How Hannah-Beth Jackson Beat the Drum for Women’s Rights
Photo of Hannah-Beth Jackson by Paul Wellman
It was 11:56 p.m. on her final day of her final term in office — and things didn’t look good. “I had ’til midnight to get this bill passed, and I’d been working on it for years,” State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson says of her Paid Family Leave Act, aimed at protecting the jobs of folks who take leave to care for family. It had passed the Senate but needed 41 votes to clear the Assembly.
Fresh from a C-section, Rep. Buffy Wicks (D-Berkeley) showed up with her newborn to cast the 40th vote in favor. “We were running out of time,” Jackson recalls, “and I thought, We’re not gonna get there.”
And then (get this!) moderate Democrat Joaquin Arambula, who reps conservative Fresno and had publicly spoken out against the bill, voted in favor — tipping the ayes to 41.
A casual observer might call it luck. But anyone who’s followed Sen. Jackson’s career — her stint in the State Assembly from 1998 to 2004, and her two terms in the Senate, which officially ended Nov. 30 — knows it’s the result of the senator’s political mantra:
“Never ever, ever, ever, ever give up.”Continue reading Screw Hope. Trust Tenacity.