Legislative Victories

California Declared Sanctuary State, California Values Act and California Disclose Act Passed

Last Friday, the progressive revolution saw multiple legislative victories in the California State Legislature.  SB-54, The California Values Act passed both legislative houses. This bill makes California the first sanctuary state in America, countering Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda.

The second is AB-249, or the California Disclose Act.  This bill makes where the top three donors of any political advertisement must be listed.  Prior to this, groups such as oil or pharmaceutical companies would simply create a subsidiary group to mask themselves or donate to a Super PAC and hide behind that group.  Now those donors must reveal themselves and show voters who actually paid for those advertisements.

The final victory is actually a package of multiple bills meant to target homelessness and housing affordability, most notably SB-2, authored by Senator Toni Atkins.  SB-2, would implement a transaction fee up to $225 for real estate transactions. Senator Atkins was also one of the primary authors of California’s single-payer bill, SB-562.  I thank her for her progressive leadership in the State Senate and I am looking forward to working with her, if elected.    This article discusses the package of bills addressing housing affordability and can also be found here.

I thank all the progressive, immigration rights, election integrity, and housing activists for their hard work. All of this would not have been possible without your awareness campaigns and constant contact with your legislatures.

The Fight Continues

Although, all of these legislative actions are a great step in the right direction, these bills are far from perfect.  For instance, the California Disclose Act only applies to ballot propositions.  Candidates are exempt from the bill. Even though local law enforcement can no longer act as immigration officials or cooperate with immigrant and customs enforcement (ICE), officers who work in the jails can work with ICE. Although I agree that we need to build low-income housing and that the cities will be mandated to offer affordable housing, wages are still too low to be able to afford basic housing. SB-35 allows developers to build in residential zones without going through environmental review through cities, which may lead to unsustainable environmental practices being used and will lead to further accelerated gentrification in larger cities, such as Santa Ana.

Many of the people I have met on the river trail are in great need of mental health and drug addiction services.  However, the county has refused to use state money to offer services to Orange County residents.  I am proud of the progress that California has made, but we need to continue moving forward to ensure that California values election integrity by expanding the Disclose Act to apply to candidates. We should also move toward full public financing of local and state elections, that jail officers only cooperate with ICE only if the individual is convicted of a violent felony, and not simply a minor crime.  And, we need to remove the conditions that may lead some to homelessness, such as starvation wages, and subsequent inadequate government assistance.

This is why I believe one way we can reduce, if not eliminate homelessness is the implementation of a universal basic income.  If we put money into the hands of the poor and working class, they spend the money on housing and other goods, along with the money they have earned. This will not only achieve these aims, but can give the California economy a massive boost because more money is going into the economy.

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