Capitol Alert

AM Alert: John Legend, Gavin Newsom advocate new approach to criminal justice

Singer John Legend leaves the Travis County Correctional Complex in Austin, Texas, on April 16, 2015, after visiting inmates and performing a few songs as part of his "Free America" campaign to end mass incarceration.
Singer John Legend leaves the Travis County Correctional Complex in Austin, Texas, on April 16, 2015, after visiting inmates and performing a few songs as part of his "Free America" campaign to end mass incarceration. Austin American-Statesman

Grammy-winning singer John Legend and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom headline a crime victims conference in Sacramento this week promoting new criminal justice policies in California.

The conference, organized by Crime Survivors for Safety and Justice, begins at 9:30 a.m. at the Sacramento Convention Center and brings together mostly people from low-income, minority communities to emphasize the need for trauma recovery and crime prevention strategies. Newsom will speak at 10:55 a.m., followed by Legend, who recently began a tour to end mass incarceration.

Attendees will gather again on the south lawn, Tuesday at 11 a.m., to commemorate National Victims’ Rights Week. State Sens. Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, and Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, are scheduled to participate.

DUI HATE YOU: AB 1356 from Assemblyman Tom Lackey, R-Palmdale, would authorize California law enforcement to use new “drug breathalyzers” to test drivers suspected of driving under the influence of marijuana and other drugs. Lackey will be joined by Candace Lightner, founder of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, to demonstrate the devices, 9:30 a.m. in Room 127 of the Capitol.

WE ARE WHO WE ARMENIAN: The California Armenian Legislative Caucus, which launched earlier this month, will help unveil a new exhibit focused on the Armenian experience in California, 10 a.m. at the California Museum on O Street. At noon, caucus member Assemblyman Adrian Nazarian, D-Los Angeles, will present a resolution on the Assembly floor marking the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, to be followed by a reception on the west steps of the Capitol at 2 p.m. with traditional Armenian food.

SOCIAL WORK IT: The California chapter of the National Association of Social Workers is holding its annual lobby day at the Capitol to advocate for bills that would raise the minimum wage, extend health care to undocumented immigrants, and eliminate a law barring families on welfare from receiving increased funds if they have additional children. The organization will rally on the south steps at 11 a.m. with Sens. Leno and Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, and Assembly members Susan Talamantes Eggman, D-Stockton, Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento and Tony Thurmond, D-Richmond.

EYE OF THE TIGERS: The “Flying Tigers” was a group of American military pilots who defended China during World War II with shark faces painted on the noses of their planes. Artifacts from their combat unit, including pilots’ jackets, medals and photos, will be on display in the second floor rotunda through May 1. Assemblyman Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood, and the Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus are hosting a reception to kick off the exhibition, 1:30 p.m. in Room 317 of the Capitol.

THIS IS THE END: One of the year’s most high-profile and controversial bills is SB 128, which would allow physicians to prescribe terminally ill patients a lethal dose of drugs. A panel hosted by the Pacific McGeorge Capital Center Lecture Series will explore the legal, medical, cultural and moral concerns lawmakers are grappling with as the bill makes its way through the Legislature, 5:30 p.m. at the Pacific McGeorge School of Law on 5th Avenue.

Call The Bee’s Alexei Koseff, (916) 321-5236. Follow him on Twitter @akoseff.

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