The Week in Politics

A weekly round-up of the biggest news in California politics….

Officials employ efforts to protect communities from planned ICE raids statewide: Elected officials across California have responded to President Trump’s threat to begin ICE deportation sweeps across the nation starting this weekend.

  • Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti affirmed that L.A. law enforcement does not assist with or participate in civil immigration enforcement. The Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs has created a Community Resource Guide for immigrant Angelenos that provides people with comprehensive information about their rights and available resources. The guide can be found on the Mayor’s website in both English and Spanish. In addition, the Mayor’s Office is working closely with FamilySource Centers and the Los Angeles Unified School District to disseminate “Know Your Rights” information in their facilities.
  • San Francisco Mayor London Breed, Assemblymember David Chiu, City leaders, and immigration rights advocates expressed their support for immigrants living in San Francisco. Mayor Breed reminded people of their Constitutional rights when interacting with immigration enforcement agents, including the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. For information about immigration legal help in San Francisco, go to or call the Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs at 415-581-2360. Residents can call the SF Rapid Response Hotline at 415-200-1548 to report raids.
  • San Jose Mayor Liccardo issued the following statement: “In San Jose, we reject this administration’s politics of fear and exclusion, which is tearing our families apart. It’s important for all members of our San Jose community—regardless of immigration status— to know they have rights and that our San Jose Police Department will not participate in any ICE investigation or enforcement activity. I also encourage our community to inform themselves about their rights and remain vigilant for ICE agents entering a home or business without consent or a valid warrant. Please report the location of ICE activity, description of ICE vehicle, any badge numbers, photos, or other information to the Rapid Response Network at (408) 290-1144, so that we can gather the information, and where appropriate, take legal action.”
  • U.S. Senator Kamala Harris joined Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and 14 of their colleagues in introducing legislation to block immigration enforcement actions at sensitive locations like schools, hospitals, and religious institutions without prior approval and exigent circumstances. The Protecting Sensitive Locations Act codifies the Department of Homeland Security’s existing policies and expands on those policies to ensure that immigrants are able to access education, criminal justice, and social services without fear of deportation.

Senator Kamala Harris Announces $1 billion plan to clear rape kit backlog: U.S. Senator and 2020 Democratic candidate Kamala Harris this week announced a proposal to end the backlog in rape kits nationwide. She proposes to invest $1 billion in states for the purpose of clearing rape kit backlogs and preventing future backlogs.

State Treasurer Fiona Ma calls on publicly held corporations to add women board members: California State Treasurer Fiona Ma is calling for gender parity in the board room. She cites a new report that shows only one in three publicly held corporations in the state has a woman on its board of directors. New California law (SB 826, Jackson/Atkins) requires that these corporations must have a minimum of one female on their board of directors by the close of 2019. “It shows we still have a long way to go to bring gender parity to the board room,” Treasurer Ma said. Further, Ma invites women who are experienced in banking, public finance, accounting and executive-level decision making to add their resumes to a registry at the State Treasurer’s Office. The registry will be provided to publicly held corporations looking for female board members with particular skill sets. Interested women should contact Xochilt Becerra at (916) 653-2995 or [email protected]

CA Attorney General leads coalition defending human rights of children in civil immigration detention: California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey this week led a coalition of attorneys general in filing an amicus brief to defend the human rights of children in civil immigration detention in the United States. In the brief filed with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, the coalition urges the court to grant immediate relief to remedy the imminent threat to the health and welfare of immigrant children detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Under the Trump Administration, immigrant children have been held for weeks in inhumane conditions without access to basic necessities like soap, clean water, toothbrushes, showers, or a place to sleep. A copy of the brief is available here.

Tuition-free community college expansion bill advances: The California State Senate Education Committee this week approved to AB 2, a bill that would expand tuition-free community college from one year to two years. This comes after Governor Newsom signed a budget that includes nearly $48 million to provide a second year of tuition-free community college for all first-time students who sign up for a full course load.

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