Congratulations to San Diego Sen. Toni Atkins for being selected as the first woman and openly lesbian senator to hold the California Senate president pro tem.  While the history-making position is a positive for the Democrats, Atkins will be taking her seat in the midst of a “reckoning over sexual misconduct, a loss of the Democratic supermajority and an icy relationship with the state Assembly.”

Atkins has stated that her early work will focus on running the Senate, developing a process to deal with sexual harassment allegations, and reshuffling committee assignments.

According to The Business Journal, Atkins, “is in her first four-year term as a senator after six years in the Assembly, where she also set a milestone as the first openly gay woman to serve as speaker.”  Her accomplishments include a “successful push to raise money for subsidized housing by charging $75 for many real-estate transactions,” co-authoring a bill to “replace traditional health insurance companies with a single government-funded health care plan for everyone in the state.” and helping to create a ““non-binary” gender option on driver’s licenses for people who don’t identify as male or female.”

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