Categories
Press Release

Progressive Organizations Outline Sweeping Agenda for California’s Equitable Recovery from COVID-19 Pandemic

For Immediate Release, March 23, 2021

Contact: Jenna Thompson, 949.246.1620, jenna@paschalroth.com

SACRAMENTO, CA– The Building the California Dream Alliance, a broad coalition of more than 55 progressive organizations, today unveiled a sweeping set of policy proposals aimed at ensuring an equitable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic for Californians. The agenda aims to eliminate deep-seeded inequities laid bare over the past year in areas such as education, health care, housing, criminal justice, and the environment.

“Decades of systemic inequality and racism culminated this year in a devastating death toll, relentless suffering and trauma in communities of color,” said Victoria Dominquez, on behalf of Asian Americans Advancing Justice – California. “Californians who were already struggling to pay rent or buy food a year ago have now endured months without paychecks, and have grappled with fear of eviction, hunger, despair and incalculable loss. Enough is enough – it’s clear we must reshape our economic system and eradicate race and gender-based violence in policies and social structures. We demand better than a state that lets children fall into poverty and widens learning gaps while billionaires and corporations accumulate greater and greater wealth and power.”

Each year the coalition outlines an ambitious agenda to uplift families, empower workers and communities, and expand opportunities for all Californians to take part in the California Dream. This year’s coalition agenda is especially important as California looks to rebuild after a year that laid bare how unacceptable structural racism, reinforced by economic and environmental injustice, have resulted in COVID-19’s staggering death toll for people of color. The agenda laid out by the Building the California Dream Alliance contains:

CRIMINAL JUSTICE
AB 503 (Stone) would end endless probation for youth by limiting time on probation to six months and limiting probation conditions by requiring they be individually tailored, developmentally appropriate, and not excessive. This bill would also advance racial justice and equity by ensuring Black, Brown, and poor youth are protected from long-term contact with the criminal-legal system.

SB 300 (Cortese) would reform California’s cruel and racist “felony murder special circumstance” law to ensure that the death penalty and life without the possibility of parole cannot be imposed on those that did not kill, nor intend that a person die during a crime.

CIVIL RIGHTS (DISABILITY RIGHTS)
SB 2 (Bradford) would rein in police misconduct by providing for independent investigation and decertification of police officers committing serious misconduct, and provide remedies to victims and their families by eliminating inappropriate immunities that are often used to evade accountability.

SB 447 (Laird) would allow a victim’s human suffering damages to survive even if the victim passes away before trial or resolution of their case. California law incentivizes defendants to prolong court proceedings in hopes that delays will outlive the victims of their own negligence. COVID-19 has made this problem worse, with no end in sight especially for victims who suffer from terminal illnesses.

EDUCATION (EARLY CARE AND EDUCATION THROUGH HIGHER ED)
AB 92 (Reyes) would alleviate financial burdens for families who are low income by creating an equitable sliding scale for child care family fees. California can fund child care for everyone, but instead our state relies on fees paid by families of color (mostly mothers) who earn low wages and can least afford it.

AB 610 (Kalra) would reduce law enforcement involvement in schools by providing them with the flexibility they need to respond appropriately to student behavior. More specifically, AB 610 would eliminate state mandates for school notification of law enforcement, increasing educator discretion in determining when to notify law enforcement about a student’s school related behaviors and eliminating prosecution of school staff who fail to report incidents of alleged assaults or physical threats against school employees.

ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY AND JUSTICE
SB 222/SB223 (Dodd) together establishes a long-needed framework for a statewide water affordability assistance program and strengthens and extends inadequate existing water shutoff and bill repayment protocols and procedures to better protect all low-income California households that may face or have already experienced water service disconnections due to the water customer’s inability to pay their water bill.

SB 467 (Wiener) would tackle oil and gas extraction – which pollutes the air we breathe, contaminates the water we drink, and accelerates climate change – which is significantly more likely to take place in communities of color, and is compounding the health consequences of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic head on. SB 467 would specifically: 1) phase out fracking and other dangerous oil and gas extraction and production methods by 2027; 2) prohibit any new extraction permits within 2,500 feet of communities by July 1, 2022; and, 3) provide a meaningful just transition pathway for oil workers.

GENDER EQUITY
AB 1119 (Wicks) would prohibit discrimination against employees based on their family responsibilities and ensures working families have access to reasonable accommodations to deal with school and care closures.

SB 379 (Wiener) would ensure that UC healthcare providers practicing in non-UC facilities are able to provide comprehensive reproductive and LGBTQ-inclusive healthcare. SB 379 prohibits the University of California from entering into any contract with a health facility that limits the services UC medical providers and students are able to provide patients due to harmful, non-clinical restrictions on care.

HEALTHCARE AND LONG-TERM CARE ACCESS FOR ALL
AB 1130 (Wood) would create the Office of Health Care Affordability to collect and analyze information and identify trends in health care prices in order to address costs across the entire health care system. The Office will set enforceable cost targets for health care affordability while also aiming to improve quality and equity.

SB 650 (Stern) would require nursing homes to file annual consolidated financial statements, giving the State and the public more information on how nursing homes are spending taxpayer dollars.

HOUSING, HOMELESSNESS AND TENANT RIGHTS
AB 71 (L. Rivas) would tax  corporations by restoring corporate tax rates on corporations with $5 million or more in profits. The funding would be used  to fund solutions to combat homelessness.

AB 1487 (Gabriel) would establish the Homelessness Prevention Fund to fund education, outreach, and legal services targeted towards preventing homelessness among particularly vulnerable renter populations

IMMIGRANT AND REFUGEE JUSTICE AND INTEGRATION
AB 937 (Carillo), the VISION Act, would protect refugee and immigrant community members who have already been deemed eligible for release from being funneled by local jails and our state prison system to immigration detention. Prohibiting transfers to ICE would protect Californians from being subjected to inhumane and unsanitary conditions in immigration detention, close the main pipeline filling immigration detention beds, and reunite refugee and immigrant families and communities.

SB 334 (Durazo) would require for-profit detention facilities and prisons operating in California to meet and maintain insurance requirements including workers’ compensation and liability, adhere to all appropriate state and local health, safety, fire and jail standards, and mandate that they obtain coverage from an admitted insurance carrier authorized to operate in California by the state’s Department of Insurance.

INCOME AND FOOD SECURITY
AB 221 (Santiago, R. Rivas) would require the Department of Social Services to provide a food assistance benefit statewide to low-income California residents, regardless of their immigration status.

SB 731 (Durazo) would create a comprehensive process to automatically seal conviction and arrest records in the state of California once a person has fully completed their sentence and successfully gone two years without further contact with the justice system.

LGBTQ EQUALITY AND RIGHTS
AB 1041 (Wicks) would update current law to allow an employee to use their leave time to care for any individual related by blood or whose close association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.

SB 225 (Wiener) would reduce the preventable harm done to people born with variations in their physical sex characteristics, who are often subjected to unnecessary surgeries when they are infants or young children based on generalized assumptions and stereotypes about the way bodies should look.

RACIAL JUSTICE
SB 17 (Pan) would establish the Office of Racial Equity (ORE) and the Racial Equity Advisory and Accountability Council, which would oversee the new office. The Office of Racial Equity will coordinate and lead the state’s strategies for advancing racial equity across state agencies and departments.

AB 256 (Kalra) would make the California Racial Justice Act of 2020 retroactive, ensuring that people now in prison and jail can challenge racial bias in their convictions and trials.

FINANCIAL SECURITY
ACA 8/AB 310 (Lee/Santiago) would apply a 1% wealth tax on individuals with a net worth of $50 million or more, and an additional 0.5% tax on individuals worth $1 billion or more. The tax generates over $22 billion annually, and is applied to all tangible or intangible assets within the state of california, except real property.

AB 1177 (Santiago) would create the BankCal Program to provide essential financial services and allow individuals to open a no-fee, no-penalty transaction account with an associated debit card. In addition, this bill creates the Public Banking Option Board to oversee and administer the BankCal Program.

DEMOCRACY
AB 339 (Lee, C. Garcia, R. Rivas) would provide greater public access to meetings of local agencies as well as the state legislature by promoting the use of teleconference technology to allow remote participation and to increase language access for limited English proficient residents.

SB 286 (Min) would create greater participation and voter representation for local elections by requiring candidates for county nonpartisan offices to have a top-two runoff in a November General Election. Current law allows for county officials to be elected by a majority vote in Primary Elections, which have much lower voter turnout compared to General Elections and are not representative of historically disenfranchised groups of people who continue to be underrepresented in the electorate, including youth, Black, Latinx, and Asian American people.

WORKER RIGHTS
SB 606 (Gonzalez) would ensure California’s workers are safe from egregious and flagrant violations by giving Cal/OSHA the tools and resources it needs to ensure employers are in compliance with the state’s laws. Would also ensure workers are protected from retaliation so they feel safe to come forward and report unsafe working conditions.

AB 257 (Gonzalez) would enact the FAST Recovery Act to improve standards for workers in the Fast Food Industry. This act would bring together workers, industry and government to help solve systematic problems like low wages, sexual harassment, and violence on the job.

ABOUT THE BUILDING THE CALIFORNIA DREAM ALLIANCE:

We are united in our commitment to the equal worth and dignity of every Californian, inclusive of race, gender, sexual orientation, immigration status, disability, health status, or age.

Together, we will fight for our communities – for broadly shared prosperity and economic security, educational and job opportunities, a clean environment and a healthy planet, quality and comprehensive healthcare for all, reproductive rights, responsive and democratic government, a strong safety net and justice for all.

California must do a better job of putting our communities and people first – ahead of profit or political gain, and we are working together in order to realize that goal.

# # #

The Building the California Dream Alliance includes: ACCE, Advancement Project, American Civil Liberties Union of CA, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN), Black Women for Wellness, Breast The Building the California Dream Alliance includes: ACCE, Advancement Project, Alliance for Boys and Men of Color, American Civil Liberties Union of CA, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-CA, Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN), Black Women for Wellness, Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, California Attorneys For Criminal Justice (CACJ), California Calls, California Donor Table, California Low Income Consumers Coalition, California Domestic Workers Coalition, California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA), California Environmental Justice Alliance, California Food & Farming Network , California Labor Federation, California Immigrant Policy Center, California League of Conservation Voters, California NOW, California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, California Reinvestment Coalition, Center for Responsible Lending, Child Care Law Center, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), Consumer Attorneys of California, Council on American-Islamic Relations, California Chapter (CAIR-CA), Courage California, Disability Rights California, Drug Policy Alliance, Earth Justice, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Environment California, Equality California, Equal Rights Advocates, Friends Committee on Legislation of California, Health Access, Latino Coalition For A Healthy California, Lutheran Office of Public Policy, MALDEF, Mujeres Unidas, NARAL Pro-Choice California, NextGen California, Patriotic Millionaires, PICO California, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of CA, PolicyLink, Power California, Public Advocates, SEIU California, Sierra Club California, Smart Justice, UFCW, Voices for Progress, Young Invincibles, Western Center on Law & Poverty, Worker-Owned Recovery California CoalitionCancer Prevention Partners, California Attorneys For Criminal Justice (CACJ, California Calls, California Donor Table,  California Low Income Consumers Coalition, California Domestic Workers Coalition, California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA), California Environmental Justice Alliance, California Food & Farming Network , California Labor Federation, California Immigrant Policy Center, California League of Conservation Voters, California NOW, California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, California Reinvestment Coalition, Center for Responsible Lending, Child Care Law Center, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), Consumer Attorneys of California, Council on American-Islamic Relations, California Chapter (CAIR-CA), Courage California, Disability Rights California, Drug Policy Alliance, Earth Justice , Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Environment California, Equality California, Equal Rights Advocates, Friends Committee on Legislation of California , Health Access, Latino Coalition For A Healthy California , Lutheran office of Public Policy, MALDEF, Mujeres Unidas, NARAL Pro-Choice California, NextGen California , PICO California, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of CA, PolicyLink, Power California, Public Advocates, SEIU California, Sierra Club California, Smart Justice, UFCW, Voices for Progress, Young Invincibles, Western Center on Law & Poverty

Categories
Press Release

End of legislative sessions brings progressive victories

For Immediate Release, October 5, 2020

Contact: Mike Roth, 916.813.1554
Maria-Elena Jauregui, 818.355.5291

PROGRESSIVE ORGANIZATIONS DELIVER LANDMARK CRIMINAL JUSTICE, WORKER PROTECTION AND HEALTHCARE VICTORIES IN 2020

(SACRAMENTO, CA) –  The Building the California Dream Alliance – a broad coalition of progressive organizations – today announced that their unified efforts resulted in significant healthcare, immigration, voting access, criminal justice and worker protection legislative victories that will uplift workers, families, and all Californians in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The coalition’s work took on increased significance this year as the COVID-19 pandemic laid bare the disparities Californians endure as they struggle to keep their families safe, fed and healthy. To eliminate injustices in healthcare, economic opportunity and criminal justice and strengthen the safety net programs essential to ensure Recovery for All, the Alliance prioritized policies that would: 

  • Provide healthcare and housing for all people, with no exceptions,
  • Ensure a government that focused on care and inclusion that lifts all people out of poverty, allowing us to live full and happy lives,
  • Prioritize workers and communities over corporate executives, 
  • Create a just transition to a green, regenerative economy that ensures all Californians have a clean and safe environment where they live, work, play and pray, and 
  • Expand and protect our democratic process, ensuring robust, accessible opportunities for all Californians to determine the future of our government and economy

“In a time of unprecedented crisis, our organizations pulled together to fight for the principle that a real recovery must prioritize the most vulnerable Californians,” said Mariko Yoshihara, Legislative Counsel and  Policy Director with the California Employment Lawyers Association.“Our Building the California Dream Alliance policy agenda recognizes that California can’t succeed unless we invest in lifting up all Californians, especially our communities of color.” 

“In the face of a global pandemic, record-breaking wildfires and a deep recession, the California Dream Alliance has made policy progress this year from small steps toward immigrant inclusion to criminal justice reforms, to bedrock worker protection victories,” said Orville Thomas of the California Immigrant Policy Center. “But our communities are still suffering and need more. We look forward to our continued partnership to improve the lives of struggling Californians.”  

The Building the California Dream Alliance was founded in 2015 to further a progressive, positive vision for California, offering a sharp contrast to the Chamber of Commerce’s cynical, anti-worker, anti-environment agenda. Each year the coalition outlines an ambitious agenda to uplift families, empower workers and communities, and expand opportunities for all Californians to take part in the California Dream. This year, 8 of the coalition’s priorities were signed into law: 

CRIMINAL JUSTICE:

AB 2542 (Kalra): The California Racial Justice Act will bring civil rights into California’s criminal courts. The bill prohibits racial discrimination in convictions and sentences and creates a process for challenging discrimination at trial or following conviction. 

ECONOMIC RECOVERY

Budget: Includes undocumented immigrants in COVID-19 economic recovery and revitalization efforts as part of the $10 million SEED Initiative in the state budget, while promoting immigrant worker leadership, organizing and a more just and equitable economy. 

AB 1876 (Ting): Expands California’s Earned Income Tax Credit and Young Child Tax Credit to all Californians, specifically allowing for ITIN workers to receive these benefits starting on January 1, 2021. These benefits are applicable for each tax year starting from 2020. 

HEALTHCARE

SB 1237 (Dodd): Removes physician supervision for certified nurse midwives to increase access to high-quality, high-value pregnancy and birth care, reduce race-based disparities in maternal outcomes, and bring California in line with the 46 other states that all do not require physician supervision for certified nurse midwives.

VOTING

AB 860 (Berman): Requires county elections officials to mail a ballot to every registered active voter for the November 3, 2020 statewide general election. 

SB 423 (Umberg, Berman): Authorizes changes to in-person voting requirements for the November 3, 2020 statewide general election, and requires the state and counties to conduct voter education and outreach campaigns to notify voters about voting in that election.

WORKER PROTECTIONS 

SB 275 (Pan): Requires the Department of Public Health (CDPH) to establish a personal protective equipment (PPE) stockpile for health care workers and essential workers in the state and requires health care employers, as specified, to establish a PPE inventory that is sufficient for at least 45 days of surge consumption.

WORKERS’ RIGHTS

SB 1383 (Jackson): Expands the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) to give  an additional six-million employees the right to take job protected leave to bond with a new child or to care for themselves, a child, parent, spouse, domestic partner, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, or parent-in-law who has a serious health condition and therefore be able to access California’s paid family leave program. 

# # #

The Building the California Dream Alliance includes: ACCE, Advancement Project, American Civil Liberties Union of CA, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN), Black Women for Wellness, Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, California Attorneys For Criminal Justice (CACJ, California Calls, California Donor Table,  California Low Income Consumers Coalition, California Domestic Workers Coalition, California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA), California Environmental Justice Alliance, California Food & Farming Network , California Labor Federation, California Immigrant Policy Center, California League of Conservation Voters, California NOW, California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, California Reinvestment Coalition, Center for Responsible Lending, Child Care Law Center, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), Consumer Attorneys of California, Council on American-Islamic Relations, California Chapter (CAIR-CA), Courage California, Disability Rights California, Drug Policy Alliance, Earth Justice , Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Environment California, Equality California, Equal Rights Advocates, Friends Committee on Legislation of California , Health Access, Latino Coalition For A Healthy California , Lutheran office of Public Policy, MALDEF, Mujeres Unidas, NARAL Pro-Choice California, NextGen California , PICO California, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of CA, PolicyLink, Power California, Public Advocates, SEIU California, Sierra Club California, Smart Justice, UFCW, Voices for Progress, Young Invincibles, Western Center on Law & Poverty

Categories
Press Release

Prevent massive cuts to vital services

For Immediate Release, May 7, 2020

Contact: Nikki Paschal, 916.444.7170

PROGRESSIVE ORGANIZATIONS URGE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO HELP PREVENT MASSIVE CUTS TO VITAL SERVICES

(SACRAMENTO, CA) – Today, the California Department of Finance released new data projecting a $54 billion state budget deficit through June 2021. In response, several organizations that make up the Building the California Dream Alliance issued the following statements:

“Without major federal financial aid, this state budget shortfall threatens cataclysmic cuts to health and other vital services–at exactly the time during a pandemic when we need them the most. The magnitude of the fiscal impact of the COVID19 crisis is massive, and if states don’t get federal help, the resulting cuts will mean many will lose access to care and coverage, and also further exacerbate the economic crisis we are in.

Every state, including California, will desperately needs federal aid, which is best done as a bigger and longer increase in Medicaid matching funds. California did the right thing and built a strong budget reserve over the last ten years, but even our state will need significant help from the federal government, just as states have needed in past economic downturns.” said Wright. “Congress needs to take urgent action to help states prevent catastrophic and counterproductive cuts, that would otherwise stymie our recovery efforts – both for our public health and our economy.”

– Anthony Wright, Executive Director, Health Access California

“California’s financial reality is a reflection of what families across the state are facing and feeling. Low-income and middle-income families, and low-wage workers have been on the front line and have felt the worst effects of this pandemic. These same families and workers will be disproportionately impacted by budget cuts to core services and will continue to be on the front lines of the climate crisis if we do not move forward in a way that continues to fund critical programs.

That is why the state needs to prioritize and invest in integrated programs that create new, union, family-sustaining jobs, but also protect us against the climate crisis and advance public health as well. These projects improve the efficiency of public dollars and help us prepare for things like wildfire season while recovering from this pandemic. These are the tried and true solutions that move us forward on rebuilding an economy with public health, safety, and welfare in mind. Investments in transforming our transportation infrastructure, expanding clean energy, and building resilience in cities and across landscapes do just that. Budget cuts are not the solution to move us forward.

In times of crisis we not only see true leadership rise, we also see creativity and innovation at an all-time high. And that is what we need right now, a federal and state government focused on addressing this moment with an eye towards the growing reality of the climate crisis, catalyzing innovation, and integration across the state. That is not only the potential, it is also what is necessary to save lives and livelihoods down the road. We are eager to partner with the Legislature, the Newsom administration, and California’s powerful federal delegation to make this a reality.” 

Mary Creasman, Chief Executive Officer of the California League of Conservation Voters (CLCV)

“The $54 billion deficit projection isn’t just a shocking number – it reflects the devastating human toll of the coronavirus on the people of California: lives lost, jobs lost, savings wiped out, and an unprecedented human need still ahead of us. The cost of fighting the virus in our hospitals, nursing homes, public health systems, businesses and residences is still mounting. Meanwhile, we need to make massive investments to avoid another wave of human calamity – hunger, poverty, and homelessness. We need to be able to create jobs, save small businesses here in California, and invest in infrastructure that will help us recover.

The projected deficit is a powerful flare that lights up the dangers ahead, and we know that the dangers will not be faced equally. Working families, immigrant families, and communities of color are facing higher rates of unemployment, small business loss, housing insecurity, and hunger. We are facing a catastrophic crisis of inequality.

On behalf of the 700,000 workers who care for our sick, our most vulnerable elders, children and families, we wholeheartedly support Governor Newsom’s request for $1 trillion in federal support to states and local government in delivering these vital services and blunting an even greater recession. We must not repeat the mistakes of the Great Recession, where a pullback in public investment accelerated the economy’s downward spiral. 

Throughout this crisis, California has been a beacon for the nation with our smart and science-based approach to fighting the virus and in the unprecedented and bold investments we’ve made in cushioning the blow for families. Now is a time to redouble our commitment to a Recovery for All with the proven path of stimulus instead of austerity. That starts with securing the federal support needed to protect the dignity and opportunity all California families deserve.” 

Bob Schoonover, President, SEIU California and SEIU Local 721

“It’s essential that California’s budget deficit not be solved by cutting core services to Californians who are suffering the most from the economic depression. This depression has already highlighted inequities in our economy. The worst thing state leaders could do would be to increase those inequities through core services cuts.

This deficit also highlights how important it is that the only government entity that can borrow—the federal government—move quickly to do so and provide budget help to state and local governments. Without that help, the country will sink into a depression, just as it did after the 1929 stock market decline when an inept president who refused to help was in power.

The biggest barrier to help right now are Republican members in the U.S. House and Senate. It’s time for Republicans in California’s delegation to step up and help their home state and their constituents. They need to support funds to keep California afloat.”

Kathryn Phillips, Director, Sierra Club California

“Any attempt by California or other states to cut programs will lead to immense human suffering, and deepen and lengthen the recession. Cuts will worsen income inequality and harm people who are already most marginalized in our society.

Those disproportionately impacted by COVID and its economic implications — primarily Black, Latinx, and low-income people (many of whom are essential workers on which California relies), are the same people who will be most negatively impacted by state cuts, if that’s the route California takes. That is absolutely unacceptable, and it is not the correct strategy for California For All.

This is an extraordinarily difficult time, and we appreciate the tremendous responsibility the Governor and Legislature has right now. But it is our responsibility at Western Center on Law & Poverty to protect the Californians with the lowest incomes who bear the brunt of the economic burden in this state.

The only priority the Legislature and Governor should have right now is to protect every PERSON who lives here — from the pandemic, from homelessness, from hunger, and from financial ruin. The overall economy comes second, human lives come first.

It’s time for Washington to accept their responsibility and pass state relief now. Congress must enact a fourth Coronavirus response package ASAP, so states aren’t forced to make cuts that will turn this recession into a full blown depression.”

Western Center on Law & Poverty (WSLP)

“Our state and our individual communities cannot afford a tidal wave of budget cuts to vital programs and resources upon which all Californians depend – but particularly our state’s most vulnerable citizens during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Our courts in particular have been struggling to recover from past budget cuts that seriously destabilized a cornerstone of our democracy. From everyday citizens to our biggest businesses, society depends on the effective operation of our courts. New funding cuts would slow civil justice to a crawl, impacting the livelihood of citizens across the spectrum. We urge the federal government to put aside politics and step up with financial assistance to states across the nation suffering under the yoke of the coronavirus pandemic. A swift and effective recovery depends on maintaining the operational vitality of states. Without it, the fiscal malaise will almost certainly outlast the viral threat.”

Micha Star Liberty, Consumer Attorneys of California

“In the face of an unprecedented budget crisis, California must continue to lead when it comes to supporting communities of color and low-income communities. Inequality is the biggest threat to our economy and our society. We must not shortchange important investments in equity, such as expanding health care coverage, health benefits, and paid leave for the communities who continue to bear the brunt of COVID- 19 impacts. We thank Governor Newsom and the legislature for their continued leadership and their partnership with the Federal administration in bolstering our budget and our ability to keep our promises to those most severely impacted.”

Kiran Savage, Executive Director of the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN)

“As California faces an unprecedented $54.3 billion deficit due to COVID-19 impacts, this budget shortfall is a potential threat to funding for safety net programs that are critical for the health, and safety of our communities. Historically, low-income, Latino and immigrant communities have faced disproportionate impacts as a result of disinvestment and lack of prioritization. The Latino Coalition for a Healthy California calls on the Governor and State Legislature to preserve existing health, food and housing programs that the most marginalized in our State urgently need to protect our safety and promote healthy communities for all.”  

Jeffrey Reynoso, Executive Director, Latino Coalition for a Healthy CA

“In a time of crisis, those with the most should pay their fair share. California small businesses and low income families are hurting the most, while corporations like Amazon and billionaires like Jeff Bezos and Jack Dorsey continue to exponentially increase their wealth. As California projects a budget shortfall due to COVID-19, we will not stand for austerity measures on the backs of immigrants, people of color, and working families as the rich get richer. We call on Governor Newsom to look to the wealthiest Californians and Corporations that do business in California to close the budget shortfall and to invest in working families.”

– Paulina Gonzalez-Brito, Executive Director, California Reinvestment Coalition

“The announcement of the state’s revenue shortfall by the Department of Finance, sadly but predictably, opened a conversation about potential cuts to vital services and programs. The members of ACCE Action want to be clear that cuts are simply not an option. For people most in need, a consideration to cut services is a low blow insult added to a grave injury because the very people who have been deeply harmed by the economic crisis are those who rely most on the services that will be threatened.

Retired, unemployed, low-income, and working class people are struggling to survive the health and economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, especially within Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities. In reality, cuts are a cruel form of taxes on our most vulnerable neighbors, friends, and essential workers. The reality is that someone is going to be asked to foot the bill for the economic fall out of this public health crisis. This country and state has a long history of balancing budgets on the backs of those least able to bear the weight.

It is morally reprehensible to ask vulnerable communities to pay through budget cuts while American billionaires have become $280 billion richer since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. The state government must not entertain a discussion to cut programs and services, because that will only deepen the recession and force millions more Californians into poverty and homelessness. Instead, they, and we, need to focus our energy on demanding Congress and the President step up and immediately pass the proposed $1 trillion relief package for state and local governments.”

– Abdullah Muhammad, Co-Chair of the ACCE Action Board of Directors

“CalNonprofit’s top priority has always been to advocate for sufficient public investment in our communities and in the nonprofits that serve and speak for them. The pandemic makes it even clearer that California’s nonprofits are central to the services supply chain that can keep our communities healthy and thriving. We are a vital part of the state’s economy, generating 15 percent of the Gross State Product and employing more than a million Californians.

As a voice for California’s 120,000 nonprofits, CalNonprofits stands with members of the California Congressional delegation and Governor Gavin Newsom who are insisting that Congress and the President immediately pass a $1 trillion relief package for state and local governments.

We support government budget and fiscal policies that provide the resources required to equitably and adequately sustain all Californians. To adequately protect Californians from the immense harm this pandemic has wrought, California must not cut the state budget and must continue to push for significant and immediate financial help from the federal government. With adequate federal support, California can avoid damaging budget cuts and can implement policies that maintain and strengthen the government-nonprofit partnership crucial to providing the services and programs California’s communities so desperately need.”

– Jan Masaoka, CEO, CalNonprofits

“The California Dream is one where people can come together from all walks of life to make things better for their loved ones and for future generations. California State and federal leaders must protect that dream. Black, brown and Indigenous communities have always been denied the resources we need to be healthy and are also the most impacted by COVID-19. Programs that support these communities must not also be on the chopping block when it’s time to balance the budget. It’s time the federal government and our state leaders keep our families safe regardless of where we come from or how much money we have.”

 – Tim Molina, Sr. Political Strategist, California Donor Table

“Since the turn of the century, California has experienced two major recessions beginning with the dotcom bust. By all accounts those recessions will pale in comparison to the economic peril now facing our state and the nation.

While Washington has moved to ease the economic misfortunes suffered by businesses, states –who are on the front lines of the pandemic – are facing steep declines in revenue while the demand for government services increases. Without federal help, the recession will result in deep cuts to schools, health care and social services. Moreover, cuts in state spending will negate the economic impact of federal stimulus programs to get our economy moving again.

Most importantly, when essential safety net services are reduced in order to balance the budget, the pain falls disproportionately on the most marginalized California residents who are already suffering the worst effects of the pandemic and the recession. Even when the economy recovers, it can take years, if not decades, to restore essential services. 

We must not balance the state’s budget on the backs of our most vulnerable residents. The Friends Committee on Legislation of California urges a state budget that protects – not further harms –California’s poor and middle class. To the California Legislature we say “no cuts,” and we enthusiastically join with Gov. Newsom in seeking $1 trillion in federal aid directly to the states.”

Friends Committee on Legislation of California

“Voices for Progress members are part of our economy’s top 1%, but they recognize that the United States is not an even playing field for everyone, and are ready to step up and do their part to repair our economy. That’s why they are calling on the legislature to refuse to balance our economy on the backs of the most vulnerable Californians by cutting our social safety net when it is needed most. It would be a grave injustice to take away needed aid and services from those who are already being hit the hardest by Coronavirus and the resulting economic crisis, many of whom are frontline workers. Further, Voices for Progress calls on the federal government to pass the National Association of Governor’s bipartisan request of $1 trillion for funding to states and local governments as soon as possible, so Californians can get the relief they so desperately need and deserve.”

Sandra Fluke, President, Voices for Progress

“With the announcement of a 55 billion dollar deficit in the California State 2020-2021 Budget, Advancement Project California knows we are looking toward difficult times. We cannot support cuts to essential programs. Therefore, we urge Federal support to mitigate the impact on our most vulnerable communities.

Advancement Project California recently released a rapid response interactive report on RACECOUNTS.org: How Race, Class, and Place Fuel a Pandemic, which displays how COVID-19 has brought America face-to-face with its pervasive inequities. What we see in the news about a flattening of the curve may be true for wealthier whites, but that is not the case in low-income and Black and Latinx communities. We must act now and with the full support of California’s leadership.”

John Kim, Executive Director, Advancement Project California.

“Today’s announcement by the Department of Finance projects that California will see a massive deficit in our upcoming budget. CEJA is a statewide alliance representing thousands of low-income and historically disenfranchised residents across the state. We urge the Newsom Administration and the Legislature to protect essential programs for all Californians. We also call upon the federal government to support sending additional financial resources to state and local governments to help us avoid significant budget cuts at a time when our communities desperately need additional support.

Significant budget cuts will surely extend the economic recession California is experiencing, and will hurt the most impacted members of our society the hardest. Now more than ever, the Legislature and Governor must prioritize the health and well-being of Californians by preserving vital programs that will help achieve those ends. CEJA is committed to engaging with lawmakers and the Governor throughout the development of the June workload budget and in future trailer bill development to ensure that this upcoming 2020-2021 budget prioritizes the health and well being of all California residents, and look forward to continuing to collaborate as we plan for a just and green recovery.

CEJA further calls on the Congress and the President to immediately pass a $1 trillion relief package for our state and local governments. It is time for Washington to accept their responsibility and pass state relief now, and it should be done without conditions.”

 – Diana Vazquez Ballesteros, California Environmental Justice Alliance and CEJA Action

“Over the last two months, California has served as a model for states attempting to navigate this crisis, but the COVID-19 pandemic has made even more glaring the inequities embedded in our healthcare system and economy at large. The last thing Californians need right now is for those inequities to be further exacerbated by cutting funding to essential services.

The federal government has a responsibility to meet this unprecedented moment by protecting our most marginalized communities, who have already been disproportionately burdened by this crisis. To meet the basic needs of the American people, Congress must pass a relief package that sends significant funding to state and local governments.

As California plans for the future, it is imperative that we continue to lead by example when it comes to ensuring that our most vulnerable communities are given the support and resources they need. This includes, at minimum, expanding paid leave for workers, removing cost-sharing for essential healthcare services — including abortion care — and repealing medically-unnecessary requirements such as physician supervision for nurse midwives.” 

Shannon Hovis, Director, NARAL Pro-Choice California

“No matter who we are or where we come from, we all want to live healthy, thriving lives. The coronavirus pandemic has profoundly shown us that the health and well-being of one of us is dependent on the health and well-being of all of us. It has also revealed that historic disinvestment in low-income communities, Black communities, immigrant communities and tribal communities has left these communities vulnerable to greater sickness and death. This is not an accident. Policy decisions over the past four decades that have prioritized benefits to corporations and the already-wealthy, while at the same time underfunding health clinics, safe housing, sick leave and public education have put communities at risk in this pandemic. 

This is not a choice we have to keep making. In the midst of this health crisis, we do not have to repeat the mistakes of the past. We can choose to focus on providing the backbone of support – health, housing, income – that hardest-hit communities need, and ensuring that we all pay our fair share to make it happen. 

Historic moments call for bold leadership. The Governor has already shown tremendous leadership in the face of unprecedented times. But we can’t stop now. California will come out of this stronger than ever if we, together, harness our innovative, risk-taking spirit and fight for bold solutions that move us forward, not backward.

We call on the Governor and the Legislature to courageously represent us: your farmworkers, grocery store clerks, janitors, school teachers, parents, grandparents, students, clergy, nurses, and so many more. Only by representing together can we come through this difficult time.”

AAPIs for Civic Empowerment-EF
Coalition for Humane and Immigrant Rights
California Calls
Orange County Civic Engagement Table
PICO California
Power California
San Francisco Rising
Orange County Civic Engagement Table

###

The Building the California Dream Alliance includes: ACCE, Advancement Project, American Civil Liberties Union of CA, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN), Black Women for Wellness, Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, California Attorneys For Criminal Justice (CACJ, California Calls, California Donor Table,  California Low Income Consumers Coalition, California Domestic Workers Coalition, California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA), California Environmental Justice Alliance, California Food & Farming Network , California Labor Federation, California Immigrant Policy Center, California League of Conservation Voters, California NOW, California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, California Reinvestment Coalition, Center for Responsible Lending, Child Care Law Center, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), Consumer Attorneys of California, Council on American-Islamic Relations, California Chapter (CAIR-CA), Courage California, Disability Rights California, Drug Policy Alliance, Earth Justice , Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Environment California, Equality California, Equal Rights Advocates, Friends Committee on Legislation of California , Health Access, Latino Coalition For A Healthy California , Lutheran office of Public Policy, MALDEF, Mujeres Unidas, NARAL Pro-Choice California, NextGen California , PICO California, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of CA, PolicyLink, Power California, Public Advocates, SEIU California, Sierra Club California, Smart Justice, UFCW, Voices for Progress, Young Invincibles, Western Center on Law & Poverty

Categories
Press Release

Equitable and Green Recovery for All

For Immediate Release

May 6, 2020 

Contact: Nikki Paschal, 916.444.7170

Progressive Organizations Outline Sweeping Agenda to Achieve a “Recovery for All” in California that is Equitable and Green

Sacramento, CA –  The Building the California Dream Alliance, a broad coalition of more than 55 progressive organizations, today unveiled a sweeping set of policy proposals aimed at eliminating injustices in health care, economic opportunity, education and environmental quality that have been exposed and amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

In a letter to Governor Newsom, the organizations’ leaders emphasized the opportunity before California now to re-shape a broken economic system that left millions of Californians and their families unable to withstand any level of economic downturn, and to make a sizeable investment in safety net programs needed to ensure a Recovery for All.  They also underscored the unacceptable structural racism in our health care system and in the determinants of health – reinforced by economic and environmental injustice – that have resulted in COVID-19’s staggering death toll for people of color. 

“This pandemic is a clarion call for transformation across our economic and social systems,” said Regina Banks, Director, Lutheran Office of Public Policy – California. “Within the first few weeks of California’s effort to slow the virus’ spread, millions of Californians were unable to pay for rent or food – illustrating just how many Californians were living on razor thin margins even in a ‘growing’ economy. While we give attention to their most immediate needs, California must commit to support their recovery over the long haul and implement the sweeping reforms needed to deliver justice in economic opportunity, education, health care, and the environment.” 

Each year the coalition outlines an ambitious agenda to uplift families, empower workers and communities, and expand opportunities for all Californians to take part in the California Dream.  This year’s coalition agenda was released today as state legislators have begun to hold policy hearings on bills and the week before Governor Newsom is set to release a May budget revision transformed significantly by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“The disproportionate loss of life in California’s communities of color is devastating and unacceptable — and it was preventable,” said Nourbese Flint, Executive Director of the Black Women for Wellness Action Project. “Systemic racism has persisted in health care access and delivery because we have failed to prioritize eliminating it.  We will not allow inequities to be forgotten when the immediate threat of COVID-19 is behind us, and we will not relent from our fight for health care equity until every Californian has the opportunity to be healthy.”  

“Too many workers whom we recognize now as essential have always been treated as if they are expendable,” said Amber Baur, Executive Director UFCW Western States Council. “Now is the time for us to start treating every single Californian as essential, valuable, and worthy of dignity and a voice both at work and in their communities.”

Healthcare and Housing for all people, with no exceptions.

Health Care: Expand Medi-Cal for all eligible seniors, regardless of immigration status.

Health Care:  Increase state subsidies for Covered California.

Health Care: Enact AB 1611(Chiu) which would ban surprise emergency room billing by preventing surprise bills for out-of-network hospital ER visits so consumers are only billed for their in-network co-pay or deductible, and setting a fair provider payment standard.

Healthcare: Clarify that reproductive and sexual health services including abortion, gender-affirming care, sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment, and family planning are essential healthcare that cannot be delayed. In addition, remove cost-sharing for these essential services.

Healthcare: Remove physician supervision for certified nurse midwives to increase access to high-quality, high-value maternity care, reduce race-based disparities in maternal outcomes, and bring California in line with the 46 other states that all do not require physician supervision for certified nurse midwives.

Housing: Forgive unpaid rent accrued by low income households during the crisis. Establish a relief fund for nonprofit housing developers and needy landlords who’s lost rental incomes would otherwise put their business at risk. Eligible landlords shall meet a set of tenant protection criteria. State government should recoup these funds with a temporary or permanent fee on the largest landlords.

Unhoused: Set aside 20% of the total 2020-21 homelessness budget to combat youth homelessness.

Housing: Dedicate significant funding and deploy a set of strategies to reign in speculation in the housing market.

Housing: End predatory displacement financing by requiring state chartered banks and state licensed lenders to develop an anti-displacement financing policy.

A government focused on care and inclusion that lifts all people out of poverty allowing us to live full and happy lives.

 Immigration: Direct local jails and prisons to suspend the transfer of individuals from California’s custody to ICE in order to protect Californians from being subjected to inhumane and unsanitary conditions in immigration detention where the COVID-19 virus has been rapidly spreading.

Immigration: Expand EITC for ITIN workers and allow it to go into effect retroactively.

Expand Aid Programs: Implement a public education program to get people to file federal tax returns so that they can receive the $1,200 federal stimulus checks.        

Nonprofits: Direct departments to continue paying contractors who are underperforming due to temporary closures and suspension or reduction of services associated with COVID-19 and provide expedited or automatic approval process for budget modifications that do not increase the contract.

Small business: Invest in a $100 million grant program for small businesses with 1-25 employees and under $1 million in revenue disseminated by CDFIs and economic development community based organizations to ensure that hard to reach and historically marginalized small businesses and sole proprietors benefit from the program.

SEED Initiative: Maintain the $10 million SEED Initiative currently in the proposed budget.

 Policies and Programs that prioritize workers and communities over corporate executives.

Worker Protections:  Ensure that  workers receive the benefits they deserve by mandating a presumption that contracting COVID-19 or exposure to and physician ordered quarantine due to COVID-19 is conclusively determined to arise out of and in the course of employment for all essential workers.

Worker protections: Require California and its healthcare system to have a long term plan for ensuring we have an adequate supply of PPE.

Worker Protections: Expand California leave laws to ensure coverage for all workers not covered by the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act including amending the California Family Rights Act to ensure that workers can take time off to care for themselves or their loved ones without losing their jobs.

Worker Protections:  Enact, SB 1257 (Durazo) which would eliminate the “household domestic service” exclusion in Cal/OSHA, which sets standards for employers to provide a safe working environment for workers.

Worker Protections: Enact SB 1399 (Durazo) which would put a stop to the most egregious exploitation of garment workers by ensuring that they are fairly compensated for their work and keep the wages they earn.

Worker Protections:  Create a temporary, partial income replacement program for excluded workers who are not eligible for the state or federal benefits administered by EDD and who are unemployed or underemployed as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Payday Lenders: Issue comprehensive guidance to keep payday lenders and Merchant Cash Advance shops from increasing interest rates.

Childcare: Invest $200 million from the CARES Act into the creation of a child care fund to support essential workers child care needs. This investment would fund approximately 80,000 childcare slots.

A just transition to a green, regenerative economy that ensures all Californians have a clean and safe environment where they live, work, play and pray.

Utilities & Water Service: Prohibit utility shutoffs and restore service for any essential service, including but not limited to: broadband, mobile phones, electricity, natural gas, water for those with combined water/sewer utility. In addition, waive all liens, late fees, and penalties on such utilities. This includes implementation of EO N-42-20, immediately ending all disconnections of water service for nonpayment, and restoring service to all those who had water service disconnected since March 4, 2020.

Environment: Implement health-protective regulations that impact clean air, clean water, and environmental health must not be delayed or rolled back, especially not during a health crisis.

Environment: Retain the use of Greenhouse Gas Reduction Funds for incentives that reduce greenhouse gases and localized air pollution from vehicles.

Environment: Develop an economic stimulus package that aligns spending with good job creation with benefits to public health, the environment, and climate resiliency. Any such plan must be informed by impacted communities.

Environment: Enact AB 345 (Muratsuchi) to ensure that CalGEM finishes the public health and safety rulemaking currently underway, provides resources for impacted communities to participate, and establishes a health and safety buffer zone between oil extraction and communities. As the link between exposure to air pollution and susceptibility to COVID-19 has emerged, CalGEM has the responsibility to establish a setback and any other measures that will help improve public health coming out of this crisis.

 Expand and Protect our democratic process, ensuring robust, accessible opportunities for all Californians to determine the future of our government and economy.

Voting: Mail every voter a ballot, require robust in-person voting options and early voting, ensure additional resources for a massive public education and outreach campaign so every voter understands their options to vote safely, and provide poll workers with protective gear and “hazard pay”.

 Public Access: Continue to ensure that the public, and especially those most impacted by decisions, both locally and state-wide, can participate remotely in decision making. 

###

The Building the California Dream Alliance includes: ACCE, Advancement Project, American Civil Liberties Union of CA, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN), Black Women for Wellness, Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, California Attorneys For Criminal Justice (CACJ), California Calls, California Donor Table, California Low Income Consumers Coalition, California Domestic Workers Coalition, California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA), California Environmental Justice Alliance, California Food & Farming Network, California Labor Federation, California Immigrant Policy Center, California League of Conservation Voters, California NOW, California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, California Reinvestment Coalition, Center for Responsible Lending, Child Care Law Center, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), Consumer Attorneys of California, Council on American-Islamic Relations, California Chapter (CAIR-CA), Courage California, Disability Rights California, Drug Policy Alliance, Earthjustice, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Environment California, Equality California, Equal Rights Advocates, Friends Committee on Legislation of California, Health Access, Latino Coalition For A Healthy California, Lutheran office of Public Policy, MALDEF, Mobilize the Immigrant Vote, Mujeres Unidas, NARAL Pro-Choice California, NextGen California, PICO California, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of CA, PolicyLink, Public Advocates, SEIU California, Sierra Club California, Smart Justice California, UFCW, Voices for Progress, Young Invincibles, Western Center on Law & Poverty

Mary L. Gutierrez
Strategic Campaigns Director 
SEIU CA State Council
213.276.3384 (Cell)

www.seiuca.org
www.californiarises.org
www.fightandresist.org
www.raisingcaliforniatogether.org
www.cadreambuilder.org


Would you also like to create an eMailDodo Group? Check out www.emaildodo.com
This eMail was sent by Mary Gutierrez at mgutierrez@seiucal.org
For questions and changes contact the Group Administrator: at mgutierrez@seiucal.org.
If you want to unsubscribe from this buildingthecadream@emaildodo.com Group click  here
To file a complaint please send an eMail to: complaints@emaildodo.com

Categories
Press Release

2019 Landmark Justice Victories

Progressive Organizations Deliver Landmark Housing, Civil Rights, and Economic Justice Victories in 2019

Sacramento, CA – The Building the California Dream Alliance – a broad coalition of progressive organizations – today announced that their unified efforts resulted in significant victories for housing, civil rights, economic opportunity and workers’ rights.  In total, the Alliance helped secure 18 key legislative victories. 

The Alliance was founded in 2015 to further a progressive, positive vision for California, offering a sharp contrast to the Chamber of Commerce’s cynical, anti-worker, anti-environment agenda. With housing and homelessness topping Californian’s list of concerns, the coalition united around tenant’s rights in 2019.  The coalition’s 2019 agenda also included crucial issues of racial and economic justice, as well as pocketbook issues facing Californians, including health care, child care, and higher education. 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 21, 2018 
Contact: Nikki Paschal, 916.444.7178 

“Housing is a foundation for families to build their Dreams upon, so tackling unjust evictions and unfair rent increases was a must-win for the Building the California Dream Alliance this year,” said Christina Livingston of ACCE. “Passing AB 1482 to keep families home means fewer parents and children, seniors, and vulnerable Californians have to worry about being pushed onto the streets.  This victory is a major step toward a California where people don’t have to choose between paying the rent or taking their medicine, and where kids can go to school without worrying they won’t have a safe place to sleep at night.” 

“Reforming the uncontrolled use of police force against our brown and Black Californians is a significant civil rights victory and one that was possible only because members of the Building the California Dream Alliance stood united for justice,” said Kevin Baker, Director of Legislative Affairs, ACLU of California.  “Achieving AB 392 (Weber)’s landmark policing reform shows that we can better achieve justice, equity, and the California’s Dream for all when we work together and speak in unison.” 

Earlier this year, the Building the California Dream Alliance identified several legislative priorities in pursuit of a Golden State of unlimited opportunity, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, immigration status, disability, health status or age. Of these, 18 were signed into law: 

Tackling unjust evictions and unfair rent increases was a must-win for the Building the California Dream Alliance this year.

– Christina Livingston of ACCE.
Criminal Justice
  • SB 136 (Wiener) Fights mass incarceration by repealing an ineffective and unnecessary sentencing enhancement for people with a prior prison conviction.
Civil Rights
  • AB 1215 (Ting) Prohibits the dangerous and intrusive use of face surveillance or biometric data collection in police body cameras.
Early Care and Education through Higher Ed
  • SB 321 (Mitchell) Ensures that families would experience no break in child care services as they transition between the three CalWORKs child care stages. (IN BUDGET)
  • AB 378 (Limón) Gives family child care providers the right to collectively bargain with the state so they can negotiate for improvements that impact their work and the families they serve.
Environmental Quality and Justice
  • AB 508 (Chu) Improves the State Water Resource Control Board’s process for ordering drinking water consolidations and extensions of service to disadvantaged communities reliant on domestic wells.
Gender Equity
  • AB 749 (Stone) Prohibits the use of “no rehire” clauses in settlement agreements that penalize workers by broadly restricting future employment opportunities as a condition of settling their sexual harassment or other employment dispute.
Healthcare and Long-term Care
  • AB 824 (Wood) Prevents “pay for delay” drug company agreements to stop lower-cost medications.
  • AB 731 (Kalra) Helps workers and employers negotiate better health insurance rates, potentially saving billions, and identifying underlying cost drivers.
Housing and Homelessness
  • AB 1482 (Chiu) Will protect nearly 15 million Californians from large, unforeseen rent increases by creating price stability and certainty, enabling renters and families to be better able to plan for their future. Part of the Assembly renter stability package.
  • SB 329 (Mitchell) Bans discrimination against renters who receive housing assistance, increasing their ability to access units they can afford with their assistance in neighborhoods of opportunity. Currently, many families are forced to return their assistance unused because they can’t find a landlord willing to accept it or even let them apply, due to increasing blanket bans and refusal to consider housing assistance by landlords.
Income and Food Security
  • AB 91 (Burke, Quirk, Ting) expands California’s Earned Income Tax Credit
LGBTQ Equality and Rights
  • SB 159 (Wiener) will reduce barriers to accessing HIV preventative medications. This legislation will authorize pharmacists to furnish pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) to patients without a prescription. Pharmacists are already authorized to furnish birth control pills without a prescription. The legislation will also prohibit insurance companies from requiring patients to obtain prior authorization before using their insurance benefits to obtain PrEP or PEP.
Racial Justice
  • AB 392 (Weber) Updates California law to make sure all California police officers de-escalate and use deadly force only when absolutely necessary to protect from immediate harm.
Financial Security (Retirement, taxation)
  • SB 639 (Mitchell) Increases protections for patients who obtain medical credit cards by limiting health care providers’ involvement in procuring credit for patients, as well as by improving disclosures to patients.
  • SB 616 (Wieckowski) Requires a debt collector to leave a person his or her last $1,724, so they can at least make emergency payments 
  • AB 857 (Chiu, Santiago ) Will allow local governments to apply for a banking license from the Department of Business 
Workers Rights
  • AB 5 (Gonzalez) Codifies into state law the Dynamex Operations West, Inc vs. the Superior Court of Los Angeles (2018) court decision to prevent misclassification of employees as independent contractors.
  • AB 51 (Gonzalez) Prevents employers from forcing employees to sign away their rights and forcing arbitration for cases of sexual harassment and other misconduct.

# # #

The Building the California Dream Alliance includes: ACCE, Advancement Project, American Civil Liberties Union of CA, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN), Black Women for Wellness, Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, California Attorneys For Criminal Justice (CACJ, California Calls, California Donor Table,  California Low Income Consumers Coalition, California Domestic Workers Coalition, California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA), California Environmental Justice Alliance, California Food & Farming Network , California Labor Federation, California Immigrant Policy Center, California League of Conservation Voters, California NOW, California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, California Reinvestment Coalition, Child Care Law Center, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), Consumer Attorneys of California, Council on American-Islamic Relations, California Chapter (CAIR-CA), Courage Campaign, Disability Rights California, Drug Policy Alliance, Earth Justice , Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Environment California, Equality California, Equal Rights Advocates, Friends Committee on Legislation of California , Health Access, Latino Coalition For A Healthy California , Lutheran Office of Public Policy – California, MALDEF, Mobilize the Immigrant Vote, Mujeres Unidas, NARAL California, NextGen America , PICO California, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of CA, PolicyLink, Public Advocates, SEIU California, Sierra Club California, Smart Justice, UFCW, Voices for Progress, Western Center on Law & Poverty

Categories
Press Release

CA Progressive Groups Launch “Building The California Dream Alliance”

May 5, 2016

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service – CA

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – More than two dozen California progressive organizations announced Wednesday they’re forming a new coalition called the “Building the California Dream Alliance.” The groups advocate for many different issues ranging from gender equity, environmental justice, workers’ rights, immigrant rights, health care and more.

Jon Youngdahl, executive director of the Service Employees International Union, said they are now banding together to release a list of bills they call dream builders and dream killers to counter the “job killer” list put out by the California Chamber of Commerce.

“For far too long, we’ve allowed a few CEOs to limit what’s possible in California,” he said. “In our dream builder’s list, we’ll define a new progressive vision for a Golden State of unlimited opportunity regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, immigration status, disability, health status or age.”

Senate Bill 43, which would end solitary confinement for juveniles, is one of the bills the Alliance considers a “dream builder.”

Another is Senate Bill 23, which would roll back the maximum family grant in the Cal Works welfare program.

Elizabeth Landsberg, Director of Policy Advocacy with Western Center on Law & Poverty, said it will help struggling families.

“Today, if a family is already receiving welfare assistance and they have another child, that child does not get assistance from the state of California,” she said. “It’s really built on some old-fashioned, sexist, racist notion that a woman would actually have a baby in order to get more welfare payments.”

Among the bills on the “dream killer” list are proposals that would weaken the California Environmental Quality Act, roll back overtime protections for domestic workers, and reduce penalties on employers who violate the labor code.