State Public Affairs Committee
The Junior Leagues of California State Public Affairs Committee (SPAC) is a non-partisan education and advocacy organization representing 17 member Leagues throughout the state. Collectively, SPAC represents over 10,000 members who donate millions of fundraising dollars and approximately 500,000 service hours in support for community programs that assist women and families. Since 1971, SPAC has represented the interests of its member Leagues and community partners at the national, state, and local levels. SPAC is composed of two delegates from each of 17 member Leagues. Additional information is available on SPAC's website, Facebook page, and brochure.
SPAC’s mission is to take action on state and national issues that affect our projects and focus areas, to facilitate communication among the member Junior Leagues of California on public policy, to educate League members on selected issues, to provide training in advocacy skills, and to act as the representative of member Leagues.SPAC delegates ADVOCATE for specific legislation relevant to member league issues, EDUCATE their home Junior League members on public policy issues, and COORDINATE the exchange of information from community based league projects to policy makers. SPAC advocates in four issue areas:
- EDUCATION: SPAC is committed to ensuring that all children and young adults receive educational opportunities that are developmentally appropriate, increase achievement and lead to workplace marketability.
- FAMILY SUPPORT: SPAC is committed to advocating for programs and policies that promote the physical and emotional well-being of families.
- HEALTH: SPAC is committed to advocating for better access to quality health care and prevention programs that will improve the mental and physical health of our community members.
- VIOLENCE PREVENTION: SPAC is committed to addressing the impact of violence on our community members through prevention, intervention and education.
SPAC reviews hundreds of pieces of legislation annually. SPAC supports legislation related to its focus areas by officially notifying legislators that SPAC recommends they vote to pass that particular bill. SPAC is currently supporting 45 bills.
When sponsoring legislation, SPAC takes on a significantly larger role to shepherd a bill through the legislative process in coordination with the legislator authoring the bill. Sponsoring a bill may entail drafting and analyzing the legislation, testifying in committee hearings, preparing and supporting witnesses for committee hearings, and leveraging support by building coalitions with other community groups. SPAC recently co-sponsored Assembly Bill 2035 (AB 2035) with the Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking (CAST). AB 2035, authored by Assemblymember Chesbro (D-Arcata), aimed to create safe harbors for victims of human trafficking. SPAC has a history of successfully sponsoring legislation:
- ACR 54 (2011), authored by Assemblymember Roger Hernandez, which urges hospital providers, mental health care providers, health plans, and insurers to invest resources to educate women about perinatal depression risk factors and triggers.
- ACR 105 (2010), authored by Assemblymember Pedro Nava, designating each May in California as “Perinatal Depression Awareness Month" to facilitate increased awareness and education about perinatal depression.
- SJR 22 (2005), authored by Senator Jackie Spier, memorialized the United States Congress and the President to enact the Microbicide Development Act to facilitate the development of microbicides to prevent the transmission of HIV and other diseases.
- AB 2268 (1993), authored by Assemblymember Louis Caldera, established the Children's Bicycle Helmet Law.
- AB 3087 (1992), authored by Assemblymember Jackie Spier, established the Kids' Plate vehicle license plate to provide funding for children's safety and child abuse prevention programs.
Day at the Capitol
Each spring SPAC coordinates an educational trip to Sacramento for Junior League members. The day includes speakers from both the Assembly and the Senate, a tour of the Capitol Building, a legislative luncheon, and visits with legislators and staffers.
-Molly Lawson, JLLA Member