Press Release

Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Friday, September 11, 2020

By Jeong Park for the Sacramento Bee

Some 120,000 California caregivers tending for their spouse or children could be eligible to receive the state’s unemployment insurance when their dependents die, under a bill on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk.

Assembly Bill 1993, which got a near-unanimous approval from both chambers of the Legislature in the last week of August, would accomplish an expansion of the safety net that unions representing home care workers have pushed for years.

Union officials said the bill will prevent a double whammy for the caregivers: The loss of their spouse or children, and the loss of income — $13 to $17.25 an hour depending on counties — that came with taking care of them.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

By Marilyn Bechtel for People's World Magazine

As this year’s California legislative session, compressed by the COVID-19 pandemic, rushed to a close after midnight Aug. 31, a portfolio of bills to regulate policing – many inspired by recent police killings of unarmed black and Latino men and women – passed the Assembly and state Senate and headed to Gov. Gavin Newsom for signature.

At the same time, several measures seen as essential by racial justice advocates failed to pass, occasioning severe criticism from their supporters.

Among a number of measures now on the governor’s desk is Assembly Bill 1185, by Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, to let counties create oversight boards or designate an inspector general to oversee the county sheriff’s department, with subpoena powers.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

By Sydney Kamlager-Dove and Van Jones for the OC Register

California has been reeling this summer – battered by public unrest over abuses in the criminal justice system and the nation’s highest number of COVID-19 infections.

Fortunately, California just passed legislation that will address both issues by fixing the worst parts of the state’s probation system.

Most Californians don’t think about probation very much or very often. But probation is a massive surveillance system that functions like a spider’s web of Catch 22s – often undermining people’s best efforts to turn their lives around. Because it is so byzantine and punitive, it needlessly traps tens of thousands of Californians in the corrections system for the pettiest of misdeeds or even honest mistakes.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

By Sentinel News Service for LA Sentinel

A bill to establish a pilot program to have community-based organizations serve as first responders instead of the police awaits only Governor Gavin Newsom’s signature.

The legislation, AB 2054 – the CRISES Act – authored by Assemblymember Sydney Kamlager (D-Los Angeles), passed both houses of the California legislature with nearly unanimous and bipartisan support. The bill is co-sponsored by 13 organizations and includes family members of individuals killed by police, advocates, and experts in non-police responses to crises.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

By Hannah Wiley for the Sacramento Bee

California lawmakers sent Gov. Gavin Newsom a pack of bills intended to rein in police misconduct, but stopped short of passing two high-profile measures that would have restricted law enforcement officers’ use of rubber bullets and make it easier to fire cops.

The setbacks disappointed some activists and lawmakers who wanted more after the nationwide protests that followed the May killing by asphyxiation of George Floyd, a Black man, while in custody of Minneapolis officers.

“To ignore the thousands of voices calling for meaningful police reform is insulting,” Sen. Steven Bradford, D-Gardena, said in a statement after his bill to decertify problematic officers stalled on Monday in the Assembly. “Today, Californians were once again let down by those who were meant to represent them.”

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

By Claudia Boyd-Barrett

California is close to revising a rule that excludes family caregivers from unemployment.

Cathyleen Williams of Barstow shuddered as she listened to the claims agent from the state’s unemployment insurance program.

Williams wouldn’t be getting unemployment benefits, the agent said. Family members paid by the state’s In-Home Supportive Services program to care for disabled children, elderly parents or spouses, didn’t get unemployment benefits if the person they cared for died, the agent explained.