DEMANDS FOR A “DRAMATIC CHANGE”
It’s been a painful week for Sacramento.
When Sacramento District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert announced on Saturday that her department would not indict the police officers who shot and killed Stephon Clark last March, protesters demonstrated in the city’s streets and at a city council meeting.
Today they are heading to the political beating heart of the state. Sacramento ACT, a local faith-based organization, is leading a procession to the Capitol to rally support for Assembly Bill 392, a proposal that would overhaul California’s current use-of-force policies and set a new standard for when deadly force is acceptable.
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“Sacramento ACT is calling on all members of the community to unite in favor of AB392, a bill that would address law enforcement’s senseless violence against primarily black and brown community members and hold police officers accountable for their actions,” a press statement from the organization read.
Clark, a 22-year-old, unarmed black man, was shot dead by officers in his grandmother’s backyard last year. Police thought he was carrying a gun, but after searching his body, discovered only a cellphone.
Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, D-San Diego, introduced a nearly identical bill last year, but tabled the legislation to make time for dialogue with law enforcement representatives.
What emerged instead was Sen. Anna Caballero’s bill, Senate Bill 230. Her proposal requires departments to have a use-of-force policy in place, but does not set a statewide standard. Cabellero, a Salinas Democrat, worked on the legislation with law enforcement groups.
Weber’s bill, which she coauthored with her Democratic colleague from Sacramento, Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, has support from community activists, civil rights groups and faith organizations who say the timing is right for “dramatic change.”
A controversial aspect of the bill is that the legislation would make filing criminal charges against an officer who uses deadly force easier.
Three of California’s top lawmakers — including Gov. Gavin Newsom, Senate President pro Tem Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood, publicly announced they would support use-of-force reform legislation.
McCarty and Weber will both speak with the procession at the Capitol, according to their offices.
The event is scheduled to begin at Westminster Presbyterian Church at 10:00 a.m. before participants march to the Capitol.
A LOADED (CENSUS) QUESTION
How much weight does a citizenship question on the 2020 Census actually carry?
Such a question could add to or strip communities of essential resources, like education funding, natural disaster relief, business development projects, public safety grants and an accurate number of representatives in Congress.
The United States District Court for the Northern District of California struck down President Donald Trump’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census on Wednesday, handing a victory to immigration advocates who’ve long argued that the question would deter non-citizen participation.
According to the Census Bureau, communities lose out when people don’t fill out their forms. The once-a-decade Census gathers statistical information that government leaders then translate to an allocation of resources proportionate to a community’s population. If there are people missing from the data, that incomplete information means inadequate funding.
The Census asks personal questions — like whether a woman had a baby in the last year or a person’s biological sex — so that the bureau can provide jurisdictions with important statistics on their residents. Fertility questions could turn into public health programs and questions of sex into anti-discrimination initiatives.
The administration has argued that adding the question would help enforce voting rights.
If you’re curious about the rationale for each question, you can read why here.
“Justice has prevailed for each and every Californian who should raise their hands to be counted in the 2020 Census without being discouraged by a citizenship question,” Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a written statement on Wednesday. “We celebrate this ruling, an important step in protecting billions of dollars meant for critical services Californians rely on, from education, to public health and safety. We look forward to a 2020 Census free of partisanship, where every person can be counted equally and without prejudice.”
The Supreme Court is expected to hear the case by April.
Today, the healthcare campaign Care4All is bringing together 70 consumer, community, labor, progressive and health care organizations at the Capitol to talk with lawmakers about pushing universal healthcare legislation.
The coalition will highlight a number of bills that would eliminate coverage gaps, improve quality of and access to care and reduce healthcare prices in California.
The press conference is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on the north steps, and you can watch the live stream on Care4All’s Facebook page.
For your radar: Yesterday the California Chamber of Commerce launched The Workplace, a podcast that features discussions on the biggest issues facing employers and employees. The first episode touches on preventing sexual harassment in the workplace, and the with more episodes scheduled to appear regularly.
March 7 — Sen. Andreas Borgeas, R-Fresno
Mark your calendars!
International Women’s Day is tomorrow. How are you celebrating? Search events happening in your community here.
TWEET OF THE DAY
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- In their own words: Sacramento officers who shot Stephon Clark give their side of the story by Sam Stanton