Female Leaders Urge That Women’s Commission Not Get Ax

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Mayor Nancy Gardner and actress Geena Davis. Photo by David Winterhalter

Academy Award winner and longtime women’s advocate Geena Davis visited Newport Beach on Wednesday to speak to a gathering of more than 150 in support of the California Commission on the Status of Women.

Joining her was the president of the U.S. National Committee on UN Women, Maggie Forster Schmitz, California Secretary of State Debra Bowen, Rep. Loretta Sanchez, Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens, Rep. Linda Sanchez, state Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett, California NOW President Patty Bellasalma and Newport Beach Mayor Nancy Gardner.

The event was held at the Fairmont Hotel.

The meeting came in response to a recent budget proposal by Gov. Jerry Brown that would eliminate the Commission on the Status of Women, of which Davis is a member.  Each of the high-profile female leaders offered personal stories of gender-related challenges they had faced while serving in public office, to argue for the need to continue the commission.

The commission has been under financial threat before, but has always been funded by the Legislature.  Signatures were gathered at the event on a letter petition to Gov. Brown asking him to reconsider his move to eliminate the Commission, and attendees were encouraged to ask family, friends and colleagues to also contact the governor’s office in support of the commission.

To learn more about the commission, visit www.women.ca.gov.

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