Women’s Policy Institute (WPI)

2018-2019 WPI State Fellows

More effective than a single lobby group, our Women’s Policy Institute (WPI) amplifies the voices of cisgender and transgender women, non-binary and genderqueer people, and transgender men throughout our state, training them to be policy advocates and champions for gender, racial, and economic justice. WPI fellows reflect the diversity of California as well as the different types of organizations in the nonprofit sector. Our fellows work on a range of issues impacting their communities, thus creating a multi-issue network that encompasses the breadth of the social justice movement. The Women’s Policy Institute-State Class of 2019 is one of the most diverse in WPI history: 80% of fellows identify as people of color, 32% are immigrants, 36% are queer or identify as something other than heterosexual, and 12% are not cisgender. This year’s fellows range in age from 21 to 50. The 2018-19 WPI-State fellowship year launched in October 2018. Teams are working on policy projects in the following issue areas: criminal justice, economic justice, environmental justice, LGBTQIA justice, reproductive justice and trauma justice. Check out the bios of this year’s WPI-State fellows and follow us on social media to stay up-to-date on the Class of 2019 and each team’s policy project. 

If you are interested in learning more about how you or your organization can support one or more of the bills in our 2019 legislative package, please email wpi@womensfoundca.org.

Criminal Justice Team, SB 555 (Mitchell) – Jail Fair Access for Connections To Support (FACTS) Act: This bill would promote economic stability for incarcerated people and their families by regulating the prices of the basic goods sold inside county jails as well as the communications services that incarcerated youth and adults use to maintain strong relationships with their loved ones on the outside.

Economic Justice Team, AB 942 (Weber) – Access to Safe Food Choices & Food Security Act of 2019: This bill would require all counties to participate in the Restaurant Meals Program (RMP), which would allow homeless, disabled, and elderly CalFresh participants to access prepared hot meals. Click here for the AB 942 fact sheet.

Environmental Justice Team, SB 160 (Jackson): This bill would require counties to engage communities when updating emergency plans to ensure that local disaster preparedness and response activities (i.e. alerts, communications, evacuations, and sheltering) are culturally competent and meet diverse needs. Click here for the SB 160 fact sheet.

LGBTQIA Justice Team, SB 495 (Durazo) – Bias Free Child Custody Act: This bill would keep child custody determinations free of bias and discrimination against LGBTQ caregivers.

Reproductive Justice Team, AB 732 (Bonta) – Reproductive Dignity for Incarcerated People Act: This bill would improve the quality of reproductive health care, support, and accommodations for incarcerated people experiencing pregnancy, childbirth, lactation, or menstruation in state prisons and county jails. Click here for the AB 732 fact sheet.

Trauma Justice Team, AB 865 (Gómez Reyes) and SB 493 (Jackson): AB 865 would require foster care providers to receive training in providing appropriate care to sexually exploited and trafficked minors in foster care. SB 493 would ensure that institutions of higher education (IHEs) have adequate processes in place to prevent and appropriately respond to sexual harassment, violence, and assault. Click here for the AB 865 fact sheet and here for the SB 493 fact sheet. Organizational letters of support for SB 493 are due April 17 at 12 noon. To submit a letter of support for this bill on behalf of your organization, please click here.

Criminal Justice Team

Economic Justice Team

Environmental Justice Team

LGBTQIA Justice Team

Reproductive Justice Team

Trauma Justice Team