|Governor Jerry Brown and moi|
The Rosie Trust informed us that Governor Jerry Brown -- with about two days notice -- would be signing the Fair Pay Act on our park site on Tuesday. The setting was the magnificent cathedral-like Craneway of the historic Ford Assembly Plant. What a scramble! This meant that the governor and his staff would be touring our Visitor Education Center for the first time, and that the women of the California State Legislature -- both Assembly and Senate -- would be descending upon us for the ceremonial signing of the strongest equal pay statute in the nation.
It was a glorious day in every way. Weather could hardly have been more pleasant -- and if we don't get some unpleasant weather soon to end the drought -- the State will be in serious trouble.
It was a day of reunions with those with whom I shared a political life as a field representative over past years prior to my joining the National Park Service; former Assemblywoman Dion Aroner who was my employer at the time that the legislation forming the park was introduced by now-retired Rep. George Miller and enacted with the support of our Senators Boxer and Feinstein. And, of course, in the audience was another dear friend and our current City of Richmond mayor, Tom Butt.
|with Mayor Tom But and Dion Aroner|
The bill was authored by Senator Hannah Beth Jackson of Santa Barbara and was a great victory for feminists everywhere. Her bill is the strongest bill of any put forth in the nation, and will be hailed as a huge step toward full equality for women as other states move to adopt similar measures. How appropriate it was that the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical park would be chosen as the place where this bill should be signed!
What a time to be alive and a part of the women's movement! I was a late-comer to the cause of feminism, but maybe that's not as important as the fact that -- over time -- I've been able to rise above my race to the gender issues that I share with the rest of those who help to hold up our half of the sky.
... and what a great way to enter the beginning of my 94th year.