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February 2013  
Winter Newsletter
In This Issue
JPAC welcomes new Association Director
JPAC Welcomes New Board Chair
Advocacy Day: May 20-21
Elected Officials Speak up in Support of Israel
State of the Budget
Profile: Cliff Berg
JPAC Board Meets with Members of the Legislature
Quick Links
2013 Advocacy Day


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JPAC welcomes new Association Director, Julie Zeisler

Julie comes to JPAC after five years with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's office of Homeland Security and Public Safety.  Julie was responsible for managing federal and state grant programs totaling $40 million.  She has a strong track record of grant writing and brought close to $32 million in competitive federal grants to the City of LA.  She coordinated public safety programs for LA in the areas of gang reduction and domestic violence intervention. She served as the Mayor's liaison to the City's Domestic Violence Task Force.  Additionally, she helped launch the Mayor's DV initiative to raise awareness about domestic violence and created partnerships between the private and public sectors.  Prior to joining the Mayor's Office, Julie worked for the Community Redevelopment Agency, and worked on marketing and development for a South LA non-profit.  Julie began her career at the Koret Foundation, a San Francisco based philanthropy.


Dear JPAC members, friends, and colleagues:

Welcome to the winter 2013 JPAC newsletter! We are excited tohighlight our activities over the past few months and are looking forward to a very exciting legislative session and Advocacy Day in May.

Since November, JPAC has endorsed the successful passage of Proposition 30 on the State ballot, welcomed 39 new legislators to the Assembly and Senate, and successfully obtained statements of support for Israel from many legislators during the recent war with Hamas.

We are actively following the new legislative session and monitoring Governor Brown's proposed budget, which will inform our lobbying priorities this year. Due to the passage of Proposition 30, we are optimistic that social service agencies will see fewer cuts compared to previous years.

January 1st saw the transition to our new Board chair, as Michael Sweet passed the gavel to Dave Rand at the January Board meeting in Sacramento. Thank you to Michael for his hard work and dedication to JPAC's mission.  We also welcomed our new Association Director, Julie Zeisler, in October. 

And finally, we are gearing up for Advocacy Day, taking place in May 2013! We hope you plan to join us this year in Sacramento! Please register online at www.jpac-cal.org.

Thank you for your ongoing support and involvement with JPAC. Please share this e-newsletter with friends and colleagues, and help spread the word and build support for our efforts.

JPAC Welcomes New Board Chair, Dave Rand



Dave Rand assumed the JPAC Chair position in January, receiving the gavel from Michael Sweet, our immediate past chair.   


Dave Rand is currently an attorney at Armbruster, Goldsmith, & Delvac LLP, specializing in land use law and governmental regulatory matters. His expertise includes various aspects of municipal law, the planning and entitlement process, the California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA"), the Subdivision Map Act, and the Coastal Act. He has represented clients on a wide range of office, residential, retail and mixed use development projects.


Dave's broader experience includes an extensive background in government and politics. He served as the Political Director for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee ("AIPAC") where he managed AIPAC's political affairs in a large territory covering California, Arizona, Nevada and Hawaii. During this time, he built extensive relationships with elected officials and government staff members at the federal, state and local levels. Dave also previously served as a "Special Assistant" to Governor Gray Davis and as a statewide initiative campaign specialist at the international public relations firm Burson-Marsteller. He has also been active in numerous statewide and local political campaigns.


Dave has also been extensively involved with a number of local business advocacy organizations, as well as in his local community in the San Fernando Valley. He is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Valley Industry and Commerce Association ("VICA") and served as a Co-Chair of the VICA Land Use Committee. He is also a past member of the Board of Directors of the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley and the Valley Community Legal Foundation.    

In recognition of his civic involvement, the San Fernando Valley Business Journal named Dave one of the "40 under 40" an honor given to the top 40 young leaders in the Valley under 40 years of age.


Dave is thrilled to be the incoming Chair of JPAC, and is looking forward to help JPAC develop and promote statewide policies and initiatives of interest to California's Jewish community.


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CapitolJoin us for the JPAC Advocacy Day in Sacramento:

May 20-21


Last year, over 100 Jewish community activists from throughout California came to Sacramento to help to ensure a brighter future for ALL Californians by attending the annual JPAC Advocacy Day - we hope you can join us this year.



Click HERE to visit the 2013 JPAC Advocacy Day in Sacramento webpage for more information and to register.
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Elected Officials Speak up in Support of Israel

Members of the State Senate and Assembly have been a vital voice in support of an unshakeable US commitment to Israel and it's security as it faces increased threats in a region in turmoil. As Hamas rockets rained down on Israeli civilians, California's elected officials spoke up.  JPAC thanks Speaker John A. Pérez,  Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, Assemblymember Bob Blumenfield, Assemblymember Mike Feuer, Senator Ted W. Lieu, Senator Sharon Runner, and Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff for their public support of Israel. 

State of the Budget
By: Monica Miller, Governmental Advocates

The Legislature officially returned on January 7, 2013 to begin the first year of the two year session. The Governor released his budget on January 10, 2013 and his presented his state of the state on January 24, 2013.   We have also passed our legislative counsel deadline on January 25, 2013, so they have hit the ground running.


With the passage of Prop. 30, there is extreme optimism among the Democrats. For many, this is the first year they aren't facing the difficult choice of what programs they may have to cut. The budget, as presented by the Governor, has a long road ahead. There are some fundamental policy changes, especially as it relates to Medi-cal and the proposed expansion. The Administration is looking at the possibility of "realigning" the Medi-Cal program to the counties. While many in the capitol are curious about this, there is also a great deal of concern about how this will work, given that the state is already set up to provide this program. Moving it to local governments has many challenges, such as the funding mechanism and ensuring counties are made whole with both state and federal funding. Also, the federal CMS must sign-off on the proposal as well. This will be a major discussion this year and many legislators are now saying that this will need to be brought into the policy arena.


The Governor also called his much anticipated special session on healthcare reform. This opened officially on Monday, January 28 with the first bills introduced. The special session will run concurrent with the regular session; however leadership is still clarifying exactly what will be dealt with in this session as it relates to health care reform and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).


The legislature is also beginning to discuss who will possibly be the next democratic leaders as both the Senate Pro Tem and the Speaker will term-out of office in 2014. The biggest issue at hand related to leadership is will it be a "freshman" meaning someone just elected or will it be a "sophomore" for their last two years as they continue to groom the next class. We will probably know who is going to be chosen by March of 2014.


Although many bills have begun to be introduced, we are seeing very few at this time. Many of the new members have expressed that they want to take their time to see what the process is like so we anticipate a potential decrease in the bill load, but we will need to wait until the deadline of February 22, 2013.


Profile: Cliff Berg 

By: Julie Zeisler 


The first thing I learned about Cliff Berg is that everybody knows Cliff Berg.  Cliff has been a fixture in Sacramento for over 30 years, spending the last 17 years at Governmental Advocates, a premier lobbying and consulting firm in Sacramento.  JPAC has relied heavily on Cliff for our successes in Sacramento and our close relationships with legislators.   


I caught up with him in the middle of his busy schedule to ask some critical questions.


Q: What are some of the most memorable victories that you worked on for JPAC?

A: Some of my most proud moments were achieving funding for the LA Jewish Federation building in Los Angeles and the Jewish Community Center in San Francisco, protecting programs for Jewish Family Services as long as feasible, serving the frail elderly with programs such as MSSP and Adult Day Health Care at a time when the state budget deficit was destroying our safety net, restoring Israel Study Abroad program in public Universities and Colleges, and securing passage of Iran Sanctions legislation.


Q: What most interests or motivates you about the political process in Sacramento? 

A:  I joined the political process in Sacramento when I was 21 and a senior in college, so I've been here most of my adult life.  My job provides the opportunity to work on issues of importance to the Jewish Community and that impacts Jews in California and the country whether they be anti-Semitism, hate crimes, security for Israel,  and human services programs.  Sacramento offers the chance to make a difference.

Q:Where do you see JPAC in the next five years?

A: JPAC has served as the voice of the Jewish Community in the State Capitol.  Hopefully we can continue to expand the engagement of California Jewish communities, organizations and individuals to help make California even better.


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JPAC Board Meets with Members of the Legislature
Assembly member Mark Stone

Assembly member Marc Levine

Assembly member Holly Mitchell
At the JPAC Board meeting in January, Board members met with legislators to hear about their priorities, ask questions, and thank them for their work on our behalf.  We met with Assembly member Marc Levine (10), Assembly member Mark Stone (29), Assembly member Anthony Rendon (63), Senator Kevin De Leon (22), Assembly member Richard Bloom (50), and Assembly member Holly Mitchell (54).

Each spoke eloquently about the issues they are most passionate about, including the Medi-Cal transition and making sure our healthcare system is viable and positive for all Californians. 
Representing both the north and south, these legislators are strong supporters of JPAC and what we stand for.  As we begin to form and pursue our legislative agenda for 2013, we anticipate that they were be allies and help us accomplish our short and long terms legislative goals.
JPAC logo small JPAC is the largest single-state coalition of Jewish organizations in the nation, representing Jewish communities and nonprofit organizations across California. Comprised of most of the Jewish Federations from communities throughout California and a myriad of Jewish community advocacy organizations, we advocate on behalf of Jewish social service agencies, traditional community concerns, and broadly shared values that affect the citizens of our State. We make certain California's Jewish community acts with one united voice in Sacramento on a variety of issues of importance to the Jewish community and in order to advocate for all of California's most vulnerable populations.

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