Capitol Alert

How many women hold public office in California? Not enough, new report says

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) on Feb. 21, 2017 in Los Angeles, Calif.
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) on Feb. 21, 2017 in Los Angeles, Calif. TNS

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff is the only woman leading one of California’s 10 largest cities.

That’s one of the facts in a new report from California Women Lead, that examines the representation of women currently serving in elected office. The report found that women continue to be underrepresented in public posts despite making up half of the statewide population.

“We need to do more to empower women to run for office to create a more representative portrait on our city councils and other elected bodies across the state,” wrote Rachel Michelin, executive director of California Women Lead, a non-profit association.

Only 31 percent of city council seats are held by women in the 482 cities across the state. On the upside, that’s 69 more women than two years ago, according to the report. There are 137 women mayors. About 25 percent of county supervisors are women.

Twenty-six women serve in the state Legislature, down from 31 in 2015-16. California currently has 119 state legislators with one vacancy.

State Controller Betty Yee is the only woman serving in the eight statewide constitutional offices. California voters have never elected a woman as governor.

Two women from California serve in the U.S. Senate, and 17 serve in Congress.

Taryn Luna: 916-326-5545, @TarynLuna

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