Recommendation: SUPPORT via a NO vote
Referendum to Overturn a 2018 Law that Replaced Money Bail System with a System Based on Public Safety Risk
This referendum challenges a state statute to replace cash bail with risk assessments for suspects awaiting trial. SB 10 gave the courts discretion to assess low, medium, and high-risk defendants who could be released or detained on those assessments rather than on a demand for cash bail. Most proffering bail had to come up with 10% for a bail bond from a private provider, and if that was impossible, the defendant languished in jail. Wealthy people got out. Poor people remained. However, SB 10 did not actually improve chances of greater justice. “Risk assessment” may be racially, culturally, and economically biased. There are no guidelines in SB 10 for what sets determinations. All three CA affiliates of American Civil Liberties Union opposed SB 10 with its unintended racial biases and potential for greater not lesser inequity. ACLU is not opposing this ballot measure since it is sponsored by the for-profit bail industry. IMPACT, however, believes the greater good requires revisiting the entire issue to assure real justice. Because it is a referendum, a YES vote is to UPHOLD SB 10. A NO vote is to return to cash bail while we revisit the issue on risk assessments and other criteria.
Recommendation: SUPPORT via a NO vote
Thank you to all who have been asking when we will be releasing our recommendations for the statewide propositions on the November 2020 California ballot!
Paper versions will be mailed out next week. We will start posting our recommendations electronically here and on Facebook beginning 2 September 2020. We will also email a PDF to everyone on our email activist list next week.
If you want to receive an electronic copy, please make sure you are on our activist list at http://www.churchimpact.org/take-action.html.
If you are able to help us with a donation to help us mobilize people of faith throughout California to vote, please contribute here: http://www.churchimpact.org/donate.html.
Our elections are the foundation blocks of our democracy. Free and fair access is imperative. We have only four months until the next general election, November 3, 2020, and assuring that everyone legally entitled to vote can vote is essential.
Black Church PAC has created the contemporary “Freedom Summer” program to reproduce the courageous voter registration drives of the early Civil Rights Era. While this drive is targeted to more Southern states than to our northern and western ones, every state has pockets of voter suppression. No one is immune.
Monday, July 6 at noon California time, there will be a webinar on Freedom Summer voter registration drives. You are invited to participate if you are Black clergy and laity or if you serve a diverse population in areas where voter suppression or obstacles may occur.
To register for this critical voter registration and enhancement webinar, please click here
Other steps you can take, no matter where you reside, is to prepare for long lines and delays at the polls. While in California all voters will be receiving “vote by mail” ballots, things still can go wrong, and support for those standing in line will be needed,
Bring cases of water, some food, folding chairs. Enlist your youth to hold line spots for voters needing bathroom breaks. Have masks available for anyone without one. Think about entertainment (socially distanced, of course). There will be spots in every state, even California, where things will not go smoothly. We need to anticipate those problems, be prepared to help voters vote.
This Saturday, June 20th, is the date of the online “Mass Poor People’s Assembly and Moral March on Washington: A Digital Gathering.” NCC is one of the partners for this important event, which will challenge the evils of systemic racism, poverty, the war economy and militarism, ecological devastation and the nation’s distorted morality. We hope you will join us. More information and registration can be found at https://www.june2020.org/.
Please register today and share this information with your networks as soon as possible. You can use the Social Media Toolkit to help get the word out about this important gathering.
Here is the moral agenda for the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival:
We always appreciate ingenuity and intelligent responses to our world's crises. The current crisis is no exception. Families are uniting via conference calls, Zoom, Skype, and other social media. Classes and even concerts are being offered the same way. These are wonderful offerings to break isolation, learn something new, share a moment of collective joy.
What also arises are efforts to exploit people, to extract money from people with big hearts wanting to help others. New cottage industries of scams have arisen, and it can catch even the most computer and social media savvy people off guard. Rather than putting energies to good, too many spend that effort trying to maximize their own benefits at the cost of your well being.
Through our allies at Consumer Action, we are posting an invitation for a Webinar you might find useful. There are many scams that have appeared along with the Coronavirus. This webinar will help people wade through what is real and what is fraudulent to avoid harm in already stressful times. Dear Community Partner,
It’s the same old story, but this time it has a scary twist. Whenever disaster hits, greedy scammers and fraudsters begin to pounce on unsuspecting victims. Even during these strange times, nothing has changed. As the coronavirus spreads throughout our communities, disrupting our way of life and instilling fear among us, we must remain vigilant. If not, enterprising criminals will take advantage of that fear to perpetrate consumer fraud.
Scammers are expert at shifting tactics and changing their message to catch consumers off guard. They are using phone, text, mail, email and fraudulent websites to tout everything from fake COVID-19 test kits to miracle cures. Their schemes also take advantage of the fact that medical supplies and equipment for combatting the virus, along with basic living essentials, have become difficult or nearly impossible to obtain.
On Wednesday, July 15, Consumer Action will host an informative “COVID-19 Scams and Healthcare Fraud” webinar to address fraud that seeks to exploit consumer confusion and fear in the coronavirus era. The webinar will be led by Micki Nozaki, director of the Senior Medicare Patrol project at California Health Advocates.
The webinar will cover:
Wednesday, July 15, at 10:00 a.m. PDT/ 11:00 a.m. MDT/ 12:00 p.m. CDT/ 1:00 p.m. EDT
There will be a live encore presentation the same day, at 1:00 p.m. PDT/ 2:00 p.m. MDT/ 3:00 p.m. CDT/ 4:00 p.m. EDT.
Tweet chat: You’re invited to join us on Twitter (follow us @consumeraction) for a live chat during the webinar. Follow the hashtag #CAWebinars to participate.
If you have any questions, please contact Linda Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-999-7981, Ext. 766. We look forward to your participation.
We at California Council of Churches hope this helps. Please feel free to share with your congregations, family, friends.
The following was created by the daughter of a friend. In the midst of our nation's confrontation with the "original sin" of racism, she deliberated on the facts behind the deaths of many Black people. She considered how she, as a young white woman, could easily do what they had done without being murdered. I find it compelling. We wanted to share it with you.
If you click on the highlighted names, it will take you to Facebook pages others have written about these horrid deaths. You don't need a Facebook account to access the pages.
I have privilege as a White person because I can do all of these things without thinking twice about it…
I can go jogging (#AmaudArbery).
I can relax in the comfort of my own home (#BothemJean and #AtatianaJefferson).
I can ask for help after being in a car crash (#JonathanFerrell and #RenishaMcBride).
I can have a cellphone (#StephonClark).
I can leave a party to get to safety (#JordanEdwards).
I can play loud music (#JordanDavis).
I can sell CD’s (#AltonSterling).
I can sleep (#AiyanaJones)
I can walk from the corner store (#MikeBrown).
I can play cops and robbers (#TamirRice).
I can go to church (#Charleston9).
I can walk home with Skittles (#TrayvonMartin).
I can hold a hair brush while leaving my own bachelor party (#SeanBell).
I can party on New Years (#OscarGrant).
I can get a normal traffic ticket (#SandraBland).
I can lawfully carry a weapon (#PhilandoCastile).
I can break down on a public road with car problems (#CoreyJones).
I can shop at Walmart (#JohnCrawford) .
I can have a disabled vehicle (#TerrenceCrutcher).
I can read a book in my own car (#KeithScott).
I can be a 10 year old walking with our grandfather (#CliffordGlover).
I can decorate for a party (#ClaudeReese).
I can ask a cop a question (#RandyEvans).
I can cash a check in peace (#YvonneSmallwood).
I can take out my wallet (#AmadouDiallo).
I can run (#WalterScott).
I can breathe (#EricGarner).
I can live (#FreddieGray).
I can ask someone to put a leash on their dog when it is required in the public park we are in (#ChristianCooper).
I CAN BE ARRESTED WITHOUT THE FEAR OF BEING MURDERED. #GeorgeFloyd)
White privilege is real. Take a minute to consider a Black person’s experience today and read their stories.
Please share this with others who might either understand - or need to.
While emailing a friend about various crises we face in our state, I was asking his opinion of the upcoming state budget. He wrote back with a typo calling it the state "bidget". I think he's onto something.
At about the moment that Governor Gavin Newsom was to announce the May Revision of the 2020-21 budget, the bottom of our economic world dropped out. With a shortfall of about 37% in revenues from all sources - personal and corporate income plus sales taxes - we face almost unprecedented cuts that will have to be parcelled out to every program and service in the state. With other demands and lack of federal revenues, California is about $54 billion short of where we were last year.
That's not a budget. It's definitely a bidget.
Right now both houses, the Assembly and Senate, are hammering out allocations of limited funding. Governor Newsom calls the overall economic debacle equivalent to the Great Depression of the 1930s. Even with the generous reserves we accrued over the last few years, we don't have enough money to cover all we desire.
The original January 2020 budget from the Governor's Department of Finance, now requires the federal "HEROES Act" financing pending in Congress. This second wave of federal help would allow California and other states to stabilize existing programs and keep services moving to those who need them. Without that federal money, drastic cuts will have to be made. It does not appear the HEROES Act is in fact going to pass. It is a sad and anguished time.
Who will get cut? What programs have legal guidelines that still have to be maintained? What debt repayments and debt services have to be paid? For over a decade the people taking the greatest hit to their supports have been the poor, those on CalWORKs, the limited welfare/work program that offers bare maintenance to those in need. People with disabilities have also seen resources and supports dry up, supplies and equipment cut. Special programs for targeted populations have been reduced. We are, in the time we lift up the role of essential workers who have been keeping us operating during shutdown, once again offered the choice of harming the working and absolute poor - or finding other means to allocate funds.
We by no means have the answers. What we are being called to do is raise our voices for those people who are both out in the pendemic-ridden workplaces serving us and who also need supports via Medi-Cal, child care, tax assistance, and so on. Those who are hightest risk with pre-existing conditions from poor health or disabilities are facing cuts to their medical and life supports. Children may lose programs for their care. Schools need more money for their virtual on-line teaching equipment and organization just as those funds are drying up.
We cannot remotely begin to advocate for every program from Court Services to food supply inspection. We therefore have taken up what we think are critical issues around which we need to raise our voices.
- We advocate for increased state Earned Income Tax Credits for the working poor.
- We advocate for a stabilization of Medi-Cal services especially for those with disabilities.
- We advocate for the Senate plan to retain increased funding for the retention of Medi-Cal coverage for undocumented income-eligible seniors regardless of documentation status.
- We advocate for the stabilization of SSI disability income expansion with no cuts.
And we adopt and support the Senate plan to use the Budget Stabilization Act revenues and income to help cover essential programs as well as other resources currently not targeted for use. Further we call for reducing other administrative budgets for even our two university systems - not instruction and student services but administration operations and incomes for high level officials.
We are supported in this by Senate Budget Chair, Holly Mitchell. We urge everyone to contact their own state Senators via our link here To contact the Senate Budget Committee for comment, email Joe.Stephenshaw@sen.ca.gov. To send a FAX TO Senator Mitchell, the number is 916-323-8386 or phone the Budget Committee staff at 916-651-4103
Then contact your Assembly Member and urge him or her to follow the Senate budget guidelines. These help preserve funding for those in need of essential services and income supports. Again, use our link above to connect with your own Assembly Member.
In light of the degree of human suffering we now have, we need a Budget not a Bidget. People's lives are at stake. We must be the voice in support of and with those who sometimes cannot speak for themselves.
Let Justice Flow Down Like a River...Amos 5:24 And let us be the force behind the current.
Three deeply troubling events have occurred recently. There are three very public acts of deeply racist violence we have almost no words.
Ahmaud Avery was gunned down in Georgia, his assailants left free for way too long.
An affluent white female business executive threatened the very life of a Black man who'd told her to leash her dog in Central Park.
A Black man, a possible - POSSIBLE - suspect in a forgery was killed in front of our eyes by the arresting officer who knelt on his throat until he died.
Those of us in the faith community are sickened by such actions in no small part because while they were all recorded on video, the perpetrators acted with impunity, free in their own minds to carry on despite being recorded. Where does such entitlement and hate come from?
Because we have no words, we are linking you to John Pavolovitz whose essays often do find the words.
"Prolific Racism Needs Complicit White People" is his post today. He speaks to us eloquently of how we got to such a place and how we need to challenge it.
Please link to his essay here
Even in the Age of COVID, we can practice peace, practice justice, practice humanity, practice love. Let's have these things be our legacy of these hard times.
We told you last week about the PPP Paycheck Protection Program, that would convert the Small Business Association loans to grants if used to protect the income of your employees.
Today we have to tell you to wait on this; the entire program is out of funds. There have been no explanations why. We are waiting for someone to explain where the money has gone and why there wasn't enough. If you started a loan, there's no telling where it stands. Best bet is to check with your lender.
However, Congress is demanding an explanation, and we think you deserve one as well. Please work with your House Representative, never mind the party, to insist on both an accounting of the funding and to equally insist the program be extended and sufficiently well funded. This is money for small business, for profit and non profit, and for employees. It's not disposable but essential.
To contact your Representative and Senators, go to IMPACT activism pages here
The Senators are taking turns being in Washington DC, so contact the local office near you to see whether to call the national capitol offices. House district offices will, however, help you with the status of loans and advocacy, and they are a great place to start. You will find local phone numbers on the IMPACT links.
If and when we learn anything more, we will let you know.
As many of us await the small support from our federal government for us, immigrants are getting nothing. These people are risking their lives working in our fields, preparing our food, doing the work of keeping our supermarkets and other retail going, and many bring us the goods we have ordered. They deserve the help, too.
You can help by advocating for them in the next round of funding. Protecting Immigrant Families has an action page where you can write to your House and Senate members asking for equality for all families.
Just click here
Send a message to your Representatives and your Senators insisting on fairness for all people. Immigrants are important parts of every workforce and every community, and their health is our health. Already some meat producers, often reliant on immigrant labor, are shutting down in the East and Midwest due to the pandemic, and their employees are not only at risk but face layoffs with few to no resources. This is a time for unity, for fairness, and our are the voices that can articulate this to our federal leaders.
The Rev Dr Rick Schlosser