Your Weekly Dose of Sanity-Saving Good News – “SB54 Passed!” Edition

California fights for its DACA citizens!

“California is their home and they are our future.”Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León

State Attorney General Xavier Becerra  filed a lawsuit Monday against the Trump administration along with Maine, Maryland and Minnesota, arguing in his complaint that repealing DACA would deal a significant blow to California’s economy. California is home to 220,000 of the nation’s 800,000 DACA recipients.

The University of California filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration last week Friday, saying rescinding DACA would unconstitutionally violate the rights of the university system and its students. University of California President Janet Napolitano on Tuesday issued a memo advising the current DACA recipients, numbering approximately 4000, that they are eligible to apply for a two-year renewal even if the program is phased out. Renewal applications are due by Oct. 5.Scholarships to help DACA kids have appeared!  Mission Asset Fund, a San Francisco-based nonprofit with a long history of supporting Dreamers, along with the Weingart Foundation, announced it is now providing $495 scholarships so DACA recipients can safely renew their status. Any individual whose DACA status is set to expire between now and March 5, 2018, may still apply for renewal. The application deadline for these renewals is Oct. 5. Dreamers can apply for the scholarship at LC4DACA.org and receive a check made out to the Department of Homeland Security within 48 hours. These grants are available to community college, California State University and University of California students. Please help get the word out to students about this resource as quickly as possible.

Click here for how to support our DACA neighbors.

Click here for DACA Renewal Clinic – Attorney Training

Los Angeles is taking some first steps…

Garcetti continues to avoid using the phrase “sanctuary city,” saying that it is poorly defined. He said that Los Angeles defends its immigrants and that its police will not become immigration agents, but he added that the city does not protect criminals.  

He issued an executive order this year that prohibits city employees from collecting personal information from individuals — including their immigration status — unless it is legally required or needed to carry out their job duties to limit the amount of sensitive information that would have to be turned over to authorities under federal law.

Earlier this year, immigration agents were told that they could not access parts of city facilities that are closed to the general public without a warrant or court order. However, immigration agents generally have a right to enter parts of city buildings that are open to the public to question or apprehend people.  

Garcetti has said that the Los Angeles Police Department will continue to enforce Special Order 40, which bars officers from contacting someone solely to determine their immigration status.   

The Constitution may come to rescue for DACA citizens!

Attorneys General from at least sixteen states and Washington DC are part of a suit, filed in federal court, arguing that efforts to rescind DACA are part of a racially biased Trump administration anti-Mexican campaign.The only time the Supreme Court touched on the legality of deporting immigrants without a trial was in the 1893 Fong Yue Ting vs. the United States decision. In the 1890s, immigration laws were designed to bar entry, not to deport long-term residents like the Dreamers, and there was a one-year statute of limitations on removing illegal entrants. Dissenting justices stated back then the arguments today’s attorneys will be using again:

  • immigrants are entitled to full due process protection under the Constitution
  • Mass expulsion was “cruel and unusual punishment”
  • it was “incompatible with the immutable principles of justice, inconsistent with the nature of our Government, and in conflict with the written Constitution by which that Government was created and those principles secured.”

Companies step up – latest news!

Microsoft: Government will ‘have to go through us’ to deport workers impacted by Trump’s ‘Dreamers’ repeal.

Chicago asks judge to halt Trump plan to deny funds to sanctuary cities. It’s mayor declares Chicago a “Trump-free” zone!

The city of Chicago asked a federal judge on Monday to bar President Donald Trump’s Justice Department from denying public-safety grants to so-called sanctuary cities that limit cooperation with a federal immigration crackdown and  preliminary injunction that would apply nationwide while the court challenge proceeds.  Chicago’s attorney stated that Sessions had no right to force Chicago to choose between funding for crime-fighting equipment and programs, and that adopting an unconstitutional policy that would shatter trust with immigrant communities needed to solve crimes.

Oh yeah, SB-54 Passed!

bear

In other Good News with our State Bills!

Most of this amazing list was put together by  indivisiblesf.org. We added a few more that we were following too. These are bills that have made it through the first house and policy & fiscal committees of the second house (or have an urgency clause and are still alive).

Animal Welfare

  • AB485 – California becomes the first state to ban all puppy mill pet store sales! After Jan. 2019, pet store operators would be prohibited  from selling  live dogs, cats, or rabbits in a pet store unless they had been obtained from a shelter or rescue group. The bill would require dogs and cats affected by this law to be in compliance with laws requiring the spaying or neutering.

Environment

  • SB49 – Prohibits the state from enacting environmental policies less stringent than federal standards
  • PASSED & Sent to Governor   SB50 – Establishes a policy of the state to discourage transfer of federal public lands in California to third parties
  • SB100 – California’s energy must be supplied by renewable and “zero-carbon” generating facilities by December 31, 2045
  • AB1328From our own Assemblymember Monique Limón, this bill would make information from investigations of chemicals in the discharged wastewater from oil or gas fields available to the public.
  • AB1197 – From our own Assemblymember Monique Limón, this bill clarifies oil spill contingency plans and spill management team qualifications.

Conflicts of Interest & Corporate Responsibility

  • PASSED & Sent to Governor  SB33 – Permits customers of financial institutions to sue instead of entering into forced arbitration
  • PASSED & Sent to Governor  SB149 – Presidential Tax Transparency Act: requires presidential candidates to release 5 years of tax returns to appear on ballot in California

gettyimages-610600346

  • PASSED & Sent to Governor AB249 – The California DISCLOSE Act requires groups that oppose or support ballot measures to disclose major donors
  • PASSED & Sent to Governor SR23 – Calls on Congress to conduct investigation on Trump’s ties to Russia

Criminal Justice

  • PASSED & Sent to Governor  SB180 – Repeals the 3-year sentence enhancement for defendant’s prior convictions for certain drug offenses
  • PASSED & Sent to Governor  SB239 – Treats exposure to HIV in the same manner as exposure to other serious communicable diseases
  • SB394 – Parole after 25 years for offenders who committed crimes as juveniles
  • PASSED & Sent to Governor SB535 – Restores right to serve on a jury once felons serve their sentences
  • SB384 – Creates 3 tiers within the sex offenders’ registry so that non-violent non-reoffenders can be removed from the registry in 10 years.
  • AB386 – Provides legal representation to honorably discharged veterans with ties to California who have been deported
  • Passed & Waiting for Concurrence Vote AB1008 – Ban the Box: employers may not ask about felony convictions (with particular exceptions)

Economic Justice

  • PASSED & Sent to Governor SB63 – Requires employers to allow up to 12 weeks of unpaid parental leave
  • PASSED & Sent to Governor AB1701 – “Labor-related liabilities: origianl contractor.” Protects construction workers who have not been paid for a job by allowing them to seek their back wages and benefits from the general contractor, even if they didn’t work directly for them.

Education

  • PASSED & Sent to Governor AB19 – waives the $46-per-unit fee for full-time students in California entering their first year of community college. Low-income students already can apply for a fee waiver, but the bill would cover the cost for an additional 19,000 students’ first year. Each student taking 12 units each semester would save $1,104 a year under the bill.
  • AB738From our own Assemblymember Monique Limón – requires the creation and adoption of a model curriculum in Native American studies, and encourages schools with grades 9 to 12, inclusive, without their own standards-based Native American studies curriculum to use this model.
  • AB122 – Co-sponsored by our own Assemblymember Monique Limón – budget bill distributing funds for educational and related purposes.

Healthcare

  • PASSED & Sent to Governor SB17 – Requires health plans and insurers to report drug prices to regulators
  • PASSED & Sent to Governor AB265 – Prohibits prescription drug manufacturers from offering discounts to patients if a lower cost therapeutically equivalent brand or generic drug is available

Housing

  • SB2 – adds a $75 fee on real estate transactions and generate up to $300 million per year for housing.
  • SB3 – places a bond measure on the November 2018 statewide ballot with $3 billion set aside to also finance low-income development, and an additional $1 billion for veterans home loans.
  • SB35 – streamlines the approval process for affordable housing projects.
  • AB73 – eases zoning and environmental review rules.

Immigration

  • PASSED in Budget Bill SB6 – provides legal counsel to undocumented immigrants
  • PASSED & Sent to Governor SB29 – Prohibits local governments from contracting with private companies to detain immigrants for profit
  • SB54California Values Act: makes California a sanctuary state. There was some negotiation to get it done
  • PASSED & Sent to Governor AB21 – Establishes policies to be implemented by institutions of higher education in California that safeguard against immigration enforcement activities on campuses
  • PASSED & Sent to Governor  AB291 – Immigrant Tenant Protection Act: landlords may not threaten to report undocumented tenants
  • PASSED & Sent to Governor  AB450 – Protects against ICE in workplace
  • Passed & Waiting for Concurrence Vote AB699 – Protects against ICE in schools
  • AB134 Budget Act of 2017 Urgency clause. – A companion bill to assist “Dreamers”
  • SB119 Budget Act of 2017 Urgency clause. – A companion bill to assist “Dreamers”

LGBTQ Rights

  • PASSED & Sent to Governor   SB179 – Simplifies the process to change name and gender on state-issued identity documents
  • PASSED & Sent to Governor   SB310 – Permits inmates and parolees to petition the courts for a change of name and official gender identification

Privacy & Civil Rights

  • SB31 – Bars state and local governments from participating in religious registries
  • PASSED & Sent to Governor SB51 – Whistleblower protection: provides protections public employees who reports improper governmental activity
  • PASSED  AJR7 – Encourages the federal government to protect net neutrality

Voting Reform

  • SB568 – Moves the date of California primaries to March
  • AB216 – Requires return envelopes for vote-by-mail ballots to include prepaid postage

Women’s & Reproductive Rights

  • PASSED & Sent to Governor   SB743 – Protects MediCal coverage for family and reproductive services
  • PASSED & Sent to Governor  AB41 – Speeds up DNA testing in rape cases
  • PASSED & Sent to Governor AB168 – Prohibits an employer from seeking salary history information about an applicant for employment
  • PASSED & Sent to Governor AB280 – Creates Rape Kit Backlog Voluntary Tax Contribution Fund to accept voluntary donations from tax returns
  • PASSED & Sent to Governor AB569 – Prohibits an employer from taking any adverse employment action, as defined, against an employee based on the employee’s reproductive health care decisions
  • PASSED & Sent to Governor  AB1209 – Requires companies with more than 500 employees in CA to report gender-related pay differentials
  • PASSED & Sent to Governor  AB1312 – Provides additional rights to victims of sexual assault
  • PASSED & Sent to Governor SR12 – Affirms support for access to comprehensive reproductive care
  • PASSED & Sent to Governor HR6 – Affirms support for access to comprehensive reproductive care

Zombie Bills

These bills either died in committee, got held in the Appropriations suspense file, were moved to the inactive file, or failed a vote. This list is just as long as the “Passed” list, but as we’re just doing good news, we’ll just point out some of particular interest.

  • Special Committee will convene to discuss universal healthcare SB562 – CA single payer healthcare
  • Held under submission  AB1000 – Prohibits pumping the groundwater underlying deserts in protected areas (e.g. the Mojave Desert, national and state parks) if doing so will have an adverse impact.  (“Held under Submission” = An action taken by a committee when a bill is heard in committee and there is an indication that the author and the committee members want to work on or discuss the bill further, but there is no motion for the bill to progress out of committee. This does not preclude the bill from being set for another hearing.)
  • Gov says: POSTPONED TILL NEXT YEAR SB10 – California Money Bail Reform

And, now back to the rest of the world…Good News from DC!

IN A STUNNING move, the House of Representatives on Tuesday approved an amendment to the Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act that will roll back Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s expansion of asset forfeiture.

In a unanimous vote, the Senate has approved a resolution condemning white supremacists, neo-Nazis and other hate groups following the violent white-nationalist rally in Charlottesville. The resolution describes Heather Heyer’s death as a “domestic terrorist attack” and acknowledges two Virginia state troopers who died in a helicopter crash while monitoring the protests. It also urges Attorney General Jeff Sessions to investigate their acts of violence and intimidation.

While this isn’t a concrete victory yet, we’re happy to see Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Susan Collins working together to stop Trump’s ban on transgender people in the military. And West Point just acknowledged its first recognized transgender graduate by her correct name and gender.

Bernie Sanders introduced Medicare-for-All legislation in the U.S. Senate. Only two years after Sanders’ previous bill had zero co-sponsors, this bill has 16 co-sponsors—a testament to how far the movement for single-payer has come. Here’s an easy way to check if your Democratic senator is on board.

And we can’t forget about John Conyers’ Medicare-for-All bill in the House, announced back in January! He’s introduced it every year since 2003, and it seems to have greatly influenced Bernie’s bill.

There seems to be a trend growing of Republican representatives choosing retirement over reelection in 2018. Just this past week, Michigan’s Dave Trott, Pennsylvania’s Charlie Dent, and Washington’s Dave Reichert announced they’re on their way out. #SwingLeft #nowisthetime

Sunday Alert!

The Cassidy-Graham health care bill is turning into a real threat, but amazing people are working on great resistance weapons. Open up this Tweetstorm tool kit over coffee this Sunday and get started. Let’s make our legislators really hate Mondays.

Good Budget news!

Senate committees rejected key aspects of the Trump administration’s proposed budget. While this all still needs to be voted on by the full Senate, it’s promising that the committees voted to:

  • Reject President Trump’s plan to cut funds for biomedical research and would instead increase spending by the National Institutes of Health. They also limited the Trump administration’s ability to change the rules for federal grants to family planning clinics. Both the Senate and House Appropriations committees rejected Trump’s proposal to slash the payments for the “indirect costs” of university research funded by the NIH – utility bills, heating costs, pricey equipment, and other expenses that support their biomedical labs.
  • Keep funding the Corporation for Public Broadcasting
  • Increase, not cut, federal education spending, and preserve teacher training and after-school programs
  • Require Betsy DeVos to get Congressional approval before allocating money for low-income students to charter schools instead
  • Continue funding climate change projects, including the part of the U.N. that oversees the Paris Climate Agreement

Good News for Elections!

Democrats have won 6 GOP-held seats in 2017. Republicans have won 0 Democratic seats.

170911135115-0911-2016-election-results-map-exlarge-169

Democrats won two GOP-held legislative seats in Oklahoma and New Hampshire on Tuesday, bringing the total number of state legislature seats the party has flipped since the November election to six.

Trump seems to have burned a few bridges in NH…

Bad News for the Global Warming Deniers!

(from ClimateHawksvote.com)  The New York state supreme court just rejected ExxonMobil’s request to keep critical documents sealed in the #ExxonKnew case.

In 2015, Climate Hawks Vote members were the first to push state attorneys general to investigate Exxon’s knowledge of climate change. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in New York subpoenaed key documents from Exxon and the courts have affirmed that Exxon and its outside auditor have an obligation to produce all the documents that Schneiderman rightfully subpoenaed.This is a big win for those working to hold polluters accountable for the destruction of our planet and endangering of our communities.

Even the Pope thinks climate deniers are “stupid”.  “I am reminded of a phrase from the Old Testament, I think from the Psalm: ‘Man is stupid, he is stubborn and he does not see.'”

Good News for the Environment!

France will ban oil production and reduce nuclear energy by 25%.

Great Photo Break!

091217.N.FF.Sign

Gale MCCray, 74, of Fort Worth, Texas, holds his sign protesting President Trump on Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, at the intersection of Main Avenue and 2nd Street, Fargo. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

In other Good News for Justice of all kinds!

Superman has come back to remind us of an earlier lesson.

Screen_Shot_2017_09_14_at_12.58.17_PM.png

He thought he had nailed it in the 1950’s but apparently we are short on memory and long on hate.

Superman_All_American.png

Despite Blacks representing over 25% of Alabama’s population, its judges are disproportionately white. A NAACP lawsuit moves forward to change this.

“Robert E. Lee has left the park”.

DJuZ6c1UIAAd5nd

Shkreli finally goes to jail something! Putting a $5000 bounty on Hillary’s hair finally did it! (from Salon) “Shkreli’s jail term is particularly surprising given that the U.S. justice system tends to systematically favor the rich and powerful, while punishing the poor and underprivileged. Just this year, a Virginia man was sentenced to a 137-year prison sentence for stealing tires; meanwhile, no one at Wells Fargo Bank was prosecuted for defrauding customers by opening at least one million accounts and credit cards on customers’ behalf without their knowledge. And despite their role in creating a recession that immiserated vast swaths of the populace, no bankers went to jail for their hand in the 2008/2009 financial crisis. Shkreli is a peculiar exception to a “golden” rule.”

Led by organizer Soffiyah Elijah, members of the Alliance of Families for Justice marched 140 miles, calling for prison reform, the end to human rights abuses, and the closure of Attica prison.

When ESPN’s Jemele Hill spoke of the president’s racism, her colleagues acted in solidarity and now she’s back on the air.

We’re not the only country that dislikes what Bannon stands for.

Good News for people recovering from Irma!

Last week, Hurricane Irma swept through Florida, destroying homes and lives. As Florida residents begin to recover from the storm, we’re grateful to read about everyone who pitched in to help their neighbors, including these Syrian refugees who cooked feasts for evacuees, and this “chainsaw-wielding nun” who cleared fallen trees from roads. She explains: “The road was blocked, we couldn’t get through. There was a need, I had the means… Do what you can to help.”

Royal Caribbean provides transport and brings humanitarian aid to Irma-affected islands.

Call-outs to some amazing women!

We’re planning to watch these heroines take on the heroin epidemic in this new Netflix documentary this weekend, but first we have to stop and give thanks to the late Edie Windsor for all that she did to bring equal rights to LGBTQ couples across the country.

Do something nice to do for Mexico!

Express condolences to the Mexican president – postcard or letter. As your neighbors, we grieve with you for the precious lives lost in the tragic earthquake. We are sorry our president is a horrible person didn’t show appropriate sympathy. Please know that we in the US are praying for your people, the souls of those lost, and for recovery in your beautiful country.

Address: Presidente Enrique Peña Nieto, Los Pinos, Mexico City, Mexico

And finally this, a blatant advertisement for us, Indivisible!

If you haven’t done this yet, come and join your local group! Welcome to the Resistance!

(Thanks as always to Rogan’s List, Jen Hofmann, Alison & Stephanie, Michelle at SmallDeedsDone, a whole bunch of other blogs, newsletters and facebook posts from fellow resisters and the whole wide highway of the internet.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s