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May 19, 2003

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SACRAMENTO - The Junior Leagues of California State Public Affairs Committee, a non-partisan advocacy and non-profit organization, recently honored California State Senator Jackie Speier and Assembly Member Joe Simitian with their annual Legislator of the Year awards for 2002-2003. The State Public Affairs Committee (SPAC) held their award ceremony last week at the Sutter Club in Sacramento.

Senator Speier was selected and recognized as an honoree for her role in authoring SB 564, a bill that SPAC sponsored and was signed into law in September 2002 by Governor Gray Davis. SB 564 requires applicants for licensure in marriage and family therapy, clinical social work and psychology to complete a minimum of 15 hours of specified coursework in spousal or partner abuse assessment, abuse detection and intervention. It also requires current licensees to take a one-time continuing education course.

“It is an honor to receive this award from an organization that shares my interest in bettering our communities by improving the lives of women and families. I take a stand on issues that I am passionate about and I enjoy working with organizations like SPAC that share a similar commitment to making a difference in the State of California.” said Senator Speier

Assembly Member Simitian was awarded for his recognition of the value non-profits and volunteers play in adding to the strength of communities. In his first term, Simitian appointed a dedicated Nonprofits Liaison to his staff and authored legislation, AB400, which allows volunteers to use the term, “community volunteer” as a ballot designation when running for office. Previously an experienced volunteer running for office if they did not work for pay and were not an attorney by degree, could choose from only two ballot distinctions to describe their experience, “homemaker” and “none”. This bill, which SPAC supported, recognizes the impact and importance of volunteering in the community and the training ground it provides for government office.

Assembly Member Simitian has responded, “In difficult budget times like these, we realize how much we need the good will and good works of community-based organizations like the Junior Leagues of California. I appreciate the Junior Leagues’ recognition of my work and am pleased to have authored the AB400 bill that recognized the term “community volunteer” as a valid ballot designation for those seeking elected office.”

The Junior Leagues of California State Public Affairs Committee consists of 16 member leagues within the state and represents more than 13,000 women statewide. SPAC, founded in 1971, works on behalf of project-based advocacy in the four focus areas of education, violence prevention, family support and health.

The Junior League organization trains women volunteers to improve the local community through leadership, fundraising and non-profit assistance.



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