Progressive Coalition Adds Four California State Senators to The People’s Report Card of California “Hall Of Shame”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 20, 2016

CONTACT:  Brett Abrams | 516-841-1105 | brett@unbendablemedia.com

Progressive Coalition Adds Four California State Senators to The People’s Report Card of California “Hall Of Shame”

Groups Call Out Sen. Steven Glazer, Sen. Janet Nguyen, Sen. Cathleen Galgiani, and Sen.Richard Roth For Prioritizing Corporate Interests Over Constituent Values

CALIFORNIA -- Building off the release of The People’s Report Card of California earlier this month, the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment Action, Progressive Kick, Presente.org, and ColorOfChange, led by the California-based Courage Campaign, added the names of four State Senators -- Sen. Steven Glazer (D-SD7), Sen. Janet Nguyen (R-SD34), Sen. Cathleen Galgiani (D-SD5) and Sen. Richard Roth (D-SD34) -- to its “Hall of Shame” for being out-of-step with their constituents and for prioritizing the needs of corporate interests over the needs and values of their district.  

The People’s Report Card of California allows all Californians to see their state representatives’ “Courage Score” on a scale of 0-100, along with a corresponding letter grade. The Courage Score is a rating of each legislator’s willingness to stand up for their constituents against corporate benefactors and special interest groups that exploit Californians.  

CHECK OUT THE PEOPLE’S REPORT CARD OF CALIFORNIA HERE: www.CourageScore.org

Senator Steven Glazer received a Courage Score of 25, one of the worst voting records amongst Democrats in the State Senate.  Sen. Glazer opposed an expansion of the Paid Family Leave Program (SB 406) and policies to secure equal pay for women (AB 1017). These issues are of particular concern in Contra Costa and Alameda Counties, which Sen. Glazer represents, where the wage gap between men and women is among the worst in the state, and where it is particularly difficult for a single mother to afford housing, according to research done by the CA Budget and Policy Center. Glazer also opposed AB 1351 that would promote drug rehabilitation instead of prison time for certain nonviolent drug offenses, and he did not support SB 654 which regulated hazardous waste, or SB 546 which stopped unjustified health insurance rate hikes. Glazer’s constituents have a history of supporting far more progressive policies than the Senator -- with 69% of Glazer’s district voting in favor of repealing California’s Three Strikes Law and 62% voting to support Prop 47 in 2014 which reduced nonviolent felonies to misdemeanors and helped dismantle racist police policies in California. Moreover, Sen. Glazer’s constituents demonstrated their progressive values by voting to raise taxes on the wealthy to fund schools (56% in favor of Prop 30 in 2012) and to improve energy efficiency and expand clean energy in schools (63% in favor of Prop 39 in 2012).

Senator Janet Nguyen received a Courage Score of 0. While Nguyen is a Republican, she is targeted in the “Hall of Shame” because her voting record is so out of touch with her constituents who support far more progressive policies. Nguyen voted against critical bills to improve the lives of working families -- including SB 406 to expand the CA Family Leave Act, SB 3 to increase the minimum wage, and AB 1017 which would secure equal pay for women. These issues are of particular concern in Orange County, which Sen. Nguyen represents, where it is exceedingly difficult for a single mother to afford housing and average commute times are among the worst in the state, according to research done by the CA Budget and Policy Center. Nguyen, who has received money from the National Rifle Association, also opposed SB 347, a lifesaving bill to expand gun safety that was introduced in response to the tragic Isla Vista massacre. Furthermore, Nguyen voted against SB 32, a landmark climate change bill that would have drastically reduced California’s carbon emissions, despite the fact that 58% of voters in her district supported Prop 39 in 2012 to improve energy efficiency and expand clean energy in schools. Nguyen is one of the largest beneficiaries of spending by the oil, gas and energy industries, which dumped $645,000 on her election in 2014. Sen. Nguyen also opposed AB 1351 to promote drug rehabilitation programs, AB 1352 preventing unintended deportations, SB 654 regulating hazardous waste, AB 359 protecting grocery workers, AB 465 guaranteeing workers rights, and SB 546 to stop unjustified health insurance rate hikes.

Senator Cathleen Galgiani received a Courage Score of 27, making her the third least progressive Democrat in the State Senate. Galgiani voted against SB 32 which would have drastically reduced climate emissions, despite her district overwhelmingly supporting Prop 39 which would improve energy efficiency in California and expand clean energy use in schools. Galgiani failed to vote on AB 1351 which would promote drug rehabilitation programs over prison time for nonviolent drug offenses, despite 69% of voters in her district voting to repeal California’s Three Strikes Law in 2012. Sen. Galgiani abstained on SB 3 in 2015, a bill to increase the minimum wage, and abstained on AB 1017, which would institute policies to help secure equal pay for women. These issues are of particular concern in San Joaquin and Stanislaus Counties, which Sen. Galgiani represents, where average earnings, economic security, and food security rank among the lowest in the state according to the CA Budget and Policy Center in its Women's Well-Being Index. Furthermore, Sen. Galgiani voted against AB 1352 to prevent unintended deportations, SB 654 to regulate hazardous waste, as well as AB 359 and AB 465, measures that would protect workers rights.

Senator Richard Roth received a Courage Score of 15, making him the least progressive Democrat in the Senate.  Roth opposed SB 406 which would expand paid family leave, and opposed SB3 to increase the minimum wage.  Senator Roth was absent for a vote on SB 546 which would protect large employers and workers from unjustified health insurance cost increases. Roth also abstained on AB 1351, a bill to promote drug rehabilitation over prison time for nonviolent drug offenders, despite voters in his district overwhelmingly supporting similar reforms through Prop 36 in 2012 and Prop 47 in 2014. Sen. Roth opposed SB 32, a landmark bill that would have drastically reduced carbon emissions by 2050. Yet, in 2012 his district strongly supported (59%) a related climate change policy (Prop 39) which would improve energy efficiency in CA and expand clean energy in schools. Sen. Roth also opposed SB 347, to expand gun safety regulations, AB 1352 to prevent unintended deportations, AB 1352 to regulate hazardous waste and AB 465, a measure to protect worker rights.

A full list of the bills used to calculate the Courage Score can be found here:
http://couragescore.org/legislative-votes-deterined-courage-score/

For more information, or for interviews with coalition members, please contact Brett Abrams at 516-841-1105 or by email at brett@unbendablemedia.com.

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