This past week CALCASA members had the unique opportunity to bring their united voices to their elected officials during Legislative Action Day. Over 85 Executive Directors and staff of CALCASA member agencies participated in Legislative Action Day, visiting 80 Assembly Members and 40 State Senators on Tuesday, March 6. Over the course of their visits, members discussed three key pieces of CALCASA’s 2012 Legislative Agenda, focusing their discussion on the ways in which Assembly Members and Senators could support the needs of both rape crisis centers and sexual assault survivors across the state. These face-to-face meetings allowed members to connect with the elected officials who drive the policies that shape daily direct services throughout the state, impacting the scope and breadth of our work in ending sexual violence and supporting survivors. Members discussed the current funding climate, both within the state and on a national level, as well as two pieces of legislation that would increase a district attorney’s ability to prosecute rape cases and would protect sexually exploited minors from being charged as criminals, instead providing them with social services and resources.

This year we were pleased to honor Asm. Paul Fong with the CALCASA Leadership Award (pictured above with Leandra Peloquin, Director of the Rape Crisis Center at the YWCA of Silicon Valley). Asm Fong has long been a champion of CALCASA supported legislation, voting in favor of all three key legislative issues in 2011 and carrying the first ever Campus Safety Month Proclamation. Asm. Fong continues to support CALCASA legislation and sexual violence survivors throughout the state by, again in 2012, carrying the Campus Safety Month resolution, reinstating March as a month where we bring attention to and celebrate the successes of prevention and intervention efforts on college campuses throughout California.
We appreciate the efforts of all of our members who attended Legislative Action Day as well as those who work throughout the legislative session to write letters, make phone calls, and visit their representatives in their districts. All of these actions combined reflect the unified voice of California’s rape crisis centers, strengthening our individual and collective efforts to end sexual violence in California.