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State

Bishops Issue Open Letter re: Senate Majority Leader Robert Hertzberg

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AiQ State

AiQ:

It is possible to become discouraged about the injustice we see everywhere. But God did not promise us that the world would be humane and just. He gives us the gift of life and allows us to choose the way we will use our limited time on this earth. 

Cesar Chavez, in his statement at the end of his 24-day fast for justice

Today’s Actions

  1. #Farmworker Day of Action
  2. Call Senate Committee to Support Food Access for People Leaving Incarceration
  3. Sign On to Ensure School Meals Access
  4. #SafteyNet4All Day of Action

Other bills discussed include AB 3070 – Anti-discrimination in Jury Selection, AB 2542 – Racial Justice Act, and AB 3121 – Reparations Task Force (Similar to HR 40). To support, please visit the committee websites and make a phone call to staff or committees members

Farmworker COVID-19 Study

California employs an estimated 800,000 farmworkers. Most work at seasonal jobs—rarely holding full-time, year-round work—and earn an average annual income of less than $18,000. A recent study found:

  • Nearly 1/2 of farmworkers lost work time & income during #COVID19. 
  • 60% of workers are undocumented & ineligible for most social safety net programs. 
  • 54% of respondents reported that costs, lack of insurance, and/or lack of sick leave prevented them from accessing healthcare, even if ill. 

Read full data summary here.

Food Justice for People Leaving Prison

Support AB 3073: CalFresh Prison Preenrollment with a phone call to one of the following Senators if they represent you or to the committee staff:

CA Senate Human Services Committee

Senate Human Services Committee staff:

  • Phone: (916) 651-1524

Website.

Ensure Access to Meals this School Year: Sign-On to Urge USDA to Extend Waivers by 8/10

If you are leader of an organization, please use this form to sign onto FRAC’s letter for your organization. The deadline is Monday the 10th.

Safety Net for All Day of Action

Immigrant leaders and coalition partners with Safety Net for All are mobilizing across the state – holding actions in San Diego, LA, and Sacramento – calling on our Governor and state leaders to #ChooseImmigrantsNotCEOs by investing in a #SafetyNet4AllofUs now. 

Last week’s economic stimulus proposal from the CA Legislature was a powerful sign that our leaders are hearing us. But California’s immigrant families can’t wait to put food on the table and support their families. We’re calling on our leaders to follow-through on ensuring a #SafetyNet4AllofUs by approving a wage replacement program before the end of August!

Here are 3 ways you can support today:

  1. Follow @SafetyNet4All on Twitter and Facebook to amplify the actions today
  2. If you are posting from any of the actions, please tag @SafetyNet4All and use the hashtags below
  3. Share the below posts & tweets!

SAMPLE POSTS

Safety Net for All Graphics here

United Front Week of Action Toolkit here

#SafetyNet4AllofUs

#ChooseImmigrantsNotCEOs

#ChooseUsNotBillionaires

#OurFamiliesAreEssential

Twitter

Join us today @SafetyNet4All in San Diego, LA, & Sacramento. We call on state leaders to #ChooseImmigrantsNotCEOs by investing in a #SafetyNet4AllofUs & wage replacement for undocumented families! #ChooseUsNotBillionaires @CAgovernor @GavinNewsom @SenToniAtkins @Rendon63rd 

SHARE EVENT TWEET!

Únete hoy a @SafetyNet4All en San Diego, LA, Sacramento. Hacemos un llamado a los líderes estatales a  #Elegir a los inmigrantes invirtiendo en un #SafetyNet4AllofUs & reemplazo de salario para las familias indocumentadas! @CAgovernor @GavinNewsom @SenToniAtkins @Rendon63rd 

!Share Tweet en Español!

San Diego: 

Today Aug 5th at 10AM: San Diego immigrant leaders call for a #SafetyNet4AllofUs now! Follow the digital press conference at https://ctt.ec/_39be+ #OurFamiliesAreEssential #ChooseUsNotBillionaires @SafetyNet4All @afsc_org @CPIsd @CHIRLA @SDIRC @seiuusww @unitehere  

SAN DIEGO TWEET SHARE HERE!

Los Angeles:

Undocumented workers lost most jobs of all groups & need of wage replacement now! Join @SafetyNet4All TODAY at 10am @ SPKR Rendon’s, 4909 Lakewood Blvd #ChooseUsNotBillionaires @CHIRLA @DrJoseFMoreno @ELAWC @wwunited @CaliforniaLabor  @GarmentWorkerLA @UnitedWaysCA @domesticworkers

Immigrant families are essential to our state – CA cannot recover unless all families are healthy & safe. We demand #SafetyNet4AllofUs! #ChooseImmigrantsNotCEOs @CHIRLA @DrJoseFMoreno @ELAWC @wwunited @CaliforniaLabo @GarmentWorkerLA @UnitedWaysCA @domesticworkers

SHARE TWEET HERE!

Undocumented families shouldn’t go hungry during the pandemic. We’re asking our leaders to  #ChooseImmigrantsNotCEOs & invest in #SafetyNet4AllofUs. #ChooseUsNotBillionaires @CHIRLA @DrJoseFMoreno @ELAWC @wwunited @CaliforniaLabo @GarmentWorkerLA @UnitedWaysCA @domesticworkers

SHARE TWEET HERE!

Sacramento: 

Join us TODAY at 11:30am, west steps of the Capitol in Sacramento as we lift up stories of immigrants via the InsideOut portrait project. #SafetyNet4AllofUs  #ChooseUsNotBillionaires @SafetyNet4All @CHIRLA @JRart @CAgovernor @GavinNewsom @Ash_Kalra @SenToniAtkins @Rendon63rd 

SHARE SACRAMENTO TWEET HERE!

Facebook

Today, we are mobilizing across the state – Los Angeles, San Diego, & Sacramento – calling on our Governor and state leaders to #ChooseImmigrantsNotCEOs by investing in a #SafetyNet4AllofUs and wage replacement for undocumented Californians now! Follow us at @SafetyNet4All throughout the day!

SAN DIEGO @10am: Tune into a digital press conference led by immigrant rights leaders at facebook.com/CPISanDiego

LOS ANGELES @10am: Support immigrant workers gathering to share testimony at Speaker Rendon’s office, 4909 Lakewood Blvd, 90712.

SACRAMENTO @11:30am: Lift up immigrant stories on the west capitol steps as part of the Portraits of Urgency art installation! 

#SafetyNet4AllofUs #ChooseImmigrantsNotCEOs #ChooseUsNotBillionaires

Categories
AiQ State UN/National Updates

AiQ: Protect Asylum Seekers

The Administration proposed a rule in the middle of June that would effectively end asylum, a form of protection meant to give refuge to people fleeing for their lives. The proposed rule makes many drastic changes to the way people are able to access this form of protection including: 

  • Taking away due process rights for asylum seekers,
  • Increasing the bar people have to meet to move past an initial interview to impossibly high standards,
  • Eliminating access to asylum for people fleeing violence from non-state actors, including people fleeing due to gang or gender-based violence.

If this rule is implemented, it would mean that thousands of our siblings in Christ, many of whom are already suffering due to changes made to our asylum system, would be unable to seek protection in the United States. As Lutherans and as citizens, we are called to speak up to ensure that people fleeing for their lives can find refuge in this country. 

Please join us in standing up for asylum by submitting a comment against this proposed regulation by July 15th. Take action by: 

1.     Submitting a comment. It is necessary when submitting comments for a proposed rule to customize your message, whether your message is brief or lengthy, to ensure it is counted as a unique comment. Use the following points to guide you in writing: 

  • As a Lutheran, God calls me to walk alongside asylum seekers in need of protection in the United States. This proposed rule stands against my faith values and our nation’s ideals.
  • The United States has welcomed people fleeing persecution, including Lutherans, for centuries. It is immoral and unnecessary to close our doors at a time when so many people are fleeing for their safety.
  • Tell a story of how asylum seekers have made your community better.
  • If you and/or your congregation has an asylum experience, share how it impacts your opinion.

2.     Let others know you submitted a comment and asked them to submit theirs. Use social media to ask others to submit a comment. The more comments that are submitted, the more likely implementation of this proposed rule will be delayed! 

You can check out resources and a toolkit from the Interfaith Immigration Coalition, in which the ELCA participates, to find out more about asylum, what this rule means, and other ways to engage. Make your public comment now before the July 15 deadline. Thank you!

SAVE THE DATE! July 23 2020 10:30am-12:00pm


Child Care & End Child Poverty in CA Virtual Advocacy Day Follow-up:2020 Legislative Wrap-Up

On June 4,

2020, we came together as a group of over 250 advocates–child care, food programs, safety net, and anti-poverty champions–for our first all digital “Child Care and End Child Poverty CA Advocacy Day.” We learned, we advocated, and we briefed over 50 legislative offices on our policy and budget overviews that will keep families fed, housed, and cared for.  On July 23rd, we’ll come back for a follow-up to highlight anti-hunger, anti-poverty and child care legislation in California, with input from legislators, advocates, and policy groups. Don’t miss this impactful day- invitation coming this week!

Register today!

Categories
Racial Justice State Updates

Board votes to center anti-racist lens in all policy work

The LOPPCA Policy Council unanimously affirmed a move to center an anti-racism lens to fuel and undergird our advocacy priorities as an organization. The Board will work in conjunction with the Director to develop protocols and guidance for how this will be implemented and measured.

What is an anti-racist lens?

“The opposite of racist isn’t ‘not racist.’ It is ‘anti-racist.’ What’s the difference? One endorses either the idea of a racial hierarchy as a racist, or racial equality as an anti-racist. One either believes problems are rooted in groups of people, as a racist, or locates the roots of problems in power and policies, as an anti-racist. One either allows racial inequities to persevere, as a racist, or confronts racial inequities, as an anti-racist. There is no in-between safe space of ‘not racist.” 

― Ibram X. Kendi, How to Be an Antiracist

An anti-racist approach confronts and dismantles systems and structures which promote racism and white supremacy. Such an approach is necessary because anti-blackness and white supremacy are embedded in our history, our present, and the pull of the status quo. Racism is devastating, harmful, and at times lethal to people of color, and it is harmful to our common life together as beloved community.

How does ANTI-RACISM apply to policY-making?

“Americans have long been trained to see the deficiencies of people rather than policy. It’s a pretty easy mistake to make: People are in our faces. Policies are distant. We are particularly poor at seeing the policies lurking behind the struggles of people.” 

― Ibram X. Kendi, How to Be an Antiracist

White supremacy was historically created by and continues to be promoted through policymaking, whether explicitly in segregated beaches along California’s coast, or implicitly through access to state programs such as clean vehicle rebates and tax credits. We must ask: Who is in power? Who wrote the policy? Who benefits? Who doesn’t? Who suffers? How does this help build a beloved community? Who is missing at the decision-making table?

An anti-racist approach centers voices, experiences, solutions, and realities of Black people, Indigenous people, and all people of color. It also promotes the redistribution of power at every level of society: CEOs, federal lawmakers, city councils, school boards, etc. As a church, the ELCA is reckoning with its own alliances to white supremacy and committing to anti-racist practices. Our advocacy work in California allows us to support and amplify policies by and for people of color within our Lutheran tradition and within our state.

2020-21 LEVN Volunteer

The Board also voted to participate as a placement for a local young adult discernment organization, Lutheran Episcopal Volunteer Network (LEVN). LEVN is located in Davis, CA and provides spiritual formation, vocational discernment, housing, and meaningful work at a non-profit placement site.

LEVN was founded in 2012 on tenets of intentional Christian community, simple living, service of others, solidarity with the poor, promoting justice, spiritual awareness, and vocational discernment. LEVN strives to provide a just and equitable internship opportunity by providing housing, healthcare, and a stipend for and other essentials.

LEVNers, as they are colloquially named, must have a bachelors degree OR 3 years of professional experience OR an equitable combination of college coursework and professional experience. Staff work with volunteers to attain student loan forbearance if needed. LEVNers receive $1000 reentry fund following completion of the program.

The LEVN volunteer at LOPPCA will work remotely doing communications, social media, and administrative duties as assigned to support advocacy in the Capitol and engagement in our churches.

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AiQ State

AiQ: Commit to Equity

Tweet with us!

The Commit to Equity campaign is hosting a Twitter Storm today, Wednesday July 8th starting at 11:00 AM PST and going on throughout the afternoon.  We are asking organizations to take part by using the #TaxCABillionaires and #CommitToEquity hashtags on Wednesday, July 8th beginning at 11:00 AM. 

California’s 154 billionaires have increased their net worth by 25% during the first 3 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, while nearly 1 in 5 Californian has lost their job. The recently passed California budget threatens massive cuts to the services our communities depend on.

We’ve setup an easy click to tweet page here with additional posts and images here:
https://committoequity.org/storm/

Register for Conversation with Bishop Eaton and Bishop Curry

Our thoughts and prayers inform our actions. “Advocacy Tools for Loving Your Neighbor” on Thurs, July 9 from 9:30-11:00 a.m. PDT is an online training event jointly hosted by The Episcopal Church and Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to equip you. Both Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, plus advocacy leaders from both denominations, will be part of this time of exploring the nature of faith-based advocacy, the issues to which we can speak, and the ways we can make our voices heard. Rostered ministers, Lutherans, Episcopalians and friends are welcome to the free webinar and will leave with tools and inspiration to make a difference.

Register here: https://bit.ly/advocacyforlove

SNAP Advocacy

Negotiations on the next recovery package are expected to take place when the House and Senate return from the July 4th recess. This may be our last chance to secure critical hunger relief. Before decisions are made, we need your help ensuring that members of Congress are consistently hearing about the need for action over the next few weeks. Call, write, or post on social media targeting Senators Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein.Take Action

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AiQ State

AiQ: Ballot Measures

Thank you for joining us for AiQ this week! With the Legislature in CA out of session, our normally full actions are fairly quiet. Still, voices raised together can make a difference on key federal legislation which will be heard in the Senate in the coming weeks.

Ballot Measures

California voters have a lot to decide on in November. Start getting informed with this article from CalMatters.

LegInfo

To learn about bills, get to know California’s Legislative information website. Some bills we are following: AB 3070, AB3073, ACA 5.

SNAP Advocacy

Negotiations on the next recovery package are expected to take place when the House and Senate return from the July 4th recess. This may be our last chance to secure critical hunger relief. Before decisions are made, we need your help ensuring that members of Congress are consistently hearing about the need for action over the next few weeks. Call, write, or post on social media targeting Senators Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein.

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AiQ State

AiQ: Thank You for the CalEITC!

June 24 Action Items

  1. Write or call Senator Mitchell, Assemblymember Ting, and Governor Newsom to tell them thank you for including ITIN filers with children from 0-6 in the CalEITC. We know that they were juggling a lot of priorities, and we are grateful that the administration is supporting some of our undocumented neighbors
  2. Check out LegInfo and learn about AB 3070, jury selection.
  3. Save contact info for your legislator!
Other Actions you can take:
  1. ACA 5 – Support Racial Justice and Affirmative Action by calling or emailing your senator today.
Categories
State

ACA 25 – Oppose Unless Amended

Update: ACA 25 was pulled from the legislative process by the author’s office on June 18, 2020.

None of our work matters if we cannot participate in the legislative process.

Assembly Constitutional Amendment 25 (ACA 25) is a provision to allow for remote and proxy voting in case of an emergency. But ACA 25 was drafted quickly and lacks key specifications and protections to ensure that the democratic process is not compromised. Along with a coalition of organizations in the Green California and Building the California Dream Alliance, we oppose this bill unless amended.

Read the Bill Text Here.

Background and Requests of Advocates
Remote proceedings present significant obstacles to transparency and public engagement, two cornerstones for accountable democracy enshrined in our State Constitution. As such, remote participation should only be authorized in exceptional cases, when absolutely needed, and for only as long as needed. Unfortunately, ACA​ ​25 falls below that standard and incorporates related provisions, like unconstrained proxy voting and pro tempore appointments, which could be abused in a manner that undermines representative democracy.

The decision to amend the constitution is a momentous one that it is crucial to get right, so we respectfully request the following amendments:

Remove or Limit Proxy Voting: ​ACA 25 authorizes either House to use proxy voting, which is left undefined. Proxy voting is harmful to representative democracy because it diminishes the deliberative process and weakens the electorate’s ability to hold their officials accountable for votes they did not personally take.

1.

ACA 25’s authorization for legislators to vote remotely should render proxy voting largely unnecessary. If it is absolutely crucial to provide a proxy voting option, ACA 25 should ensure that it is only done as a last resort and in a way that makes clear legislators’ intent regarding specific votes or actions, using similar safeguards to those recently enacted by the House of Representatives and other states like Arkansas.

As currently drafted, nothing in ACA 25 would stop rules allowing a single person, who is not even required to be a legislator, to act as proxy for as many legislators as desired while being given carte blanche to vote however the proxy wants on any item. Moreover, neither the proxies nor the legislators would be

accountable to voters, because the proxy wouldn’t share an electorate with the legislator for whom they placed votes, and the legislator would be able to tell their electorate they did not instruct their proxy as to how to vote.

If ACA 25 is not amended to remove proxy voting, we believe it needs to be amended so that it is (1) allowed only when a legislator is unable to vote remotely because of the emergency, (2) allows only other legislators to be designated as proxies, (3) allows proxies to vote as instructed only on specifically-designated bills or actions, and (4) requires the proxy authorization and vote instructions to be recorded. The record of roll-call votes should also clearly indicate when and how a member has voted by proxy.

2.

Specify Rules for Pro Tempore Appointments in Emergencies​: In the catastrophic scenario where one-fifth of the members of a House are “deceased, disabled, or missing,” during a state of emergency, ACA 25 allows appointment of pro tempore members by a process to be determined by a majority-vote statute.

As unlikely as this situation will hopefully be, the openness of this provision invites abuse, which may be particularly tempting in an emergency situation. For example, in a future Legislature the majority party could pass a statute over the minority party’s objection allowing appointments of individuals that neither live in the district nor are even of the same party as the legislator they are replacing.

The simplest solution would be to incorporate provisions similar to Government Code Section 9004, which applies to pro tempore appointments during or following a war or enemy-caused disaster and states in relevant part:

“The appointments shall be so made that each assembly or senatorial district in which a vacancy exists shall be represented, if possible, by a pro tempore member who is a resident of that district and a registered elector of the same political party as of the date of the disaster as the last duly elected member from such district.”

The terms “disabled” and “missing” should also be more precisely defined or replaced with clearer terms, such as “incapacitated” and “presumed deceased.” Legislators with disabilities can and do cast votes on a regular basis. ACA 25 should not theoretically allow them to be replaced due to their being “disabled,” as may be implied to voters by the current language. And “missing” should be defined in a way that does not theoretically allow legislators to be replaced in circumstances where they are, for example, purposefully boycotting votes in protest as legislators have done in other states.

3.

Eliminate Quorum Reduction​: ACA 25 automatically lowers the quorum requirement, and presumably the vote threshold to pass bills, to a majority of members “able to attend” when more than one-fifth of a House’s members have been incapacitated. However, a small minority of the state should not be able to make laws of permanent duration affecting the whole state. For example, if an earthquake hits Southern California and Los Angeles County’s 24 Assembly member delegation was missing, this provision would allow the Assembly to pass any majority vote bill with just 29 votes – none of them representing Los Angeles County.

Representational concerns aside, this provision is also unnecessary if the pro tempore appointment power is enacted, which would at least give representation to residents of those areas. This provision is not justified and we believe should be removed, or at a minimum narrowed to only apply to votes regarding the state of emergency.

4.

Ensure Remote Voting and Proxy Voting Transparency​: ACA 25 does not require any approval of a member’s request to appear remotely or vote by proxy, any public findings of fact that the state of emergency prevents a particular member or members from safely attending the proceeding in person, or any notice to the public that such a request has been granted. Adding these basic requirements would provide a measure of public accountability to ensure that remote or proxy voting is truly necessary and not being abused as a matter of convenience or simply to avoid appearing in the Capitol. It should also be necessary that remote participation by a legislator occur in a public place or their district office, if possible, so that the public can both see and have access to their legislators, and to ensure that legislators are not influenced by the presence of lobbyists or others while they are conducting public business. This is consistent with current rules prohibiting lobbyists from being present on the floor of the chamber, as well as the Senate rule saying that to the extent practicable, a Senator participating remotely shall participate from the Senator’s district office. Finally, any remote technology employed should, so far as is possible, ensure that the public can not only view but participate in proceedings conducted by remote participation.

5.

Time-Limit Remote Voting and Proxy Voting​: ACA 25 appropriately revokes the authority to vote remotely or by proxy once an emergency declaration has ended. However, some emergency declarations may last for years, and may extend well past the point when the Legislature, for reasons of health or safety, is no longer able to meet. We believe ACA 25 should be amended to end any authorization to vote remotely once a legislator is able to safely appear in person or automatically after 30 days, whichever is sooner, unless the authorization is extended for up to another 30 days by majority vote of the affected House. Periodic re-examination of the need for remote proceedings will help ensure they are used no longer than necessary.

And lastly, ACA 25 specifies that the Legislature (or each house) adopt rules by resolution. Because these rules are critical to ensuring accountability and access to the public, we also request an amendment to guarantee that the rules only be adopted after being heard in committee with opportunity for public comment.

Although ACA 25 is important to ensure that the Legislature can function during future pandemics or other emergencies, without these amendments there is a serious risk of these procedures being abused or used without transparency by future Legislatures at the worst possible times. Although we understand there is now a narrow window for placing measures on the ballot, we believe the Senate should have the opportunity to review and address issues with ACA 25 before agreeing to propose such an enduring and permanent change to California’s constitution without the necessary safeguards.

 

Categories
AiQ State

AiQ: Oppose ACA 25

June 17 Action Items

  1. Call your Senator to tell them why you oppose Assembly Constitutional Amendment 25 unless amended to protect public participation and retain legislative transparency. The amendments we support are:
    1) Remove or Limit Proxy Voting;
    2) Specify Rules for Pro Tempore Appointments in Emergencies;
    3) Eliminate Quorum Reduction​;
    4) Ensure Remote Voting and Proxy Voting Transparency;
    5) Time-Limit Remote Voting and Proxy Voting​.
    Learn More Here.
  2. ACA 5 – Support by calling the Senate Labor Committee at (916) 651-1556 or email.
June 17, 2020 Events
  1. Emanuel Nine Commemoration and Pledge
  2. Learn about World Refugee Day 
RACIAL EQUITY BILLS
  1. ACA 5 (Weber) Opportunity for All: repeals the ban on affirmative action in higher education, employment and contracting
  2. ACA 6 (McCarty) Free the Vote: restores voting rights for people on parole
  3. AB 901 (Gipson) Juveniles: ends the practice of putting youth on probation when they have not committed a crime (yes, that’s a thing we do)
  4. AB 1950 (Kamlager) Probation Reform: limits probation terms
  5. AB 2054 (Kamlager) CRISES Act: creates an alternative emergency response to the police
  6. AB 2147 (Reyes) Conservation Camps – Expungement: creates a process for people who served as firefighters while in prison to expunge their convictions and obtain jobs
  7. AB 2342 (McCarty) Parole Reform: limits terms paroles
  8. AB 3070 (Weber) Anti-Discrimination in Jury Selection: addresses racial discrimination in jury selection
  9. AB 3121 (Weber) Task Force to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans: creates a task force to study awarding reparations
  10. SB 144 (Mitchell) Debt Free Justice: eliminates the most burdensome fees in the criminal justice system
  11. SB 555 (Mitchell) Phone Justice: limits the cost of phone calls and commissary in jail
Categories
AiQ State

AiQ: Budget

June 10 Action Items

  1. Check out CA’s budget: Assembly Version; Senate Version.
  2. Keep this bill moving forward with us! SB 882 is sitting on the suspense file – which is just what it sounds like. This is the only thing stopping it from being voted on on the Senate floor.  Let’s move it to the floor!
  3. Watch Webinar: Detention, Family Separation, and Asylum in the Era of COVID-19 for Communities of Faith