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March 11, 2014 > WomenÕs Policy Director selected as Woman of the Year

WomenÕs Policy Director selected as Woman of the Year

Submitted By Gwendolyn Mitchell

Esther Peralez-Dieckmann, County of Santa Clara Office of WomenÕs Policy Director, has been selected as 2014 Woman of the Year for Assembly District 27.

Assembly Speaker pro Tempore Nora Campos, D-San Jose, recognized Peralez-Dieckmann at the annual California Legislative WomenÕs Caucus awards ceremony. Peralez-Dieckmann received this recognition on March 10 in Sacramento, with women from other Assembly districts throughout the State, to highlight the State LegislatureÕs celebration of WomenÕs History Month.

Peralez-DieckmannÕs record of accomplishments, as an advocate for women and the disenfranchised, spans several decades. She began her career in 1994 by promoting voter registration and economic empowerment for Latinos. Later she became involved with research and advocacy for women and girls in the justice system. She also has led workforce initiatives to help women move from welfare to work.

Key accomplishments in Peralez-DieckmannÕs role as Director of the Office of WomenÕs Policy include advocating for legislation that protects women from domestic violence; directing efforts on ÒBreaking Cycles, Rebuilding Lives,Ó an award-winning initiative which has been recognized as a first of its kind report about female offenders at the jail level; championing pilot efforts to move female offenders from incarceration into non-traditional job training and employment; and providing support and technical assistance to community organizations.

Currently, in collaboration with community partners, Peralez-Dieckmann is leading efforts to provide greater awareness and support for low-wage workers. She has helped to secure funding for worker rights clinics to address problems such as wage theft, equal pay, pregnancy discrimination and sexual harassment. In 2012, she was among a core group of community leaders and representatives of county, state and federal agencies who founded the Bay Area Equal Pay Collaborative. The collaborative was honored in 2013 with the Gender Justice Award from Equal Rights Advocates in San Francisco.

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