Courage California in the News

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FIRST IN PLAYBOOK — Progressive booster Courage California (formerly Courage Campaign) is laying down markers in a handful of Democrat-on-Democrat races, endorsing Fresno City Councilwoman Esmeralda Soria (challenging Rep. Jim Costa), Marisol Rubio (seeking to unseat state Sen. Steve Glazer), Assembly hopeful Tracie Stafford (running against moderate Democratic Assemblyman Jim Cooper) and state Sen. Holly Mitchell (vying for an LA County Supervisor seat).

As of January 2020, Courage California — formerly known as Courage Campaign — has officially changed its name. Since its founding in 2005, Courage Campaign has focused on progressive organizing in California, and the 2020 rebrand as Courage California serves to deepen the organization’s commitment to the state.

Eddie Kurtz, executive director of Courage California, explained:

“Courage California recognizes that California must be a beacon of progressive democracy. We understand that California — the 5th largest economy in the world, and the United States’ largest and most diverse state — is uniquely positioned to serve as a model for the country.

“Courage Campaign’s name was changed to Courage California because it better reflects our mission, vision, and values, and our belief that California must seize upon its unique position to build a progressive, equitable, and truly representative democracy. We must prove that democracy in the U.S. can still solve the thorniest problems facing our state, our nation, and the world, while also serving ALL of our people — regardless of race, gender, or economic status.

“To do so, Californians must have the information and infrastructure they need to hold elected officials accountable when they are not working for the public’s benefit, instead prioritizing corporate lobbyists and campaign contributors.

“Courage California will help our great state reach its potential by calling out institutional corruption and oppression, improving coordination and collaboration between progressive organizations, and demanding that our state and local representatives be both accountable to and reflective of the Californians they seek to serve.

“We are building a courageous California, we are Courage California.”

A billboard with the word “impeach” in all capital letters next to a picture of President Trump has gone up in the Fisherman’s Wharf area of San Francisco.

The billboard features a link to CouragetoImpeach.com, which features a petition for people to sign indicating they support impeaching Trump.

In a statement, the campaign said, "“Since the very beginning of his presidency, Donald Trump has committed innumerable, impeachable offenses -- from violating the Constitution’s emoluments clause to openly admitting that he fired FBI Director James Comey in order to obstruct the Russia investigation. Now, after using his position as President to blackmail Ukrainian leaders to manufacture political dirt on the Biden family, the case for the impeachment of Donald Trump on legal grounds is a no-brainer,” said Eddie Kurtz, Executive Director of Courage Campaign. “Our national nightmare must end. Trump must be impeached now.”

The backdrop of the new billboard campaign comes as House Democrats launch a new phase of their impeachment inquiry and as former Ambassador Kurt Volker, until recently a top State Department representative to Ukraine, is scheduled to meet with investigators.

“Now, after using his position as President to blackmail Ukrainian leaders to manufacture political dirt on the Biden family, the case for the impeachment of Donald Trump on legal grounds is a no-brainer,” Eddie Kurtz, executive director of Courage Campaign, said in a statement. “Our national nightmare must end. Trump must be impeached now.”

Eddie Kurtz, the executive director of Courage Campaign, a progressive advocacy group that campaigned for Prop. 63 in 2016, said the ammunition regulation is a step in the right direction. 
 
“These incredibly modest steps are meant to help save lives,” Kurtz said in a phone interview. “It’s just not right to oppose them because they’re inconvenient.”
 
California voters have shown they're in favor of gun regulations aimed at reducing gun violence — demonstrated by the landslide support for Prop. 63, Kurtz said — and his organization is supporting further regulation.

Policy battles between industry lobbyists and activists often leave lawmakers in the middle, and money makes a difference. The liberal nonprofit Courage Campaign said dollar signs influenced an Assembly vote last week that left only one of two tenant protection measures alive.

In its Renter Relief project, the campaign tracked direct and indirect contributions from realtor and landlord groups to lawmakers who declined to vote or voted against Assembly Bill 1482, which caps annual rent increases to 7 percent plus inflation. The group identified vulnerable members based on voting records from a 2018 just cause eviction bill, and it also targeted the lawmakers in Facebook ads.

State legislators are debating a measure that proponents said would set a national precedent by creating statewide guidelines on when officers can use lethal force and requiring that every officer be trained in ways to avoid opening fire (SB 230 - Caballero).

But opponents said the law-enforcement-backed bill doesn't go far enough because it would enshrine current rules that allow police to kill if they reasonably believe that they or others are in imminent danger. They are backing competing legislation sparked by last year's shooting of unarmed vandalism suspect Stephon Clark that would set the first statewide policy allowing police to kill only if they have exhausted non-lethal methods of resolution or de-escalation (AB 392 - Weber).

The progressive advocacy group Courage Campaign, which ran ads promoting Ms. Weber's bill, criticized Ms. Caballero for accepting nearly $12,000 from law enforcement organizations.

Opponents said the law-enforcement-backed bill doesn't go far enough because it would enshrine current rules that allow police to kill if they reasonably believe that they or others are in imminent danger. The bill carried by Democratic Sen. Anna Caballero of Salinas has 17 Democratic and four Republican co-authors in the 120-member Legislature.

Opponents countered with two Capitol rallies backing the competing bill by Democratic Assemblywoman Shirley Weber of San Diego that would toughen the legal standard for using lethal force. The progressive advocacy group Courage Campaign, which ran ads promoting Weber's bill, criticized Caballero for accepting nearly $12,000 from law enforcement organizations.

Courage Campaign launched two police use-of-force ads this week urging lawmakers to pass Assembly Bill 392 before the controversial bill is scheduled to withstand its first committee hearing on Tuesday.

AB 392 by Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, D-San Diego, could revolutionize the way police officers use deadly force on the job. The proposal updates the “reasonable” deadly force standard to a “necessary” requirement, with a criminal liability aspect attached to it.

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