May 3, 1996 |
Throughout history, California has sent more women to Congress than any other state--19 in all. The first woman to give birth while serving in Congress was a Californian, Yvonne Brathwaite Burke in 1973. She's now a Los Angeles County supervisor. Today, both of the state's U.S. senators are women, as are nine of the 52 members seated in the House. Only one, Rep. Andrea Seastrand, who represents the Santa Barbara-San Luis Obispo area, is a Republican. And all are mothers.
November 20, 1995 |
Just three years ago the talk in political circles was that women were finally on a fast-track toward political parity with men. After the 1992 elections in the so-called Year of the Woman, the number of women in Congress and in state legislatures increased dramatically. The percentage of women in Congress had nearly doubled to 10%, and in the 50 state legislatures it had increased to 21%, up from 18%. The feminist slogan "50/50 by 2000" was born.
September 12, 1995 |
More often than not, the Capitol is a place of predictable political relationships--us versus them, them versus us. That's why the story of Sheila J. Kuehl stands out. Kuehl is a liberal lesbian from Santa Monica--the first openly gay person to serve in the California Legislature. Before her debut in the Assembly late last year, conservatives shuddered--viewing her, one lawmaker recalls, as a "femi-Nazi" bent on ramming her "repugnant" beliefs down their throats. Nine months have passed.
August 23, 1995 |
The setting was the President's Room off the Senate floor, a quiet place of red Moroccan leather furniture, gilded chandelier and delicate gifts from the Orient displayed in a glass case. Senate Ethics Committee Chairman Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) stood with arms crossed as Sen. Barbara Boxer, a full head shorter, walked over, gently placed a hand on each of his elbows and leaned into his face.
June 13, 1995 |
In a bitter attack on one of their own, a trio of Republican assemblywomen lashed out at GOP Speaker Doris Allen of Cypress on Monday, saying she betrayed her party and her gender by relying on Democrats to win her new leadership position. "Women are loyal," said Assemblywoman Paula L. Boland (R-Granada Hills). "They don't go over to the other side. . . . They don't eat their young. . . . Doris Allen's conduct is an insult to the women of this state."
June 12, 1995 |
The next thing you know, they'll be calling her perky . Barely had newly minted Assembly Speaker Doris Allen mounted the ceremonial podium last Monday when the comments began: "The first thing she ought to do is her hair," sneered one fellow Republican assemblyman about Allen's coif, which looked perfectly stylish to outsiders. The snide remarks also dogged Democratic Assemblywoman Martha M.
November 11, 1994 |
As they come to grips with the changed congressional landscape, organizations representing African Americans are groping for a new strategy to advance their interests. Some--like Wade Henderson, Washington director of the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People--have begun planning the unimaginable: He is seeking issues where the civil rights group can form coalitions with GOP leaders.
May 30, 1994 |
Rep. Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky arrived at her office for an interview carrying a carton of eggs. Apologizing for being late, she explained that she had stopped by a Congressional "omelet do" in hopes of getting a fast lunch, but the cooking had just ended. "So they gave me a dozen eggs instead." As the freshman Democrat who cast the vote that saved the first Clinton budget, Margolies-Mezvinsky is not about to refuse a contribution.
April 20, 1994 |
The Senate, capping a heated and for many of its male members a deeply uncomfortable debate over sexual harassment, voted Tuesday to allow the Navy's top admiral to retire without a demotion despite allegations of a role in the Tailhook scandal. For the first time since the still-overwhelmingly male Senate agonized over Justice Clarence Thomas' confirmation to the Supreme Court, partisan politics took a back seat to sexual politics as the lawmakers voted, 54 to 43, to allow Adm. Frank B.
December 3, 1993 |
With record numbers of women in the House and Senate, the 103rd Congress enacted more legislation on family- and child-related issues in its first session than any of its predecessors, the Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues said Thursday. "We have never come so far so quickly," said Rep. Patricia Schroeder (D-Colo.), a 10-term veteran of Capitol Hill and the caucus' co-chairwoman. "Electorally, 1992 was the year of the woman. But legislatively, 1993 has equal claim to that title."