Women Influencing Legislative Change

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Tippi Hedren, Mary McDonough and Donzaleigh Abernathy will all take part in the panel "Women Influencing Legislation" with moderator The Honorable Diane E. Watson at the California Women's Conference on Monday, September 24, 2012.

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They have award-winning careers on television and the silver screen, but they have one other thing in common. They have appeared before Congress as expert on topics concerning the public health, safety and livelihood. They have co-authored successful Bills and fought for beneficial legislation. Never doubt that women can and do influence positive changes in our world. These remarkable women will share their passion, courage, experiences, and the actions they took to make big differences in society, one voice at a time. And they show you how you can - and must - create the change we want to see!

Tippi Hedren - The Golden Globe winning actress is no stranger to the halls of Congress. She has successfully put Bills through Congress in the past, despite the threats to her life by special interest groups. She is currently co-authoring a Bill entitled "The Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act" that would prohibit private possession of big cats except at highly-qualified facilities, like accredited zoos, where they can be properly cared for and restrained. "The bill would require any persons who currently possess big cats to register those animals with USDA in order to keep the cats they currently own," say Hedren. Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, the bill would also outlaw the breeding of any big cat except at accredited zoos or educational institutions. Violators of the law will have their animals confiscated along with any vehicles or equipment used to aid in their illegal activity, and could face stiff penalties including fines as much as $20,000, and up to five years in jail.

Mary McDonough is best known for the 11 years she played Erin Walton on the hit series "The Waltons," however, many recognize her as a respected voice with regards to women's health and especially in body image issues. Ms. McDonough is an award-winning actress, writer, director and her memoir is a poignant story of growing up on the Emmy award-winning series The Waltons, which is still being shown in the states as well as in Europe and has fans all over the world. Among the many topics Ms. McDonough discusses in her new book, is her own struggle with body image, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and being diagnosed with Lupus. As a result, she has become an expert on women's health issues, testifying before Congress on many occasions.

Donzaleigh Abernathy has successfully starred on both the big and small screen. She began her life in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement as the youngest daughter of its Co-Founder, Reverend Ralph David Abernathy and his wife, Juanita. Christened as a baby by Dr. Martin Luther King, she was raised in the public forefront of the Civil Rights Movement, where she attended major marches and had a bird's eye view from her home, which was the gathering place for her father and her "Uncle Martin." Donzaleigh authored "Partners To History: Dr. Martin Luther King, Ralph David Abernathy and the Civil Rights Movement,” a pictorial history book, which was nominated at one of the Best Books of 2004 by the American Library Association.

The Honorable Diane E. Watson, will serve as the moderator for this remarkable panel - From the classroom to the school board, to the California State Senate and then an appointment as U.S. Ambassador, followed by 10 years in the U.S. Congress, her life has been an extraordinary journey. During her tenure in the California State Senate, The Honorable Diane E. Watson became a statewide and national advocate for health care, consumer protection, women, and children. In 1999, President William Jefferson Clinton appointed Congresswoman Watson to serve as the United States Ambassador to the Federated States of Micronesia. Watson served in this capacity until 2001 when she returned to California to run for Congress in a special election, after the untimely death of Congressman Julian Dixon. She was reelected on November 5, 2002 to a full two-year term and has served in each succeeding Congress.

The exhibit hall will feature “streets,” where women can shop from more than 250 vendors. While at the pinnacle of what has been envisioned as a Community Town Square, attendees will discover an oak tree, specially constructed to offer attendees a place to define their goals and dreams through a mobile app system.

For nearly 30 years, women in California have enjoyed a conference that provided a forum for building successful businesses, strengthening careers, and positively influencing the world around them. The California Women's Conference will continue the tradition of empowering women and providing resources in every aspect of their lives, and embracing philanthropy by donating a portion of proceeds to participating charitable organizations.

NOTE: For more information about the “Women Influencing Legislation” and other celebrated panels and speakers, please visit http://californiawomensconference.com/program/program-at-a-glance Tickets are available at http://www.CaliforniaWomensConference.com.

About the California Women's Conference: The California Women's Conference (CWC), is an annual non-partisan event, and was created in 1985 by then-Governor George Deukmejian, to address the high failure rate among women-owned businesses by giving women entrepreneurs greater access to funding and other helpful resources. Selecting the city of Long Beach as the event's host, city officials and businesses quickly became enthusiastic supporters. Then-First Lady Gloria Deukmejian assumed responsibility for the conference, which became known as the California Governor and First Lady's Conference. Since then, the CWC has always attracted a highly respected and celebrated list of speakers. Today, the tradition of enthusiastically serving women-owned businesses continues under the stewardship of Michelle J. Patterson, CEO of EventComplete.

About EventComplete, LLC EventComplete, LLC, is a full-service event production company specializing in strategy, production and marketing for large scale conferences, workshops, and festivals with an 'Edu-tainment' flair - entertainment meets education. Although they have been the visionary and creator behind a multitude of successful events across the country, EventComplete's passion and expertise lies in bringing resources to women to help them live their dreams. To learn more about CEO, Michelle J. Patterson and EventComplete.

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