Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Judge Sunshine Sykes


The Honorable Judge Sunshine Sykes is the first Native American to be appointed as a Superior Court  Judge in Riverside County.  She subsequently got elected to that office.  That is quite a feat for someone raised on a Navajo Reservation.   She fortunately had a family of strong women to support her.  Judge Sykes gave a very inspiring speech to a large and totally attentive audience on Friday, February 12 at the Mayor’s Ceremonial Room in City Hall.

Campus Sexual Violence Data Raise Red Flags

untitledFor the first time this year campuses are now providing data on dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking in addition to rape statistics.   AAUW’s analysis of the 2014 data revealed the following.

Ninety-one percent of college campuses disclosed zero reported incidences of rape in 2014.              AND

Only about 10 percent of college campuses disclosed a reported incident of dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking in 2014.

These statistics are contrary to study after study which show that sexual harassment and violence are violence are all too prevalent in institutions of higher education.  One in five women is sexually assaulted during college, and more than one in five college women experiences physical abuse, sexual abuse, or threats of physical violence at the hands of an intimate partner.

With the 2014 statistics, it’s no wonder that students may not feel comfortable coming forward to report such crimes at some of these schools.  This should be a serious case for concern for any college or university.

On the other hand,  The 2014 numbers show that campuses that reported one type of sexual violence often disclosed reports of other types.  This suggests that some schools have built the necessary systems to welcome reports, support survivors, and disclose accurate statistics.

To read the full report, click



New California Equal Pay Law

imagesCalifornia became the state with the strongest equal pay protections in the nation on Tuesday after Governor Jerry Brown signed the California Fair Pay Act. The new law requires employers to pay workers equally for “substantially similar work” even if their titles or work sites are different. The law will also close loopholes that have made it difficult for employees to successfully sue over discriminatory pay. Employers will now be prohibited from retaliating against employees who discuss or ask about co-workers’ wages. AAUW California members were present for the signing of the bill at the Rosie the Riveter National Historic Park and were active during the legislative process. AAUW activists throughout California sent over 3,200 messages to their legislators urging the passage of the bill.

From the Social Security Trustees’ Report

untitledThe Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) trust fund is on the brink of depletion, and is projected to be exhausted in late 2016 – just over a year from today. Absent legislation, beneficiaries in that program would face an immediate 19 percent across-the-board benefit cut.

On a combined basis, or assuming reallocation or interfund borrowing, the Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) trust funds are projected to be exhausted in 2034. At that point, all beneficiaries would face an immediate 21 percent across-the-board benefit cut, which would grow to more than 27 percent by 2090.

Policymakers must act quickly to put Social Security on a path toward solvency. As time goes on, it will be more difficult to secure the Social Security programs for current and future generations with thoughtful changes instead of abrupt benefit cuts or tax increases.

Read more at this link (pdf).


California Raises Minimum Wage

Senator Mark Leno, Democrat, San Francisco

       Senator Mark Leno, Democrat, San Francisco

The state Senate on Monday passed a bill that would raise California’s $9 minimum wage to $11 an hour on Jan. 1 and boost it again to $13 in 2017.

Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) made the proposal out of concern that census figures show a quarter of the state’s 38 million residents live in poverty, he said.

“It is time that we make it illegal to pay sub-poverty wages in California,” Leno told his colleagues during a heated floor debate.

He said the wage increase would boost the economy because working families would be able to spend more money. “It’s going to be spent immediately to meet daily needs in our community,” he said.

The bill passed 23 to 15, on a largely party-line vote.

And yesterday, the Los Angeles City Council voted 18 to 1 to raise the minimum wage in the city to $15.00 an hour by 2020 in graduated raises.