With 10 Bills Signed in 2023, Progressive Coalition Pushed California to Put People and Communities Ahead of Profits and Politics

Ten significant policy changes backed by the coalition were signed into law by Governor Newsom, shifting California closer toward a state that puts people and communities ahead of profits and politics.

Put People and Communities Ahead of Profits and Politics
Sacramento, CA
 – The Building the California Dream Alliance today announced that the coalition of more than 60 progressive organizations succeeded in rebalancing California’s priorities this year by holding fast to a unified policy agenda.  Ten significant policy changes backed by the coalition were signed into law by Governor Newsom, shifting California closer toward a state that puts people and communities ahead of profits and politics.

“Governor Newsom and legislators adopted key Building the California Dream Alliance policies this year, heeding the call of 60+ progressive organizations calling for the elimination of outdated and racist policies, ensuring our public systems serve our Black and Brown, immigrant, LGBTQ+ and disability communities equitably, and centering the people’s agenda – not the corporate agenda – in policy choices that shape our future,” said Eddie Carmona, Director of Campaigns for PICO California. “California’s laws and priorities better reflect the values of our state and its diverse communities because our organizations outlined an ambitious agenda, stood together to fend off corporate attacks, and empowered Californians to tell their stories directly to policymakers” 

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’s enacted priorities include the following:

Civil Rights (Disability Rights)SB 365 (Wiener) – Will protect workers and consumers from the delay tactics corporations use when a trial court rules that a forced arbitration agreement is invalid. Current law allows corporate defendants to effectively pause a worker’s or a consumer’s case – sometimes for years at a time – by simply filing a meritless appeal. Specifically, this bill allows a judge to determine if a worker or consumer’s case should move forward even if a company files an appeal, instead of putting their case on hold for 1-3 years.

Environmental Quality and Justice SB 253 (Wiener, Gonzalez, and Stern) –The Climate Corporate Data Accountability Act will mandate the largest corporations that do business in California – those with revenues in excess of $1B – be transparent about their emissions. More specifically, this bill requires such corporations to annually report their full carbon footprint, including Scope 1 emissions (direct emissions), Scope 2 emissions (indirect emissions from purchased energy), and Scope 3 emissions (emissions from the business product chain which are up to 11 times higher than scopes 1 & 2)

Healthcare And Long-Term Care Access For All SB 525 (Durazo) – Will establish a $25 per hour minimum wage for healthcare workers in an effort to attract and retain these workers. Healthcare workers are leaving the industry at a high rate, causing delays in care for patients. 

Housing, Homelessness and Tenant Rights SB 567 (Durazo) –
 Will help prevent homelessness by increasing stability and affordability for renter families by closing loopholes in no fault evictions. In addition, it would increase the number of families covered and scope of enforcement protections.

AB 12 (Haney) – Will ease the significant upfront financial burden that high securitydeposits impose on renters by prohibiting tenants from having to pay more than one month’s rent as a security deposit for furnished or unfurnished rental property, subject to certain exceptions.

LGBTQ Equality and Rights SB 760 (Newman) – Would require K-12 schools statewide to provide at least one accessible all-gender restroom for students to use safely and comfortably during school hours. Survey data shows that 45% of LGBTQ+ and non-binary students actively avoid using gender-segregated school restrooms because it makes them feel unsafe or uncomfortable.

Voting Rights and Strengthening Our Democracy AB 421 (Bryan) – Would reform the referendum process to balance the playing field and help fight corporate power.

Worker RightsSB 497 (Smallwood-Cuevas) – The Equal Pay and Anti-Retaliation Act will protect Californians who speak up about workplace rights from retaliation. The bill creates a rebuttable presumption that a negative action against an employee is retaliatory if it occurs within 90 days of the worker exercising rights under the labor code, including equal pay. The bill also allows whistleblowers who experience retaliation to collect the penalty of up to $10,000 that the state can collect from lawbreaking employers.

SB 616 (Gonzalez)- Would guarantee seven days of paid sick leave for most workers in California. The COVID-19 pandemic has powerfully confirmed the need for more than the three days required by current law, Supplemental Paid Sick Leave and Cal/OSHA’s Exclusion Pay have both expired, and eight major cities in California now mandate 6-7 days or more.

AB 1 (McKinnor) – Gives legislative staff the same dignity and respect afforded to all workers by allowing them to collectively bargain.

# # #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, Alliance for Boys and Men of Color, ACLU California Action, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-CA, Black Women for Wellness Action Project , Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, California Attorneys For Criminal Justice (CACJ), California Calls, California Donor Table,  California Domestic Workers Coalition, California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA), California Environmental Justice Alliance, California Environmental Voters, California Food & Farming Network , Californians for Safety and Justice, California Labor Federation, California Immigrant Policy Center, California NOW, California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, California Reinvestment Coalition, Catalyst California, Center for Responsible Lending, Child Care Law Center, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), Consumer Attorneys of California, California Chapter (CAIR-CA), Courage California, Disability Rights California, Drug Policy Alliance, Earth Justice , Economic Security Project Action (ESPA), Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, End Poverty in California, Equality California, Equal Rights Advocates, Friends Committee on Legislation of California, GRACE/End Child Poverty CA, Harm Reduction Coalition,  Health Access, Housing California,  Housing Now!,  Latino Coalition For A Healthy California , Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights of the Bay Area, Legal Aid at Work,  Lutheran Office of Public Policy, NARAL Pro-Choice California, NextGen California , PICO California, PolicyLink, Public Advocates, SEIU California, Sierra Club California, Smart Justice,TechEquity CollaborativeThe California Coalition for Worker Power,  UFCW, Voices for Progress, Western Center on Law & Poverty, Worker-Owned Recovery California Coalition.