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Progressive Organizations 2024 Policy Agenda: Protect Vulnerable Communities


Contact: Maya Polon,

Sacramento, CA – The Building the California Dream Alliance today announced a unified policy agenda that nearly 60 progressive organizations will stand behind in 2024. The sweeping package of legislation aims to rebalance California’s priorities at a time of expected budget shortfall, emphasizing the need to protect and invest in the state’s most vulnerable communities.

While corporations continue to see their power and profits increase, California’s most vulnerable communities are grappling with relentlessly rising costs for rent, utilities, and groceries; workers face a stark imbalance of power that leaves them vulnerable in most workplaces; and the systems that should support Californians’ needs too often perpetuate racism.  

“Our coalition of organizations represents a diverse group of California interests, united by a common goal: ensuring all of the state’s systems and investments focus on the needs of our state’s most vulnerable populations,” said Julia Parish, with  Legal Aid at Work. “As the rights of workers in low-wage jobs, people who are disabled, and other marginalized Californians come under attack, we are charging ahead to right the wrongs written into current law and create a more just future for all Californians.”

“Budget uncertainty is no excuse to perpetuate an inequitable status quo, in fact, it’s a sign that our most vulnerable communities will need more help than ever,” said Jyotswaroop Bawa, with Rise Economy “California can and must take action this year to improve community health and safety, address student debt, fight for a just climate future, and ensure that California’s laws fairly protect all  the people living in this state .”    

The Building the California Dream Alliance was founded in 2015 to further a progressive, positive vision for California, offering a sharp contrast to the Chamber of Commerce’s cynical, anti-worker, anti-environment agenda. Each year the coalition outlines an ambitious agenda to uplift families, empower workers and communities, and expand opportunities for all Californians to take part in the California Dream.

This year’s agenda includes: 


SB 1446 (Smallwood-Cuevas) – The automation of workers’ jobs and heavy reliance on self-checkout has led to unsafe staffing at retail stores that allow customers to more easily steal products. SB 1446 requires safe staffing levels, better supervision at self-checkout, and a requirement that retail stores provide impact assessments on new technology introduced in the workplace. By increasing staff and supervision at self-checkout, workplaces will be safer and opportunities for theft will be reduced.

AB 2160  (Mckinnor)  – This bill aims to foster parental and child health by allowing pregnant and postpartum people to request delay of sentencing; require that the bill’s presumption be applied when considering bail, diversion, or deferred entry of judgment, and ensure access to pregnancy tests for those eligible and protect the confidentiality of those test results.

CIVIL RIGHTS (disability rights)

SB 1103 (Menjivar) – The Commercial Tenant Protection Act of 2024 will increase key protections that help commercial tenants remain in place, including reduced security deposit fees, increased notice periods, and ensuring lease agreements are written in the same language in which they are negotiated.

SB 912 (Wiener) – The Requiring Objective and Accurate Drug (ROAD) Testing Act prohibits law enforcement from using a colorimetric field drug test (a color test for a single drug ingredient) as probable cause for arrest or as the basis for a drug possession charge prior to a confirmatory test from a crime laboratory. Defendants who plead guilty to simple drug possession because of a colorimetric test that is later proven to be false will be entitled to withdraw their plea and move to dismiss their charges.


AB 1160 (Pacheco) – Although state and federal policymakers have taken action to support student loan borrowers, another type of education-related debt has gone mostly unaddressed: institutional debt – debt owed directly to a higher education institution. Students with this kind of debt face harmful economic consequences and barriers to degree completion. This bill aims to protect students from the economic harms associated with institutional debt and extend critical consumer protections.

AB 2441 (Kalra) – This bill eliminates the unnecessary and harmful mandate on educators to notify law enforcement of certain student behaviors, and eliminates criminal penalties for students who are enrolled in the school district for “willful disturbance” of a public school or meeting. AB 2441 protects students from unnecessary contact with law enforcement, decreases school-related law enforcement referrals and arrests, and ultimately keeps students in school.


SB 1255 (Durazo) – This bill requires the State Water Board to determine, as part of its annual needs assessment, the total cost of providing affordability assistance to small water systems serving fewer than 3,000 households. Unlike large systems, which could fund their own affordability programs, small systems will need support to make water affordable for all households. The bill would provide actionable information to implement the Human Right to Water. 

AB 2870 (Muratsuchi) – This bill would require the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to correct its inaccurate characterization of factory farm gas as the lowest carbon fuel by requiring it to eliminate avoided methane emissions from livestock manure in its calculation of carbon intensity as part of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS).


SB 1137 (Smallwood-Cuevas) – This bill will amend California’s anti-discrimination laws to clarify that these laws protect against discrimination based not just on one protected characteristic, but also because of the intersection or combination of two or more protected bases (e.g., gender and race). Intersectionality is an analytical framework which captures how different forms of discrimination operate together, exacerbate each other, and can result in amplified forms of prejudice and harm. 

AB 3127 (McKinnor) – This bill will modernize California’s medical-mandated reporting law for adult violent injuries to better ensure safety and healthcare access for survivors of domestic, sexual, and interpersonal violence. AB 3127 will limit mandated reporting requirements to firearm and life-threatening injuries only, and also require health providers to offer patients experiencing all forms of domestic and sexual violence a connection to an advocacy organization.


AB 3161 (Bonta)  –  The Equity in Health Care Act, would require the collection of demographic data from hospitals and long-term care to track trends of biased behavior in care. Racism and bias have no place in health care. This measure will provide pathways to support access to civil rights for those who experience trauma from racial discrimination and improve patient trust in the health care system.

AB 3170 (Ortega) – This bill would support patient privacy and protect families by clarifying that medical institutions shall not release a positive toxicology test of a pregnant or perinatal person for non-medical purposes. Seeking obstetric–gynecologic care and medical care for substance use disorder should not expose people to civil penalties, such as loss of custody of their children.


AB 1657 (Wicks) – The Affordable Housing Bond Act of 2024 would place a $10 billion bond on the November ballot to fund the state’s affordable housing programs. It will result in almost 30,000 new homes for very-low-income, extremely-low-income, & homeless families with set-asides for farmworker and tribal housing. It will preserve and or rehabilitate nearly 100,000 new homes. Lastly, it will assist over 13,000  families to become homeowners, resulting in tens of thousands of construction jobs.

SB 1201 (Durazo) – LLC Owner Transparency Act requires the owners of businesses held in LLCs and similar corporate entities to disclose their names in their information filing with the State. This information is key to enforcing a wide range of existing laws designed to protect Californians. Currently, it can take years for justice departments, and other enforcement entities to connect the dots to show that a single person is responsible for repeated violations draining government resources. 


AB 2415 (Carillo) – This bill would allow for undocumented Californians to access the state-funded Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI) which is California’s version of federal supplemental security income (SSI). Currently, CAPI is only accessible to qualified immigrants, excluding undocumented Californians. This bill seeks to ensure undocumented seniors and folks with disabilities have access to the resources they need to age with dignity.

SB 1132 (Durazo)  – This bill would clarify that county health officers have authority to inspect private detention facilities as deemed necessary, including those used to detain immigrants in our state. Despite banning private prisons in 2019, California is still home to 6 private immigrant detention facilities. This bill ensures that public health regulations and standards are upheld in private detention facilities for the health and safety of people detained and working in these facilities.


SB 1089 (Smallwood-Cuevas) This bill would  mitigate the harms of abrupt disruptions in access to food and prescription medication, especially in underserved communities. SB 1089 requires 90-day advance notifications to the affected community, employees, and other stakeholders, before the closure of a grocery store or pharmacy. SB 1089 implements the Reparations Task Force Report recommendations to address food injustice and is a California Legislative Black Caucus priority bill.

SB 1220 (Limon) This bill would protect our vulnerable communities needing access to social services and public benefits and the workers who provide them by prohibiting state and local agencies from contracting out call centers that serve Californians to firms that utilize artificial intelligence instead of California workers. 


AB 518 (Wicks) – This bill would allow workers to access Paid Family Leave to care for seriously ill “chosen family.” Paid Family Leave is entirely funded by worker contributions, but not all families are recognized. It is vital to ensure equity and access to the existing program, especially for LGBTQ+ families and individuals. Chosen family is recognized in job-protected unpaid leave, but workers remain unable to access these vital paid benefits without an inclusive definition of family. 

SB 729 (Menjivar) This bill advances reproductive freedom in California by requiring large group health plans to provide coverage for fertility and infertility care, including IVF. The bill will also update the definition of “infertility” to be inclusive of LGBTQ+ family planning experiences and help to ensure that anyone seeking to build a family has equitable access to infertility treatment and care.


AB 2833 (McKinnor) – The Restorative Justice Integrity Act, will safeguard the integrity of Restorative Justice processes statewide. This legislation seeks to address critical gaps in the current legal framework by providing comprehensive admissibility protections for people who participate in Restorative Justice processes. Under AB 2833, communications made during a Restorative Justice process would be inadmissible in other proceedings.

ACA 8 (Wilson) – Contrary to popular belief, slavery was not abolished by the 13th Amendment. California’s constitution explicitly allows “involuntary servitude.” Involuntary servitude is slavery. Full stop. This is why prison officials can force as “many hours of faithful labor in each and every day,” as CDCR sees fit. ACA 8, The End Slavery in California Act, allows voters to amend the state constitution to prohibit all forms of slavery so incarcerated people can prioritize rehabilitation.


SB 1090 (Durazo) – Paid Family Leave and State Disability Insurance provide workers with 60-70% (as of 2025, up to 90%) of their income when they cannot work due to their health, caring for an ill family, or bonding with a new child. However, workers cannot apply until they have begun unpaid leave. SB 1090 would allow workers to apply before their leave begins, so they can get confirmation that they will receive benefits before they miss out on necessary income and receive benefits sooner.

SB 1061 (Limón) – This bill would prohibit credit reporting agencies (CRAs) from placing medical debt on credit reports, and prevent medical debt information from being shared with CRAs. Credit reporting of medical debt depresses credit scores and can compromise a family’s long-term financial stability. This bill will both remove a barrier to Californians’ accessing health care and increase access to credit, housing, employment and more.


SB 1337 (Gonzalez) – This bill will continue to reform the referendum process to curb abuse from corporations by requiring enhanced disclosure during the referendum signature-gathering process, including the top three funders printed on each signature page.

SB 1047 (Wiener) – This bill would (1) establish a publicly owned and operated cloud computing cluster (“CalCompute”) to democratize access to the critical computing power necessary to develop AI in the public interest and provide a check on market concentration; (2) require common sense safety testing of the largest AI models to prevent severe harms to public safety; and (3) require fair, transparent and nondiscriminatory pricing of large models and computing clusters.


AB 2499 (Schiavo) – This bill empowers survivors of violence to secure their safety without sacrificing their economic security.  It allows survivors to take leave from work for safety and recovery-related reasons, allows their family members to take unpaid time off to support them and use their paid sick days for covered purposes, allows both to access safety-related accommodations at work, and streamlines access and enforcement of these critical rights.

SB 1345 (Smallwood-Cuevas) – This bill would strengthen the Fair Chance Act 2017 – employment protections for people with convictions by defending workers’ privacy interests in their criminal records and requiring employers to show business necessity to deny employment based on a conviction.


ACCE, Alliance for Boys and Men of Color, ACLU California Action, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Southern California, Black Women for Wellness Action Project , Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, California Attorneys For Criminal Justice (CACJ), California Calls, California Donor Table,  California Domestic Workers Coalition, California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA), California Environmental Justice Alliance, California Environmental Voters, California Food & Farming Network , Californians for Safety and Justice, California Labor Federation, California Immigrant Policy Center, California NOW, California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, California Reinvestment Coalition, Catalyst California, Center for Responsible Lending, Child Care Law Center, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), Consumer Attorneys of California, California Chapter (CAIR-CA), Courage California, Disability Rights California, Drug Policy Alliance, Earthjustice , Economic Security Project Action (ESPA), Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, End Poverty in California, Equality California, Equal Rights Advocates, Fossil Free California,  Friends Committee on Legislation of California, GRACE/End Child Poverty CA, Harm Reduction Coalition,  Health Access, Housing California,  Housing Now!,Indivisible: State Strong,  Initiate Justice,  Latino Coalition For A Healthy California , Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights of the Bay Area, Legal Aid at Work,  Lutheran Office of Public Policy, NextGen California , PICO California, PolicyLink, Public Advocates, Reproductive Freedom for All California, SEIU California, Sierra Club California, Smart Justice,TechEquity Collaborative , The California Coalition for Worker Power,   UFCW, UnCommon Law, Voices for Progress, Western Center on Law & Poverty, Worker-Owned Recovery California Coalition


We are united in our commitment to the equal worth and dignity of every Californian, inclusive of race, gender, sexual orientation, immigration status, disability, health status, or age.

Together, we will fight for our communities – for broadly shared prosperity and economic security, educational and job opportunities, a clean environment and a healthy planet, quality and comprehensive healthcare for all, reproductive rights, responsive and democratic government, a strong safety net, and justice for all.

California must do a better job of putting our communities and people first – ahead of profit or political gain, and we are working together in order to realize that goal.

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