EJ Legislative Agenda

2020 CEJA Action Legislative Agenda

This year, CEJA Action has adopted legislative positions that prioritize public health, contribute to strengthening our democratic system and improve resilience against future crises or climate impacts.

As we respond to an unprecedented crisis, we understand that difficult legislative decisions have to be made. In order to respond to the dual crises of a pandemic and systemic racial injustice we must prioritize the health and wellbeing of communities of color and communities with the least financial capital.

We must protect democratic practices in the face of threats to our collective democracy, and require industries that harm our communities to be held responsible for their actions.

OUR PRIORITY BILLS 

SUPPORT: AB 345 (Muratsuchi) Environmental Justice: Oil and Gas  

This bill complements the public health and safety rulemaking at the California Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM) by enhancing public participation, creating an environmental justice program, and requiring CalGEM to create a health and safety buffer zone between oil and gas wells and homes, schools, daycares, playgrounds, hospitals, and health clinics. Also requires CalGEM to consider a buffer zone distance of 2,500 feet for facilities where children are present.

SUPPORT​: AB 995 (C. Garcia) Department of Toxic Substances Control Reform

This bill ensures lasting accountability and transparency within the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) by creating the California Toxic Substances Board which grants additional oversight of DTSC’s programmatic and fiscal functions.

COVID-19 RESPONSE

SUPPORT: AB 310 (Santiago) California State Public Bank Act

This bill provides much-needed emergency funding to local governments, and keeps taxpayer dollars invested in California’s recovery by immediately expanding loan guarantees to small businesses in the communities that need it the most. By moving a small part of California’s Pooled Money Investment Account (PMIA) into the existing California Infrastructure Bank (IBank), and then converting the IBank into a depository bank, the State Public Bank will be able to leverage its capital up to ten times in loans to the most impacted parts of our economy: local governments, schools, affordable housing, locally-owned renewable energy, small businesses, and low-income communities of color.

SUPPORT: AB 1436 (Chiu) COVID Eviction Prevention and Housing Stability Act 

This bill provides a path to address unpaid rent while keeping tenants housed. The bill recognizes the scale and economic impact of the COVID-19 emergency by removing the threat of eviction for renters affected by the crisis while preserving the ability of landlords to recover unpaid rent.

SUPPORT: AB 2054 (Kamlager) Community Response Initiative to Strengthen Emergency Systems (C.R.I.S.E.S.) Act 

This bill establishes the C.R.I.S.E.S. Act pilot grant program to fundamentally improve emergency responses for vulnerable populations in California, by strengthening, expanding and promoting community-based responses to emergency situations to create safe and reliable alternatives to armed law enforcement officers. This bill would also create an 11-member C.R.I.S.E.S. Advisory Committee responsible for reviewing and deciding upon grant proposals and ensuring that the grants adhere to the standards.

PROTECTING DEMOCRACY

SUPPORT: SB 423 (Umberg) Statewide General Elections

Responding to the double threat to voting rights and public health posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, this bill functions in partnership with AB 860 (Berman) to require county elections officials to establish a minimum number of one in-person polling places or vote center per 10,000 voters, and dropbox locations within each county. This bill requires that election officials carry out a multi-lingual voter education and outreach campaign to protect access for all California voters in the 2020 November 3rd General Election.

OPPOSE: SB 625 (Bradford) Central Basin Municipal Water District: Receivership

This bill attempts to address long standing water management failures in the Southeast and East Los Angeles region without including local residents in the process. By failing to engage impacted communities to help shape a long-term solution, this bill cuts community members out of the review process of policies that will directly impact their wellbeing. This bill also denies residents of Southeast and East Los Angeles their right to elect representatives by dissolving the Board of Directors (Board) of the Central Basin Municipal Water District (CBMWD) and requiring the Water Replenishment District of Southern California (WRD) to act as the receiver for CBMWD.

EJ PRIORITIES SIGNED INTO LAW 

SUPPORT IF AMENDED: SB 350 (Hill) The Golden State Energy Act 

This bill establishes the new non-profit utility Golden State Energy (GSE), enhances the California Public Utilities Commission’s  oversight and enforcement of PG&E, and allows GSE to step in and take over if PG&E fails to emerge from bankruptcy.

SUPPORT: AB 860 (Berman) Elections: Vote by Mail- SIGNED INTO LAW 

This bill requires that every registered California voter receive a vote by mail ballot for this November’s presidential general election. This bill is a compliment to SB 423 (Umberg), which would guarantee that in-person voting opportunities would remain available for voters in a manner that is consistent with the need to protect the health and safety of voters and election workers. 

SUPPORT: Assembly Constitutional Amendment 5 (Weber): Government Preferences  

This bill puts a ballot measure before voters in November 2020 to restore affirmative action in public contracting, public employment and public education in an effort to create equal opportunities for all Californians and fight discrimination against women and people of color. This ballot measure would repeal California Proposition 209, passed in 1996, which prohibited the state from discriminating against or granting preferential treatment to anyone based on race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in public employment, contracting and education.

For more information, please contact Political and Policy Director Katie Valenzuela at katie@caleja.org and Policy Manager Diana Vazquez at diana@caleja.org