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Quercki : legislation   24

Op-Ed: California’s wildfires revealed a fix for our housing crisis — if we’re willing to act - Los Angeles Times
City and county officials treated the aftermath of the Tubbs fire as the crisis it was. In the months after the blaze, they implemented programs to expedite the rebuilding of thousands of homes. Santa Rosa reduced the fees the city levies on high-density, multifamily housing and on accessory dwelling units often called granny cottages. And instead of taking years to issue rebuilding permits, the city processed thousands each month. Sonoma County also waived some housing fees and opened a Resiliency Permit Center to speed up permitting for those dealing with fire damage.

Their approach inspired me to introduce Senate Bill 330, which I call the Housing Crisis Act of 2019. The bill would accelerate housing construction in the state during the next half-decade by slashing the time it takes for developers to get building permits, limiting fees on housing and barring local governments from reducing the number of homes that can be built.
housing  Nancy_Skinner  CA  legislation  2019 
5 weeks ago by Quercki
LAPD chief among nation's top cops who ask Congress to ban assault weapons - Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said he supports tougher gun measures.

“I believe in universal background checks, banning all detachable magazines, and banning the manufacture, import and sale of semi-auto rifles with detachable magazines,” Villanueva said in a statement Thursday. “Our congressional delegation is in support of common sense gun legislation. Average citizens should be able to keep what they already lawfully own, grandfather them in.”
police  sheriff  support  gun  laws  bans  legislation 
8 weeks ago by Quercki
California struggling to get food stamps to the hungry – Times-Herald
SACRAMENTO — California, a state with the nation’s highest poverty rate, consistently ranks near the bottom when it comes to enrolling low-income people in CalFresh, the state’s name for the federal food stamp program.

That translates to a lot of federal money that California forsakes each year. Low-income Californians would have received an additional $1.8 billion in 2016 in federal funding if CalFresh reached every eligible person, estimates California Food Policy Advocates, a non-profit that promotes greater access to food for low-income people.

“It’s outrageous that so many Californians struggle to put food on the table,” said Senator Scott Wiener, a San Francisco Democrat. “We’re leaving money on the table and people aren’t getting the food that they need. It’s time to kick into gear, streamline the system, get people signed up and stop with the excuses.”

Just 72 percent of eligible Californians were enrolled in CalFresh—the fourth lowest rate in the nation—in 2016, the last year for which national data is available. A bill by Wiener, currently winding through the Assembly, would require the state to enroll 95 percent of eligible households by 2024, with no county enrolling fewer than 85 percent. It also requires the state to develop a new metric to better track who’s getting CalFresh at a local level and who’s not.
food  foodsecurity  legislation  hunger 
12 weeks ago by Quercki
Dick's Sporting Goods CEO took a stand on gun control, even though it hurt the company - The Washington Post
“I give Dick’s a lot of credit for the steps they’ve made,” said Brian Nagel, an analyst at Oppenheimer. “But I think they’ll struggle for a while.”

Stack has also taken his campaign to Capitol Hill. In meetings with Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate, Stack has drilled down on what he sees as holes in nationwide gun laws, such as the fact that if a person is on the no-fly list, “you are deemed to be too dangerous to sit on an airplane, but you can buy a gun.” He’s urged legislators to require universal background checks that include relevant mental-health information and previous run-ins with the law. And he’s pushed for closing the private sale and gun show loophole that waives the necessity of background checks.

[Tech giant brings software to a gun fight]

But none of those efforts has yielded much momentum. Stack said Democrats were eager to enact tighter gun laws. (Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) in March 2018 took to Twitter to say that Stack "knew it was risky to stop selling assault rifles & high-capacity magazines. But he still did it!") But from meetings with Republicans, Stack said, "you could tell that nothing was going to happen."
gun  control  CEO  policy  assault  Parkland  shooting  legislation 
june 2019 by Quercki
Assembly Bill 392 will save lives | The Sacramento Bee
Change tends to happen incrementally in the Capitol. People spend years fighting for reforms. They get knocked down. They get back up. They come back year after year, decade after decade.

The question is not whether you win quickly and absolutely. The question is whether you keep working for change. It took only two years for supporters of reform to overcome powerful opposition and make AB 392 a reality. That’s impressive.
police  deadly  force  legislation  California 
june 2019 by Quercki
California pushes talks on 1st-in-US police shooting rules
The police-backed measure would set a national precedent by creating statewide guidelines on when officers can use lethal force and requiring that every officer be trained in ways to avoid opening fire.

As part of the compromise effort, Caballero stripped her proposal of a section to enshrine in law current standards that let officers kill if they reasonably believe they or others are in imminent danger.

Since that standard has been set by the courts, it would remain if no compromise is reached.

“We clearly have ... many, many, many people up and down the state, and experts, who feel that California’s use-of-force standard should be revised,” said Sen. Nancy Skinner, a Democrat from Berkeley who chairs the Senate public safety committee and engineered the surprise development to combine the measures.
police  force  shooting  legislation  AB392  SB230  2019 
april 2019 by Quercki
The Consumer Data Protection Act Would Send CEOs to Jail for Violating Consumer Privacy
Facebook, Google, and Verizon collectively lobbied the GOP to kill modest but meaningful FCC privacy rules last year. They also worked in unison to scuttle scuttle state-level privacy rules in California, falsely claiming that such efforts would only “embolden extremists,” harm children, and somehow increase internet popups, according to an analysis by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The reality is that any privacy guidelines worth their salt will create informed, empowered consumers more likely to opt-out of data monetization schemes. Given that said opt outs would cost multiple industry billions in revenues, the motivation for their opposition to even the best-crafted reforms isn’t much of a mystery.

Still, consumer groups said Wyden’s proposal is a step in the right direction, even if battling an gauntlet of lobbyists intent on derailing it will surely prove to be challenging.
privacy  legislation 
november 2018 by Quercki
Here's How The Nation Responded When A Black Militia Group Occupied A Government Building | The Huffington Post
Among other things, the Black Panthers’ agenda involved taking up arms and patrolling their communities to protect against rampant racism in policing. And that’s what they did in the first few months of the party’s existence, carrying guns openly in compliance with California law, driving around their neighborhoods, observing arrests and other law enforcement activity — effectively policing the police. Newton was even known for packing a law book alongside his rifle that he’d recite from when informing an officer that a civilian’s rights were being violated.

The patrols weren’t meant to encourage violence. The Panthers were committed to using force only if it was used against them, and at first, their mere presence appeared to be working as a check on abusive policing. But the Panthers’ willful assertion of their rights — like the day Newton reportedly stood up to a cop in front of a crowd of black onlookers — was unacceptable to white authority figures who’d come to expect complete deference from black communities, and who were happy to use fear and force to extract it.

Don Mulford, a GOP assemblyman who represented Oakland, responded to the Black Panther police patrols in 1967 with a bill to strip Californians of the right to openly carry firearms. 

Nobody tried to stop the 30 Black Panthers — 24 men and six women, carrying rifles, shotguns and revolvers — as they walked through the doors of the state Capitol building on May 2 of that year. This was decades before Sept. 11 or the Oklahoma City bombing, and the protesters were, after all, legally allowed to have their weapons. They entered with their guns pointed at the ceiling. Behind them followed a horde of journalists they’d called to document the protest.

As the rest of the group waited nearby, six Panthers entered the assembly chamber, where they found lawmakers mid-session. Some legislators reportedly saw the protesters and took cover under desks. It was the last straw: Police finally ordered the protesters to leave the premises. The group maintained they were within their rights to be in the Capitol with their guns, but eventually they exited peacefully.
Black_Panthers  gun  legislation  racism 
february 2017 by Quercki
About | The California Channel
The California Channel is a public service funded entirely by California’s cable television operators as a means to provide Californians direct access to “gavel-to-gavel" proceedings of the California Legislature, and other forums where public policy is discussed, debated, and decided – all without editing, commentary, or analysis and with a balanced presentation of viewpoints.

The network does not receive any state funding.
CA  government  senate  assembly  video  TV  California  legislation 
september 2016 by Quercki
Hillary Clinton was a more effective lawmaker than Bernie Sanders - The Washington Post
Here’s what the numbers say: During her eight years in the Senate, Hillary Clinton sponsored 10 bills that passed the chamber. The mean senator passes 1.4 bills a year, so Clinton’s 1.25 bills per year is approximately in line with the chamber average. By contrast, Bernie Sanders has been in the Senate nine years and has sponsored only one bill that passed.

[These 6 charts show much sexism Hillary Clinton faces on Twitter]

Of course, Sanders is not formally a member of the Democratic Party even though he caucuses with the Democrats in Congress. This may have created some tension with the Democratic leadership and cost him opportunities to pass bills.

Another way members of Congress can influence legislative outcomes is to amend a bill someone else has sponsored, particularly in the Senate. The rules in the Senate allow for much more and freer amending activity than in the House, so senators introduce (and pass) many more amendments than House members do.

Clinton successfully amended bills 67 times in her eight years in the Senate. Sanders did so 57 times in nine years. On a year-by-year basis, that comes to 8.4 per year for Clinton and 6.3 per year for Sanders. Moreover, the mean senator passed 7.4 amendments. Clinton’s is significantly higher than the mean, and Sanders’s is significantly below the mean. Put differently, Clinton passed 33 percent more amendments per year than did Sanders.
Hillary  Bernie_Sanders  legislation 
april 2016 by Quercki
Bernie Sanders' record in Congress shows little socialist progress - Washington Times
During his quarter-century in Congress, Mr. Sanders has been the chief sponsor of just three bills that were signed into law: two renaming U.S. Postal Service offices in his home state of Vermont and one that increased the annual cost-of-living raise for veterans’ benefits, which he secured as chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee in 2013.
All told, Mr. Sanders introduced 353 bills during 16 years in the House and nine years in the Senate, giving him a success rate of just less than 1 percent. By comparison, Sen. Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat who like Mr. Sanders has amassed a quarter-century in Congress, has had eight bills signed into law out of 376 introduced.

Hillary Rodham Clinton, whom Mr. Sanders is challenging for the Democratic nomination, spent eight years in the Senate. She introduced 409 bills on which she was the lead sponsor, and three became law: renaming a post office, naming a highway and establishing a national historic site in Troy, New York, to recognize female labor leader Kate Mullany.
The Sanders campaign declined to participate in reporting for this article.

But Mr. Sanders has shown that he is keenly aware of being labeled an ineffective radical in Washington.

At one recent campaign rally, he insisted that there is “nothing that I am telling you today that is pie-in-the-sky utopia.”

Speaking to NBC’s “Today” program” last week, he said he would do a better job than President Obama of breaking congressional gridlock and getting his agenda passed.

“I will do it differently [than Mr. Obama],” he said. “Because at the end of the day, what they are really upset about is that big money controls what goes on in Congress. And the only way that we change that is when millions of people come forward and demand the government represent all of us and not just the billionaire class.”
Bernie_Sanders  legislation 
february 2016 by Quercki
Four Ways ALEC Tried to Ruin Your State This Year | PR Watch
In a year with unprecedented rightwing dominance in state legislative chambers, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has continued to wreak havoc in states across the country--despite an ongoing exodus of high-profile corporate members, including BP, Google, and several high-tech firms.

ALEC's legislative playbook for 2015 focused on blocking action on climate change, thwarting local democracy, attacking labor unions, and further privatizing public education in the U.S., as CMD reported last year in covering its legislative agenda for the year.

Here are some of the worst policies ALEC legislators tried to push into binding law in state legislatures this year, so far.

Blocking Action on Climate Change
ALEC  legislation  politics  data  environment  education  civil_rights  healthcare  law 
july 2015 by Quercki
We Asked Men to Draw Vaginas to Prove an Important Point - Mic
By Elizabeth Plank  December 22, 2014 SHARE TWEET
If men don't know basic facts about a woman's body, how can they legislate it?

Sounds simple enough, and yet this message continues to fall on deaf ears in Congress, where the overwhelming majority of elected officials are still white men. 

Take former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who suggested that women need birth control because they can't control their libidos. Or former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), who claimed there is a link between breast cancer and abortion (pro tip: there isn't). And who could forget former Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) and his infamous "legitimate rape" theory. 

America's male elected officials continue to aggressively legislate women's bodies in the year 2014, even though they often seem not to know basic facts about women. 

To illustrate why this is a really serious problem, we decided to conduct a special experiment, asking men from Mic to do one simple thing: Draw a vagina. The goal? See how much educated men really know about women's bodies.

The result? It went about as badly as you might have imagined.
vagina  legislation  men  images 
december 2014 by Quercki
Judiciary Committee Examines the Effect of Gun Violence on Women in America | Press Releases | United States Senator Sheldon Whitehouse
Under current federal law, individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors are not allowed to possess or purchase a gun – but the term “domestic violence” only applies to crimes committed by spouses, co-habitating partners, or co-parents.  Abusive dating partners are responsible for killing more women in America than spouses, but are not covered by the domestic violence restriction on gun ownership.  Convicted stalkers are also free to own guns, despite the fact that stalking is a proven predictor of violence.  Our national background check system is also frequently evaded by individuals not allowed to purchase firearms by law.

“Closing the dating partner loophole would save lives, plain and simple,” Whitehouse said in his opening remarks. 
domestic_violence  murder  guns  law  legislation 
august 2014 by Quercki
'I'm showing my son mercy' | MSNBC
The lack of options sent them to Dallas, where protesters outside the clinic tried to hand Jessica a pair of baby socks. She told them to go to hell. She left the clinic with a death certificate, which she and Eric had asked for, and a footprint of the son they named Mark Gordon Scott Davis.

The funeral homes Jessica called for a “proper burial” laughed at her, or hung up “because I mentioned the word ‘termination,’” she said. The funeral homes told her she had an abortion. “I don’t look at it like that,” Jessica said. “I’m showing my son mercy.’”

The Davises, who are both unemployed and live on Jessica’s $700 a month in disability payments and food stamps, came home to unpaid bills. The electricity was slated to be turned off the next day. Eric sold off scrap metal he found to pay the bill, but there was no money left for gas and water.

Oklahoma law had barred Jessica from using state Medicaid to cover the cost, so the couple had borrowed some money from relatives to cover the $2,800 procedure. In total, the trip set them back $3,500. “It took everything we had so that our son would not suffer,” Jessica said. 

“It was never something that I had to worry about–the politics,” she said. “I just let women make their own decisions. But I would hate for another woman to have to be in my position.” 
pro-life  abortion  stories  legislation  Oklahoma 
november 2013 by Quercki
The Opening Page Of California Communities United Institute
Boyce Hinman's group's website. Who's who, what's what, & how they voted.
california  politics  solutions  legislation 
september 2009 by Quercki
Transparency Corps
crowd-sourcing small actions to make government transparent. Find the earmarks!
legislation  politics  transparency  congress  earmarks 
july 2009 by Quercki
Portal:Congresspedia - Congresspedia
Lawmakers and committees, Legislation and issues, find your representative
politics  wiki  congress  government  legislation 
november 2008 by Quercki
Who contributes and how the politicians vote
politics  money  legislation  finance  government  corruption 
april 2008 by Quercki

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