Lawmaker Brings Her Newborn to Assembly Floor After Being Denied Proxy Vote

California assembly speaker Anthony Rendon apologized to Buffy Wicks after she was told recently giving birth wasn't a high-risk factor for COVID-19.

Buffy Wicks

Image via Getty/Anda Chu/Digital First Media/East Bay Times

Buffy Wicks

A California lawmaker went viral this week for an image that highlight the struggles of many working moms.

On Monday night, assemblywoman Buffy Wicks—a Democrat who represents Bay Area cities—was forced to bring her newborn daughter to the senate floor after her request for a proxy vote was denied. Under current rules, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon can allow proxy voting for members who are "at a higher risk from the COVID-19 virus"; however, leadership reportedly determined Wicks was ineligible, despite giving birth about a month ago.

Now-viral video shows Wicks on the Assembly floor with her 1-month-old daughter Elly in her arms. As reported by ABC 30, the lawmaker told the chamber she had rushed all the way to Sacramento on Monday after learning members were to vote on State Bill 1120, a housing bill that would've allowed duplexes to be built in single family zones.

"I was actually in the middle of feeding my daughter when this bill came up," Wicks said while holding her crying baby. "And I ran down on the floor today because I strongly believe we need to pass this bill ... And Elly agrees that we absolutely need to pass this bill ... And I'm going to go finish feeding my daughter."

Many people slammed Rendon, a Democrat, for rejecting Wicks' request for a proxy vote, despite the fact she was on maternity leave. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett were among those who applauded Wicks.

On Tuesday, Rendon issued a public apology to Wicks, admitting he and the Assembly "need to do better."

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