Hotel Heroes: Toni Atkins, California State Senator

​​California Senator, Toni Atkins, knows something about trail-blazing.
April 16, 2019
On the California State Senate Floor, in Sacramento, California. The CHLA Board of Directors is with Senator Toni Atkins holding BEST's Inhospitable to Human Trafficking training certificates, March 2019.

​​California Senator, Toni Atkins, knows something about trail-blazing.

Before taking office, she was the director of client services at Womancare Health Center in San Diego, where she helped significantly expand the clinic’s services and founded the Toni Atkins Lesbian Health Fund to assist low-income lesbian and bisexual women in need of medical treatment.

After being elected to the California legislature, Senator Atkins was chosen by her colleagues to be the next Senate President pro Tempore, and in March 2018 she was sworn in as the first openly LGBTQ person to lead the California Legislature’s upper house.

Senator Atkins’ commitment to under-served populations and to women’s health and safety inspired her to author Senate Bill970.  This bill requires all California hotels and lodging establishments that are subject to the Fair Employment and Housing Act provide at least 20 minutes of training and education regarding human-trafficking awareness to each employee who is likely to interact or come into contact with victims of human trafficking.

Senator Atkins’ bill was signed into law on September 27, 2018 by California Governor Jerry Brown, making California one of the first states to require human trafficking awareness training for hotel and lodging employees. California hotels have already started training their staff in order to meet the new requirement by 2020. BEST is proud to support California’s efforts to protect vulnerable citizens by partnering with the California Hotel and Lodging Association (CHLA) to provide our online Inhospitable to Human Trafficking training for their members.

At the CHLA Legislative Action Summit in March of this year, the CHLA Board of Directors had an opportunity to visit Senator Atkins and thank her for her dedication to this important issue. They were able to take a moment to pose for this photo on the Senate floor, all holding their certificates of completion for BEST’s Inhospitable to Human Trafficking training.