Progressive Organizations Deliver Landmark Housing, Civil Rights, and Economic Justice Victories in 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 21, 2019
Contact: 
Nikki Paschal, 916.444.7178

PROGRESSIVE ORGANIZATIONS DELIVER LANDMARK HOUSING, CIVIL RIGHTS, AND ECONOMIC JUSTICE VICTORIES IN 2019

Sacramento, CA – The Building the California Dream Alliance - a broad coalition of progressive organizations – today announced that their unified efforts resulted in significant victories for housing, civil rights, economic opportunity and workers’ rights.  In total, the Alliance helped secure 18 key legislative victories.

The Alliance was founded in 2015 to further a progressive, positive vision for California, offering a sharp contrast to the Chamber of Commerce’s cynical, anti-worker, anti-environment agenda. With housing and homelessness topping Californian’s list of concerns, the coalition united around tenant’s rights in 2019.  The coalition’s 2019 agenda also included crucial issues of racial and economic justice, as well as pocketbook issues facing Californians, including health care, child care, and higher education.

“Housing is a foundation for families to build their Dreams upon, so tackling unjust evictions and unfair rent increases was a must-win for the Building the California Dream Alliance this year,” said Christina Livingston of ACCE. “Passing AB 1482 to keep families home means fewer parents and children, seniors, and vulnerable Californians have to worry about being pushed onto the streets.  This victory is a major step toward a California where people don’t have to choose between paying the rent or taking their medicine, and where kids can go to school without worrying they won’t have a safe place to sleep at night.”

“Reforming the uncontrolled use of police force against our brown and Black Californians is a significant civil rights victory and one that was possible only because members of the Building the California Dream Alliance stood united for justice,” said Kevin Baker, Director of Legislative Affairs, ACLU of California.  “Achieving AB 392 (Weber)’s landmark policing reform shows that we can better achieve justice, equity, and the California’s Dream for all when we work together and speak in unison.” 

Earlier this year, the Building the California Dream Alliance identified several legislative priorities in pursuit of a Golden State of unlimited opportunity, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, immigration status, disability, health status or age.   Of these, 18 were signed into law: 

CRIMINAL JUSTICE
SB 136 (Wiener) Fights mass incarceration by repealing an ineffective and unnecessary sentencing enhancement for people with a prior prison conviction.

CIVIL RIGHTS
AB 1215 (Ting) Prohibits the dangerous and intrusive use of face surveillance or biometric data collection in police body cameras.

EARLY CARE AND EDUCATION THROUGH HIGHER ED
SB 321 (Mitchell) Ensures that families would experience no break in child care services as they transition between the three CalWORKs child care stages. (IN BUDGET)

AB 378 (Limón) Gives family child care providers the right to collectively bargain with the state so they can negotiate for improvements that impact their work and the families they serve.

ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY AND JUSTICE
AB 508 (Chu) Improves the State Water Resource Control Board’s process for ordering drinking water consolidations and extensions of service to disadvantaged communities reliant on domestic wells.

GENDER EQUITY
AB 749 (Stone) 
Prohibits the use of “no rehire” clauses in settlement agreements that penalize workers by broadly restricting future employment opportunities as a condition of settling their sexual harassment or other employment dispute.

HEALTHCARE AND LONG TERM CARE
AB 824 (Wood) Prevents "pay for delay" drug company agreements to stop lower-cost medications. 

AB 731 (Kalra) Helps workers and employers negotiate better health insurance rates, potentially saving billions, and identifying underlying cost drivers.

HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS
AB 1482 (Chiu) Will protect nearly 15 million Californians from large, unforeseen rent increases by creating price stability and certainty, enabling renters and families to be better able to plan for their future. Part of the Assembly renter stability package.

SB 329 (Mitchell) Bans discrimination against renters who receive housing assistance, increasing their ability to access units they can afford with their assistance in neighborhoods of opportunity. Currently, many families are forced to return their assistance unused because they can’t find a landlord willing to accept it or even let them apply, due to increasing blanket bans and refusal to consider housing assistance by landlords.

INCOME AND FOOD SECURITY
AB 91 (Burke, Quirk, Ting)
 expands California’s Earned Income Tax Credit

LGBTQ EQUALITY AND RIGHTS
SB 159 (Wiener)
 will reduce barriers to accessing HIV preventative medications. This legislation will authorize pharmacists to furnish pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) to patients without a prescription. Pharmacists are already authorized to furnish birth control pills without a prescription. The legislation will also prohibit insurance companies from requiring patients to obtain prior authorization before using their insurance benefits to obtain PrEP or PEP.

RACIAL JUSTICE
AB 392 (Weber) Updates California law to make sure all California police officers de-escalate and use deadly force only when absolutely necessary to protect from immediate harm.

FINANCIAL SECURITY (RETIREMENT TAXATION)
SB 639 (Mitchell)
 Increases protections for patients who obtain medical credit cards by limiting health care providers’ involvement in procuring credit for patients, as well as by improving disclosures to patients.

SB 616 (Wieckowski) Requires a debt collector to leave a person his or her last $1,724, so they can at least make emergency payments

AB 857 (Chiu, Santiago) Will allow local governments to apply for a banking license from the Department of Business

WORKERS RIGHTS
AB 5 (Gonzalez) Codifies into state law the Dynamex Operations West, Inc vs. the Superior Court of Los Angeles (2018) court decision to prevent misclassification of employees as independent contractors.

AB 51 (Gonzalez) Prevents employers from forcing employees to sign away their rights and forcing arbitration for cases of sexual harassment and other misconduct.

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The Building the California Dream Alliance includes: ACCE, Advancement Project, American Civil Liberties Union of CA, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN), Black Women for Wellness, Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, California Attorneys For Criminal Justice (CACJ, California Calls, California Donor Table,  California Low Income Consumers Coalition, California Domestic Workers Coalition, California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA), California Environmental Justice AllianceCalifornia Food & Farming Network , California Labor Federation, California Immigrant Policy Center, California League of Conservation Voters, California NOW, California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, California Reinvestment Coalition, Child Care Law Center, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), Consumer Attorneys of California, Council on American-Islamic Relations, California Chapter (CAIR-CA), Courage Campaign, Disability Rights California, Drug Policy Alliance, Earth Justice , Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Environment California, Equality California, Equal Rights Advocates, Friends Committee on Legislation of California , Health Access, Latino Coalition For A Healthy California , Lutheran office of Public Policy, MALDEF, Mobilize the Immigrant Vote, Mujeres Unidas, NARAL California, NextGen America , PICO California, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of CA, PolicyLink, Public Advocates, SEIU California, Sierra Club California, Smart Justice, UFCW, Voices for Progress, Western Center on Law & Poverty

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