We celebrated Women’s History Month throughout March in the City of Los Angeles. I was pleased to lead the City Council in many of those efforts where we highlighted the incredible talents and contributions of women in the City of Los Angeles.
On International Women’s Day, the organizers of the mid-January Women’s March called for a day of protest and action called, “A Day Without A Woman.” As the only woman on the City Council, and a fierce advocate for the people of Council District 6, I wasn’t going to step away from the City Council and let the men run things without me for the day, so I decided instead to bring the women who work for the City of Los Angeles into Council Chambers to have our own demonstration. For nearly an hour we shut down the work of the City Council and demonstrated to employees throughout the City what a day without women would look like. I led the City’s women employees as we, one-by-one, stepped to the microphone and announced our name and role within the City. This demonstration showed how every department in the City is dependent on the contributions of a talented, smart, and dedicated female workforce. Well over two hundred women participated, and though that’s a fraction of the female workforce of the City, it filled the Council Chambers to capacity, and made a clear impact.
The City of Los Angeles is incredibly grateful for the contributions made by women – those who work for the City and those who contribute in other ways. In Los Angeles we value the contributions of women and defend the rights of women.
In mid-March, I was thrilled to join Mayor Eric Garcetti at the Mayor’s first-ever Gender Equity Young Women’s Assembly. I joined a panel discussing the ways young women can contribute through public service. I appreciate the Mayor supporting the young women of Los Angeles and that he is a partner in all efforts to ensure every young women can achieve her dreams and pursue any goal she may have in life.
Continuing our Women’s History Month theme, I joined City Attorney Mike Feuer at a special event in his office hosted by the City Attorney Women’s Association, honoring two of the outstanding women who work for the City Attorney’s office. City Attorney Feuer is an advocate for women and a real partner on every women’s initiative I have ever brought to the Council. It was a real honor to present Catrina Archuleta and Eva Farlow-Malbrough as the “Women of the Year” in the City Attorney’s Office.
We wrapped up Women’s History Month with our annual Pioneer Women Recognition. This annual recognition gives us the opportunity to go council district by council district and recognize outstanding pioneer women who have made lasting contributions to the City of Los Angeles. Although I lead this effort in the Council, each Councilmember picks a representative from his district to be recognized. In Council District 6 I recognized Evelyn Gomez, the Executive Director of DIY Girls. Evelyn leads DIY Girls, which increases girls’ interest and success in technology and engineering. She’s helping mentor our next generation of female tech leaders!
As I was beginning this presentation, I was humbled when Council President Herb Wesson surprised me with the announcement that the rest of the Council had named me the City Council’s first-ever Pioneer Woman of the Year because of my advocacy for women throughout our City during the last three and a half years that I’ve served as the only female elected official in the City of Los Angeles. It was an incredible honor, and I was deeply touched by the recognition. It was a pleasure to share the day with so many other inspiring Pioneer Women. Each of them inspires me deeply. We have such formidable women running every aspect of this City, and it is nice we recognize a few each year during this ceremony.