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January 2014
Jewish Public Affairs Committee of CA (JPAC)
Winter 2014 Newsletter

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JPAC Member Organizations: 

Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles

Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco


Jewish Community Relations Council of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin, Sonoma, Alameda, and Contra Costa Counties


Jewish Family Service of Los Angeles


Jewish Family and Children's Services of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin, and Sonoma Counties


United Jewish Federation of San Diego County


Jewish Family Service of San Diego


Jewish Federation of Greater Long Beach and North Orange County


Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley


Jewish Federation of the Sacramento Region


Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara

Anti-Defamation League Pacific Northwest Region

Hadassah Southern California

Jewish Labor Committee LA

Jewish Vocational Services LA

30 Years After


2014 Calendar of Events

January 30: JPAC Board Meeting in Los Angeles

February 21: Last day for bills to be introduced

TBD: Lobbying with JPAC event in LA

April 25: Lobbying 101 event in San Diego

May 12: JPAC Board meeting in Sacramento and Legislative Reception

May 13: JPAC Advocacy Day in Sacramento

June 15: State budget gets passed
Dear Friends,

Happy New Year! As we kick off the 2014 Legislative Session, we are pleased to be joined by new JPAC member organizations and new friends within the California Jewish community who are eager to work to improve the lives of all Californians.  We are looking forward not only to our annual Advocacy Day in May, taking place in Sacramento on May 12-13, but also to local events around the State!  Our calendar of events can be checked out in this edition.  JPAC's next Board of Directors meeting will take place on January 30th in Los Angeles, where we will discuss our legislative priorities for 2014.  We are looking forward to an exciting and eventful 2014 legislative session and hope you will join us in Sacramento on May 12 and 13 to lobby your elected officials on issues of importance to the California Jewish community.


Dave Rand, Chair
Julie Zeisler, Association Director
Save the Date for JPAC's 2014 Advocacy Day
May 12-13, 2014

JPAC Advocacy Day is an excellent opportunity to build and strengthen relationships with elected officials, gain insight into the policy issues that you care about, and represent the greater Jewish community statewide to our legislators. This one and half day event begins with a Legislators' Reception on Monday evening where attendees rub elbows with legislators and their staff.  On Tuesday, we hear from a variety of speakers and subject-matter experts that have included Bill Lockyer, Kevin de Leon, Nancy Skinner, and Darrell Steinberg.  The event culminates with the opportunity for attendees to go to the Capitol and directly lobby elected representatives to support legislation on key issues.

Registration is now open! Please register on our website: www.jpac-cal.org


The Legislative Breakdown:What We're Watching

  1. SB 545 (Anderson), a bill that protects the children of domestic violence survivors.  It will be heard on 1/14/14
  2. The American Studies Association's boycott of Israeli Universities.  Assemblymember John A. Perez Assembly Speaker John A. P�rez (D-Los Angeles) announced the creation of the Assembly Select Committee on Campus Climate, which will investigate issues pertaining to student welfare on college campuses. Assembly member Shirley N. Weber (D-San Diego) will Chair the Committee
  3. AB 659 (Nazarian), a bill that requires the State Department of Education to include the Armenian Genocide in history curriculum.  It will be heard in the Education comte on 1/15/14  
  4. AB 518: Community-Based Adult Services, is continuation bill from 2013   


California's Budget  
On January 9th the Governor released his proposed budget for 2014-15. As expected, the budget proposal reflects a brighter revenue picture, which has yielded increased general fund revenue and an operating surplus for next year. Some highlights of the budget include:


  • An infusion of $10 billion in new Proposition 98 funding this year. For K-12 schools, funding levels will increase by $3,410 per student through 2017-18, including an increase of more than $2,188 per student in 2014-15 over 2011-12 levels.   
  • The second year of guaranteed increases in funding of $142.2 million each for the University of California and the California State University systems
  • $850 million of Cap and Trade auction proceeds to support efforts to reduce greenhouse gases, with an emphasis on assisting disadvantaged communities.  
  • $619 million to help expand water storage capacity, improve drinking water in communities where available supplies are substandard, increase flood protection and increase regional self-reliance. 
  • $815 million package of investment to address critical deferred maintenance projects in state parks, on highways, local streets and roads and at K-12 schools, community colleges, courts, prisons, state hospitals and other state facilities.
  • $670 million in new General Fund dollars to expand Medi-Cal benefits, including mental health, substance use disorder, adult dental and specialized nutrition services.
  • $1.6 billion to a rainy day fund.
The Governor's budget proposals will be fully vetted through the Budget Subcommittee process, which will commence next month.The budget in its entirety may be found here.
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Strengthening our Ties to Israel
By: State Assembly Member Richard Bloom (AD 50)

Our study tour to Israel has been marked by extreme weather, from snow in Jerusalem to freezing temperatures and gale-force wind on the Golan Heights. Our group of local and state legislators has met with scholars, advocates and government officials representing a variety of perspectives and backgrounds. My goal for this first trip to Israel as an Assemblymember is to build on the already strong economic and cultural ties with California.


On Thursday, we joined Ilan, a former IDF paratrooper and current Kibbutznik for a bumpy jeep ride through the Golan Heights. Our destination: a remote IDF outpost overlooking Syria. Our hosts, an elite squad of soldiers, pointed out villages, towns and strategic roads, in some cases less than 1,000 meters from our position. Some of these places, we learned, are held by rebel troops with a common enemy but different goals, others by the Syrian government. While they are distracted by their war with one another, they frequently take potshots at the Israeli outpost as if to say "don't think that we have forgotten about you.


As we stood listening in freezing temperatures and braced against a stiff wind, suddenly a loud explosion was heard. A few minutes later, gunfire crackled and echoed against an otherwise silent landscape. Syria is at war.


Everywhere we go in Israel (and a brief journey to Ramallah), we are reminded that Israel is at once strong and resilient, yet fragile and complicated.  As we approach the end of this brief visit, I leave with a better understanding of the importance of my legislative mission.  


Assemblymember Bloom attended the 2013 study tour to Israel organized by the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.  Each year, the LA Federation's Community Engagement Strategic Initiative organizes and leads a delegation to Israel for Los Angeles area elected officials. These trips work to strengthen the relationship between Los Angeles and Israel, foster trade, security and cultural relations and help support a secure State of Israel.



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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