On April 20, 2016, the United States Government announced that Harriet Tubman, abolitionist and active Underground Railroad guide, will replace Andrew Jackson on the front of the twenty-dollar bill. If the decision is carried out, it will be the first time a woman is featured on federally distributed paper money since Martha Washington briefly graced the $1.00 silver certificate in the late 19th century, according to an April 21 New York Times article.
Born into slavery, Harriet Tubman fought against a slave overseer defending a friend. In the course of the confrontation, the overseer hit Tubman on the head with a rock, which left her permanently disabled. With a new outlook on life and a motto of 'liberty or death,' Tubman escaped slavery and made extraordinary contributions to the Abolitionist Movement, including serving as a Union spy during the Civil War.
Harriet Tubman's heroism didn't end at the close of the Civil War: Once finally prepared to settle down, the Union tried to deny her a soldier's retirement fund, according to Caille Millner's April 23rd column in the San Francisco Chronicle. Fighting for equality once again, Tubman challenged the Union military and secured a $20-per-month pension. Afterwards, she continued her fight for equal liberties as a strong and impassioned advocate for women's voting rights. She created a retirement home for indigent African-Americans. With so many accomplishments in equality, it's perfectly appropriate that Harriet Tubman be recognized on the face of our nation's currency.
The strength, courage, and determination of Tubman, a national heroine, are traits we all strive to emulate. To view such a role model each time we pay for our groceries is fitting. As president, I know that California Woman Lawyers supports this change. Other changes are planned, including depiction of women on the back of the $5 and $10 bills as well.
So, in closing, I think that putting a woman on the money is a great step for gender equality in this country. However, as the president California's only statewide women's bar association, I can't help but point out that it's also time to put women in the money as well. I'm just saying. Let me know your thoughts: firstname.lastname@example.org
Join Us on May 6th!
California Women Lawyer's 2016 Annual Conference
By Kelly Robbins
My goal for this year's Annual Conference on May 6 is for all of our attendees to leave with a new sense of leadership and empowerment as a woman lawyer. We have an excellent caliber of panelists and speakers to provide enthusiasm, encouragement, and tools to achieve your goals and to strive for greater success. This year's Annual Conference panels provide essential information, such as Closing the Gender Wage Gap, Pathways to Partnership, Women and Leadership, Personal Branding, and What In-House Counsel Really Want from Outside Counsel.
We'll start the day with our inspirational breakfast speaker Tamara Steele. An accomplished attorney, author, and executive, Ms. Steele is now a professional life coach, focusing on making major life transitions as smooth as possible for her clients. As the founder and CEO of Global Women's Coaching Connection, some of her many specialties include career repackaging, workplace conflict, and retirement assistance, along with family issues such as uncoupling and remixing.
As our luncheon keynote speaker, California Women Lawyers is extraordinarily honored to have Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley. District Attorney O'Malley (CWL president 2009-2010) is a trailblazing leader taking action to eradicate violence against women and people with disabilities, eliminate sexual assault, domestic violence, and human exploitation and trafficking, among other things. A strong defender of the rights of victims, and the first woman elected as Alameda County's District Attorney, we are incredibly grateful District Attorney O'Malley will be with us. Also, District Attorney O'Malley has achieved national recognition as a winner of the prestigious 2016 Margaret Brent award.
We are also very excited to have this year's Judith Soley Lawyer as Citizen Award Recipient, Pauline Weaver (CWL president 1987), to be honored at the Evening Reception for her extensive civil involvement and service in the state of California. For more details please go to www.cwl.org.
Meet Your CWL Board Member
Kate McGuinness, Co-Affiliate
Santa Barbara Women Lawyers
Where and what do you practice?
I work as a coach and consultant through my practice Empowered Women Coaching. I provide leadership, career and transition coaching as well as business consulting. My consulting practice focuses on branding, networking and business development. As a feminist, I work exclusively with women and share what I learned as a partner at O'Melveny & Myers and as the general counsel of the Times Mirror Company. My office is in Santa Barbara but much of my work is done over the phone or by Skype.
Tell us about your membership in CWL and the Board.
I am a member of the Board of Directors of Santa Barbara Women Lawyers and serve as an affiliate representative on the CWL Board. I will be a panelist on the Grit Project at the CWL annual conference on May 6 in Concord. When I started practicing law in 1977, I didn't make time for anything but my career and my marriage. Both were demanding, and only one survived! But as I matured, I came to see the value of associating with other women and drawing strength from their support and their wisdom. I am now a member of both California Women Lawyers and the National Association of Women Lawyers. Each offers excellent programs. However, CWL is better able to monitor and influence proposed legislation in California. It is also better situated to focus on the courts and administrative bodies where its members practice.
What do you enjoy most about being on the CWL Board?
I recently attended my first CWL Board meeting. It was a delight spending a day with bright, thoughtful women from different corners of California and a variety of practice areas. I felt like I was with my tribe. There is something special about being in a group of women working together to achieve a common goal. Even though I was a newcomer, I felt an immediate sense of camaraderie.
Tell us something interesting and new about yourself.
The National Association of Women Lawyers has chosen my legal thriller, Terminal Ambition, A Maggie Mahoney Novel, as its August book club selection. The novel centers on a female partner's campaign to stop the sexual harassment and discrimination suffered by the women at her Big Law firm. Her efforts threaten the firm chairman's attempts to be named U.S. Attorney General. Only one can win. Blackmail, wiretapping, rape, and attempted murder up the stakes as the pitched battle plays out to its shocking finish.
The National Association of Women Judges and California Women Lawyers Present
May 20, 2016
11:15 - 12:00 p.m. Registration and Refreshments
12:00 - 4:30 p.m. Program and Late Lunch
Milton Marks Conference Center
455 Golden Gate Avenue
San Francisco, CA
Featuring: Josh Groban
Governor Brown's Senior Advisor for Judicial Appointments
Other Guest Speakers Include:
Judge Danielle Douglas, Contra Costa County Superior Court
David Fu, Vice Chair, State Bar Judicial Nominees Evaluation Commission
Judge Eric Geffon, Santa Clara County Superior Court
Judge Stephen Freccero, Marin County Superior Court
Judge Roberta Hayashi, Santa Clara County Superior Court
Lara Krieger, Former Chair, State Bar Judicial Nominees Evaluation Commission
Judge Sunil Kulkarni, Santa Clara County Superior Court
Judge Elizabeth Lee, San Mateo County Superior Court
Judge Beth McGowen, Santa Clara County Superior Court
Judge Anita Santos, Contra Costa County Superior Court
Judge Andrew Steckler, Alameda County Superior Court
Justice Therese Stewart, First District Court of Appeal
Judge Helen Williams, Santa Clara County Superior Court
Alameda County Bar Association, Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area, Asian American Prosecutors Association, Asian Pacific Bar Association of Silicon Valley, Bar Association of San Francisco, Black Women Lawyers of Los Angeles, Contra Costa County Bar Association, Filipino Bar Association of Northern California, Lawyers Club of San Diego, Marin County Bar Association, Orange County Women Lawyers Association, Queen's Bench Bar Association, Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, Women Lawyers of Alameda County
Judge Lee Emphasizes Need to Fight Human Trafficking
California Women Lawyers (CWL) proudly awarded Judge Elizabeth K. Lee the Rose Bird Award on April 8, 2016, in part, because of her impressive leadership and accomplishments in fighting against Human Trafficking. At the award ceremony, Judge Lee spoke about the roots, causes and consequences of Human Trafficking, or what is often referred to as the "Modern Day Slavery," and what we can all do to stop it.
Judge Lee began prosecuting the perpetrators of Human Trafficking as an Assistant U.S. Attorney decades ago. She intensified that focus as Deputy Chief of its Organized Crime Strike Force for the Northern District of California. After her 2005 appointment as the San Mateo Superior Court's first Asian Woman Judge, she earned respect from not only her colleagues on the Bench and members of the Bar litigating before her but also from juveniles and defendants appearing before her. In 2014, she co-authored the Ethics Chapter of the "Guide to Human Trafficking for State Courts" published by the National Association for Court Management, the State Justice Institute and the State Courts collaborative, a guide which can be found online at http://www.htcourts.org/guide-chapter1.htm. Last year, she became Chair of the National Association of Women Judges Human Trafficking Committee.
Judge Lee emphasized to us all the importance she learned firsthand of recognizing the magnitude and far-reaching impact of Human Trafficking. She reminded us all of how the victims are far too often mistakenly perceived as instigators of property crimes they are forced to commit. She underscored the especially pressing need to recognize, help, and provide alternatives to the most youthful victims as early as possible. A shockingly large amount of victims are very young teenage girls. Most endure abusive and violent family origins. Judge Lee urged us all to join in helping advance throughout our communities the real progress that she and others have achieved in updating the resources and training of the Juvenile and Criminal Courts.
SAVE THE DATE
California Women Lawyers' award winning
Elect to Run
A program to educate and encourage women to run for public office. Meet other women who have run for office, and get all the information you need to decide whether you want to run.
September 9, 2016
1:00 pm to 7:30 pm
Location: Nixon Peabody
300 South Grand Avenue, Ste. 4100
Los Angeles, CA
On April 9, 2016, the Orange County Women Lawyers Association held its annual Women Judges Reception. This event recognizes the local women judicial officers and the male judicial officers who support them. It is also an opportunity for members of the legal community to network with judicial officers. Over 75 guests attended the event at Whittier Law School in Costa Mesa, California.
As a CWL governor representing Los Angeles, I wanted to share news about the status of women in Los Angeles. To date, the income gap between men and women in Los Angeles County increases as the level of education increases, according to a report by the United Way released on April 25, 2016. For example, in Los Angeles County, while the income gap between male and female incomes is $6,000 for those with less than a high-school education, it increases to $21,000 for those with postgraduate degrees, according to United Way.
Another key finding is that approximately half of the women in Los Angeles County are Latinas. And 60% of women in Los Angeles County are single. While this may bode well for empowerment of women running their own households, it is also worrisome because single women are at risk for lower household incomes, according to the United Way. Female heads of families with less that a high school education have a poverty rate of 46%, compared to just 10% of female college graduates. On its face, this news should prompt women in Los Angeles to fight for equality. A college education should do more than keep women out of poverty: It should place them on an equal economic playing field with men.
The report reviewed trends in education, economics, health, and housing among five million female residents in Los Angeles County's 33 cities and unincorporated areas. A copy of the report can be found here.