CVIndependent

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Last updateMon, 23 Mar 2020 12pm

Politics

04 Sep 2019
Tax credits for renters. Consumer protection for student borrowers. More homeless shelters that allow pets. Those were among the hundreds of ideas that California lawmakers killed Friday, as they winnowed down a huge stack of bills in preparation for the Legislature’s final sprint before the session ends on Sept. 13. Chairs of the appropriations committees announced their decisions in a rapid-fire ritual—and, in the Assembly, over the shouting protests of people who oppose a bill to limit vaccine exemptions. Here are a few noteworthy proposals that lawmakers snuffed out Friday as they acted on legislation in the mysterious “suspense file,” where bills can die with no public explanation: Rainforest protection: As the Amazon rainforest burns, a bill aimed at protecting tropical forests went up in…
20 Aug 2019
California will soon have a tougher new legal standard for the use of deadly force by police, under legislation Gov. Gavin Newsom signed yesterday, Aug, 19, that was inspired by last year’s fatal shooting of a young, unarmed man in Sacramento. Newsom signed the legislation amid unusual fanfare, convening numerous legislators, family members of people who have died in police shootings and advocates including civil-rights leader Dolores Huerta in a courtyard at the Secretary of State’s building—used in the past for inaugurations and other formal events. The governor contends that with Assembly Bill 392 in place, police will turn increasingly to de-escalation techniques, including verbal persuasion, weapons other than guns and other crisis-intervention methods. “It is remarkable to get to this moment on a bill…
19 Aug 2019
It was late in June when La Quinta High School senior Lizbeth Luevano met two other students—Diego Martinez, from West Valley High School in Hemet, and Julia Melendez-Hiriart, from Ramona High School in Riverside—at the Southwest Airlines terminal at the Ontario airport. The three students had never before met in person, but they were flying together to Washington, D.C., for the 2019 R2L NextGen week-long program, organized by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI). The program—launched in 2011 by the CHCI with the support of founding sponsor State Farm—has helped bring 533 students to Washington, D.C., over the past nine years. Two trips this summer brought 103 students from 17 different areas of the country to our nation’s capital to learn about the federal government,…
25 Jul 2019
The way California holds its presidential primary violates the constitutional rights of political independents and misuses taxpayer dollars to “benefit wholly private political parties,” a nonpartisan election group will argue in a lawsuit it says it is filing against the state. A draft filing from by the Independent Voter Project argues that Secretary of State Alex Padilla, who administers elections, is ignoring a state constitutional requirement to hold an “open” presidential primary, in which anyone—regardless of political party—can participate. Currently, each political party decides who gets to vote in its primary, forcing political independents who want to participate to jump through additional administrative hoops, or join a party outright. “The State of California can’t create a process that includes some voters and excludes others,” said…
18 Jul 2019
The whole business began with a backyard barbecue. Tim Terral, a 50-year-old cable-company worker and recently elected city councilman in Needles, on the rural eastern edge of California, planned a cookout for some buddies who live just over the state line in Arizona. Nobody wanted to come. Under California law, they couldn’t bring their loaded firearms across the state line, so they all decided to stay home. “They’re ex-military,” Terral explained. “I guess those guns are like security blankets.” But for Terral, the incident was more ammunition for simmering resentment among many of the 5,000 residents of the San Bernardino County town that’s 550 miles and an entire political culture away from the state capital in Sacramento. Like many inland Californians, Needles residents say they’re…
16 Jul 2019
The 2019 Palm Springs City Council election slate is not even set yet—that won’t happen until the candidate-nomination period closes Aug. 9—but one candidate, Alan “Alfie” Pettit, got an early start on his advertising by promoting his campaign via the cover story of the June 27-July 3 edition of the Coachella Valley Weekly. The cover art showed Pettit—well-known locally as his drag alter ego, Arial Trampway—standing on top of his campaign vehicle. The cover featured a “Drag Out the Vote!” headline, a direct appeal for readers to “Elect Alan ‘Alfie’ Pettit” (via the text on the side of the vehicle) and his website address. The accompanying piece was an exceedingly flattering quasi-news story/endorsement of his candidacy. The story was formatted and presented just like the…
04 Jul 2019
Do you freelance in California? Have a side hustle? Drive trucks? Work construction? Do nails? Work on political campaigns? Then you should be paying attention to a major employment fight coming to a head in Sacramento. In the coming weeks, the state Senate will begin hearings on a bill that will make it harder to classify workers as independent contractors, officially codifying a sweeping 2018 California Supreme Court decision. The so-called “Dynamex” bill, supported by organized labor and named for the court case, has made headlines for threatening the on-demand business model made popular by the likes of Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and Postmates. Less discussed, however, is the extent to which Assembly Bill 5 could sweep up some 2 million workers across industries far from…
20 Jun 2019
To reduce the use of force by California police, two Democrats began with competing approaches. Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, a firebrand from a liberal San Diego district, aimed to crack down by setting a tougher standard for justifiable police shootings. Sen. Anna Caballero, a centrist who flipped a red Central Valley district blue, introduced a police-backed vision to reduce deadly force through improved officer training. Yet as mothers—one African American, the other Latina—both lawmakers have had remarkably similar experiences in one respect: They instructed their teenage sons to cautiously navigate encounters with police, and they ultimately felt the police did not treat their sons fairly. “It’s a difficult conversation to have,” Caballero said in an interview for Force of Law, a CALmatters podcast following California’s effort…