At the Women’s Foundation of California, culture change goes beyond changing behaviors and attitudes. Thank you for joining us at our 40th Anniversary celebrations in San Francisco and Los Angeles to recognize the work we’ve together to shift cultural norms and change laws to achieve freedom for every woman, girl, and gender-expansive people. That’s why 15 years ago we launched The Women’s Policy Institute (WPI). WPI has been amplifying the voices of cisgender, transgender women, non-binary, genderqueer people, and transgender men throughout our state, training them to be policy experts and champions for racial, economic, and gender justice.
WPI fellows reflect the diversity of California as well as the different types of organizations in the nonprofit sector advancing equity and justice. Since 2003, more than 500 people have participated in the WPI fellowship program and helped pass 40 bills and we couldn’t think of a greater way to celebrate the success of the Women’s Foundation of California’s 40th anniversary.
These five laws we helped put on the books just this year will help keep California on the cutting edge of racial, economic and gender justice.
- SB495 (Bias-Free Child Custody Child Act) makes sure that sex, gender expression, gender identity or sexual orientation of a caregiver has nothing to do with that person’s ability to love and care for a child. This new law will make it easier for every child to have a loving family.
- SB160 (Emergency services: cultural competence) will make sure that our emergency response plans will reflect the needs of diverse Californians. This law will require emergency planning to be culturally competent by incorporating qualified representatives and interpreters in all emergency communications.
- SB24 (The College Student Right to Access Act) helped make history by making California the first state to mandate that all student health centers at all 34 public universities and colleges offer abortion medication.
- AB942 (CalFresh: Restaurant Meals Program) will expand access to hot and prepared food choices for people experiencing homelessness, disabilities, and old age through a statewide expansion of the CalFresh Restaurant Meals Program.
- And last but not least, AB865 (Resource families: training) will make sure children who have experienced or are at risk of experiencing human trafficking get the care they need. Foster care providers will now be required to receive training to provide appropriate care to exploited and trafficked minors.
We are so proud of the work our WPI fellows accomplished in 15 years and we look forward to sharing the accomplishments of our new cohort in 2020! For more information about our Women’s Policy Institute, visit womensfoundca.org/policy/wpi.