1911 - Women's Suffrage
Voters grant California women the right to vote in state and local elections nine years before women win the federal franchise. California becomes the sixth state to give women voting rights, but approval is by the narrowest margin of 22 constitution amendments approved on the same ballot. A similar measure had been defeated in 1896. (Constitutional amendment, proposed by the Legislature, approved by 50.7 percent of voters.)
1911 - Labor Reform
A package of labor laws includes an eight hour day for working women, although farm labor and the canning and packing industries are excluded. Children under 18 are prohibited from working between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Wages must be paid at regular intervals. A voluntary workmen's compensation program will provide benefits in the event of on-the-job accidents. Workmen's compensation becomes mandatory in 1913 Proposition 8 permits voters to remove from public office, or recall, elected officials including judges. (Constitutional amendment, proposed by the Legislature, approved by 76.5 percent of voters.)
1911 - Right of Citizen's Initiative, Recall, and Referendum
Proposition 7 gives citizens the right to propose ballot initiatives by collecting sufficient signatures from voters. It also gives voters the right to petition to put referendums on the ballot to rescind laws or parts of laws enacted by the Legislature. (Constitutional amendment, proposed by the Legislature, approved by 76.4 percent of voters.)
1913 - Immigration and Housing Commission
A state commission on immigration and housing is created to prevent, in the words of Hiram Johnson, the kinds of "dreadful conditions of poverty" that could be found in the immigrant ghettos of East Coast cities. The commission also examines farm-labor camps and promotes housing standards for migratory workers.