Just weeks after introducing legislation to aid victims of domestic violence and sexual exploitation, Assemblymember Chris Holden continued his support for women by honoring two community-involved professionals as Women of the Year for the 41st Assembly District.
Holden saluted Zephyr Tate-Mann for her achievements as an attorney and business owner (including being appointed to the California Earthquake Authority by Gov. Jerry Brown) and for her activism with groups including the NAACP and the Black Women Lawyers Association.
Rachael Worby, artistic director and conductor of the genre-blending orchestra MUSE/IQUE, was recognized by Holden for her innovative musical presentations and her outreach programs for children in foster care.
In a statement, Holden praised Tate-Mann and Worby as part of "a rich history of women who have made lasting contributions to their communities and state through their public spirit and activism."
The Women of the Year announcement came three days after the Assembly Public Safety Committee unanimously approved AB 156, Holden's bill that would allow police to use wiretapping to stop human traffickers who force women and children into prostitution.
"We thought it was important to give law enforcement an additional tool, not unlike what they have for arms dealers who are trafficking weapons across state lines, and the same with drugs," Holden explained during an interview in his Pasadena office.
Holden announced AB 156 in late January, less than a week after he introduced AB 139, which would toughen punishment for domestic violence by restructuring financial penalties from fines to a fee.
"As the law has now been proposed, the judge (will have) the discretion of reducing the fee only for those who are found to have financial hardship," Holden explained. "So, by having it as a fee it becomes a mandatory payment and that then goes into a fund that ultimately provides resources to abuse shelters."