California lawmaker on maternity leave forced to bring newborn to housing vote after being denied proxy

ByAlix Martichoux KGO logo
Wednesday, September 2, 2020
Bay Area Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks goes viral after bringing newborn to vote on housing bill
"I will always show up for housing - no matter what." When Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks' request to vote by proxy was denied, she drove from Oakland to Sacramento with 1-month-old Elly in tow.

SAN FRANCISCO -- A video of a California lawmaker voting while holding her newborn daughter is highlighting the struggle of working mothers across America.

Buffy Wicks represents Berkeley and Oakland in the state's general assembly. She was on maternity leave, having just given birth to her daughter via C-section, when a vote came up on State Bill 1120.

That bill was designed to help ease housing problems in California. It makes it easier for developers to build duplexes in areas zoned for single-family homes.

Wicks strongly believed in the bill, so she requested to vote by proxy, but her request was denied.

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

"I was actually in the middle of feeding my daughter when this bill came up, and I ran down on the floor today because I strongly need to pass this bill," Wicks said.

Still, despite the great lengths Wicks went through to support the bill, it failed to pass.

Wicks tweeted she was "absolutely devastated" by the bill's failure.

"Our housing crisis requires us to act, and tonight we failed to do that," she said. "But I promise you this: I will *always* show up for housing - no matter what."