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Letters to the Editor: Can government require corporations to put women on their boards? Of course

To the editor: As the author of Senate Bill 826, the California legislation requiring women on corporate boards, I find it interesting that columnist Nicholas Goldberg attacks the bill to break the glass ceiling in corporate America as government overreach and omits key comments from former Gov. Jerry Brown, who signed the bill into law.

American corporations are creatures of government. They exist only when they satisfy legal requirements. Government has the authority to regulate what corporations can do and how they do it in order to best serve the public. From safety laws to a minimum wage, just to state obvious examples, government directs business behavior.

SB 826 is constitutional. Case law and legal precedent confirm the authority of government to seek to correct gender inequality, which is what this law will do.

Quoting Brown’s signing statement, “It’s high time corporate boards include the people who constitute more than half the ‘persons’ in America.” I believe the courts will agree.

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Hannah-Beth Jackson, Santa Barbara

The writer was a Democratic state senator from 2012-20.


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