On Women’s Equality Day Eric Garcetti, the Mayor of Los Angeles, signed a progressive and inclusive executive directive to take a major step toward gender equity for the city and to be a model for other cities. As one of the first cities to pass (CEDAW), Garcetti announced Los Angeles “must be a model for its implementation.”
Garcetti’s executive directive states that good governance includes addressing the needs of all people, and coming up with gender-specific responses to the challenges of governing a city. Garcetti created a Gender Equity Coalition comprised of Gender Equity Liaisons, who are to be appointed by city department heads.
“Gender equity must permeate every level of City operations—as leaders, employers, and service providers,” the directive reads.
Each city department has until February 2016 to submit a Gender Equity Action Plan. City departments are also required to implement a strategy to address issues such as under-representation of women in certain work forces, equal pay, equal contracting opportunities for women-owned businesses, as well as aggregate and analyze data on sex and gender in the city and submit these data to the Office of the Mayor.
The progressive directive is the first of its kind, and has specific goals and criteria for populations that are considered “critical areas,” including transgender women, undocumented women, lesbian women, women of color, senior women, women living with HIV/AIDS, and young women and girls. The intersectional approach includes race, gender, ethnicity, age, class, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, health, marital status, religion, or sex assigned at birth.
“I was proud to stand with Mayor Garcetti as he signed this executive directive to make Los Angeles a model city in implementing CEDAW,” said Katherine Spillar, who as Executive Director of the Feminist Majority is based in Los Angeles. “This is historic, and I believe it will help all women in Los Angeles and hopefully encourage other city councils and Mayors to immediately pass CEDAW resolutions.”
The signing of this directive was timed not only with Women’s Equality Day, but also with the final installments of the city’s Report on the Status of Women and Girls, which were released on Wednesday. This five-part report focuses on Los Angeles demographics, opportunities for women in positions of leadership, the needs of women veterans, education and workforce development, and public safety for women.
Mayor Garcetti is also responsible for the largest anti-poverty effort in the city’s history, when he announced in May that the city would be moving to adopt a $15 per hour minimum wage by 2020.
Media Resources: Office of the Mayor Executive Directive 8/26/15; MyNewsLA.com 8/26/15; Feminist Newswire 5/21/15;