. As an entrepreneur, this lesson is all the more fundamental.
Rogers is the managing general partner of Pacific Earth Resources, which has provided more than 2 billion square feet of sod lawns to homeowners for over forty years. Her company has worked to landscape for high-profile locations including Disneyland, The Rose Bowl, UCLA, and Dodger Stadium.
Rogers was widowed at an early age with two children, and transformed her original career goal of teaching to one of business.
Previously, she was the president of Davis Cablevision. Rogers holds a PhD in anthropology and has taught at the Price Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, part of the Anderson School of Management.
She has served on numerous state boards and organizations including the California Chamber of Commerce, California Sod Producers Association, and the Council for a Green Environment.
As a keynote speaker at our upcoming Women’s Empowerment Conference Sept. 21-23, Rogers will offer a balanced perspective on how to succeed in your personal and professional life. With a multifaceted resumé of leadership and experience, Rogers will not be one to miss at our conference!
September 4th, 2012
Before Speaker Pro Tempore Fiona Ma closes out her term as an assemblywoman, she will be stopping by our Women’s Empowerment Conference later this month to offer advice and perspective as an experienced elected official.
As a former elected member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Ma hit the ground running when she arrived in Sacramento in 2006. The Speaker appointed Ma as the Majority Whip, where she was responsible for ensuring the passage of crucial legislation to improve public education, expand healthcare access and protect our environment.
In 2010, Speaker of the Assembly John A. Pérez
appointed Ma to the leadership position of Speaker pro Tempore. As presiding officer and member of the leadership team, Ma guides Assembly Members through the daily business of the house, responds to parliamentary inquiries, issues rulings on points of order when necessary, and is responsible for guiding legislative priorities. She also serves on key committees including Agriculture, Business and Professions, Governmental Organization, Public Employees, Retirement and Social Security, and Utilities and Commerce.
She has authored legislation to keep jobs in California and grow the state’s economy and as an overall Co-Chair of the National Conference of State Legislators, she works to keep California competitive with other states.
Ma received her B.S. from the Rochester Institute of Technology, her M.S. in Taxation from Golden Gate University, and an MBA from Pepperdine University. She is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in California.
At our conference Sept. 21-23, she will be sitting on a panel of other elected women to explain her experiences as a California state assemblyperson.
September 4th, 2012
Cassandra Walker Pye serves as senior director in APCO Worldwide’s Sacramento office and counsels corporate leaders, association executives and political professionals on market entry, corporate positioning, food marketing and crisis communication.
She has advocated for business interests across diverse industry sectors on a broad range of policy issues, including food retailing, labor relations, environmental responsibility and lawsuit abuse for over twenty years.
Since 2007, she has successfully led the public relations and communications team for the world’s fourth-largest retailer to help it introduce its store brands to the Western states. Her extensive network of relationships with leaders in the business and labor communities, as well as federal, state and local government, helps clients achieve their business and political objectives.
Pye was deputy chief of staff to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and served on his historic post-recall election transition team.
Previously, she was vice president of corporate affairs and political director for the California Chamber of Commerce, as well as the director of public affairs for the California Retailers Association, director of governmental relations for the California Grocers Association and state relations manager for the Food Marketing Institute.
Pye will be at our Women’s Empowerment Conference in a few weeks where she will share her experiences and educate attendees on how to form their personal “brand.” With her consulting experience in and out of the political realm, she is sure to provide some fantastic insight!
August 3rd, 2012
With our first annual Women’s Empowerment Conference in sunny San Diego fast approaching, buy tickets today and save on ticket prices and accommodations!
As an early bird ticket holder, members will only be charged $165 for conference tickets, plus hotel accommodations at a discounted rate by the beautiful San Diego Marriott Marquis and Marina through an offer valid until Aug. 21. Non-members will pay $195 for the same accommodations and conference experience!
Tickets prices will be raised after September 1 to $225 for members and non-members. Additionally, the extra savings from the San Diego Marriott will no longer be available.
Put your name on our guest list to experience powerful workshops and speeches from leaders and innovators across California in the world of marketing, government and business, all in the wonderful atmosphere of Southern California.
Our conference is not to be missed and will be a perfect opportunity for you to expand your network while meeting with many of California’s premier professional movers and shakers.