Our Work

JPAC advocates on behalf of Jewish social service agencies, traditional community concerns, and broadly shared values that affect the citizens of our State.  JPAC monitors and helps to develop and promote state legislative initiatives of interest to the Jewish community, the community at-large, and Israel.

2016 Advocacy Day

JPAC advocates affiliated with organizations including AJC, ADL, Hadassah, several Jewish Federations and JCRCs, and Jewish Family Services agencies across California met with over 40 state senators and assembly members at the Capitol to advocate for issues that affect millions of Californians.  We lobbied in favor of the following bills and budget items:

  1. AB 2844 (Bloom) Public Contracts: Discrimination – Governor Brown signed AB 2844 (Bloom) on September 24th.  AB 2844 passed both Houses of the Legislature in August by overwhelming majorities.
  2. SB 1053 (Leno) The Housing Opportunities Act – JPAC lobbied for the bill in order to ensure that landlords could not deny rental applicants housing opportunities simply because they receive rental subsidies, such as Section 8 vouchers.
  3. Social Services Budget items:
    1. Requested that the Senate Leadership Proposal, the No Place Like Home Initiative, would maintain critical funding for current mental health services.
    2. Requested $5.4 million increase in General Fund support for senior nutrition programs, in which we received a $2 million increase.

JPAC invited a panel to discuss the Root Causes of Homelessness and Legislative Solutions  which included Assemblymember Toni Atkins (D), Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian (D), Assemblymember David Chiu (D), Michael Lane, Policy Director for Non Profit Housing Association of Northern California and Maggie Merritt, the Executive Director of the Steinberg Institute.

2015 Advocacy Day

Over 90 advocates met with 45 state senators and assembly members at the capitol to advocate on behalf of millions of Californians.  We lobbied in favor of the following bills and budget items:

  • The social service budget: $36 million in the state budget for Restoring Funding for Programs that serve Older Californians, Disabled Adults and Those Who Care for Them (Asm. Brown)
  • AB 47 (McCarty):  This bill creates the Preschool for All Act of 2015 and requires, on or before January 1, 2017, all eligible children to have access to the state preschool program the year before they enter kindergarten, if their parents wish to enroll them.  Findings and declarations cited in the bill are that studies have shown that high-quality preschool significantly improves children’s school readiness and school performance, that quality preschool provides a return of $15,000 for every child served, and that investment in high-quality preschool will result in savings in prison expenditures.
  • AB 608 (Gordon), AB 1240 (Bonta, Thurmond), AB 1321 (Ting): These three bills would provide more access to healthy food for low-income children and families in California.
  • FY 15 non-profit security grant program: This budget allocation of $ 2 million would increase funding available for homeland security grants for non-profits that face increase security risks.

As a result of JPAC’s work, we saw an increase in attention given to the progress of preschool for all, with additional money being directed to early childhood education for a total of $392 million.  AB 1321 (Ting) was signed into law, and several million in social services programs that fall under the Restoring Funding for Programs that serve Older Californians, Disabled Adults and Those Who Care for Them was restored.  Finally, the Governor approved allocating $2 million for the non-profit security grant program which is managed by the Office of Emergency Services.

2014 Advocacy Day

JPAC advocates met with over 50 senators and assembly members at the capitol and lobbied them to support three bills and two social service safety net programs.

  • SB 840 (Lara):This bill would increase school safety by improving the handling of bullying and discrimination in public schools
  • SB 1165 (Mitchell, Block): This bill would add sexual abuse and sex trafficking prevention education to the sexual health education for junior high and high school students

During our legislative appointments, JPAC advocates reported a overwhelmingly high rate of support from legislators on our policy priorities for this year, and all of the advocates ended the day with a great deal of satisfaction that their voices were not only heard, but welcomed and respected by our California law makers.

As a result of JPAC lobbying, Governor Brown restored funding for the State Emergency Food Assistance Program (SEFAP) to $5 million in 2014-2015 which is vital to help reduce hunger.  We successfully got SSI/SSP into the budget conference committee; however once they took up the social services programs the restoration was not adopted. The budget conferees were disappointed that the Administration chose to not support this item and they hope to revisit this next budget cycle.

The two human trafficking bills passed out of their Committees and will now go to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. Both are expected to pass.  Unfortunately, SB 840 (Lara) did not pass out of the Appropriations Committee.

2013 Advocacy Day

On May 20 and 21, over 60 representatives from 13 Jewish organizations across California came to Sacramento to participate in the 2013 Jewish Public Affairs Committee of California (JPAC) Advocacy Day in Sacramento. Advocates heard from high-ranking public officials including State Treasurer Bill Lockyer, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, and Assembly Speaker John Perez who received JPAC’s 2013 Legislator of the Year Award.  Advocates met with over 50 senators and assembly members at the capitol and advocated on three issues.

The first is the Life Act, a package of eight senate bills addressing gun safety and gun violence prevention and which closes loopholes to many existing gun safety laws.  The second was AB 518, which establishes the Community-Based Adult Services (CBAS) program as a Medi-Cal eligible benefit and codifies the program in State law.  The third was not a bill, but asks that law makers sign onto a letter to the UC Regents thanking them for their stance against divestment from companies that do business with Israel.

 During our legislative appointments, JPAC advocates reported practically a rate of 100% support from legislators on our policy priorities for this year, and all of the advocates ended the day with a great deal of satisfaction that their voices were not only heard, but welcomed and respected by our California law makers.

JPAC Successes

  • Fended off multiple proposals to defund or eliminate human services programs for elderly & vulnerable
  • 2009 – Saved ADHC and MSSP from taking major cuts and proposed elimination from the state budget.
  • One-year (2009-10) total restoration of the funds ($20M) to support domestic violence shelters in California.
  • Secured passage of legislation (AB2160) that puts California in the forefront as a national leader in pressuring the Iranian regime with sanctions and divestment
  • ACR 144 (Blumenfield) – to proclaim April as Genocide Awareness & Prevention Month


Legislative Positions

Legislators’ Study Trips to Israel