Capitol Alert AM Newsletter

Ethnic studies revise + ‘Too many’ police killings + Could parolees vote?

Good morning, California! It’s Hannah Wiley, back in your inbox this morning with the latest #CALeg news.

A CURRICULUM CURE?

California’s top education official is organizing a media briefing this morning to address concerns from the Legislative Jewish Caucus that the state’s proposed Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum is “anti-Jewish.”

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond will join state Sen. Ben Allen, a Santa Monica Democrat and chairman of the caucus, and an Instructional Quality Commission member to discuss the caucus’ claim that political bias drove the exclusion of Jewish history in the proposed coursework.

The Department of Education was tasked in 2016 with implementing an ethnic studies program to provide “culturally meaningful and relevant curriculum.”

Despite the Jewish community’s “longstanding struggle with hatred and discrimination,” the lawmakers said, the curriculum “effectively erases the American Jewish experience.”

Catch up — A committee appointed to craft the curriculum filed the draft in May. The commission then offered its own set of amendments and posted the proposal for public comment through Aug. 15, to be considered alongside the department’s suggestions during a two-day meeting in September.

The lessons focus on political, religious and social oppression of marginalized communities. They include hundreds of pages of suggested plans on a variety of topics that range from the Civil Rights Movement to demonstrations against the Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock to the #MeToo movement

The 16 caucus members alerted the department to the missing history of Jewish people in a late July letter, urging the commission to consider “significant revisions” that fix a curriculum they said “fails to discuss antisemitism, reinforces negative stereotypes about Jews, singles out Israel for criticism and would institutionalize the teaching of anti-Semitic stereotypes in our public schools.”

They specifically called out the curriculum’s exclusion of recent hate crimes against the Jewish community, including the October Tree of Life synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh and the April shooting at the Chabad of Poway Synagogue near San Diego.

Thurmond is expected to discuss the letter, the drafted curriculum and possible amendments that “better reflect the contributions of Jewish Americans and address antisemitism” today at at 10 a.m. at the Department of Education.

MORE THAN MASS SHOOTINGS

Gov. Gavin Newsom pointed to the shooting death of Riverside California Highway Patrol Officer Andre Moye as more evidence the country needs to change its gun laws.



Newsom said the Monday afternoon killing illustrates the prevalence of gun violence in the U.S. Moye’s death is one of “too many” police killings he’s seen since taking office less than a year ago, Newsom said.



“This is the kind of normalization of gun violence that we’ve long accepted in this country that no other country in the world would accept,” Newsom told reporters Tuesday morning in Sacramento. “It’s something we’re going to have to deal with beyond just gun safety, beyond just new rules. We’ve got to change our gun culture.



Moye was killed when a man he had pulled over grabbed a rifle out of his pickup truck and shot the 34-year-old officer as he was filing paperwork to impound the vehicle. Two bystanders and two other officers were wounded in the ensuing shootout that left the gunman dead.



“There’s folks that put on their uniform every day the overwhelming majority of them are extraordinary people, honorable people that will literally stand between you and a bullet to protect you and this is another example of that,” Newsom said. “We need to push back against any notion that these folks are not the heroes that they are.”

Via Sophia Bollag

WHAT’S ‘TRUE LIBERTY?’

A coalition of lawmakers backing a proposal to restore voting rights for people on parole are congregating in support of the measure this morning, ahead of an impending Assembly floor vote on ACA 6.

The proposed constitutional amendment, written by Sacramento Democrat Kevin McCarty, would ax a legal provision that prohibits parolees from voting. If passed by the chamber, the amendment would qualify for the 2020 ballot and restore voting privileges to an estimated 50,000 Californians, according to a press release.

“In California, we are the leader in our country when it comes to voting rights and participatory democracy,” the press statement read. “People on parole are our colleagues, neighbors and family members. We all work, pay our taxes and want to make California a better place. In order to reintegrate folks into our communities, we must restore their right to vote.”

As of July 1, parolees in Colorado and Nevada became eligible to vote.

Dozens of organizations and voter rights groups are in support of the California effort. But the Election Integrity Project California, Inc. said individuals on parole have not “regained the full trust of the society at large, nor the privilege to participate as a full member of that society.”

“A period of parole gives the former criminal powerful reminders of what true liberty is by withholding just enough of it to incentivize further appropriate behavior so as to earn the rights just beyond the fingertips,” according to a bill analysis quote from the project.

McCarty is scheduled to join advocates and Democratic Assemblymembers Sydney Kamlager-Dove, Lorena Gonzalez, Rob Bonta and Mark Stone, as well as state Sen. Scott Wiener.

The press conference is scheduled for 9:30 this morning in Capitol room 317.

TWEET OF THE DAY

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Hannah Wiley joined The Bee as a legislative reporter in 2019. She produces the morning newsletter for Capitol Alert and previously reported on immigration, education and criminal justice. She’s a Chicago-area native and a graduate of Saint Louis University and Northwestern.
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