by Nickolas Dwork
The congresswoman for CA district 25 (including Saugus, Newhall, Canyon Country, Simi Valley, and Palmdale) is Katherine (Katie) Lauren Hill.
Ms. Hill recently took a picture with members of the Alzheimer’s organization and posted it to her Facebook account. But she also co-sponsored legislation making it more difficult to conduct research to benefit those with Alzheimer’s disease. (Her legislation, called the KITTEN Act, makes it more difficult to conduct experiments on cats. In published research entitled “The domestic cat as a natural animal model of Alzheimer’s disease,” Chambers et al. show that cats are especially well suited for studying Alzheimer’s. All animals are already protected extensively by laws preventing their abuse for research purposes; Ms. Hill specifically strengthened laws preventing research that could help Alzheimer’s patients.)
Ms. Hill claims to be an advocate for civil rights. But she voted for the Paycheck Fairness Act, which provides a different educational system for girls. Defending her vote, Ms. Hill claimed that women earn $0.80 for every dollar earned by men. Research shows that this is not the case. Most recently, results published by Bolotnyy and Emanuel of Harvard University show that for the same job, women take home 89 percent of what men take home annually only because the genders tend to make different choices (men are more likely to work overtime and take less time off using the Family Medical Leave Act). Ms. Hill, then, shows that she desires wages where women are unilaterally paid more per hour than men. Moreover, whereas previously an accuser would have to demonstrate prejudice in order to have a rightful claim, the Paycheck Fairness Act puts the onus on the employer to show that pay discrepancies are not based on gender.
Ms. Hill voted for the re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act. The original act was called repugnant to the US Constitution by the American Civil Liberties Union for its extreme punishment before conviction. Moreover, the entire act is sexist. By specifically highlighting the atrocity of violence against women, Ms. Hill is condoning violence against men.
In an interview for thelily.com, Ms. Hill called a fellow congressman “One Minute Man.” And when the congressman (who Ms. Hill would not identify) tried to make light of her obvious gaffe by saying, “I can also be Mr. five-minute man,” she accused him of sexism and told him that it was his behavior that was not OK.
Ms. Hill is working for a world where cats are more considered than those suffering from disease, where a separate and unequal educational system is standard, where women get paid more per hour than men, and where employers are guilty until they prove themselves innocent. I share in the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior; I also dream that one day, each of us will be judged solely by the content of our character. And I hope that Ms. Hill’s tenure in congress ends soon in order to bring that dream closer to a reality.
Nicholas Dwork was born and raised in Canyon Country. He received a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering with work specialized in medical technologies from Stanford University in 2019.