(CNN)A California assemblywoman brought her newborn daughter to the senate floor on Monday after her request to vote by proxy was denied, despite her concerns over Covid-19, highlighting the struggle of working mothers during the pandemic.
Buffy Wicks, who represents Berkeley and Oakland in the state assembly, had requested to vote by proxy, but leadership denied her request, Wicks’ spokesperson Erin Ivie confirmed to CNN.Rules for voting by proxy in the Assembly during the pandemic state that Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon may permit proxy voting to those “at a higher risk from the COVID-19 virus.” Last week, lawmakers in the state Senate voted remotely after California Senator Brian Jones tested positive for the coronavirus. CNN reached out to Rendon for comment but did not immediately receive a response.After the denial, Wicks, who is on maternity leave, traveled from her Oakland-area home to Sacramento on the final day of the legislative session to make an appeal for SB 1120. The housing bill would have allowed the construction of duplexes in areas zoned for single-family homes.Read More”I was actually in the middle of feeding my daughter when this bill came up,” Wicks said while holding her crying newborn on the senate floor.
Absolutely devastated about #SB1120. Our housing crisis requires us to act, and tonight we failed to do that.But I promise you this: I will *always* show up for housing — no matter what. pic.twitter.com/I4n6X07CNp
— Buffy Wicks (@BuffyWicks) September 1, 2020 After making her case, she said: “Please, please, please pass this bill. And I’m going to go finish feeding my daughter.”Despite Wicks’ vote, the housing bill failed to pass the Assembly. Wicks later tweeted that she was “absolutely devastated.””Our housing crisis requires us to act, and tonight we failed to do that,” she wrote. “But I promise you this: I will *always* show up for housing — no matter what.”Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee tweeted about the incident Tuesday.”California Assemblymember @buffywicks was told that having recently given birth wasn’t sufficient excuse to cast a vote remotely,” Clinton said in a tweet. “So she brought her newborn daughter to the floor to weigh in on an important housing bill.”