California assemblywoman brings newborn to the legislature floor

Buffy Wicks

Buffy Wicks

So she drove to Sacramento with her 1-month-old, Elly, and made it in time to speak on the assembly floor, Elly swaddled over her shoulder.

Wicks had not wanted to be there.

When California Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks rushed to the floor to vote on State Bill 1120, she meant to make a point about the state's housing crisis.

Rendon denied her request. "So she brought her newborn daughter to the floor to weigh in on an important housing bill".

She shouldn't have been forced to drive more than 80 miles from her Oakland home with her baby in tow to do it. From there, only leadership - Rendon, Majority Leader Ian Calderon, Assembly Republican Leader Marie Waldron or Republican floor leader Assemblyman Heath Flora - could vote for the absent member.

The measure was one of a handful of bills Wicks said she traveled to the Capitol to vote on. As the baby continued to cry, the lawmaker was heard saying: "I was actually in the middle of feeding my daughter when this bill came up".

Rendon, a Democrat, was heavily criticized for making Assembly Member Buffy Wicks, a fellow Democrat, attend a session earlier this week after ruling that Wicks, who is on maternity leave, did not meet the requirements for a proxy vote because she was not "at a higher risk" for COVID-19.

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Atkins declined to comment on Wicks being denied a proxy vote in the Assembly but said she wasn't surprised to see the assemblywoman voting on bills late into the night, including key housing legislation.

Clinton hailed Wicks' dedication and used a flexed bicep emoji to hammer home her strength in the tweet that has racked up almost 30K likes.

Part of the problem was the legislature's inability to finish its work before its self-imposed deadline for adjournment, which was exacerbated by having some legislators working remotely and also by Republican delaying tactics.

Former Arizona Congressmember Gabby Giffords also tweeted about the incident.

By Tuesday afternoon, Rendon had backtracked and apologized to Wicks.

"I will say, I am incredibly impressed and in awe of Assemblymember Buffy Wicks' dedication to the issues and to her job", Atkins said. "My intention was never to be inconsiderate toward her, her role as a legislator, or her role as a mother". "I failed to make sure our process took into account the unique needs of our members".

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