California Women Lawyers will honor former Assemblywoman and Santa Barbara attorney Hannah-Beth Jackson with its prestigious Fay Stender Award on Sept. 15 at its annual dinner and membership meeting during the State Bar convention at the Westin Hotel in Long Beach.
The dinner keynote speaker will be California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, who presides over a female majority court.
The annual award is given to a feminist attorney who, like Stender, is committed to the representation of women, disadvantaged groups and unpopular causes, and whose courage, zest for life and demonstrated ability to effect change as a single individual make her a role model for women attorneys.
“Hannah-Beth Jackson meets all of the criteria for the Fay Stender Award, and we are proud to recognize her remarkable record of effecting change,” CWL President Patricia Sturdevant said.
As a member of the California Assembly and chairwoman of the Legislative Women’s Caucus and other important committees, she authored 64 bills that were passed by the Assembly and Senate and enacted into California law by both Govs. Gray Davis and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
In the Assembly, Jackson was committed to support of California families and children and to women’s health and reproductive health. She authored the Violence Against Women Act, which provided for a civil remedy for victims of gender motivated violence, allowing them to seek compensatory and punitive damages against their attackers.
Her legislation improved the delivery of child support services, provided grants through community colleges for specialty nurse training programs, enhanced the protections to children who were victims of domestic violence, and improved protections for victims of stalking. Jackson’s legislation continues to aid women with issues from child rearing to spousal support to economic and wage equality.
In addition, she authored AB 2194, requiring all medical residency programs in obstetrics and gynecology to include training in the performance of abortions. She was also the principal co-author of the Reproductive Privacy Act (SB 1301), ensuring protection of Roe v. Wade principles in California and increasing access to early, nonsurgical abortion procedures.
Even as a young girl, Jackson worked to recast the mold. When she was denied an opportunity to play Little League baseball, she took up tennis and became a junior champion in New England, then helped found the women’s varsity tennis team at Scripps College. As a young prosecutor at the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office, she helped found Shelter Services for Women, the predecessor of Domestic Violence Solutions. In private practice, she defended Planned Parenthood’s right to a safe zone surrounding its clinics.
Planned Parenthood presented Jackson with its Giraffe Award, for sticking her neck out for reproductive choice. Jackson continues to stick her neck out as executive director of the Institute of the Renewal of the California Dream and as president of Speak Out California, an online blog helping to define a new progressive agenda for the state. She also hosts a Saturday morning radio program, “Speak Out with Hannah-Beth.”
In addition to presenting the award to Jackson, CWL will honor the legacy of community service of Fresno attorney Judith Soley, and acknowledge a dozen other women for their notable achievements during the past year.
Click here for more information about the dinner and CWL.