Thursday, January 21, 2016

Women's Legislative Caucus Elects New Leadership, Expands Membership

During the annual meeting of the Hawaii Women’s Legislative Caucus (WLC), members from both the state Senate and House elected new co-conveners for the Caucus and voted to expand their membership to include women lawmakers at the county level.

At the January 12th meeting, the WLC voted as new co-conveners for 2016, Senators Rosalyn H. Baker and Laura H. Thielen and Representatives Lauren Kealohilani Matsumoto and Della Au Belatti. New co-conveners are elected every two years.

“I’m excited to step up to co-convene this wonderful group of women,” said Sen. Laura Thielen. “I look forward to continuing the important work of this group which has a great track record for bettering the lives of women.”

“It’s an honor to be in the company of these strong, smart women lawmakers and I believe together we can make a difference in the lives of women throughout the State,” said Rep. Lauren Matsumoto.

At the meeting, the WLC also decided to extend invitations to the women members of the four county councils to join state lawmakers in promoting legislation at the state and county levels.

“Last year we worked closely with the women members of the Honolulu City Council to protect the safety of victims of domestic violence. We found we could be much more effective when working on matters at both the state and county level,” said Sen. Rosalyn Baker. “We look forward to expanding those efforts to every island.”

“Developing this partnership with the women from all counties just makes sense,” said Rep. Della Au Bellati. “By working together, we create a statewide effort of women leaders which only benefits all women in Hawaii.”

The WLC is currently finalizing the package of priorities to be introduced at the 2016 legislative session. The caucus will meet on Thursday, January 28 at the YWCA of Oahu, 1040 Richards Street, to announce the package of bills. The meeting will include a breakfast and panel discussion from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. A news conference will be held at 9 a.m.

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