Commission On The Status Of Women
Statement on Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
We, the Commissioners of the City of Los Angeles Commission on the Status of Women, express our solidarity with the women who have come forward to reveal their experiences of sexual assault or harassment in the workplace, and stand with Councilmembers in support of the adopted Motion (C.F. 17-1286) to place renewed focus on the City’s sexual harassment policies with the objective of creating a streamlined reporting process where complaints are centralized and closure for victims is assured.
Whether it is today, at a time when high profile personalities from every corner of the American workforce are being felled by allegations of sexually charged misconduct, or any day in the course of the life of women in the workplace experiencing myriad forms of harassment, abuse, belittlement, disempowerment or demoralization as a form of intimidation or control, we condemn the conduct, and stand with women everywhere who speak out.
Our Commission has been tasked by the honorable Mayor Garcetti with advancing the general welfare of women and girls in the Los Angeles community and to ensure that all women have full and equal participation in City government. With this mandate in mind, we will collaborate with City staff to articulate strategies and measures that can be adopted and implemented by any and all workplaces, large and small, within the city of Los Angeles, to ensure a fair and safe environment for women to work and thrive.
It is unacceptable that in the 21st century acts of sexual harassment and gender bullying can still be met with tacit assent or purposeful silence. We applaud the City Councilmembers for articulating the need to face long-standing issues with a new lens of empowerment and transparency, implementing systems and safeguards to support the reporting of complaints and the tracking of progress through closure. The pervasive culture of acquiescence must be called out at every level, and City leaders should stand with ordinary people to say, no more. We will stand together, look for solutions, empower one another, and speak out. Together, we will be the change we want to see in this and every city, across America.
LA Commission on the Status of Women
Established through an ordinance passed by Mayor Tom Bradley in 1975, the City of Los Angeles Commission on the Status of Women (LACSW) was re-launched by Mayor Eric Garcetti with a new Commissionership dedicated to co-powering gender equity in Los Angeles. The LACSW's mandate is to advance the general welfare of women and girls in the Los Angeles community and to ensure that all women have full and equal participation in City government.
The LACSW mission is to:
Inform and Advise the Mayor and City Council of the needs and challenges that Los Angeles women face, with special emphasis placed on women in City government.
Investigate problems and conditions adversely affecting women.
Recommend solutions to problems impacting women; identify programs that offer a greater opportunity and ability for Los Angeles Women to pursue life choices to pursue life choices without discrimination.
Propose methods of alleviating gender-based inequities in pay and job opportunities.
Promote awareness of changing life patterns, opportunities and responsibilities of women.
Maintain relationships with citizen groups that are committed to identifying and removing obstacles to the development of a woman's full potential.
Meet our commissioners and explore how they are working to advance the well-being of women and girls in LA.
Jackie Filla, President
Nancy Perlman, Vice President
Erma Bernard-Gibson, Delegate
Jessica Postigo, Commissioner
Alice Y. Hom, Commissioner
Maryam Zar, Commissioner
Richelle Huizar, Commissioner
The Report on the Status of Women and Girls
In 2015, the LACSW, in partnership with Mount Saint Mary's University and Mayor Eric Garcetti released The Report on the Status of Women and Girls in Los Angeles - the first-ever study focusing on the issues and trends affecting women and girls in the City of Los Angeles. The release was followed by a presentation in City Council, which provided specific data on Demographics, Leadership, Veterans, Education and Workforce Development, and Public Safety. In addition to this report, LACSW, through Commissioner Jackie Filla, is contributing to the annual Report on the Status of Women and Girls in California.
Pioneer Women's Awards
Since 1989, LACSW has partnered with City Council and the Mayor of LA, in honoring female leaders for their exemplary contribution to the City through the Pioneer Women’s Awards. Together, they have awarded 400+ resilient women and brought awareness to their specific area of work while fostering closer relationships between the City and community leaders.
Read the 2018 presentation by Commissioner Jessica Postigo in City Council here.
Cities for CEDAW
Since the adoption of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Executive Directive on Gender Equity in City Operations (ED no. 11), LACSW has raised awareness about the City’s work in national and international forum, and championed its implementation. LACSW is working with the Mayor’s Office and other Departments, e.g., the Economic and Workforce Development Department (EWDD) to facilitate its operationalization.
For the first time, the Mayor’s Executive Directive no. 11 on Gender Equity in City Operations is referenced in the EWDD’s Request for Proposal (RFP) for WorkSource Centers. Furthermore, the RFP clarifies that EEWD is seeking proposals from agencies that:
Provide women and men equal job training opportunities;
Work proactively to prevent gender stereotyping;
Make conscious efforts to close the gender wage gap.
Look Again is a media campaign produced by LACSW, through Jessica Postigo and Nancy Perlman, in partnership with the LAPD. The intention of the campaign is to capture public attention and make Angelenos aware of the realities surrounding child sex trafficking. It is not happening "somewhere else" – it is right in our neighborhoods. The victims are not removed from our everyday life – they are just like girls we all know, as young as 8. As awareness and understanding of human trafficking is the first step to stopping it, the campaign asks Angelenos to "Look Again" and learn the signs of trafficking, as well as to reconsider their perception of it. Someone else is not going to child sex trafficking – it is up to the community and law enforcement.
Preventing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
LACSW is actively engaged in the City’s efforts to prevent and address sexual harassment in City Departments. Through Council meetings, Commission meetings, and in conversations with Councilmembers, LACSW has drawn attention to and provided recommendations on the City’s policy and processes. On January 19, 2018, LACSW decided to nominate Commissioner Maryam Zar to the Risk Reduction Cabinet’s Working Group. You can read LACSW’s statement on sexual harassment in the workplace here.
City Hall X
City Hall X (CHX) is a monthly speaker series, exclusively for women working in the Los Angeles City Government that was launched in January, 2015. Every month, CHX invites one of the stellar women working in the Los Angeles City Government to share her story with other women. For those who attend, it's a transformative experience, an entirely different way to connect with the women they work with, especially the women in leadership positions.
National Association of Commissions for Women
As a member of the National Association for Women’s Commission (NACW), LACSW has built relationships with other Women’s Commission, exchanged best practices, and raised awareness about the City’s work. LACSW participates in the NACW’s national, annual conference and will be hosting its next conference in Los Angeles in August, 2018, in partnership with the Mayor’s Office.
Crises Text Line
Crisis Text Line (CTL) is free, 24/7 support for those in crisis; users can text 741741 from anywhere within the U.S. to connect with a trained Crisis Counselor. LACSW created a partnership between LA City and CTL with the mission of raising awareness among Angelenos about CTL’s free service. In addition, CTL assigned the keyword “LA” to the region, which enables CTL to collect data specific to LA. That data is passed along to the City, free of charge, and may be instrumental in informing policy strategy around health and wellness, public safety and more.
Making LA Happen
“Making LA Happen” is the first in a series of videos profiling the phenomenal women working in LA City government. The project was a collaboration between LACSW and LA’s Information Technology Agency, produced by LA Cityview 35, in partnership with the Directors Guild of America. LACSW is committed to fostering stories about women in the media and to raise awareness about the extraordinary women leaders within city government, who, all too often, are not recognized for their tremendous contributions. Featured leaders include:
Seleta Reynolds, General Manager, Los Angeles Department of Transportation
Ana Guerrero, Mayor Garcetti's Chief of Staff
Kristin Crowley, Los Angeles's first female Fire Marshall
Deborah Flint, General Manager, Los Angeles Airports
Human Trafficking Prevention Training
CSW, in partnership with the Los Angeles Police Department, has worked to increase the number of trainings on human trafficking. In these trainings, participants learnt:
Warning signs of human trafficking;
The importance a victim-centered approach that focuses on victims physical and emotional well-being;
Ways to partner with public and private organizations to provide a network of support.
Connecting Women Business Owners to Power
At the “Connecting Women to Power” conference, hosted by Jerome Horton, member for the 4th District and former Chair of the California Board of Equalization, LACSW facilitated the distribution of business development resources to thousands of women attending. In partnership with the Economic and Workforce Development Department, LACSW ensured women learnt how to access resources on:
Marketing and public relations.
Want to download a summary of the LACSW projects? Click here.
Meeting Agendas & Minutes
The City of Los Angeles Commission on the Status of Women usually meets every third Friday of the month from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. at Los Angeles City Hall, Room 1010 (200 North Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90012). Find Meeting Agendas here and read past Meeting Minutes here. If you would like to receive more information about meetings, subscribe here.
The LACSW invites organizations with a commitment to supporting women to partner with us in our quest to enhance opportunities and resources. Join us at our monthly meetings or send your ideas, comments, and suggestions to LACSW Project Coordinator, Caroline Toren.
LA Commission on the Status of Women
1200 W. 7th Street, 9th floor
Los Angeles, California 90017
Visit us on Facebook and Twitter!