Levine stands speaking before fellow legislators
Marc Levine, chair of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus, addressing the State Assembly in 2016

JCRC 2017 legislative successes: gun control, tenants rights, reproductive rights

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Several bills advocated by the S.F.-based Jewish Community Relations Council during the current legislative session were among those signed into law by California Governor Jerry Brown before an October deadline, JCRC reported in a statement yesterday.

Six JCRC-supported bills were signed, including two that add protections for immigrants, as well as bills that address tenants rights; gun safety in public schools; the procedure for changing name and gender identity on documents and IDs; and one that “prohibits the state from cooperating with any religion-based registry or watch list.”

The 2017-2018 legislative session is still in progress, but Oct. 15 was the final day for Brown to sign or veto bills passed during 2017.

State Sen. Scott Wiener protesting a travel ban targeting majority-Muslim countries at SFO, Jan. 28. 2017
State Sen. Scott Wiener protesting a travel ban targeting majority-Muslim countries at SFO, Jan. 28. 2017

Working with Sen. Scott Wiener (District 11, S.F.), JCRC also saw success on SR 58, a senate resolution that condemns anti-Semitism, which declares “That the Senate will work to uphold principles of equality, pluralism, and inclusivity, and will stand in solidarity with Jewish and other communities whenever they are targeted or marginalized.”

In the budget process, JCRC successfully advocated for an additional $30 million over three years toward legal services for immigrants and for $2 million toward security for nonprofits.

The only JCRC-supported bill to be vetoed by Brown, AB-569, would have prohibited private-sector employers from taking punitive action toward an employee based on their reproductive health decisions.

“Even before our Public Policy Committee debates the bills that we will support, there is an extensive process with high-level input from representatives of our member organizations via which JCRC builds consensus on matters of concern to our community,” JCRC said in an August statement about its legislative agenda. “As well as promoting the Jewish values, bills we select must be in line with this consensus, as well as with our longstanding commitment to democracy and religious freedom.”