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Newsom signs policing reform bills strengthening policing accountability

‘Governor Newsom has ensured that police who commit serious misconduct will no longer have the privilege of wearing a badge’

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Governor Newsom signs police reforms bills Sept. 30, 2021 (Photo Credit: Office of the Governor of California)

GARDENA – At Rowley Park, alongside legislators, community leaders and families of victims of police violence, Governor Gavin Newsom today signed legislation creating a system to decertify peace officers for serious misconduct.

The Governor also signed legislation increasing transparency of peace officer misconduct records, improving policing responsibility and accountability guidelines, raising eligibility standards and banning harmful restraint techniques.

“Today marks another step toward healing and justice for all,” said Governor Newsom. “Too many lives have been lost due to racial profiling and excessive use of force. We cannot change what is past, but we can build accountability, root out racial injustice and fight systemic racism. We are all indebted to the families who have persevered through their grief to continue this fight and work toward a more just future.”

SB 2 by Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) and Senator Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) creates a system within the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) to investigate and revoke or suspend peace officer certification for serious misconduct, including excessive force, sexual assault, demonstration of bias and dishonesty. This legislation creates the Peace Officer Standards Accountability Division and the Peace Officer Standards Accountability Advisory Board within POST to review serious misconduct cases.

SB 16 by Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) increases transparency of peace officer misconduct records pertaining to findings of unreasonable or excessive use of force, discriminatory or prejudiced behavior, failure to intervene when witnessing excessive use of force by a peace officer, or participation in unlawful searches and arrests.

“Today is an important day. It’s an inflection point in how we provide for public safety in the State of California,” said California Attorney General Rob Bonta. “I’m proud to stand with my former colleagues and Governor Newsom to embark on a new chapter in our shared fight to infuse our criminal justice system with more trust, transparency, and accountability. By building trust today, we are ensuring officer and community safety for tomorrow. Trust generates safety and safety generates trust. It will take sustained work by all of us to get the job done, but this is a monumental step forward on the path toward justice.”

“I am proud of the important progress the Legislature and Governor have made this year to help make sure people of color in California can be safer in their dealings with law enforcement. No one should have to fear those who are sworn to protect them,” said Senate President pro Tempore Atkins. “My colleagues in both houses who worked tirelessly for these bills, and the family members, community advocates, and responsible law enforcement leaders who helped get the bills across the finish line all deserve our thanks. There is more work to do, and we are already back at it. Four hundred years of racism won’t be erased overnight—but the arc is bending and the moral momentum is on our side.”

“California has one of the most progressive criminal justice systems in the nation,” said Senator Bradford. “But for too long, problematic officers that commit heinous acts in one department are either not held accountable and continue to be a problem for that community, or are punished, but able to find employment in another department. This rinse and repeat style of accountability has led to the continuous erosion of community trust. At long last, California finally joins the 46 other states with processes for the decertification of bad officers. I’m proud to have authored this landmark bill for California, which honors Kenneth Ross Jr. and the many others who have had their lives taken by police who abuse their power. My deep appreciation goes out to the families, community organizations, advocates and legislators who were willing to stand up and support this positive change. I applaud Governor Newsom for standing with us on this issue and look forward to working with the Administration on more ways to improve public safety and rebuild public trust in our law enforcement system.”

“Trust in law enforcement erodes when police misconduct is kept secret and officers who’ve acted badly are allowed to avoid consequences,” said Senator Skinner. “SB 2 and SB 16 will help restore public trust in California policing. By signing these bills, Governor Newsom has ensured that police who commit serious misconduct will no longer have the privilege of wearing a badge and that we, the public, have the right to know when officers use excessive force or engage in racist or biased behavior.”

Newsom also signed AB 26 by Assemblymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) which creates guidelines for police officers to intercede and immediately report if another officer is using excessive force; AB 89 by Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles) which raises the minimum age to become a police officer to 21 and will enhance education requirements; and AB 490 by Assemblymember Mike Gipson (D-Carson) which bans technique and transport methods that involve risk of positional asphyxia.

A full list of the bills signed by the Governor is below:

  • AB 26 by Assemblymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) – Peace officers: use of force.
  • AB 48 by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) – Law enforcement: use of force.
  • AB 89 by Assemblymember Reggie Jones Sawyer (D-Los Angeles) – Peace officers: minimum qualifications.
  • AB 481 by Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco) – Law enforcement and state agencies: military equipment: funding, acquisition, and use. 
  • AB 490 by Assemblymember Mike Gipson (D-Carson) – Law enforcement agency policies: arrests: positional asphyxia.
  • AB 958 by Assemblymember Mike Gipson (D-Carson) – Peace officers: law enforcement gangs.
  • SB 2 by Senator Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) – Peace officers: certification: civil rights.
  • SB 16 by Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) – Peace officers: release of records.

Governor Newsom last year signed a series of bills into law initiating critical criminal justice, juvenile justice and policing reforms in California, including banning the carotid restraint, requiring the Attorney General to conduct investigations into officer-involved shootings of unarmed individuals that result in death and legislation that reforms the juvenile justice system to put more emphasis on rehabilitation and education.

The Governor last year also released recommendations from his policing advisors for improving police response to protests and demonstrations and directed the statewide Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) to modernize training and guidance for law enforcement.

For full text of the bills signed today, visit: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov

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If Temecula school board won’t do its job, state will says Newsom

“State will deliver the books — and we’ll send the district the bill and fine them for violating state law” 

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Governor Gavin Newsom during a recent press conference. (Screenshot/YouTube)

SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom, joined by Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins, Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas, and Assemblymember Dr. Corey Jackson today announced the State of California will begin the process of securing textbooks for students in the Temecula Valley Unified School District and enact legislation to fine school districts for failure to provide adequate instructional materials.

Elementary students in Temecula are slated to begin the school year on August 14, 2023, without enough textbooks for every student because of the school board’s decision to reject a widely used social studies curriculum. 

“Cancel culture has gone too far in Temecula: radicalized zealots on the school board rejected a textbook used by hundreds of thousands of students and now children will begin the school year without the tools they need to learn,” said Newsom. “If the school board won’t do its job by its next board meeting to ensure kids start the school year with basic materials, the state will deliver the book into the hands of children and their parents — and we’ll send the district the bill and fine them for violating state law.” 

“I am glad to join in this action with Governor Newsom today and thank him for his leadership in calling for Temecula’s school board to reverse course to prevent further harm to students,” said State Superintendent Thurmond. “Inclusive education promotes the academic achievement and social development of our students.  School Districts should not ban books in California, especially as it harms students of color and LGBTQ+ youth.  AB1078 lays out the structure for today’s action and I am proud to have sponsored this bill to protect our students from the harmful effects of book banning, exclusion of inclusive textbooks and discrimination.” 

“Censoring learning materials based on bigotry and ignorance prevents our students from getting a good education,” said Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego). “Culture war extremism doesn’t belong in the debate of how to teach our children and school districts should always put students first. That’s why I’m pleased the Governor is stepping in to make sure the children in Temecula have textbooks to start the year, and I look forward to working with the Governor and the assembly on a clear legislative solution. We have a duty to help eliminate ignorance in all its forms.”

“The antics of the Temecula Valley Unified School District are intolerable and damaging to its students’ opportunities to grow, prosper, and succeed,” said Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas. “Book bans betray the most basic of California’s core values. I hope the members of the school board are able to reflect on their decisions and come to make better decisions for our children’s futures.”

“Book banning is not acceptable and will not stand in California,” said Assemblymember Dr. Corey Jackson. “It is my honor to have the Governor’s support of Assembly Bill 1078. This sends a clear message that such actions will not be tolerated. We stand united in our commitment to protect our students’ access to diverse educational materials and ensure an inclusive educational environment. We will not go backward. We will meet this historical moment.”

Temecula Valley Unified School District’s current curriculum is outdated and in violation of state law. Students in the district are forced to use a textbook published in 2006. In the process of acquiring updated textbooks for students in grades one through five on May 16, 2023, school board President Joseph Komrosky asserted false claims about the instructional materials. The board voted by a 3-2 majority to reject the adoption of the new social studies curriculum that was recommended by teachers representing every elementary school in the district and overwhelmingly supported by parents and community members. The textbook, one of four standard programs approved by the state, is routinely and widely used across hundreds of school districts in California.

Following the school board’s decision, Governor Newsom and state leaders wrote a letter to school districts statewide highlighting the legal obligations of districts and joined California Attorney General Rob Bonta in demanding information and answers from the board. The administration also began working with the Legislature and Superintendent Thurmond to advance AB 1078 (Jackson) to strengthen state law to ensure students in California have access to adequate instructional materials. Among other provisions, AB 1078 would: 

  • Require a two-thirds supermajority vote for a school board to remove instructional materials or curriculum; 
  • Establish a process for the California State Department of Education to purchase adequate standards-aligned instructional materials for a district, if the district has failed to provide them for students; and
  • Institute a funding penalty for school districts that do not sufficiently provide standards-aligned instructional materials. 

California provides instruction and support services to roughly 5.9 million students in grades transitional kindergarten through twelve in more than 1,000 districts and over 10,000 schools throughout the state. Under Governor Newsom’s leadership, education funding is at a record high in California, totaling $129.2 billion in the 2023-24 budget. 

Governor Newsom released a video to Temecula parents that can be viewed here

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Acting Governor Toni Atkins signs legislation in historic first

She’s the 1st person to have served as Senate President pro Tempore & Assembly Speaker & first Out LGBTQ+ person to serve as Acting Governor

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Acting Governor Toni G. Atkins with Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas. (Photo Credit: Office of the Governor)

SACRAMENTO – Acting Governor Toni G. Atkins, who is the first person in 150 years to have served as both Senate President pro Tempore and Assembly Speaker, today became the first Senate President pro Tempore in California history to sign legislation into law as Acting Governor.

Among the measures she signed is AB 588 by Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas – the Speaker’s first bill to be enacted into law since his swearing-in on Friday.
 
“The honor and privilege to sign these bills into law is not lost on me. For legislators, the authorship and shepherding of a bill through the legislative process is what we do, and I’m humbled to experience the other side of the process by signing these bills into law,” said Atkins, who also is the first openly LGBTQ+ person to have served as Acting Governor. “These three pieces of legislation — which impact public transit, shared mobility devices, and local water management — will continue our efforts to protect our state and enhance our communities, and I’m happy to be able to help my Assembly colleagues, including our new Speaker Robert Rivas, get their work across the finish line.”

AB 588 by Assembly Speaker Rivas expands eligibility for the City of Watsonville’s appointed board member on the Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency, providing greater flexibility to the Agency to help ensure representation for residents.
 
“I am grateful for the administration’s support of AB 588. California’s water challenges are ongoing. But signing this bill into law ensures residents of Watsonville will be represented in future decisions regarding their region’s water systems. It also safeguards the Pajaro Valley agriculture community’s representation,” said the Assembly Speaker.
 
The full list of bills signed today can be found below:

  • AB 354 by Assemblymember Stephanie Nguyen (D-Elk Grove) – Sacramento Regional Transit District: board of directors: membership.
  • AB 410 by Assemblymember Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer, Sr. (D-South Los Angeles) – Shared mobility devices.
  • AB 588 by Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas (D-Salinas) – Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency Act: board members.

 For full text of the bills, visit: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov.

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California awards $5.7 million for 2S/LGBTQ+ opioid outreach

More than 1.8 million individuals in California identify as part of the 2S/LGBTQ+ population. “2S” refers to “Two-Spirit

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California state Capitol building dome with LGBTQ+ Pride flag flying during Pride month. (Photo Credit: Office of the Governor)

SACRAMENTO – As part of Governor Gavin Newsom’s $1 billion Master Plan for tackling the fentanyl and opioid crisis, California today awarded $5.7 million for opioid and stimulant use education and outreach in Two-Spirit/LGBTQ+ communities.

“California has an all-hands-on-deck strategy for tackling the fentanyl and opioid crisis impacting every community across our state and country,” said Newsom. “Education and outreach are critical tools in our arsenal – to prevent tragedy, to connect people with treatment, and to fight the life-threatening stigma that stops too many people from getting help. The best way forward is together – leaving no one alone in this battle.”

The grants will be used to increase awareness and education, for and within Two-Spirit/LGBTQ+ communities, about opioids and stimulants, decrease stigma related to drug use and treatment, and integrate and strengthen treatment referral pathways for opioid use disorder and stimulant use disorder. 

“Awardees will support Two-Spirit/LGBTQ+ organizations’ outreach and education activities for opioid use and stimulant use disorders, while creating tangible links to services and treatment providers within their communities,” said DHCS Director Michelle Baass. “These organizations are focused on the Two-Spirit/LGBTQ+ community, striving for health equity through culturally and linguistically appropriate prevention and education projects.” 

This funding opportunity awards $5.7 million to 25 entities, with a maximum of up to $250,000 per awarded entity for the 12-month contract period from July 1, 2023, through June 30, 2024.

More than 1.8 million individuals in California identify as part of the 2S/LGBTQ+ population. “2S” refers to “Two-Spirit,” which is a Native American concept referring to sexual and gender diversity. Compared to heterosexual individuals nationwide, lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) adults report higher rates of stimulant use and substance use disorders (SUD).

In 2019, 1.4 million LGB adults, nationally, reported illicit opioid (prescription pain reliever, fentanyl, heroin, etc.) use. Some factors contributing to opioid use and stimulant use in the 2S/LGBTQ+ community include mental illness, the risk of experiencing violence, structural stigma, and discrimination.

The project is part of DHCS’ broader efforts to address SUD as part of the California MAT Expansion Project, a holistic effort to increase access to Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), reduce unmet treatment needs, and reduce opioid overdose-related deaths through the provision of prevention, treatment, and recovery activities. MAT is the use of medications in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, which is effective in the treatment of opioid use disorders and can help some people sustain recovery. For more information, please visit the DHCS website

The Governor has dedicated more than $1 billion in funding to fight the opioid crisis by removing opioids from the streets, providing resources to California communities in need, and increasing education and awareness to prevent harm.

In fiscal year 2022-23, DHCS is investing more than $558 million in various opioid prevention and treatment grant activities. Earlier this year, Newsom announced the state would begin the process for creating its own Naloxone – through the CalRx Initiative – to make the lifesaving drug more accessible and more affordable across California.

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Fourth of July Weekend – Stay safe in the extreme heat

“Extreme heat can be deadly. Californians should take steps to protect themselves from the heat – stay cool, stay hydrated and stay connected”

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California Governor Gavin Newsom at the Cal-Fire training/operations center in Amador County. (Photo Credit: Office of the Governor)

SACRAMENTO – With a significant heatwave impacting much of inland California this weekend and into the Fourth of July holiday, Governor Gavin Newsom highlighted the state’s ongoing preparedness and response efforts while urging Californians to take steps to protect themselves from extreme heat. 

Extreme heat is deadly and climate change is making heatwaves longer and more frequent. According to the National Weather Service, extreme heat kills more Americans each year than any other extreme weather events, including wildfires, droughts, and floods.

Beginning today, excessive heat watches and warnings will be in place for large swaths of the state. Temperatures in Redding and Red Bluff will reach up to 108 degrees, while the Central Valley and all the way down to the desert southeast of the state could exceed 120 degrees.

“Extreme heat can be deadly. Californians should take steps to protect themselves from the heat – stay cool, stay hydrated and stay connected. California is taking more action now than at any point in our history to build climate resilience and protect communities – especially underserved Californians – from the real dangers of extreme heat,”  Governor Newsom said. 

Newsom has taken proactive steps to protect communities from the impacts of extreme heat. Last year he launched California’s Extreme Heat Action Plan, backed by more than $400 million in investments, to guide the state’s response to heatwaves, ensuring California is reaching vulnerable communities, protecting frontline workers and helping communities stand up cooling centers.

A current list of cooling centers open by county can be found here. 

To protect communities most at risk of impacts from extreme heat and other climate-driven emergencies this summer, Cal OES and Listos California have released a new Summer of Safety campaign – a comprehensive suite of in-language messaging and materials on summer climate extremes. As summer weather brings new threats that could impact Californians, these risks are all interrelated and can have the greatest impact on more vulnerable Californians, including those 65 years of age or older; individuals with chronic illness, disabilities or who are pregnant.

It’s important for Californians to have the tools they need to stay safe from:

  • Extreme heat
  • Wildfire
  • Wildfire smoke
  • Power outages
  • Dangerous waters 

More information as well as a directory of all resources released as part of the Summer of Safety can be found at ListosCalifornia.org/Summer.

Cal/OSHA is also reminding employers to protect workers from heat illness during high temperatures. California employers must take steps to protect workers from heat illness by providing water, rest, shade and training. Cal/OSHA’s heat illness prevention standard applies to all outdoor worksites and Cal/OSHA is mobilizing enforcement efforts this weekend to ensure workers are protected. Learn more here.

HOW YOU CAN STAY SAFER FROM EXTREME HEAT:

Stay Cool (During the Hottest Times of the Day):  

  • Those without air conditioning should check with their city or county for cooling centers or visit public locations such as a library or shopping mall.  
  • Avoid physical exertion or exercising outdoors.  
  • Wear lightweight, light colored, loose clothing, hats, sunglasses and sunscreen.  

Stay Hydrated:  

  • Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, even when not thirsty; drink sports drinks (in moderation with water) to help replace electrolytes lost during exercise. 
  • Avoid sugary, alcoholic, and very cold drinks.  
  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.   

Stay Connected:  

  • Monitor those at high risk of heat-related illness including infants and young children; people 65 years of age or older; individuals with chronic illness, disabilities or who are pregnant.  
  • Californians are also encouraged to check on their neighbors – call or visit vulnerable people, and offer to pick up groceries, medication, and other necessities. Older adults, young children and babies, people with chronic medical conditions and those who are pregnant are most vulnerable.
  • Use a buddy system when working in the heat.

Stay Informed: 

  • Check the local news for weather forecasts, extreme heat alerts, and cooling centers.  

Stay Safe Outdoors: 

If you plan on enjoying California’s rivers, lakes, beaches and parks this holiday, remember to always be safe around the waterWarm summer weather is causing continued snow melt from winter’s record snowpack, resulting in colder and faster water that continues today. Make sure you and your family stay safe by keeping these quick safety tips in mind: 

  • Wear a Life Jacket: Water-related accidents can happen suddenly and rapidly. Make sure you and your loved ones wear properly fitting, U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets. Wearing them is the number one way to increase your chances of survival during an accident. Several public and private entities make life jackets available to the public on a loan basis. View Locations
  • Protect Your Loved Ones:
    • Always supervise children by appointing a designated “water watcher,” taking turns with other adults. Do not assume that someone is watching your children.
    • Know your limits. Swimming in a lake, ocean or river is different than swimming in a pool.
    • If someone is in distress, seek help from a lifeguard or call 9-1-1 if one is not available. 

What is extreme heat? Extreme heat is defined in most of the U.S. as an extended period (2 to 3 days) of high heat and humidity with temperatures above 90 degrees. Extreme heat often results in the highest annual number of deaths among all weather-related disasters. California is experiencing more frequent episodes of extreme heat, posing a greater danger to Californians from heat-related illness. 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: 

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LA Times poll: 4 in 10 California residents are considering leaving

80% of residents were dissatisfied with the cost of everyday living. Nearly 70% of residents were dissatisfied with the economy in California

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LOS ANGELES – A new poll released Friday by the Los Angeles Times found 40% of residents say they’re contemplating moving out of California, with nearly half of them saying they’re considering that “very seriously.” About 61% pointed to the high cost of living here as the reason they’d go. 

The Times polling also found that people of color are far more likely to say that the expense of living in California is the reason they might leave. About 71% of residents who are either Black or Asian/Pacific Islander and considering relocating cited the cost of living.

Nearly 30% of those surveyed said they might leave because the state’s policies and laws don’t align with their political views, a reflection of the polarization of the state and the nation at the moment. Respondents who identified as conservative were much more likely to cite the politics of the state as the reason why they were considering moving.

Self-identified Republicans were three times as likely as Democrats to say that the state’s politics were why they wanted to go.

The survey also provided some insight into the economic crunch many in the state feel. About 80% of residents said they were dissatisfied with the cost of everyday living expenses. Nearly 70% of residents said they were dissatisfied with the economy in California, and about 55% of those surveyed were dissatisfied with the cost of healthcare and housing costs.

In recent months inflation has been dropping, but that has come after a year of price increases and people’s perception of the country’s economic outlook turning sour. In California, where housing costs are especially high, that sense of living on the edge is ever present.

Read the entire article here: (Link)

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Attorney General Bonta releases inaugural State of Pride report

First-of-its-kind report highlights actions to defend & expand civil rights of LGBTQ+ people despite ongoing threats to justice & equality

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California Attorney General Rob Bonta, speaking on June 16 2023. (Photo Credit: Office of California Attorney General Rob Bonta/Facebook)

SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today, in honor of LGBTQ+ Pride month, issued a new “State of Pride Report” highlighting the California Department of Justice’s (DOJ) recent actions to support, uplift, and defend the rights of LGBTQ+ communities across California and beyond.

Pride Month is a time to celebrate the beautiful strength and diversity of LGBTQ+ communities, as well as to reflect on the struggles, sacrifices, and historic accomplishments of the LBGTQ+ civil rights movement.

Despite the immense progress that has been achieved, more work remains to be done. Amidst alarming and increasing attacks on LGBTQ+ communities — from book bans to states pushing discriminatory policies across the nation, DOJ remains steadfast in its commitment to fight alongside LGBTQ+ communities in pursuit of justice and equality.

“As a committed LGBTQ+ ally, I firmly believe that everyone deserves to be safe, healthy, prosperous, and celebrated for who they are — regardless of how they identify or who they love,” said Bonta. “As we come together this Pride Month to celebrate our LGBTQ+ communities, we must also recommit ourselves to the ongoing fight for LGBTQ+ rights at home and across the country. Today’s report shows the California DOJ’s commitment to defending, expanding, and advancing LGBTQ+ rights. However, I know that there is substantial work yet to be accomplished. Our pursuit of equality knows no boundaries, and I vow to continue using every tool at my disposal to protect and promote the rights and well-being of LGBTQ+ individuals.”

The State of Pride Report presents detailed insights into DOJ’s latest initiatives to confront hate crimes and discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals. One significant initiative is the launch of the Office of Community Awareness, Response, and Engagement (CARE), and collaborating with community organizations and the public to proactively address hate crimes.

The report emphasizes the efficacy of the Attorney General’s Hate Crime Rapid Response Protocol, which equips local law enforcement with the essential resources to efficiently handle significant hate crimes and extremism. Furthermore, DOJ is committed to combating discrimination in classrooms, sports, healthcare, and public spaces.

The report focuses on DOJ’s work to cultivate safe environments for LGBTQ+ students free from bullyingenable transgender athletes to participate in sports aligned with their gender identityoffer LGBTQ+ individuals access to gender-affirming healthcare, and advocate for inclusive public business accommodations, irrespective of sexual orientation or gender identity.

The State of Pride Report also underscores the ongoing adversities LGBTQ+ individuals face in California and nationwide.

Despite considerable progress, many LGBTQ+ individuals still experience discrimination, harassment, and violence in their daily lives, and transgender individuals are especially vulnerable, facing high rates of poverty, unemployment, and homelessness. These challenges demonstrate the need for ongoing protective efforts to uphold and expand LGBTQ+ individuals’ rights, enable all individuals to live free from discrimination and violence, and collaborate toward creating a more just and inclusive society.

Key data points in the State of Pride Report depict the reality of hate crimes and discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals:

  • About 2.7 million or 9.1% of California adults identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender — the largest share of any highly populated state and one that is “considerably higher” than the national figure of 7.9%. 
  • Unfortunately, in California between 2021 and 2022, there were over 391 reported hate crime events motivated by sexual orientation bias, and 45 hate crimes motivated by anti-transgender or anti-gender non-conforming bias. 
  • LGBTQ+ children have been victimized and bullied at rates four times higher than their non-LGBTQ+ peer groups. This hate has a compounding impact on their physical and mental well-being: Nearly half of all LGBTQ+ youth seriously considered suicide in 2022.
  • Across the United States, 2022 was a record-breaking year for state-level, anti-LGBTQ+ bills, with more than 200 pieces of legislation introduced in over 40 state legislatures that aimed to codify discrimination in classrooms, sports, healthcare, and public spaces. 

This data underscores the pressing need for sustained, vigorous efforts to combat hate crimes and discrimination against LGBTQ+ communities in California and across the nation.

The State of Pride Report can be accessed at https://oag.ca.gov/lgbtq.

For additional information on hate crimes and LGBTQ+ discrimination, please visit https://oag.ca.gov/hatecrimes

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Governor, AG, & State Superintendent warn against book bans

The joint letter sent Thursday highlights case law and constitutional precedent that restricts the removal of books from libraries and schools

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California High School Students (Photo Credit: Office of the Governor/California Department of Education)

SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom, Attorney General Rob Bonta, and State Superintendent Tony Thurmond sent a joint letter to all county school superintendents, district school superintendents, and charter school administrators cautioning against book bans.

The letter released on Thursday, June 1, outlines pertinent educational civil rights and corresponding legal mandates school administrators are required to follow to preserve freedom and ensure access to diverse perspectives and curricula.
 
“In the first half of this school year alone, 1,477 books were banned nationally, with teachers and librarians threatened with prison time for shelving the wrong book,” said Governor Newsom, Attorney General Bonta, and Superintendent Thurmond.

“As state leaders elected to represent the values of all Californians, we offer our response in one shared voice: Access to books – including books that reflect the diverse experiences and perspectives of Californians, and especially, those that may challenge us to grapple with uncomfortable truths – is a profound freedom we all must protect and cultivate.”
 
The joint letter sent Thursday highlights case law and constitutional precedent that restricts the removal of books from libraries and schools; the responsibilities of school administrators to provide students exposure to various world views; and the legal mandates that require school administrators to provide an unbiased curriculum to students and preserve freedom of speech.

Additionally, the joint letter informs local educational agencies that if they remove or ban instructional materials from classrooms or libraries, they may be requested to provide information to the Attorney General’s Office for analysis.
 
While other states ban books, California is improving education outcomes and investing tens of billions of dollars to improve literacy. California outperformed most states — including Florida and Texas — in mitigating learning loss during the pandemic, and through historic levels of school funding, the state is building a cohesive structure of support for educators and students that reflects a focus on equity, inclusion, and academic success.

Equality California’s Executive Director Tony Hoang responded to the letter in a statement:

“At a time when over a dozen states have already passed laws banning books and censoring school curriculum, we applaud this clear and forceful guidance from the highest offices in our state unequivocally demonstrating their commitment to providing unfettered access to an inclusive and accurate education for all students. 

Across California, we are witnessing a growing number of school districts considering and passing policies to censor curriculum, books, and other materials discussing racism and even the very existence of LGBTQ+ people. These actions create a hostile learning environment for LGBTQ+ and other marginalized students and send them the harmful message that their history and experiences should be ignored.

Nearly 2 in 3 LGBTQ+ young people said that hearing about potential state or local laws banning people from discussing LGBTQ+ people at school made their mental health worse. The link between supportive school environments, access to affirming resources, and youth mental health could not be clearer. 

This guidance from the Governor, the Attorney General and the State Superintendent is a welcome counter to the vile and hateful attacks on the LGBTQ+ community and other marginalized groups. Any school district that attempts to ban books or erase the experiences of LGBTQ+ people will be forced to answer to the state’s chief law enforcement officer. 

California will continue to lead by example by cultivating and protecting access to books that are vital to prepare youth for civic participation, instill values needed to maintain our democracy, and teach about subjects that are a very real part of our shared history and understanding. That is what makes California stronger each and every day.”

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CHP implements statewide Maximum Enforcement Period

Beginning May 26, the CHP implemented a statewide Maximum Enforcement Period in anticipation of increased traffic for this holiday weekend

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CHP Patrol Unit near the Golden Gate Bridge. (Photo Credit: California Highway Patrol Media Affairs Office/Facebook) 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Memorial Day weekend is quickly approaching, and many Californians are preparing to kick off the summer with a holiday gathering or road trip.

Forty-five people were killed in crashes in California during last year’s Memorial Day weekend, nearly a 30 percent increase from the same period in 2021.  The California Highway Patrol (CHP) has a plan to help people arrive to their destinations safely, while reducing the number of deadly crashes on the state’s roads.


Beginning at 6:01 p.m. on Friday, May 26, the CHP will implement a statewide Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP) in anticipation of the increased traffic that often accompanies a holiday weekend.  The MEP will continue through 11:59 p.m. on Monday, May 29. 

CHP is launched a Maximum Enforcement Period this Memorial Day weekend to ensure the safety of everyone on the roads. (Photo Credit: California Highway Patrol Media Affairs Office/Facebook) 

  
“The core mission of the CHP is to provide the highest level of Safety, Service, and Security to the communities we serve,” said CHP Commissioner Sean Duryee.  “This holiday, motorists can expect to see additional CHP officers patrolling California’s roadways.  All available uniformed members of this Department will be on patrol during this Memorial Day MEP.  Our primary focus will be to enhance public safety, deter unsafe driving behavior, and when necessary, take appropriate enforcement action.”  
In addition to assisting motorists and looking for traffic violations that often lead to serious injury or death, such as failure to wear a seat belt, speed, and distracted driving, CHP officers will be paying close attention to people who are suspected of driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs and/or alcohol. 

CHP officers made nearly 900 DUI arrests during the Memorial Day MEP in 2022. Keep yourself and others who are on the road safe by designating a sober driver or using a ride-share service. 

If you see or suspect an impaired driver, call 9-1-1 immediately.  Be prepared to provide the dispatcher a description of the vehicle, the license plate number, location, and direction of travel.  Your phone call may save someone’s life.

The CHP’s Memorial Day MEP coincides with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s ongoing Click It or Ticket campaign, which continues through June 4. Seat belts save lives. Take two seconds to secure your safety and buckle up. 

The mission of the CHP is to provide the highest level of Safety, Service, and Security.

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California

UC Santa Cruz students celebrate Hitler’s birthday with cake

Gov. Newsom weighed in calling both incidents sick & disgusting adding that these “kinds of acts” have no place in California

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UC Santa Cruz/Facebook

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. – According to Akirah Bradley-Armstrong, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at UC Santa Cruz, a group of unidentified students met on campus on April 20, Hitler’s birthday, and reportedly sang “Happy Birthday” to the Nazi leader and served cake “adorned with hateful and horrific symbols.”

“White supremacy has no place at UC Santa Cruz,” Bradley-Armstrong said in a press release statement adding that the university “unequivocally condemns” the incident. “Nor does any action intended to degrade, dehumanize, or intimidate another based on identity.”

The incident has been referred to student conduct officials for “follow-up and adjudication,” she noted.

In another hate incident the following day on April 21, a student “found an antisemitic and anti-LGBTQIA+ flyer on their car’s windshield” downtown, the university said. The flyer included “despicable and degrading claims” about Jews and LGBTQIA+ people.

University officials are following up with Santa Cruz city officials about that incident.

“These disturbing incidents follow a national trend of increased antisemitic rhetoric and violence,” Bradley-Armstrong said. “Whatever the purpose and wherever they take place, we reject any and all acts of antisemitism.”

California Governor Gavin Newsom weighed in on Twitter angrily calling both incidents sick and disgusting adding that these “kinds of acts” have no place in California.

UC Santa Cruz had an enrollment of 19,478 for fall 2022, according to the university, which is located about 75 miles southwest of San Francisco.

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California

New statewide hotline to report hate acts in California launched

Visit CAvsHate.org or call 833-8-NO-HATE for resources and to report acts of hate. Callers can receive assistance in over 200 languages

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California Governor Gavin Newsom (file photo, Office of the Governor)

SACRAMENTO – In response to a rise in hate crimes and at the start of Asian & Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Governor Gavin Newsom, along with the California Civil Rights Department (CRD), today, announced the official launch of CA vs Hate, a new multilingual statewide hotline and website that provides a safe, anonymous reporting option for victims and witnesses of hate acts.

CA vs Hate is in direct response to the rise in reported hate crimes in California, which in recent years, reached their highest levels since 2001 – jumping almost 33% from 2020 to 2021. 

“Here in California, we are sending an unequivocal message that hate will not be tolerated,” said Newsom.  “We stand firm for a California for All and it is important that we hold perpetrators accountable for their actions and provide resources for those individuals victimized by hate crimes. Now, Californians have another tool to ensure that not only justice is served, but that individuals have access to additional resources to help deal with the lingering wounds that remain after such a horrendous crime occurs.”

Report a Hate Crime Here

“In California, our diversity is what makes the nation’s most populous state a beautiful and vibrant community,” said First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom at an event in Sacramento launching this new program.

“It’s horrifying that hate crimes are on the rise, and so let it be made clear: we stand with our diverse communities, and we are committed to ensuring they feel safe and heard. There is no room here for bigotry and hate-fueled violence.” Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) started the conversation to create a state hotline to report hate crimes in 2021 – this program will help individuals and communities targeted for hate including Asian Americans, Latinos, Black Americans, LGBTQ+ individuals, religious minorities, and other communities that make up California’s diversity and strength. Hotline services are confidential and provided for free, regardless of immigration status. These services are offered in a culturally competent manner and will help people identify options and next steps after a hate incident or hate crime has occurred. Hate acts can be reported in 15 different languages through the online portal and in over 200 languages when calling the hotline.“

With the launch of the Ca vs Hate Resource Line and Network, we unequivocally state that there is no home or place for hate in California,” said Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency Secretary Lourdes Castro Ramírez.

“We are doubling down on our commitment to combat hate by embracing the strength of our diversity and empowering Californians with resources and support to prevent and end hate in all forms.”“

California is strong because of our diversity but hate-fueled violence remains a persistent and growing threat,” said CRD Director Kevin Kish. “With the launch of CA vs Hate, we’re taking action to help put a stop to hate and to provide support for victims, survivors, and their families. In the face of hate across the nation, we stand united in declaring: California is for everyone. I urge all Californians to know their rights and to take advantage of these important resources.”

The hotline will also be complemented by a multilingual outreach campaign, emphasizing community engagement. The campaign aims to support efforts that encourage reporting and access to resources through targeted public service announcements, direct marketing, and other activities. CA vs Hate also seeks to overcome reporting challenges – whether due to fear of retaliation, lack of trust, or other issues – by offering people targeted for hate a community-centered approach that does not require engagement with the criminal legal system.

The CA vs Hate Resource Line and Network is a non-emergency, multilingual hate crime and incident reporting hotline and online portal. Reports can be made anonymously by calling (833) 866-4283, or 833-8-NO-HATE, Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT or online at any time.

For individuals who want to report a hate crime to law enforcement immediately or who are in imminent danger, please call 911. For more information on CA vs Hate, please visit CAvsHate.org.

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