Tag Archives: California List

The Term Limit Dance: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Term limits continue to keep women legislators trotting one step forward and two steps back in the battle for equal representation. Facing the worst budget deficit in history, legislators returned to Sacramento yesterday.  It is times like these, when experience and institutional knowledge play an important role in negotiations to make sure that the budget is fair and responsible.

Unfortunately, due to term limits, some of our most seasoned legislators will be leaving office at the end of this year. In November 34 tested legislators will be leaving office on both sides of the partisan fence.  It is during our uncertain economic future when decisions are being made that affect all Californians, we become acutely aware of the importance that experienced leadership can bring.  With a two-thirds majority mandate required to pass a budget, those years of experience at persuasion and consensus-building are indispensable.

In February, CALIFORNIA LIST held some moderated focus groups to better understand the perspectives of women when it comes to the importance of women in politics.  We found that there is a strong perception that female candidates and office holders will do a better job on the issues most important to them – in particular health care and education, two of the most contentious areas of the budget, but hugely important issues that affect all Californians.

As the founder of the CALIFORNIA LIST, I am concerned with the declining number of women in Sacramento.  The term limits that have dwindled our Assemblywomen since 1992 make it likely that its ranks will lose as many as five women again this election cycle. This is indeed a disheartening downward spiral.

When we look at the women we are losing in this year we will have a tremendous loss of experience and leadership. These are knowledgeable women who have moved up the through the political pipeline to make a difference for future generations. And still mandated term limits continue to erode the foundation of our qualified women legislators.

On August 13th we will gather in our state capital to celebrate the tireless service of the following women who have impacted California during their tenure in the state legislature. If you would like to attend, click here for more information.

**Senator Sheila Kuehl, author of 171 bills that have been signed into law, including legislation to establish paid family leave.

**Senator Migden, author of laws to create California’s domestic partner registry and the DNA database to take rapists off the streets.

** Assemblymember Berg authored legislation to allow more seniors to stay safely in their own homes.

** Assemblymember Karnette who authored significant education reform and helped to enact the Amber Alert to rescue abducted children.

**Assemblymember Sally Lieber and Speaker pro Tempore is well-known for authoring laws to increase California’s minimum wage and laws to reduce air pollution.

**Assemblymember Nicole Parra passed legislation that makes it easier for prosecutors to prove implied malice for DUI offenses that result in a fatality.

** Assemblymember Soto has a legislative record showing her strong support for the working class including legislation that increased workers’ compensation benefits.

Double Double Talk Talk

It seems the Bush administration has developed an exit strategy — unfortunately the target is right here on our home soil.  The still-in-office Bush administration is trying to kill two birds with one stone, and those birds are named Health Care and Reproductive Rights.

It is proposing a complicatedly worded (the main clause has a triple negative) rule.  It would demand that any organization or institution that receives federal aid from the Department of Health and Human Services will not be eligible for aid unless it signs a written certification saying that it will not refuse to hire providers, doctors or nurses that refuse to provide abortion and even many forms of contraception.  

This means that hospitals would have to consider hiring people who will deny the full range of choices available to women or they will be denied federal aid. Furthermore, state and local governments will not be allowed to deny grants to hospitals and clinics if they refuse to provide abortion and many forms of oral contraception.

To use their kind of language, this isn’t not bad for women.

It never ceases to amaze me that those without the gift of reproduction, like President Bush, are endlessly trying to regulate those who can.  This is the key reason why electing women matters – women legislators are historically champions for the issues that concern women most.  In fact, nationally statistics show that the majority of women favor some degree of choice over their reproductive rights. Roe v. Wade is the cornerstone that makes that possible. 


Experienced legislative stonecutters know full well that once voters allow the small chipping away at that foundation, it won’t be long before the whole thing is a pile of rubble. You don’t need a magnifying glass to see this is just another veiled attempt to weaken laws protecting our reproductive rights.  Consequently, equal representation for women is not born of the desire to merely level the playing field, it is essential to protecting the rights of the feminine sensibility.


We at the CALIFORNIA LIST understand that women legislators are the backbone for feminine liberties.  This is why the decline of elected women here in California is so disheartening.  Women in the California legislature peaked during the 1996 to 2000 electoral cycle with a total of 46 women in both the Senate and Assembly.  Today there are only 28 Democratic women and come November we stand to lose another 2 or 3 women due to term limits.


We must reverse this slow decline, so that women can have a stronger voice in our legislative process. 


Bettina Duval is the Founder of CALIFORNIA LIST.  Visit their official site or join them on Facebook  and MySpace.

Ending Up In a Hot Seat

A progressive Democrat winning an election in a traditionally conservative district is no easy task.  Apparently no one gave that memo to Maryland’s newly elected Congressional representative Donna Edwards.  Edwards was sworn into Congress on June 17th making her the first African American Congresswoman in Maryland’s history.  Edwards took the February primary victory over 8 term incumbent Albert Wynn where she outsourced him in both fundraising ability and ballot votes by nearly 3 to 1.  Edwards’ unprecedented triumph caused Congressman Wynn to resign his seat early thereby sending Edwards to a special election run off to fill Wynn’s seat for the remainder of his term.  

Fueled by the heat of a tough primary, Edwards eased a comfortable 60% win over her Republican challenger Peter James. A very impressive and formidable coup for a candidate taking on anti-war and progressive issues that conventional wisdom labeled as out of touch with her district.  We at the CALIFORNIA LIST say “Brava” to Congresswoman Edwards.  Her victory is proof that flipping a known party seat is possible.  This is indeed inspiration for some of our supported candidates running in the November election here in California.

Two particularly hot seats in our election will certainly be Hannah-Beth Jackson candidate for Senate District 19 (Ventura, Los Angeles) and Joan Buchanan candidate for Assembly District 15 (Danville, Oakley).  Jackson faces a tough race against Republican Tony Strickland.  Traditionally a Republican stronghold the seat is up for grabs as Senator Tom McClintock vacates due to term limits.  A win here for Jackson could possibly change the balance of power against the Republicans in the Senate.  Another swing seat is in Assembly District 15 where termed-out Republican Guy Houston steps down.  If Joan Buchanan is victorious it would mean an additional party gain for the Democrats in the State Assembly.

Congresswoman Edwards’ success shows the importance of early and consistent funding support to get the message out.  Both Jackson and Buchanan need your contributions and votes to make a successful bid for their elections.  Please visit the CALIFORNIA LIST website (www.californialist.org) to learn more about the all of our supported candidates and consider the options for membership.  Join us today – your support can make a difference.

Slow Decline Of Women Legislators Continues

While the nation’s political attention has been focused on the Democratic presidential primary election, our Democratic women candidates here in California ran competitive campaigns in really difficult races AND won! However, yesterday’s primary was a bittersweet victory.

The pendulum is swinging away from the great strides we made in the early 90’s to even the playing field in the California legislature. Our dreams of equal representation for women are slowly declining. The trend seems to be that we lose two to three elected women legislators every election cycle. Despite yesterday’s victories, we could potentially lose more women legislators in November. Considering less than 28% of the California state seats are held by women, we must remain vigilant to maintain gender representation.

Congratulations to the candidates listed below for winning races that were among California’s most difficult and most important! We also congratulate all the Democratic women candidates – up and down the ticket – who ran outstanding campaigns! We appreciate all that you have done for Democrats and for women.

Lois Wolk (SD 5, Stockton, Yolo)

Loni Hancock (SD 9, Alameda, Oakland)

Hannah-Beth Jackson (SD 19, Santa Barbara)

Carol Liu (SD 21, Burbank)

Fran Pavley (SD 23, West Los Angeles, Santa Monica)

Mariko Yamada (AD 8, Yolo County)

Alyson Huber (AD 10, Sacramento, El Dorado)

Nancy Skinner (AD 14, Berkeley)

Joan Buchanan (AD 15, Oakland, East Bay)

Fran Florez (AD 30, Fresno, Kern)

Ferial Masry (AD 37, Thousand Oaks)

Bonnie Lowenthal (AD 54, Long Beach)

Diane Singer (AD 60, Orange, San Bernardino)

Norma Torres (AD 61, Pomona, Montclair)

Judy Jones (AD 73, Orange County, North San Diego)

Congratulations to the following incumbents!

Elaine Alquist (SD13, Santa Clarita)

Christine Kehoe (SD 39, San Diego)

Noreen Evans (AD 7, Napa)

Fiona Ma (AD 12, San Francisco)

Cathleen Galgiani (AD 17, Stockton)

Mary Hayashi (AD 18, Oakland)

Anna Caballero (AD 28, Salinas, Monterey County)

Julia Brownley (AD 41, Santa Monica)

Karen Bass (AD 47, Los Angeles)

Wilmer Amina Carter (AD 62, San Bernardino, Fontana)

Lori Saldana (AD 76, San Diego)

Mary Salas (AD 79, San Diego)

Thank you to all our members, donors and supporters. We successfully supported Democratic women candidates throughout California. We continue to make a difference, thanks to your continued support.

CALIFORNIA LIST believes that electing women legislators is important. The women we help elect are the women who will march into Sacramento as champions for universal health care, better education and as protectors of our natural resources. These women are mothers, wives and workers who understand the issues their fellow women face in both the home and employment arenas. This is why electing women matters and maintaining a sustainable pipeline of women moving up the ladder of elected offices is the only way to ensure enough women representatives will be seated.

CALIFORNIA LIST works to help identify strong women candidates to fill the pipeline and actively supports candidates with training, public relations and campaign finance. Our local elections feed seasoned women into the state pipeline and each election cycle we are losing an average of two women electeds. California is suffering a famine of women who can run and win.

We need your help to increase the pipeline and reverse the decline of women electeds. Visit our website at www.californialist.org to learn more about the benefits of CALIFORNIA LIST membership or to renew your membership. Your membership can make a difference -join us today!

Bettina Duval is the founder of the CALIFORNIA LIST, a political fundraising network that helps elect Democratic women to all branches of California state government.

Reverse the Decline!

As the June 3rd primary approaches, it is vital that we as voters take stock of the tremendous decline in our elected women here in California.  In 2008, ten female legislators, 7 Democrats and 3 Republicans, will be lost due to term limits. This could seriously affect our pool of elected women which is already less than 1/3 of the total California legislature.  

Living in a progressive state like California we tend to think that we have a large contingent of female elected legislators because over half of our congressional delegation is female and we have two women who are United States Senators.  In our state legislature this is not reality. There are 33 women legislators in the California state legislature (27 Democrats and 6 Republicans).

The mission of the CALIFORNIA LIST is to provide financial and strategic support to progressive Democratic women running for seats in the California state government. Women who are committed to core state issues like better public education, access to health care and the search for alternative fuel sources.

Each election cycle, CALIFORNIA LIST endorses Democratic women running in contested primaries and new candidates. Through a committee process we have vetted our endorsed women candidates with personal interviews and a thorough examination of their record of experience to be those who will support the mission of CALIFORNIA LIST, to work with those committed values, and to make changes that will make a difference.

This is a practical way to build the pipeline – and these are the women we should elect to reverse the decline in the number of women legislators in Sacramento.  Many of these legislators will also become our next Congressperson, Senator, Speaker of the House or even President.  But right now we have to make sure there is a pipeline of women ready to run for higher office.

Help us reverse the decline in women legislators by supporting them with your contributions and your votes!

Carole Migden
Senate District 3
Lois Wolk
Senate District 5
Wilma Chan
Senate District 9
Loni Hancock
Senate District 9
Hannah-Beth Jackson
Senate District 19
Carol Liu
Senate District 21
Fran Pavley
Senate District 23
Mariko Yamada
Assembly District 8
Alyson Huber
Assembly District 10
Nancy Skinner
Assembly District 14
Joan Buchanan
Assembly District 15
Gina Papan
Assembly District 19
Anna Song
Assembly District 22
Fran Florez
Assembly District 30
Laurette Healey
Assembly District 40
Linda Harris-Forster
Assembly District 52
Norma Torres
Assembly District 61

In addition to the candidates listed above, the women we have endorsed over the years run for re-election. Assembly candidates run for re-election every two years. We are proud to have supported the Assemblywomen listed below early in their first campaigns, and ask you to continue supporting them in their re-election campaigns.

Elaine Alquist
Senate District 13
Christine Kehoe
Senate District 39
Noreen Evans
Assembly District 7
Fiona Ma
Assembly District 12
Cathleen Galgiani
Assembly District 17
Mary Hayashi
Assembly District 18
Anna Caballero
Assembly District 28
Julia Brownley
Assembly District 41
Karen Bass
Assembly District 47
Wilmer Amina Carter
Assembly District 62
Lori Saldana
Assembly District 76
Mary Salas
Assembly District 79

We are working hard to help elect our endorsed candidates and we need your support! Please consider giving a donation of $25, $50, $100 or more to at least 2 of the above candidates and help them WIN!

Visit our website to send in your donation to CALIFORNIA LIST or donate to any of our endorsed candidates. Our new online system is easy, quick, and secure.

Bettina Duval is the founder of the California List, a political fundraising network that helps elect Democratic women to all branches of California state government.

Meet Linda Harris-Forster — AD-52

As the founder of the CALIFORNIA LIST helping women get elected is my mission and my privilege. I’m always on the look out for that special candidate who believes in her community, sees what needs to be done, and sets her mind to getting things done in the California legislature.  About a year ago, I received a call from one of my members inviting me to meet Linda Harris-Forster.  Linda is running for State Assembly in District 52 that includes the cities of Compton and Paramount.  I knew that this was a tough race as there are 4 Democratic women vying for this seat, but I also knew District 52 covered one of the toughest areas of Los Angeles.

Los Angeles is the only major city that has yet to renovate its public housing projects.  Crime, drugs and gangs are on the forefront and this is a District in need of dedicated leadership that can address those difficult problems facing the people in this District.  From the moment I meet her, I knew Linda Harris-Forster was the perfect candidate.

Linda grew up in District 52 in Watts and she is one candidate who can truly boast a grassroots campaign. Her experiences as a young woman have bestowed her with empathy for the struggles of the residents living in her District. Linda possesses a compassion and drive born of personal connection to her community. Linda is the daughter of renowned community activist “Sweet” Alice Harris. She and four of her sisters worked hand in hand to help their mother found the Parents of Watts Working with Youth and Adults Multi-Purpose Community Crisis Center in the early eighties. After graduating college, Linda served as the Director for the Diane Feinstein Home for Young Mothers located in Watts.  This was a residential facility for pregnant young adults who were homeless.

Initially when CALIFORNIA LIST looked at her race, she seemed like the underdog. There were rumors of backroom deals and favors being shuffled under the table. However, at the moment her campaign is the best organized and she is consistently raising more money that all the other candidates.

Linda is living proof that a grassroots campaign is viable.  No one knows this better than Linda. “I was at an event and a man came up to me and said, your mom bought me a new pair of shoes.  I’m going to help you win!”  Her candidacy is fueled by the spirit of those helped by her family and that support has proved to be potent.

CALIFORNIA LIST is proud to include Linda Harris-Forster as one of our endorsed candidates for the June 3rd California primary.  I urge you to visit the CALIFORNIA LIST website and please donate to her campaign or one of the other candidates highlighted on our candidate page.  A win for Linda is a win for Assembly District 52.

Bettina Duval is the founder of the California List, a political fundraising network that helps elect Democratic women to all branches of California state government.


Jackie Speier’s election yesterday to the House of Representatives shows the importance of building a pipeline of qualified women working their way up the ladder of elected office. We are excited to extend warm congratulations to newly elected congressional incumbent Jackie Speier.  Jackie won the California Congressional 12th District seat running away with 78% of the vote in the special election held yesterday. Her win shows the overwhelming importance of creating a sustainable pipeline of women candidates moving up the steps of the political hierarchy.

Jackie Speier began her career as an aid to Congressman Jack Ryan followed by her election to the San Mateo Board of Supervisors. She has served nearly two decades in the California legislature, starting as an Assemblymember and then as a State Senator.  Her impressive record includes more than 300 pieces of legislation signed into law by both Democratic and Republican Governors. She has authored groundbreaking legislation in privacy and consumer protection, child welfare, and healthcare. Jackie has been very active in women’s health. Among her many accomplishments was a bill signed into law requiring health plans to cover the cost of contraception and osteoporosis screening while banning maternity surcharges. She also advocated a bill giving women the right to choose her own OB/GYN physician.  Jackie Speier wrote legislation that created a “check-off” box on California State tax forms enabling taxpayers to direct money specifically to Breast Cancer Research.

Even with her success, the number of elected women still remains a faint shadow in comparison to the number of elected men.  With a mere 71 woman elected to Congress out of a total 435 seats, men continue to hold an 83% majority.  In California women legislators have dropped to just 28% of statewide elected state senate and assembly offices over the last 2 election cycles.  Even though California is slightly above the current national 23% average, women electeds here have a long way to go before they reach a level of equality.

CALIFORNIA LIST believes that electing women matters.  Women like Jackie Speier bring a different perspective to our political process as is demonstrated by her legislative achievements.

CALIFORNIA LIST continues to build a pipeline to the future. We remain dedicated to helping women get elected and reverse the decline in the number of elected women.   Please visit our website, and meet our candidates.

Congratulations, Jackie!

Bettina Duval is the founder of the California List, a political fundraising network that helps elect Democratic women to all branches of California state government.

Why Are Women A Declining Resource in California Politics?

When did it become politically incorrect for women candidates to be passionate about running for public office?  As I sit here reading the events surrounding the resignation of the Obama campaign’s foreign policy advisor, Samantha Power, I can’t help but feel this strikes yet another blow for fight for equal representation for women.  Yes, Ms. Power’s remarks crossed a political boundary, but even more disturbing is her reasoning for using the word she did.  Ms. Power twisted Senator Clinton’s passion, drive, ambition and commitment to her presidential bid with a negative spin comparable to that of little children on a playground.  Is this typical of how the average woman views female candidates?  

Unfortunately, I am finding through my work as Founder of the CALIFORNIA LIST that Ms. Power is not the exception to the rule.  Women elected officials are in decline in California and female candidates are becoming more and more a tough sell – even to their fellow women.  Why?  Recent focus groups of women voters moderated by pollsters at Fairbank, Maslin, and Maullin found that those traits that make a woman inherently feminine are sometimes the biggest obstacles.  Women candidates who are passionate about the issues are instantly labeled in the media as emotional or wimpy and those who are too restrained are cold and un-nurturing.

I don’t know about you, but compassion and strength are high on my list of must haves for those I want representing me.   After all, insatiable passion has been the catalyst to some of American’s greatest heroines.  Cady Elizabeth Stanton’s passion for equality drove her to spearhead the American women’s movement securing a women’s right to right.  Rosa Parks’ passion against racial inequality drove her to sit in the “white section” of that Alabama bus.  Passion is essential and ambition is the breeding ground for all positive change. Research indicates that women electeds consistently champion those issues women voters number as a top priority such as education, health care, the environment, and reproductive choice.  It follows that women need to equal the playing field in the male dominated political arena to have our voices heard.  Electing women matters and supporting viable women candidates give that us the voices that represent our choices.

The mission of the CALIFORNIA LIST is to augment the pipeline of Democratic women candidates and elected officials in statewide offices. Our goal is to create a future generation of progressive female leaders while strengthening the bond between informed voters, statewide representatives, and political activists in California.  Visit our website and let us know why you think women are a declining resource in the California political landscape.

Bettina Duval is the founder of the California List, a political fundraising network that helps elect Democratic women to all branches of California state government.

A Lesson From California

Perhaps the rest of the country should take a lesson from the California political arena.  While the national Democratic primaries continue to fight over the presidential nomination going to a woman or an African-American, we have solved that issue.  Last week our State Assembly elected District 47 Assemblywoman Karen Bass as Speaker of the Assembly, by a unanimous decision that crossed all racial, cultural and partisan lines.  Now that’s multiculturalism!

As the founder of the CALIFORNIA LIST, an organization dedicated to electing women to California state government, we know all too well that this is exactly the kind of diversity that is so vital to a living Democracy.

We are steadfast believers in diversity, especially when it comes to issues of gender. CALIFORNIA LIST is proud to have played a crucial role in the victories of candidates like Secretary of State Debra Bowen, Board of Equalization members Betty Yee and Board Chair Judy Chu, and now Speaker of the Assembly Karen Bass.

Yet, even in the triumph of these women, we recognize the number of women holding public office is in an enormous decline, falling further in this past election cycle to just 28% of all state elected offices. Women are becoming represented by women less frequently in politics and with the decline go the champions of issues women hold most dear – education, health care, environmental protection, and reproductive choice to name a few.

The CALIFORNIA LIST works to level the playing field for women because we know women affect those changes that make a difference.  We salute the success of Assemblywoman Karen Bass, a woman we helped elect, a woman who has built her political career one brick at a time on a solid foundation of initiating policies that are changing lives.  Her life has been filled with many accomplishments and now she can add one more; the first African American woman to be elected the Speaker of the California State Assembly.  Normally, one would think this an extraordinary feat for a first term assembly member, but Assemblywoman Bass is an extraordinary woman.

Working with a feminine understanding, Bass knows the importance of securing economic justice for women. Her legislative record includes supporting increased funding for child care programs, such as Head Start. Bass also supports domestic violence prevention programs, and tougher laws to protect victims.  Bass’ Select Committee on Foster Care was formed in November 2005. Since then, the committee has held public hearings with groups including foster children, relative caregivers, child welfare agencies and representatives from group homes.

In 2006, Bass along with then Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez, introduced groundbreaking legislation to revamp our state’s ailing foster care system.  Bass authored perhaps the most crucial bill AB 2216: Child Welfare Leadership and Performance Accountability Act.  AB2216 creates a structure for leadership and accountability for all who provide foster-care services by calling on the state to review ways to unify counties, courts and the state.

Assemblywoman Bass has forever etched her name in the political annals of California, but fortunately she is not a feminine anomaly.  CALIFORNIA LIST is currently supporting 27 women candidates running in the 2008 election cycle for State Senate and Assembly seats who are spotlighted on our website. We congratulate Assemblywoman Bass and hope that her example will inspire future generations of women who aspire to make a difference.

Bettina Duval is the founder of the California List, a political fundraising network that helps elect Democratic women to all branches of California state government.

Women Voters Dominating at the Polls

First Iowa . . . then New Hampshire . . . and once again in Nevada!  Women voters are dominating at the polls!!!

In all three contests the percentage of female to male voters was a consistent 60% to 40%.  The reality behind these percentages is even more significant because the number of total voters is also greater than ever before.  

Why is this happening?  It was former Speaker of the House, Tip O’Neil who said, “All politics are local.”  Local issues are often about education, health care, child care – issues which resonate most strongly with women.   Our individual experiences define our needs and our dreams and in turn our needs and dreams mold our opinions.  Women are voting in greater numbers in this primary because there is a woman running for president.  

The “near death” experience in Iowa did several things. One is that it raised the possibility of NO HILLARY. Up until that time, the thought that Hillary Clinton wouldn’t at least be a contender until the very end was unthinkable. But 3rd in Iowa made her candidacy look like it could fail. Then, instead of shooting at her flaws, woman had to consider the alternatives.  The alternatives were not just Barack Obama or John Edwards, but the alternative of no Hillary Clinton.

So, suddenly, a whole segment of the electorate — i.e. women — had to decide if they were really for Hillary or not.  Many have decided that they are not supporting Hillary Clinton. Many women are for Hillary Clinton. It was, in my opinion, personal.

It sounds so cliquish to assert that women are voting for Hillary because she is a woman.  It might seem socially and politically incorrect, but if you are a woman it isn’t a cliché, that is your reality.  The cliques are reality.  Women are still paid less than a man for the same job.  Women are still underrepresented in government. It’s even worse for women of ethnic minorities.

I was raised during the 1960’s by a single mom who was a teacher.   I clearly remember purchasing our first house . . . and that my grandfather had to co-sign the loan documents.  Just 35 years ago, in California, a woman could not get credit without a male cosigner.  By law, her husband had management and control over their community property.  Experiences like that have shaped my life and motivated me to continue to support women running for office.  A woman’s point of view is essential to the political future of our country.  I am reminded constantly that women’s rights, beginning with the right to participate, are born of struggle, not of privilege.  It is a struggle which is truly just beginning, a struggle critical to the future.

Today we have a woman running for president.  My how things seem to have changed!  With the passing of the Equal Opportunity Act in 1974, women began to claim their place in business and politics.  So called “girl power” and other ideas about feminism were all the rage throughout the eighties and nineties.  But gender politics still exist today, just in a different form.  We have been thrust into a new paradox – bringing women and their point of view into the process, but “dressing” it in a grey pinstriped suit.  The alienation of femininity, and the isolation  from “all things female” that we embraced in an effort to fit into a system created by men and for men was, in some ways, a deal made with the devil.

As I write this, I am at a volleyball tournament for my 14-year old daughter.  I’m surrounded by at least a hundred 14-year old girls. As I look around I can’t help but wonder what experiences will shape their political voice – will it be Hillary Clinton’s run for president or America’s Next Top Model?  I don’t know the answer, but just having Hillary Clinton as a candidate can only help today’s young women at least believe that they can be president themselves.  

Bettina Duval is the founder of the California List, a political fundraising network that helps elect Democratic women to all branches of California state government.