State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson has not wasted a moment of her first term in Sacramento. During those four years, Governor Jerry Brown has signed Jackson’s landmark equal-pay-for-equal-work bill into law. The bill puts the onus on private employers to legally justify any gender-based wage discrepancy between employees doing similar work. On paper, it doesn’t sound like much, but in the real world, it moves the needle significantly. Likewise, on the issue of date rape and sexual violence, Jackson has been legislatively prolific, introducing and passing bills that redefine what’s considered legal consent to better protect the victimized in educational settings. One bill gives community colleges authority to discipline students for transgressions taking place off campus; another requires high school health classes to address issues of sexual consent.
In response to last year’s Plains All American Pipeline oil spill, Jackson held oversight committee hearings in Santa Barbara — where locals attempted to hold the pipeline company accountable — and passed a bill requiring the state to better utilize fishing fleets for emergency cleanup operations. Jackson works hard, is accessible, and never gives up, no matter how many times the governor vetoes her bills trying to regulate the intrusion of drones.