Today I joined Mayor Garcetti and researchers at Mount Saint Mary’s University’s campus in downtown Los Angeles as they unveiled the first two parts of the five part study into gender in Los Angeles. This research focused on women as a demographic and women in leadership roles in our City.
Over the past year and a half, I’ve spoken with many about my experience as the only woman in elected office out of 18 possible seats in City Hall. It is shocking that in one of the largest City’s in the nation, we only have one female perspective on Council.
Now I’m proud to serve with a diverse group of men that each bring their unique backgrounds to our conversations about our great City and how to improve it. Each represents their part of the City with honor and works very hard to represent their entire District. When I came to office, I also brought my unique perspective: someone that was born and raised in the Valley, a woman and a mother
But I’m the only female perspective on our Council. And that does make a great difference because all of our perspectives are shaped by our experiences. So when I introduced an increase to the minimum wage, I’m working for each and every woman in this study, legislating on behalf of the average woman that makes almost $5,000 less than the average man each year and thinking of the 49% of single mothers that are working countless hours for their children.
Today’s study tells me, more than anything else, that we need women to take a risk and run for office and take on these leadership roles for the good of our City so we have more women taking these leadership roles. And we need men to be allies and place women in the pipeline to be the next elected official. This study shows that women win elected seats at the same rates as men but we just aren’t taking the risk and running. While we need women to take those chances, we as fellow leaders must provide a support system that enables candidates to care for their families.
We must take this as a call to action. Tomorrow we must wake up with a new resolve to stand up for those little girls that are part of the 30% that live in poverty and create a minimum wage that is fair to single mothers and enables them to earn a living that can mean a better future for their children. Today isn’t just about the results of Mount Saint Mary’s study but it is the opportunity to commence changing the future of our City for the next generation of women.
Click below to read the full results of the study.