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New Mother Forced to Vote on Assembly Floor Rather Than Remotely


buffy wicks with baby
BUFFY WICKS (D-Oakland) holds her newborn in the Assembly past 11:30 p.m. this past Monday. Speaker Anthony Rendon denied her request to vote remotely. 


BY BRIAN HEWS • September 2, 2020

Lawmakers were incensed Tuesday that Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland) was forced to bring her newborn on the floor of the state Assembly after her request to vote remotely was denied.

Wicks gave birth to her daughter on July 26 and was on maternity leave.

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) said maternity leave was not considered a high-risk category, a decision that incensed fellow Democrats who took to social media to express their outrage.

“Barbaric,  people are so clueless and unwilling to adapt,” state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) said Tuesday.

A picture and video of Wicks with her newborn drew praise for the new mom, while bashing Rendon,  even Hillary Clinton commented on the situation.

Ironically the bill Wicks voted on would provide millions of employees who work for smaller businesses 12 weeks of job protections while taking family leave.

“It was beyond ironic that we are passing legislation that helps moms up and down the state and we have a mom who is there with a 1-month-old,” said state Sen. Connie Leyva (D-Chino).

Rendon tried to smooth his egregious mandate in a statement Tuesday night, I want to make a full apology to Assemblymember Wicks, my intention was never to be inconsiderate toward her, her role as a legislator, or her role as a mother. Inclusivity and electing more women in politics are core elements of our Democratic values. Nevertheless, I failed to make sure our process took into account the unique needs of our members. The Assembly needs to do better. I commit to doing better.”

Maria Estrada, who is challenging Rendon in the November election, told HMG-CN, “I was saddened and angry to hear Speaker Anthony Rendon failed to show basic consideration and common sense by not allowing Asm Buffy Wicks to have a proxy vote on her behalf. When a mother unnecessarily has to put herself and her newborn child at risk during a global pandemic,  we should all take pause and demand better from our representatives. The Speaker’s lack of empathy is why we do not have healthcare in California, why no meaningful legislation has been written or passed on his watch that would help mothers, children and families who need at the very least empathy from their elected officials. “


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