nu    neJusticeCalifornia Communities United Institute Newsletter

www.CalComUI.org

 Activism With A Heart 
 
 
Justice                                                                        
February, 2012

In This Issue - Clickable Links To Articles
We Made A Fairly Good Start
Government Sanctioned LGBT Discrimination Challenged
Who Represents You?
California's Unemployment Rate Slowly Improves
Join California Communities United Institute
A Victory For Women's Health
And A Setback For Women's Health
Finding Gold On The Legislature's Web Site
AARP And the LGBT Community
Some Latino Legislators Hurt Latinos

 

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We Made A Fairly Good Start

Miss Liberty
Justice
 

In January of this year, the members and friends of California Communities United Institute (CalComUI) delivered 17,728 E-mails, letters, FAXes, and phone calls to California's legislators and to members of the California Community College's Board of Governors.

 

During that time we addressed 7 policy issues or bills in our communications. Six of them were bills before the legislature, and the remaining one was a set of task force recommendations to make improvements to California's Community College system.

 

The task force recommendations were approved by the Board of Governors of the Community Colleges. Three of the bills won their votes, one of the bills failed its vote, and two bills were withdrawn by their authors, presumably because they did not have enough votes to gain approval of the bills.

 

So we succeeded four out of seven times, for a success rate of 57%. Interested people may see a report on the bills and issues we worked on. The report is posted on our web site. The bill numbers listed in the report are clickable links. Clicking on a bill number will enable you to see a copy of the bill to remind you of what it was about.

 

To see the report, click on the following link and them scroll down to, and click on "Accomplishments In January, 2012."

http://www.calcomui.org/takeactionnow.html

 

Could we have done better? To read the answer to that question, and the rest of this article, click here.

 

Government Sanctioned LGBT Discrimination Challenged

Fresno Ad 

In 1990 the California Legislature adopted legislation providing long term care insurance for state and local government employees, retirees, and their family members. It is called the CalPERS Long -Term Care Program.

 

The insurance covers the cost of in home health care services, and nursing home care, up to certain dollar limits, in the event that either or both become necessary. The program is administered by the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS).

 

The 1990 legislation did not, and California law still does not, allow the domestic partners of government employees and retirees to purchase insurance under the program.

 

California does recognize the marriages of state and local government employees, who married same sex partners in the summer of 2008. However, even these spouses are ineligible for coverage under the plan.

 

These exclusions are being challenged in federal court by the Legal Aid Society- Employment Law Center and the firm of Zelle Hoffman Voebel And Mason. They name the US Treasury, the IRS, and CalPERS as defendants in the suit.

 

To read the rest of this article, click here.

 

Boyce Hinman

 

Who Represents You?

 

Would you like the names and contact information of your elected officials? To find that information please click
http://www.calcomui.org/whorepresentsme.html
 
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California's Unemployment Rate Slowly Improves

Unemployment Sign 

According to California's Employment Development Department (EDD) the state's unemployment rate (seasonally adjusted) stood at ll.1% in December, 2011. That was down .2% from the prior month.

 

In December 2010 the seasonally adjusted rate had been at 12.6%.

 

As has been true all through this economic downturn, only the state of Nevada has a higher unemployment rate (12.6%). Curiously, North Dakota has the lowest unemployment rate (3.3%). They have a booming oil industry which brings lots of jobs.

 

In California, 17 counties still have unemployment rates of 15% or higher. As has been true all along, Imperial County had the highest unemployment rate in December (26.8%). However, that shows considerable progress. Its unemployment rate had been as high as 33%.

 

You can see a copy of the  overall unemployment rate for California, and by county, and an overview of the California labor market in December, by clicking on the following link and then clicking on the links at the bottom of the web based copy of this article. Here is the link to get you started:

 

California Unemployment Data - December 2012

 

Boyce Hinman

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Join California Communities United Institute

 
To join California Communities United Insitute, click
 here
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A Victory For Women's Health

 

Girl Taking Pregnancy TestA recent decision announced by the Obama administration means that many women who work for church related and religious institutions, and whose health insurance is provided by those institutions, will be able to get insurance coverage for abortion drugs, sterilization, birth control procedures, and birth control related supplies and medications.

 

The federal government said that religious affiliated employers, that provide health insurance for their employees, will have to offer health insurance to their employees which offers the above services and supplies, and to do so at no cost to the employee.

 

The new rules do exclude institutions whose primary purposes are to promote religion. So, churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, which provide health insurance for their employees, will not be required to have insurance that covers birth control and family planning services, medications or other supplies.

 

To read the rest of this article, click here.

 

Boyce Hinman

________

 

And A Setback For Women's Health

Asian Women 

Planned Parenthood is an important provider of breast cancer education and screening services to tens of thousands of women across the country. This is particularly true for women on limited income. But Planned Parenthood has just received a major blow to this program.

 

For at least five years, The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure foundation has provided major funding in support of Planned Parenthood's breast cancer education and screening program. Last year Komen gave $650,000 to Planned Parenthood for this purpose.

 

In part, as a result of this funding, in the past five years, Planned Parenthood has provided breast exams to over 170,000 women on limited income. However, on January 31, Komen announced that it would no longer provide financial support to the Planned Parenthood program. This puts Planned Parenthood's breast cancer screening and education program at risk.

 

To read the rest of this article click here.

 

Boyce Hinman

 

Finding Gold On The Legislature's Web Site

California State Capitol
State Legislature
 

California Communities United Institute has just placed an exciting, and user friendly, tutorial on its web site. The purpose of the tutorial is to make it easy for advocates to mine the California Legislature's web site for a wide array of useful information.

 

The tutorial was created using Power Point. It can be used by anyone who has Adobe Acrobat Reader on his or her computer. For those who don't have it, we provide a way to download a free copy of the software. You will find a link to the download process on the Legislative Tutorial page of the web site.

 

The tutorial is designed so that each page of it covers a different aspect of the legislature's web site.

 

A table of contents at the beginning of the tutorial has live links that take you to any page in the tutorial. That way, if you are only interested in one bit of information on the legislature's web site, you can click on the link for the page that covers that bit of information. By clicking on that link you are taken immediately to that page.

 

To take the tutorial out for a spin, click on the followning link and then click on the link at the bottom of the resulting page.

 

Finding Gold On The Legislature's Web Site.

 

Boyce Hinman

________

 

AARP And the LGBT Community

Gay Men Wedding Ring 

AARP is an organization that champions the needs of senior citizens in this nation. Recently it launched a very interesting new "Pride" page on its web site. The page is meant to serve the LGBT senior community. People may visit the page by clicking on the following link:

 

http://www.aarp.org/pride

 

The web page declares that it " is designed to spotlight articles on news, personal finance, relationships, travel and other topics of concern to older gay Americans, and their family and friends. It also provides information about AARP's positions and advocacy efforts in this arena."

 

The web site has links to pages on: member benefits. health, money, work & retirement, personal growth, politics & society, relationships, and love & sex.

 

A cursory review of the AARP Pride page found relatively little on the site that refers specifically to the LGBT community. It appears that AARP is to be commended for its effort. However, they need to do more work to make their Pride page really relevant to the LGBT community.

 

Boyce Hinman

 

Some Latino Legislators Hurt Latinos

Doctor And Patient 

On January 26 SB 810 was voted on in the California Senate. It failed with 19 yes votes, 15 no votes and 6 abstentions. It needed 21 yes votes for passage on the Senate floor. It was short just two yes votes.

 

The author, Senator Mark Leno, could have brought it up for a vote again, on or before January 31, but chose not to do so because he just did not have the 21 votes needed to gain passage of the bill.

 

On January 26, two Latino Senators (Calderon and Correa) voted against the bill. Three Latino Senators abstained (Padilla, Rubio, and Vargas).

 

SB 810 would have created a "single payer" health insurance program which would have provided affordable health insurance for virtually all the residents of California.

 

A member of Senator Padilla's office said the Senator abstained because he supports the federal health care reform legislation bill approved by Congress in 2010, sometimes called "Obama Care." That may have been why all the Senators listed above voted as they did.

 

However, that view ignores two issues.

 

To read the rest of this article, click here.

 

Boyce Hinman

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