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California lawmaker forced to bring newborn to Assembly floor for vote after speaker denies request for proxy vote


She had the baby there until midnight

California Democratic Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (Image source: KTVU video screenshot)

A California assemblymember was forced to bring her newborn baby to the Assembly floor because the speaker would not allow her to vote by proxy on a housing bill, Politico reported.

Democratic Assemblymember Buffy Wicks of Oakland literally held her 1-month-old baby while speaking on the Assembly floor about the bill. Her request to have someone vote on her behalf was denied because Assembly rules allow proxy voting only for people at higher risk from COVID-19.

The bill in question would allow for the construction of duplexes in a single-family home zones. Despite being on maternity leave, Wicks drove in with her baby to advocate for the bill. USA Today reported:

In a video on the Assembly floor, Wicks can be seen bouncing her 1-month-old baby and donning a face mask.

"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 believe we need to pass this bill," she said of housing legislation. As her baby started fussing, Wicks said, "And Elly agrees that we absolutely need to pass this bill."

"And I'm going to go finish feeding my daughter," she concludes.

Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks talks about bringing newborn to assembly floor

The housing bill ultimately did not pass.

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon apologized to Wicks in a statement for not being more considerate of her circumstances.

"I want to make a full apology to Assemblymember Wicks," Rendon said in a statement. "My intention was never to be inconsiderate toward her, her role as a legislator, or her role as a mother. Inclusivity and electing more women into politics are core elements of our Democratic values. Nevertheless, I failed to make sure our process took into account the unique needs of our Members. The Assembly needs to do better. I commit to doing better."

Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton helped the video of Wicks go viral on Twitter. Wicks worked on Clinton's presidential campaign.

"California Assemblymember @buffywicks was told that having recently given birth wasn't sufficient excuse to cast a vote remotely," Clinton wrote. "So she brought her newborn daughter to the floor to weigh in on an important housing bill."

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