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California’s Accountability and Fair Representation Organization Applauds Gov. Newsom’s Signing of Equity Legislation

  Courage California acknowledges the efforts of state leadership, but urges Californians to demand true reform and hold electeds accountable. 

Los Angeles — In response to the bills signed by Governor Gavin Newsom at the end of the 2019-20 legislative session on Wednesday, Courage California calls on California leadership to do more for our communities in an unprecedented and challenging time when people are demanding bolder actions. While the new policies advance our goals of equity, justice, and accountability, the failure to pass and sign key legislation, which would have protected our most vulnerable communities under COVID and a racist police state, demonstrates how Californians deserve more courageous and representative leadership.  

Gov. Newsom signed twelve of Courage California’s priority bills into law, listed below:  

  • AB 1276 – increases public input into local redistricting in California.
  • AB 1876 – extends tax credits to undocumented workers.
  • AB 1947 – extends the period of time within which people may file complaints, to within one year after the occurrence of the violations.
  • AB 2542 – California Racial Justice Act: prohibits racial discrimination in convictions and sentences. 
  • AB 376 – student loan bill of rights
  • SB 1190 – expands provisions to authorize a tenant to terminate their tenancy without penalty because an immediate family member was the victim of a crime. 
  • SB 1290 – vacates certain county-assessed or court-ordered costs imposed before January 1, 2018, for the parents or guardians of wards in specified circumstances. 
  • SB 145 – exempts from mandatory registration under the act a person convicted of certain offenses involving minors. 
  • SB 423 – authorizes a county to not have its vote centers open before the 3rd day prior to the election and provides funds for voter education. 
  • SB 493 – improves campus sexual assault response. 
  • SB 908 – regulates debt collectors. 
  • SB 932 – Debt Collection Licensing Act. 

Courage California advocated for several of these bills as a member of the California Dream Alliance, a broad coalition of over 70 progressive organizations that have joined together to build a California where everyone has a shot at the California dream. Below are statements from the Executive Director of Courage California and a supporter of the CRISES Act, Courage’s partner organization PolicyLink. 

Irene Kao, Executive Director of Courage California, issued the following statement:

“During such uncertain times in our state and nation, it is imperative that California leaders deliver on the needed protections and reforms for all of our communities. In the midst of a global pandemic, national recession and unrest, and wildfires ravaging our state, we appreciate the leadership of our Dream Alliance partners, state legislators and Governor Newsom to pass and sign the majority of legislation endorsed by Courage California and our membership. These key pieces of legislation will keep Californians moving forward and toward recovery, but our communities are demanding more to firmly place us on-track towards a more equitable and representative democracy for all. 

“There is still much to be done for some of our most vulnerable community members. Several state legislators backed by corporations and law enforcement unions blocked legislation that would have held law enforcement more accountable for their criminal actions and prevented oil and companies from building operations near our neighborhoods. Governor Newsom vetoed the CRISES Act (AB 2054) and the Health and Safety for All Workers Act (SB 1257), incredibly important bills that would have furthered community and worker protections in our state. Courage California will continue to work towards equity and justice for all.” 

Marc Philpart, Managing Director at PolicyLink and Principal Coordinator of the Alliance for Boys and Men of Color, issued the following statement on AB 2054: 

“Despite overwhelming support from Californians and near unanimous support from the legislature, Governor Newsom vetoed the CRISES Act.

“In this year of global uprisings for Black lives and against systemic racism and violence, it is particularly disappointing that Governor Newsom declined to support a policy that would help save the lives of Black people, Indigenous people, people of color, people with disabilities, and all those who are targeted by police violence,” said Marc Philpart, Managing Director at PolicyLink and Principal Coordinator of the Alliance for Boys and Men of Color. 

“We are inspired by the courageous leadership of families who have lost loved ones to police violence and will continue to fight for responses to crises that are community based and not controlled by law enforcement.” 

Californians must never accept that there isn’t a means or money to fund solutions and real change, and California leaders must stop prioritizing profit and their own political careers over people. As the last year has shown, it is up to all Californians to demand that energy and funding is invested into our people and communities. With Courage, we will actively hold our representatives accountable and vote for the changes we need to see in our communities.

Courage California, formerly Courage Campaign, works to unite communities organizing for progressive change, fight the forces of corruption, and hold our representatives to account in order to ensure that California’s elected officials act with courage. Our community of members envision California as a model of progressive, equitable, and truly representative democracy that sets the standard for our country.


Angela Chavez