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  • California Forbids U.S. Immigration Agents from Pretending to be Police

    Thursday, July 27, 2017
    ICE agents have reportedly claimed to be police officers to gain consent to enter a person’s home – a tactic that is viewed as unethical, but within the powers granted to the officers. Civil rights groups supported Kalra’s bill, looking to stymie the Trump administration’s promise to use any and all available tools to deport undocumented immigrants who have committed crimes. Many groups fear Trump will expand deportations to include all undocumented immigrants, their families and relatives.   read more
  • California Lawmakers Urged to Strip “Self-Dealing” Tax Board of Its Duties

    Monday, April 03, 2017
    A 2015 audit by Yee’s office found that the board mistakenly sent $47.8 million in sales tax revenue to the state’s general fund, but the Finance Departmen’s newest audit revealed that the board has done little since then to stanch the bleeding. After interviewing more than 70 board employees and managers scattered throughout the state, the Finance Department found that board members routinely redirect staff to projects in their districts, a violation of state law in some cases.   read more
  • Big Oil’s Grip on California

    Wednesday, March 01, 2017
    Headlines speak of California as a bulwark against a new president who sees climate change as a “hoax” and his promise of the most pro-drilling Cabinet in U.S. history. But behind the headlines is oil’s enduring power in the Golden State. In spite of international praise for California's efforts to fight climate change, Big Oil has spent more than $122 million on campaign contributions and on lobbying to boost production, weaken regulatory agencies and mold energy policy.   read more
  • Santa Cruz Police See Homeland Security Betrayal in Use of Gang Roundup as Cover for Immigration Raid

    Saturday, February 25, 2017
    “This has violated the trust of our community and we cannot tell you how disappointed we are by the betrayal of the DHS,” police chief Vogel said. The severing of trust means the department will no longer work with Homeland Security or ICE, he added. Santa Cruz and other California communities feel unease from Trump’s promises to round up undocumented immigrants and deport them. Trump has also threatened to withhold federal dollars from sanctuary cities.   read more
  • Oil Companies Face Deadline to Stop Polluting California Groundwater

    Sunday, January 01, 2017
    The 10 aquifers in question were supposed to be protected by the state, but a bureaucratic snafu led officials to believe that the oil companies had obtained exemptions under the U.S. Safe Drinking Water Act, which shields groundwater supplies from pollution. The oil companies had been dumping leftover water from drilling for three decades by the time state regulators found out in 2014 that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had never granted them permission to do so.   read more
  • Nation’s Top Climate-Change Fighter, California, is ready to roll up Sleeves and Go It Alone

    Wednesday, December 28, 2016
    Trump has packed his Cabinet with nominees who dispute climate change. He said he'll withdraw from the Paris climate agreement and belittled global warming. But California — a state that has for 50 years been a leader in environmental advocacy — is about to step into the breach. In a show of defiance, Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders said they'll work directly with other nations and states to defend and strengthen the most aggressive policies to fight climate change in the nation.   read more
  • California Freezes Voter-Approved Rush to Death Penalty

    Tuesday, December 27, 2016
    Supporters say Prop. 66 will speed up California’s dysfunctional death penalty process by limiting state appeals of death sentences to five years. Van de Kamp and Ron Briggs, whose father authored the measure that reinstated the death penalty in 1978, claim Prop. 66 would eliminate inmates’ ability to file proper appeals by setting unrealistic and short timelines for judges to handle often complex cases. The ruling allows time to consider their attempt to halt the new law.   read more
  • California Bill Would Require Release of Tax Returns for Presidential Candidates to Appear on State Ballot

    Sunday, December 25, 2016
    Blasting Trump’s decision to buck a long-standing trend of candidates releasing their tax returns, two state senators hope the proposal will “help make transparency great again.” “The American people deserve honesty and transparency from their president. Unfortunately, we are getting lies and obfuscation from President-elect Trump, especially in regards to how his business interests may impact his administration,” said state Sen. Scott Wiener.   read more
  • California County Fights Chevron and Local School District to Defend Voter-Approved Law Limiting Oil Production

    Tuesday, December 20, 2016
    The San Ardo Field is the 46th largest oil field in the U.S. The oil is “heavy” and has the consistency of ketchup, but by injecting steam it is heated and extracted more easily. Chevron is the largest operator on the site, producing about 11,000 barrels of oil per day. Measure Z, presented to voters as a ban on fracking and risky oil operations to protect the region’s water, passed with 56% approval on Nov. 8. It prohibits fracking and other procedures deemed a danger to groundwater.   read more
  • California Lawmakers to Enact Sweeping Laws to Resist Trump’s Mass Immigrant Deportation Threats

    Saturday, December 10, 2016
    “Throughout the presidential campaign and since, the president-elect has made many troubling statements that run counter to the principles that define California today,” said Kevin de León, the state Senate president pro tempore, “If the president-elect has identified 2 to 3 million criminal immigrants, we can only assume it’s a pretense to open up criteria to deport mothers who are pulled over for a broken taillight. We want to ensure that those facing deportation are afforded due process...”   read more
  • California Targets Methane-Producing Farm Animals in Global Warming Fight

    Thursday, December 01, 2016
    California is taking its fight against global warming to the farm. The nation's leading agricultural state is now targeting greenhouse gases produced by dairy cows and other livestock. Cattle and other farm animals are major sources of methane, a greenhouse gas many times more potent than carbon dioxide as a heat-trapping gas. Methane is released when they belch, pass gas and make manure. Livestock are responsible for 14.5 percent of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions.   read more
  • Trump Win Gives Big Boost to Campaign for California to Secede from Union

    Wednesday, November 16, 2016
    As election results rolled in, its Facebook contacts grew to 15,000 plus 3,000 emails and endless tweets. "It would frankly be better off if we were our own nation," said group VP Evans, calling Trump's election further evidence that America is a sinking ship. "Our ship can sail on its own." To the north, in Portland, Oregon, two residents filed a separate petition for a 2018 ballot initiative for Oregon to secede.   read more
  • California’s African Americans Far More Likely than Whites to Be Arrested on Felony Charges

    Tuesday, November 15, 2016
    In 2015, for felonies involving narcotics, black men were six times as likely as white men to be arrested, and black women were 2.9 times as likely as white women. Attorney General Kamala Harris said in a statement, the data show ``pervasive inequalities in our criminal justice system. ... We must continue the national dialogue about criminal justice reform and promote the American idea that we are all equal under the law.''   read more
  • Pentagon Orders 10,000 California National Guard Soldiers to Repay Bonuses a Decade after Serving in Middle East

    Tuesday, October 25, 2016
    Nearly 10,000 soldiers have been ordered to repay huge enlistment bonuses a decade after signing up to serve in Iraq and Afghanistan. Faced with a shortage of troops, California Guard officials offered bonuses of $15,000 or more for soldiers to reenlist. The Pentagon demanded the money back after audits revealed overpayments by the Guard under pressure to fill ranks and hit enlistment goals. If soldiers refuse, they could face interest charges, wage garnishments and tax liens.   read more
  • Media Groups Still Wary of Potential Impact on Journalists from California Law Criminalizing Undercover Videos

    Tuesday, October 04, 2016
    Californians caught secretly recording private conversations with a health care provider could be incarcerated for up to a year under AB 1671. Originally, the bill ran into fierce opposition from the ACLU and media lobbyists. They warned that journalists distributing the footage by reporting on it could be prosecuted. Changes exempted journalists from criminal prosecution, but since it creates a new crime, journalists and media groups could still be sued for reporting future undercover videos.   read more
  • State Orders Law Enforcement to Track Use of Force With Online Tool

    Thursday, September 22, 2016
    All 800 police departments in California must begin using a new online tool launched Thursday to report and help track every time officers use force that causes serious injuries. The tool, named URSUS for the bear on California’s flag, includes fields for the race of those injured and the officers involved, how their interaction began and why force was deemed necessary.   read more
  • California Becomes First State in Nation to Allow Overtime Pay for Farm Workers

    Tuesday, September 13, 2016
    Beginning in the 1960s, Chavez brought laborers together and formed the United Farm Workers in California's Central Valley. He used the rallying cry "si se puede," or "yes we can," and became a celebrated civil rights leader, particularly among Latinos. Brown signed the historic bill granting farm workers the right to unionize when he was governor in 1975. He has declined to comment on the overtime legislation all year and declined again Monday.   read more
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