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July 2021 BPWNC Newsletter

Thank You to Mary


We extend our thanks to outgoing President, Mary Silvia, for serving for two very challenging terms. When the pandemic made it impossible for our board to meet in person, Mary and the other board members adapted to a Zoom format that allowed us to continue making decisions and planning programs. Mary has always been there to chair our meetings and to introduce our monthly speakers and to help with program suggestions.

Two years serving as President is indeed a sign of commitment and we are all grateful to Mary for her tenacity and willingness to see us through our challenges. We appreciate all you have done for BPWNC, Mary, and we wish you well and expect to see you as part of our general membership in the future. Thank you so much for the key role you have played for the past two years!!

Please pass this information to those who may want to apply.
Though we have not been able to have in person meetings in the past year, BPW has continued to have  monthly newsletters, interesting and informative monthly presentations on zoom, advocacy for women, and awarding scholarships to deserving women in Nevada County.
Please continue to support our organization by renewing your dues for 21-22  membership.
by going to .

Can't wait to see you all in person soon!!

Last month, I informed you about three of BPWNC’s top legislative priorities – family and medical leave, maternal health and telehealth.  They were all the subject of legislation, but also part of California’s somewhat opaque budget process.  That process concluded with a 2021-2022 State Budget package (AB128/SB 129) signed by Governor Newsom on June 28, 2021. So, what were the resulting outcomes for our three important issues?

Improving family and medical leave. If you recall, we have been advocating to prevent a DECREASE in the wage replacement rate for paid family leave (PFL) and disability leave (SDI), a cut from 60-70% of wages while on leave to 55% of wages.  That reduction would have kicked in on January, 2022 without action by the legislature. (Leave benefits are paid for from the state Disability Insurance Fund, itself funded by both public sector and private sector workers who have opted into the program, with workers paying 1.2% of wages up to $128,000.) These leave programs are designed to help Californians meet their financial obligations while recovering from a serious illness, bonding with a new child or caring for a seriously ill family member.  However, the benefits are only available if workers are paid a replacement rate for their missed wages sufficient to make taking leave affordable. Fortunately, the final budget extended the current replacement rates for one year.  That allows us time to continue to plan for our longer term goal, which we are working on with the California Work & Family Coalition, to raise the rate for low wage Californians to 90% of their regular weekly wages when they qualify for PFL or SDI.  Meanwhile, the  policy bill that would increase the wage replacement rates for paid family leave only (not disability leave) to 90% (AB 123), passed in the Assembly, but is stalled, in suspense for now in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

For current information about CA leave programs, including the short-term COVID supplemental leave program that ends September 30, which we advocated for, with helpful guides about your rights, go to

A second high priority bill would monitor and address maternal and child health, among other reasons to help remedy disparities for black, indigenous and other people of color (SB 65). It would adopt practical, comprehensive measures proven to improve prenatal and postpartum care and outcomes.  Several components of SB 65 were included in the budget signed on June 28 – a postpartum Medi-Cal extension, doula coverage for Medi-Cal enrollees, and an enhanced CalWORKs pregnancy supplement.  Other measures are only in the bill, including increasing the pool of midwives trained to provide specialized pregnancy care; setting up a pilot program under CalWORKS to provide guaranteed monthly income of $1,000 to lower income parents and caretakers of children up to the age of two; and establishing state committees to study the causes of maternal and child mortality and recommend the best practices to address health disparities.  SB 65 passed the Senate in May and through several committees in the Senate in June. It is now pending in the Appropriations Committee.

A third issue area of particular concern for us has been maintaining access to Telehealth, both for telephonic and video visits.  Healthcare providers like Women’s Health Specialists and Planned Parenthood needed to have administrative and budgetary problems fixed, if they were to continue providing telephone and video visits.  Their experience during the pandemic demonstrates that women seeking time-sensitive reproductive healthcare are increasingly reliant on these telehealth methods.  Rural areas like our own, where public transit is often unavailable and, where telephonic visits can often be substituted for video, are among the communities especially impacted.  This issue was addressed on two tracks, both a policy bill (AB 32) and a budget proposal.  The problems were fixed as part of the budget package by maintaining the current allowable items and modalities that are reimbursable, i.e., telephonic and video visits, on a permanent basis.  By incorporating AB 32 provisions into the budget, a reduction in the reimbursement rates has been avoided and fuller access to care ensured.
Another priority for us has been establishing a compensation program for survivors of forced sterilization in California.  Our persistent advocacy after four tries finally paid off, when $7.5 million was included for the program in the enacted budget. The related policy bill, AB 1007, passed the Assembly in June, and, if needed to fully implement the program, can be expected to pass the Senate and be enacted into law later this year.  
Our advocacy on these and other BPWNC bills will continue for the remainder of the California legislative session this year.  We’ll keep on writing letters, making phone calls, joining in social media campaigns and keeping you apprised of our progress.
Thank you all for your commitment to BPWNC, and your support of the work we do to improve the lives and livelihoods of working women and their families. Together, we are helping to make California a more equitable place for us all. 

Elaine Sierra, Advocacy Chair
Employment Opportunity
Women's Health Specialist is hiring for the clinic in Grass Valley
NP CNM or PA-C - 32 hours per week
salary range $42.00 to $55.00 per hour
Clinic Manager - 40 hours per week  
salary range - $52,000 to $60,000 annually
For further information please go to Nevada County Citizens 4 Choice job openings.
Club Business
Now that we have more home time help get the word out. Please send names and email addresses of your friends and family to Phyllis to join the growing list of friends of BPWNC. They will receive our monthly newsletter which will inform them of all the good stuff happening  with our organization. No need to be living in Nevada County
Thank  you
~ Membership, Deb Armanino 415-786-1160
*** Please add Phyllis Orzalli e-mail ( to your address book to ensure it does not go to junk!
Mission Statement
The mission of the Business and Professional Women of Nevada County
is to support and promote equity for women in all aspects of their lives.
~To promote personal and professional development for working women.
~To advocate on National, State, and Local legislative issues of importance
to working women.
~To support the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls.
~To promote the education of our members and the community in matters of women's equality as it relates to economics, employment, health, education, housing, civil rights, and other issues of equal opportunity.
Interested in joining our dynamic group of women?
Want to take on a lead role in our organization?

We need active members who have time and interest
in being a board member: president, vice president, secretary,
treasurer or program committee.

For only a few hours a month you can guide future endeavors of our great group. Please contact Mary Sivila at 530-346-7192 or email her at to discuss the great possibilities!
July: No program

August: TBD
Vice President
Shirley Hall - 916.826.8944
 Shirley Zeff - 530.273.3010
Deb Armanino LeBlanc

Our members - Submit an idea to the board.
Lynn Wenzel - 530.477.0746
Judy McCarrick - 530.478.0677
Elaine Sierra - 530.274.0738
Phyllis Orzalli - 530.913.8473
Phyllis Orzalli - 530.913.8473
Judy McCarrick - 530.478.0677
BPWNC Facebook
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Business & Professional Women of Nevada County · P.O. Box 2642 · Grass Valley, CA 95945 · USA

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