Feminist, Labor Activist Named to UC Board of Regents
Dolores Huerta, an icon of the feminist and labor movements, was appointed yesterday to a five-month term on the University of California Board of Regents. Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers Union (UFW) with Cesar Chavez, is famous for organizing with Chavez the grape boycotts in the 1960s that won the farm workers national support, and she was key in subsequent lettuce and Gallo wine boycotts in the 1970s. She is a Feminist Majority Foundation board member. "Dolores is a true leader for labor, Latino and women's rights," said FMF President Eleanor Smeal. "We are lucky to have such an inspiring and dedicated leader working with the feminist movement."
Huerta was appointed after a political flap between Gov. Gray Davis and state Senator Gloria Romero (D-Los Angeles). Romero had protested Davis' re-nomination of broadcast executive Norman Pattiz to a full 12-year term on the Board of Regents, arguing that Davis needed to appoint someone who reflected California's diversity. "You look at that list of regents, it's like a who's who of donors in California. It's like a who's who of wealthy white men in California," Romero told the LA Times. Romero told the Times that a vote for Pattiz would be "appropriate" in the future if Davis works to increase the diversity of the board.
Huerta is a founding board member of the Feminist Majority Foundation. She was inducted into the Women's Hall of Fame in 1993 and in 1998 was named one of three Ms. magazine "Women of the Year" as well as one of the Ladies Home Journal's "100 Most Important Women of the 20th Century." She was presented with the second annual Puffin/Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship last December.
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .