Assemblywoman Toni Atkins stepped down as speaker of the Assembly on Monday, turning the gavel over to Los Angeles-area Assemblyman Anthony Rendon.
Back in San Diego at the end of a busy week, she spoke with Voice of San Diego about lessons of leadership, the responsibilities of being an LGBT community member in power and representing San Diego in the Capitol.
Below are excerpts from the conversation.
I will say as a woman and probably as a member of the LGBT community too, as a lesbian, one of the things I have learned is that we still haven’t arrived.
A different reporter made a comment to me the other day, “Well, haven’t we been through all of that and aren’t things going well for women?” And I’m like, “Well, no.”
Support Independent Journalism Today
Thank you for your service Speaker Atkins. Yes: it's a lonely job.
I recall that while working with Speaker Bass, and serving as her Pro Tempore, an important part of our relationship was NOT talking about work- except those times we would reflect on the absurdity of some of the situations we found ourselves in, and laugh.
I also realized, on the day John Perez was sworn in, that the 2 best days in most Speakers' lives are the day they are sworn in, and the day their successor is sworn in to replace them. The former is a jubilant day full of anticipation of the work ahead; the second is a jubilant day full of anticipation of the time once again available for so many other things.
Enjoy your well-earned time working on your own legislation instead of Speaker responsibilities.