On May 14-15, close to 150 individuals from across California who are interested in working to advance social justice and Jewish values will convene in Sacramento for JPAC’s Advocacy Day. This year, we will be focusing on advocating to end poverty and homelessness with a package of bills that address poverty from different angles. We will be advocating for funding to provide services for Holocaust Survivors who are struggling to live out their days in dignity. And, we will asking for funding to increase training and preparedness for college campuses confronted with hate speech. And finally, we will continue to advocate for the California Nonprofit Security Grant Program, which provides funding for nonprofits that are at high risk of a hate crime or terrorist act.
Many of us want to be engaged in the political process to ensure equality and opportunity for all Californians. The Jewish Public Affairs Committee of California (JPAC) provides access to that engagement. JPAC’s Advocacy Day is the culminating effort of months of research, coalition building and convening to bring concerned citizens from the Jewish community to Sacramento to meet with key legislators on issues that impact our State. To register and for more information, please visit www.jpac-cal.org.
JPAC has been around since 1972, and in that time has had a huge amount of influence in Sacramento. However, for many young people, Sacramento is a distant place compared to Washington D.C.. JPAC is embarking on a new effort to engage Jewish student leaders in California advocacy.
JPAC Student Fellows Program
We aim to change the way that college students think about Sacramento and advocacy through our new JPAC Student Fellows Program. The program will allow us to raise money for scholarships so that students can attend JPAC Advocacy Days in Sacramento. We will be planning Days and in the District for students on college campuses across California to meet with their electeds and educate them about JPAC’s policy priorities.
If you or someone you know is a leader on their college campus, we want to connect with them. To learn more, please visit our website: www.jpac-cal.org and contact us at Julie@jpac-cal.org.
JPAC launched the JPAC Student Leader Scholarship Fund in 2017 to allow Jewish student leaders from all California Universities to attend JPAC Advocacy Day for free. In 2017, five outstanding Jewish student leaders from UCLA and CSUN attended Advocacy Day in Sacramento through the scholarship fund.
Here is what they had to say abut their experiences:
“JPAC Advocacy Day gave me the opportunity to re-connect with my representatives in Sacramento and to learn more about how the Jewish community can play an active role in fighting for our immigrant communities and against identity-based hatred.”
“JPAC’s Advocacy Day was a meaningful learning and leadership development opportunity for our community’s student leadership at UCLA. I enjoyed learning more about JPAC’s leading role in advocating for California’s most vulnerable populations and established meaningful relationships with community partners who we will continue to work with at UCLA. Serving as a group leader during lobby visits was a personal highlight of the conference.”
“It was incredible to see the depth and breadth of JPAC’s relationships with policy makers — including but not limited to Attorney General Xavier Becerra, Secretary of State Alex Padilla, Senator Anthony Porantino and a staffer from the office of Assemblymember Shirley Weber to discuss legislation related to immigration reform, protections for undocumented immigrants and intolerance targeting religious minorities. There is no more meaningful experience than being surrounded by a community of leaders committed to making this state a better place for all. ”
Donate to the JPAC Student Leader Scholarship Fund here:
On May 8-9, 2017, more than 120 Jewish community leaders representing over 15 organizations from across California, as well as students at UCLA and CSUN, came to Sacramento for the Jewish Public Affairs Committee’s (JPAC’s) annual Advocacy Day. After an opening reception honoring Senator Holly Mitchell with the Jerry Sampson for Legislator of the Year, participants attended a dinner with the Legislative Jewish Caucus, including chair Assemblymember Marc Levine and vice-chair Senator Ben Allen.
The next day opened with a panel moderated by John Myers of the Los Angeles Times that addressed the implications of federal healthcare policy on California. This timely panel included Senator Dr. Richard Pan; Beth Parker, Chief Legal Counsel for Planned Parenthood in California; and Anthony Wright, Executive Director of Health Access.
The second panel discussed the impact of federal immigration policies on California and was moderated by Ronald Coleman of the CA Immigrant Policy Center. The panelists were Assemblymember Rob Bonta, ACLU Legislative Advocate Maya Ingram and MALDEF Legislative Staff Attorney Jeanette Zanipatin. This panel helped prepare attendees who would later be lobbying on a package of immigration-related bills at the Capitol.
During lunch, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla talked about his plans to expand voting accessibility throughout the state. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra also addressed the group, stressing that the leadership in California is committed to protecting the rights and liberties of all those who reside here.
During the lobbying visits with more than 60 members of the Legislature, JPAC participants focused on three priorities: immigration, an anti-poverty measure, and protecting at-risk communities by requesting an increase in the allocation of a Nonprofit Security Grant. Participants met with representatives on both sides of the aisle and stressed the importance of these issues in the California Jewish Community.
On May 9, over 130 advocates from across California representing the Jewish community will gather in Sacramento to lobby for legislation that serves a much greater purpose to advancing the civil rights of all Californians. Those bills are:
Immigration Bill Package:
AB 3 (Bonta)
AB 291 (Chiu)
AB 699 (O’Donnell)
SB 6 (Hueso)
SB 29 (Lara)
SB 31 (Lara)
Sb 54 (de Leon)
AB 1520 (Burke): Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Act of 2017
$2million budget appropriation for the Nonprofit Security Grant program
JPAC has a long history of advocating on behalf of critical social service programs that serve those members of our community most in need and this year is no exception. We will be meeting with over 50 legislators to ask for their yes votes on these critical bills. For those who cannot join us in person, please consider writing letters or calling your representatives to ask for their support.
With the 2016 election just behind us, there is a lot of momentum to get involved and work to ensure the well-being and opportunity for all Californians. Please save the date to join with JPAC to meet with the State Legislature and lobby them on issues of importance to the greater California Jewish community and community at large. Each year, we provide opportunities for one on one discussions with colleagues and elected officials, hear from experts on relevant policy issues (housing, poverty, state budget, BDS, among others), and learn how to effectively advocate to influence public policy. We hope you can join us on May 8-9 in 2017!
JPAC’s 2015 Advocacy Day was a huge success. With over 95 advocates in attendance, we lobbied more than 45 legislators on bills and issues that impact the overall health and well being of the State of California.
The event kicked off Monday night with state legislators and their staff joining JPAC advocates at a reception at the Citizen Hotel in downtown Sacramento. At the reception, JPAC honored Senator Marty Block (D-39), chair of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus, with the Legislator of the Year Award. JPAC has a very close and productive working relationship with the Jewish Caucus and we were overjoyed to award Senator Block with this well deserved award.
On day two, we held two panel discussions, the first of which was about what the State can do to improve economic justice for all. To attain economic justice for ALL residents of California, we need a broad perspective and multi-pronged approach that will address the many underlying issues impacted by a lack of equity. Among the key components are health, education and workforce/income issues. This panel presented an opportunity to briefly highlight each of those areas. Advocates heard from Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-7), Assemblymember Sebastian Ridley-Thomas (D-54), and Mike Herald of the Western Center on Law and Poverty.
The second panel was about campus climate from the perspective of students, directly addressing the issue of anti-Semitism on college campuses. Advocates heard from Ollie Ben, Executive Director, San Francisco Hillel; Avinoam Baral, President of the Undergraduate Students Association Council, UCLA; Avi Oved, UC Student Regent; Julia Reifkind, President of Aggies for Israel, UC Davis; and Lauren Rogers, Chief of Staff to the UC Student Regent, UCLA. This panel was moderated by Dan Gold of the Los Angeles Jewish Federation. Those in attendance were overwhelmingly impressed by these articulate students who are making a huge difference on their campuses to improve relations with campus administrators in addressing anti-Semitic incidents on campus.
Our keynote speaker was former UC Regents President Mark Yudof, who spoke about the role of the UC Regents in dealing with issues that include free speech on campus and dealing with prejudice. During lunch, JonLevinson was honored with the Earl Raab award. Earl Raab is one of the Jewish community’s most widely recognized and respected community leaders and intellectuals. As the co-founder of JPAC, he recognized the importance of having a strong, unified voice in Sacramento to better the lives of those in our community. The Earl Raab Award is awarded annually to a community activist who best exemplifies Mr. Raab’s high standard of communal activism and advocacy for residents of our state. Mr. Levinson was nominated for this award based on his communal service within the Jewish community.
Advocates then met with 45 members of the Legislature and lobbied on a slate of issues including: