SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The California Legislature is generally regarded as a fairly progressive institution, but one group has been dropping steadily in representation for nearly a decade — women.
The number of women in the 120-member Legislature has fallen from a peak of 37 in 2006 to 32 this year. Groups that promote women running for public office are concerned the trend will continue this election year.
They also worry about how the drop-off will affect policy decisions.
Bettina Duval, president of CALIFORNIALIST, which has raised more than $1 million to support female candidates, fears women could lose three to five legislative seats this year. That would accelerate the gradual decline.
California ranked sixth in the nation in the percentage of women serving in the Legislature in 2004 but now ranks 19th.