The California Civic Engagement Project (CCEP)
at the UC Davis Center for Regional Change
Engage! 
CCEP Newsletter
June 2017
Dear CCEP colleagues, partners and friends:

Welcome to the June edition of Engage!

Summer is here and there are some proposed changes to California's elections that could be heading our way. At present, there are two bills calling for the California primary to be moved up from June to March, and the Secretary of State has sponsored a bill currently moving through the state legislature, asking voters to pass a bond measure to pay for new, modernized voting equipment.

In this edition, we also share some of the latest civic engagement research that was recently published, as well as an inspiring story of a Chico State University student who helped the university receive a voter-friendly campus designation.

In partnership,

Mindy Romero, Ph.D.
CCEP Director
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Current Events
June 14-15th

The Statewide Energy Efficiency Collaborative will hold its 8th Annual Statewide Energy Efficiency Forum on Wednesday, June 14th - June 15th in Fresno, California. The theme of this year's forum is "Bridging the Gap." It will focus on topics highlighting local energy, data and technology, sustainability projects, and will include updates from key state agencies.

Mindy Romero, director of the California Civic Engagement Project (CCEP) at UC Davis, will speak on the panel, The Path to 2030, at this event.  Click  here  for more information and to  register .

Upcoming Events
Photo Credit: Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
Common Cause

Common Cause will be running its 7th annual "Student Activist Training" event this summer at California State University, Sacramento. 

Through this event, Common Cause seeks to provide a foundation for students and young professionals to become better activists and advocates.  This free 3-day event is open for all undergraduate students to apply, and will run from July 28th to July 30th. Check out the link to their page  here  to register. 

Past Events
The Gatherings Initiative: Connecting Communities for Action

The Gatherings Initiative: Connecting Communities for Action hosted an event, "What Happened to Our Country?" on June 11th at the Davis Senior Center.

This event featured a keynote address from journalist and author, Sasha Abramsky, who discussed our current political situation using research from his new book, "Jumping at Shadows: The Triumph of Fear and the End of the American Dream." Mindy Romero, director of the CCEP served as a panelist at this event.

For more information about this event, check out the Davis Vanguard article  here.

Secretary of State Alex Padilla
High School Voter Education Weeks

Each year the California Education Code designates the last two full weeks of April and September to be "High School Voter Education Weeks." T his past April, California students heard from  California Secretary of State Alex Padilla  as he traveled around California schools hosting town hall style meetings. 

At these meetings, Secretary Padilla notified students of the new state policy that passed in March, allowing teenagers age 16 and 17 to pre-register to vote, and encouraged eligible students to pre-register or register to vote. In addition, Secretary Padilla spoke to students about the critical role young people play in sustaining our democracy and why civic participation and education is important.

Learn more about High School Voter Education Weeks at the California Secretary of State's  website.

Little Hoover Commission public hearing

The Little Hoover Commission held a public hearing on May 25th at the State Capitol in order to learn more about how recent legislative reforms could affect voter participation in California. Furthermore, the Commission used this hearing to explore additional ways the voter registration process could be changed to improve voter turnout. Mindy Romero, director of the CCEP, gave invited testimony at this hearing. Learn more from their website  here.
New Civic Engagement Research
Asian Americans Advancing Justice - California

Asian Americans Advancing Justice - California, released a report this May examining the language assistance available to California's limited-English proficiency (LEP) voters. 

The report titled "Voices of Democracy: The State of Language Access in California's 2016 Elections" is based on the findings of a poll monitoring effort during the November 2016 election.

Advancing Justice - California organized almost 600 volunteers to visit nearly 1,300 polling places across California to determine if voting sites were in compliance with federal and state access laws. To find out the results of this study, read it  here.

Every Student Succeeds Act

The Education Commission of the States released a new report providing an overview of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) - which replaced the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) in December 2015. This report outlines how ESSA is intended to expand and support civic education and civic engagement activities in K-12 schools to foster a well-rounded education.
For more information, see report  here.

Civic Engagement Success Story
CSU Chico student helped designate school as voter-friendly 

Chico State University student, Jessica Candela, helped the university receive a designation as a voter-friendly campus. 

Candela, a senior at CSU Chico studying political science and multicultural and gender studies, led the university's Office of Civic Engagement's voter registration and education program. Through the program, Candela was able to reach over 5,000 community members, and helped more than 350 people register to vote.

As coordinator of voter registration and education, Candela hosted voter education forums, collaborated with campus organizations to put on 18 voter education workshops, and visited club meetings and classes to talk about the importance voting. Check out the story from ChicoER here.

California Civic Engagement News
California seeks to move June primary to March

Two California bills, Senate Bill 568 and Assembly Bill 84, have been approved by their houses. These bills seek to move the California primary from June up to March. 

Those in favor of this change, such as Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), author of the Senate bill, believe an earlier California primary would give Californian voters more influence in the election. Check out the Associated Press article for more on this  here.

Photo Source: Jimmy Gomez | Facebook
Election of Gomez highlights Latino voting behavior

California Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez recently won California's 34th Congressional District during a special election held in order to fill the seat vacated by Xavier Becerra who became state attorney general. 

The results of the election highlighted Latino voting behavior and political power. When vote-by-mail (VBM) counts were released, Gomez and opposing candidate Robert Lee Ahn were in a tight race. However, once in-person votes were counted, Gomez received almost 70 percent of those votes. This was attributed to Latino voters preferring to cast their ballots in-person rather than VBM - a result that the author says is consistent with research findings released by the CCEP in their "The California Voter Experience: Vote-by-Mail vs. the Polls" policy brief.

For more on this topic, see the NBC News article here.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
California asks voters to modernize CA voting systems

The Voting Modernization Bond Act of 2018, sponsored by California Secretary of State Alex Padilla and Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego), was approved by the California State Assembly on June 1, 2016. 

This bill calls for voters to approve a $450 million bond to help pay for updated, modernized voting systems across the state. The last major investment in California elections was 15 years ago, and according to Lawrence Norden, deputy director of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, "With this bill, California proposes to lead the country with a comprehensive modernization, which will improve accessibility, security, and reliability of our state's elections."  For more information about this, visit the California Secretary of State's website here for the news release.

National Civic Engagement News
Photo Credit: Jim Lo | AP
President launches commission to investigate voter fraud

President Trump signed an executive order this May creating the "Advisory Commission on Election Integrity" to investigate alleged voter fraud and voter suppression. Although the president's claims of voter fraud are not supported by credible evidence, this commission would examine allegations of improper voter registration and fraudulent voting across the country.

Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach are reported to be the chair and vice chair of the commission, and are expected to report their findings to Trump by 2018.
Check out the full story from the Associated Press  here.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
Voting rights issues head to U.S. Supreme Court

The United States Supreme Court ruled on June 5th that North Carolina lawmakers mapped out state legislative districts that disadvantaged black voters. 

The justices upheld an August 2016 ruling that the districts were racial "gerrymanders," due to the district lines being drawn to diminish the voting power of minorities. The Supreme Court ruled this style of gerrymandering to be in violation of the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of equal protection under the law. See the Reuters  article   here  for more on this topic.

Professional Opportunities
Photo Credit: Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
Water Education for Latino Leaders  (WELL)

WELL works with local elected officials who represent Latinos on California's water system to help ensure that long-term water policy will provide equitable and sustainable results for all Californians, the economy and environment.

Currently, they have a job opening in Los Angeles, CA for an Administrative Director who will oversee WELL's daily operations. Check out this   link   for the job posting.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
IMPACT

IMPACT, a non-profit project of advocacy organizations such as Environment America and USPIRG, are looking to hire a team of field campaign organizers for a two-year program.

Organizers in this entry-level position will build and run grassroots campaigns, organize town hall meetings, lobby lawmakers, and set up and speak at news conferences. Check out the link  here for more information and to apply to this job. 

Photo Credit: Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
Muslim American Society - Social Services Foundation

The Muslim American Society - Social Services Foundation (MAS-SSF) has two lead peer counselor positions open. MAS-SSF aids families at large and in the Muslim community with their social service needs.

MAS-SFF is looking to fill these two positions with qualified individuals who have familiarity with the South Asian community. For more information about this job and to apply, visit the link  here.

Share Your Civic Engagement Research with the CCEP
UC Davis California Civic Engagement Project
msromero@ucdavis.edu
CCEP Advisory Committee
Kim Alexander 
President and Founder  
California Voter Foundation


Matt A. Barreto
Professor, Dept. of Political Science
Professor, Dept. of Chicana/o Studies
University of California, Los Angeles

Jonathan Fox
Professor, 
School of International Service 
American University  

Luis R. Fraga 
Arthur Foundation Endowed Professor of Transformative Latino Leadership
Professor of Political Science University of Notre Dame

Lisa Garcia Bedolla
Chancellor's Professor of Education and Political Science 
University of California, Berkeley


Bruce Haynes
Associate Professor, Dept. of Sociology University of California, Davis

Jongho Lee
Professor
Dept. of Political Science 
Western Illinois University 

Peter Levine 
Associate Dean for Research and Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship & Public Affairs, Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life, Tufts University

Matt Mahan
Cofounder and CEO
Brigade

James Muldavin
Executive Director
California Center for Civic Participation and Youth Development

Karthick Ramakrishnan
Professor of Public Policy 
University of California, Riverside


Ricardo Ramirez
Associate Professor, Dept. of Political Science
University of Notre Dame

Jason Reece
Assistant Professor of Land Use Planning and Law
The Ohio State University

Cruz Reynoso
Professor of Law Emeritus
University of California, Davis

Dan Schnur
Director
American Jewish Committee
Los Angeles Region


Shakari Byerly
Partner and Lead Researcher
EVITARUS


California Civic Engagement Project
UC Davis Center for Regional Change


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