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 JPAC Advocacy Day 2017 Recap
On May 8th and 9th, JPAC held our 2017 Advocacy Day in Sacramento.  Attended by over 120 advocates representing more than 20 organizations from across the State, we met with over 60 legislators to lobby on issues that are priorities for the California Jewish community, including immigration, security, and poverty.  After an opening reception honoring Senator Holly Mitchell on May 8, participants attended a dinner with the Legislative Jewish Caucus, including chair Assemblymember Marc Levine, Senator Ben Allen, Senator Henry Stern, Senator Bob Hertzberg, Senator Scott Weiner, and Assemblymember Laura Friedman.  

Tuesday, May 9 opened with a panel moderated by John Myers of the Los Angeles Times that addressed the implications of federal healthcare policy on California. This timely panel included Senator Dr. Richard Pan; Beth Parker, Chief Legal Counsel for Planned Parenthood in California; and Anthony Wright, Executive Director of Health Access.
The second panel discussed the impact of federal immigration policies on California and was moderated by Ronald Coleman of the CA Immigrant Policy Center.  The panelists were Assemblymember Rob Bonta, ACLU Legislative Advocate Maya Ingram and MALDEF Legislative Staff Attorney Jeanette Zanipatin. This panel helped prepare attendees who would later be lobbying on a package of immigration-related bills at the Capitol.
During lunch, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla talked about his plans to expand voting accessibility throughout the state.   California Attorney General Xavier Becerra also gave a riveting address to the group, stressing that the leadership in California is committed to protecting the rights and liberties of all those who reside here.
We put our Jewish values into action as we lobbied our elected representatives on a package of immigration bills, an anti-poverty bill, and a budget request of $2 million for the nonprofit Security Grant program.   Participants met with representatives on both sides of the aisle and stressed the importance of these issues in the California Jewish Community.
JPAC Advocacy Day is an annual mission to Sacramento that brings together lay leaders and staff of Jewish organizations all over California.   It is an opportunity to come together in our State's Capitol to strengthen our relationships, debate public policy, and represent the greater Jewish community statewide to our legislators.    

Senator Holly Mitchell accepting the Jerry Sampson Legislator of the Year Award
California Attorney general Xavier Becerra was a keynote speaker

Senate president pro Tem meeting with JPAC leadership
CA Secretary of State Alex Padilla
Delegation from Los Angeles Jewish Federation
Los Angeles area attendees meet with Asm. Richard Bloom
JPAC Advocacy Day Lobbying Items

JPAC advocates met with over 60 state senators and assembly members and their staff at the State Capitol to advocate for "yes" votes on these issues:   
YES to AB 1520 (Burke) :
Lifting Children and Families out of Poverty Act:  This bill establishes a permanent framework through the state budget process, which requires the Legislature to invest in programs that have been proven to significantly reduce child poverty. The goal of this bill is to reduce child poverty by 50% over the 20-year period starting in fiscal year 2018-19 and to use the framework proposed by this bill as recommendations for enacting future legislation to fund programs or services and future innovations to reduce child poverty.  In addition, the Legislature will be required to hold hearings on California's progress to reduce child poverty every two years.
This bill passed by a unanimous (14-0) vote of the Assembly Appropriations Committee on the bill on May 26th, 2017.  It passed the Assembly Floor without any opposition. Next it goes to the Senate.

YES to a package of Immigration Bills:
* AB 3 by Assemblymember Bonta will create Regional Centers and Statewide Resource Centers for public defenders to gain immigration expertise.  

This bill passed the Assembly Appropriations Suspense file on May 26 th, and passed the Assembly Floor with a 53-24 vote. The bill is now in Senate Rules Committee to be decided what committee it will be referred to. 
* AB 291 by Assemblymember Chiu will prohibit landlords from threatening to report tenants to immigration authorities, whether in retaliation for engaging in legally-protected activities or to influence them to vacate.  
This bill passed out of the Assembly with a 54-17 vote, and is now scheduled to be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on June 6th at 1:30. The Chair of the Committee is Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson.

 * AB 699 by Assemblymember O'Donnell will safeguard against immigration enforcement activities on school campuses and promote a safe and equitable learning environment for all students.

This bill passed the Assembly Appropriations Suspense file on May 26th, and then passed the Assembly Floor with a 60-13 vote. The bill is now in Senate Rules Committee.

 * SB 6 by Senator Hueso will provide access to qualified legal counsel to immigrants in deportation or removal proceedings.  

This bill passed the Senate Floor 28-11. The bill is now scheduled to be heard in the Assembly Judiciary Committee on June 20th at 9:00AM. The Committee Chair is Assemblymember Mark Stone.

* SB 29 by Senator Lara will prevent local governments from contracting with private companies to detain immigrants for profit.

This bill passed the Senate Appropriations Suspense file on May 25th, and passed the Senate Floor with a 26-13 vote. The bill is now on the Assembly Desk.

 * SB 31 by Senator Lara will prevent public agencies and their employees from assisting with or providing personal information for any federal registry based on an individual's religious, ethnic or national origin. 

The bill passed the Assembly Judiciary 11-0 and will now be going to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
* SB 54 by Senate President pro Tem de Leon will prohibit state and local law enforcement agencies, including school police and security departments, from engaging in immigration enforcement. 

The bill passed the Assembly Public Safety Committee yesterday 5-2 and will now be going to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.
Budget Ask:  $2 million for the California Nonprofit Security Grant: SUCCESS!
The State of California has a demonstrated need for a state grant program (similar to the federal Nonprofit Security Grant Program administered by the Department of Homeland Security in cooperation with the California Office of Emergency Services) to support target hardening and other physical security enhancements for nonprofit organizations that are at risk of a violent attack. Such funding would enable eligible nonprofit organizations to obtain physical security enhancements (e.g., reinforced doors and gates, high-intensity lighting systems, alarms) and security training that would help them to prevent, mitigate, and respond to acts of terrorism and hate-motivated violence. Similar to the federal program, criteria for determining eligible applicants could include factors such as prior attacks or threats against the organization or similar organizations, findings from risk assessments, the symbolic value of the organization or site, and the role of the organization in responding to or recovering from an attack.
This budget item was approved by Governor Brown! We will alert our members and any interested parties when the grant guidance is released by the State.

For questions or to get involved, please contact Julie Zeisler at Julie@jpac-cal.org or Cliff Berg at (916) 448-8240.
This year at Advocacy Day, JPAC launched a scholarship fund for student leaders at colleges from throughout California to apply for and attend JPAC Advocacy Day at no cost.  We were fortunate to pilot this program with students from UCLA and CSUN, including the student body presidents for both campuses.  The impressive students who attended JPAC Advocacy Day this year are:
In their own words, this is what getting involved with JPAC means to them:

Said Amir Kafshi, member of UCLA Academic Senate: "JPAC's Advocacy Day was a meaningful learning and leadership development opportunity for our community's student leadership at UCLA. I enjoyed learning more about JPAC's leading role in advocating for California's most vulnerable populations and established meaningful relationships with community partners who we will continue to work with at UCLA. Serving as a group leader during lobby visits was a personal highlight of the conference. Thank you again and can't wait until next year!"

Said Arielle Mokhtarzadeh, president of Bruins for Israel and UCLA Student Body President: "Engaging with JPAC gave me the opportunity to see the power of values-based advocacy at work.  It was incredible to see the depth and breadth of JPAC's relationships with policy makers -- including but not limited to Attorney General Xavier Becerra, Secretary of State Alex Padilla, Senator Anthony Portantino and a staffer from the office of Assemblymember Shirley Weber to discuss legislation related to immigration reform, protections for undocumented immigrants and intolerance targeting religious minorities.  There is no more meaningful experience than being surrounded by a community of leaders committed to making this state a better place for all."

Said Aaron Boudaie, member of UCLA student council: "JPAC Advocacy Day gave me the opportunity to re-connect with my representatives in Sacramento and to learn more about how the Jewish community can play an active role in fighting for our immigrant communities and against identity-based hatred."

Please donate to the JPAC Student Scholarship Fund to continue bringing highly qualified and effective Jewish student leaders to Sacramento in 2018!  
CSU Update
San Francisco State University (SFSU) is a cornerstone of San Francisco civic life and a point of pride for the community. However, a series of recent events have caused an outcry from Jewish students, faculty and community members. An article published online on May 3 in the J Weekly, titled "S.F. State's Jewish problem: faculty and local leaders decry worsening climate," describes a pattern of activities undermining Jewish student life and enabling an environment of active discrimination against Jewish students. The article acknowledges that SFSU has had "a problematic reputation for decades," but goes on to say that "now, however, Jewish faculty and community leaders say the problem has grown worse." It details several disturbing developments in the past year, including the shouting down of Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and the barring of San Francisco Hillel from participating in an event open to all other student groups.
Campuses across the nation are experiencing an unprecedented volume of anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist activity.  The Jewish community believes deeply that strong democratic public institutions and civil liberties are critical to the well-being of our society.  That is why we can't tolerate the exclusion, intimidation, and - now at SFSU -  alleged discrimination at the hands of employees and students of our Jewish kids based on their ethnicity, religion, and creed. On other campuses, it is the university leadership that sets and enforces boundaries to ensure the flourishing of free speech and the safety of a diverse student body. We expect no less from San Francisco State, and believe this University and the California State University system should expect no less from itself too.  
JPAC has been working to monitor and address this issue in many ways, including having meetings with the CSU Vice Chancellor, involving the Jewish Caucus, and sending letters.  Our work continues, and we will update the community as we make progress.
JPAC in the News
JPAC's work across California earned us some exposure in the press this year.  Read below to get the scoop.

Jewish state legislators ready to make an impact (Jewish Journal, January 6, 2017)
Thank you to our member organizations:   


Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles

Jewish Community Relations Council of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin, Sonoma, Alameda, and Contra Costa Counties

Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco

Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles

Jewish Family and Children's Services of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin, and Sonoma Counties

Jewish Family Service of San Diego

Jewish Federation and Family Services of Orange County

Jewish Federation of Greater Long Beach and North Orange County

Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley

Jewish Federation of the Sacramento Region

Jewish Federation of Santa Barbara

Jewish Labor Committee Western Region

Hadassah Southern California

Hadassah Central Pacific Coast

Anti-Defamation League Western Region

30 Years After

American Jewish Committee Los Angeles

American Jewish Committee San Francisco

ETTA Israel 

Bet Tzedek Legal Services

The Jewish Public Affairs Committee of California (JPAC) is the largest single-state coalition of Jewish organizations in the nation. JPAC is Comprised of local Jewish Federations, Jewish Community Relations Committees and Councils, Jewish Family Services agencies, and other community advocacy groups from throughout California. We advocate on broadly shared values that affect the citizens of our State.