Close the gap CA Celebrates 5 Year Anniversary as More Women Join State Legislature

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Close the gap CA (ctgCA), a campaign to recruit progressive women to run for the California Legislature, turns five this month. “In our first five years, we have stopped the slide—after over a decade in sharp decline, the number of women serving in the Legislature is now climbing decisively,” said Executive Director Susannah Delano. She added, “in our next 10 years, we are committed to a full campaign for gender parity. California can and should lead the nation with a representative state legislature.”

Assemblymember Luz Rivas, a ctgCA recruit who was sworn in to office Monday after winning the special election to serve in Assembly District 39, said “close the gap CA’s guidance and strategic insight were instrumental in my decision to run, and I look forward to celebrating with them as more accomplished women join me at the State Capitol.”

Rivas is just the latest progressive woman to fill a seat formerly held by a man in one of ctgCA’s targeted districts this year: January and April saw Hon. Wendy Carrillo (AD 51) and Hon. Sydney Kamlager-Dove (AD 54) sworn in, respectively. Women now comprise 25% of the Legislature, less than a year after it hit rock bottom at 21% women in 2017. With progressive women advancing to the November run-off in seven additional ctgCA target districts, 2018 could end with gender parity numbers approaching their highest ever in California history: 31% women.

In 6/7 targeted districts for November, a progressive woman will replace a male if successful—SD 12 (Anna Caballero), SD 14 (Melissa Hurtado), SD 22 (Susan Rubio), SD 24 (Maria Elena Durazo), AD 15 (Buffy Wicks, Jovanka Beckles), AD 76 (Tasha Boerner-Horvath, Elizabeth Warren).

Emily’s List’s Vice President of Campaigns Lucinda Guinn wished ctgCA a happy birthday, adding

“EMILY’s List applauds close the gap CA’s incredible targeted early work with future candidates, which helps ensure we can consider and support a diverse and competitive set of women candidates in election years.”

Diana Rodriguez, President of Latinas Lead said, “it’s not a coincidence that the number of Latinas serving in the CA State Legislature has skyrocketed after recent elections—close the gap CA is a key partner in ensuring that qualified women who truly look like California are prepared to compete for legislative seats. Happy birthday!”

Close the gap CA is a campaign to achieve gender parity in the State Legislature by 2028. After watching women drop to just 21% of the Assembly and Senate over the past decade, we decided to do something about it: we recruit progressive women to run. For more information, please visit