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


(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: 


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. 


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. 


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.


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.


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.


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