A group of California lawmakers have formed a new legislative caucus focused on issues they believe matter to the Jewish community.
The Legislative Jewish Caucus will form a political action committee to raise money to support Israel-friendly candidates, said Sen. Marty Block, the San Diego Democrat chairing the group.
“This isn’t a religious-based organization. We see this as an ethnic organization,” he said. “My guess is very few of the members would define themselves as being terribly religious, but we all consider ourselves to be part of the Jewish people.”
The Jewish caucus includes nine lawmakers who identify themselves as Jewish, and a handful of non-Jewish lawmakers who want to participate, Block said. All are Democrats, but Block said Republicans are welcome.
The Legislature has 15 caucuses organized around various identities, including race, sexuality and geography. The Jewish caucus will work to fight discrimination against all minorities, Block said, based on religious beliefs that favor equality, “but also out of a personal concern that if folks are treated unequally, Jews will be among those who are treated unequally.”
– Laurel Rosenhall
BY THE NUMBERS
Union membership declined in California last year, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics says in a new report. The drop was from 2.5 million in 2012 to 2.4 million in 2013. Membership fell from 17.2 percent of the state's 14-plus million public and private workers to 16.4 percent. Nationwide, union members remained static at 11.3 percent of all workers. New York has the highest level of union membership, 24.4 percent, while North Carolina has the lowest, 6.4 percent.
– Dan Walters
“Can’t somebody create a course ... totally online? That seems to me less complicated than that telescope you were talking about.”
Gov. Jerry Brown, urging UC regents to expand online education