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.
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.
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 was fortunate to hear from Scott Graves of the CA Budget Project at our Advocacy Day 2014. As the budget is always on our mind, Graves provided us with a summary of this year’s budget. You read it here.