“State Sen. Sharon Runner, a longtime legislator who championed a sweeping law that targeted sex offenders and then battled back into political life after failing health, died Thursday…
Assembly Republican leader Chad Mayes (R-Yucca Valley) called Runner a “champion for California’s children” on Thursday, noting that she authored legislation to expand charter schools, help families adopt, and improve the lives of foster kids…
The Runners were instrumental in the drafting and passage of “Jessica’s Law” in 2006, a ballot measure that required sex offenders to be monitored with GPS devices and placed rules on how close they could live to schools and parks where children gather.”
Source: “State Sen. Sharon Runner, longtime Republican lawmaker, dies at 62” in the Los Angeles Times (7/30/2016)
“Marian Bergeson, a longtime education advocate who served Orange County for decades as one of its most prominent politicians and became a trailblazer as the first woman to win seats in both the state Assembly and Senate, died Wednesday. She was 90…
Throughout California, Bergeson was known as a trailblazer for female politicians, initiating a wave of women successfully running for public office. Today, nearly four decades after she was first elected to the state Assembly, three of the county’s seven congressional delegates are female, as are two of its five state senators and two of its five county supervisors.”
Source: “Marian Bergeson, pioneering politician, dies at 90” in the Orange County Register (7/6/2016)
Since 1918 when the first women were elected to the California Legislature, only 153 women have been elected to serve in these halls.
Women In California Politics was born at a Legislative women’s alumni dinner. As one of the alumni talked about her time in office, I pulled out my iPhone and started videotaping her.
“It wasn’t until two weeks after the farmer and accountant filed her papers that she learned there had never been a female state senator in California. Of the four women running in state Senate races that year, the no-nonsense, schoolmarmish Vuich was the one pols thought was least likely to win. But the other three women lost while Vuich squeaked to victory, defeating a Republican assemblyman from Fresno who had better name recognition and outspent her 2 to 1.”
“I drove up in front of the Capitol building, and I just sat there a long time, looking up at the dome,” Vuich, then 50, said of the morning she arrived in Sacramento to be sworn in. “And then I took a deep breath and said to myself, ‘Well, old girl, here you are. Give it all you’ve got, because that’s what you promised the people back home.’ ”
Source: “Rose Ann Vuich; First Woman in the State Senate” by Elaine Woo in the Los Angeles Times (9/1/2001)