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Honorable Toni Atkins Takes Leadership of CA Senate

Close the gap CA sends hearty Congratulations to Senator Toni Atkins (San Diego), who this week assumes the key leadership role of California Senate President Pro Tempore. 
As the highest-ranking member of the CA Senate, Atkins will chair the powerful Senate Rules Committee, lead the Senate Democratic Caucus, and represent the Caucus in budget negotiations with the Governor, as part of the “Big Five.” The CA Senate elects a new “Pro Tem” every two years—Atkins was sworn in yesterday.
We know we’re in good hands.
Atkins is not only the first woman and first openly LGBTQ Senate President Pro Tem in California history.

  • Atkins is also only the third person in history to lead both the CA Assembly as Speaker, and the CA Senate as Pro Tem.
  • Atkins has served (briefly!) as both Acting Mayor of San Diego, and Acting Governor of California.
  • As Pro Tem, Atkins will prioritize addressing instances of sexual harassment at the Capitol.
  • Highlight: in 2013, Atkins authored historic AB 154 (Early Access to Abortion). Based on a 5-year pilot project with UCSF, Kaiser Permanente and Planned Parenthood that demonstrated resoundingly positive outcomes, AB 154 allowed advanced practice clinicians (more commonly women than physicians) to offer early abortion services, within the scope of their licenses.
  • This landmark bill contributed to California’s status as the gold standard for reproductive health care, and was the only expansion of reproductive health care access in a year when other states passed a wave of restrictions.

Literature, Leadership and Lunch celebrating women writers, leaders and thinkers.
Friday, March 23, 2018
Silicon Valley

close the gap CA is a statewide campaign to find talented, progressive women to run for open seats in the California legislature in 2018 and 2020. With focus and a targeted strategy, we can ‘close the gap’ and not just the gender gap. When we elect progressive women, we take steps to close the school funding gap, the access gap to affordable health and reproductive care, and the growing gap between the wealthy and those in poverty.