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JPAC Advocacy Day 2014 a Success!
On May 12-13, JPAC held our 2014 Advocacy Day in Sacramento.  Attended by more than 85 advocates representing 15 organizations from around California, JPAC advocates met with over 50 legislators, lobbied on three issues of great importance to the greater Jewish community, honored Assembly member Nancy Skinner with Legislator of the Year award, and held panel discussions on the social service safety net and Campus Climate with esteemed members of the Legislature and issue experts. 


We put our Jewish values into action as we lobbied our elected representatives on anti-bullying and anti-human trafficking legislation and increasing funding for the state's most vulnerable, and heard directly from high-ranking public officials on issues affecting all Californians.

JPAC Advocacy Day is an annual mission to Sacramento that brings together lay leaders and staff from Jewish organizations all over California, including Jewish Federations, Jewish Community Relations Councils, and Jewish Family and Children's Services, as well as national organizations including the Anti-Defamation League, Hadassah, and the Jewish Labor Committee.   It is an opportunity to come together in Sacramento and strengthen relationships, discuss policy, and represent the greater Jewish community statewide to our legislators.    


Nancy Goldberg presents Assemblymember Nancy Skinner with Legislator of the Year Award
Abby Porth (L) and Rabbi Doug Kahn (R) of the San Francisco JCRC with Senator Mark Leno
JPAC Honoree Floyd Glen-Lambert (L) with Jewish Labor Committee LA advocates Leslie Gersicoff and Angel Calvo




Social Services panel discussion featured (from left) Assemblymember Nancy Skinner, moderator Claire Solot, Senator Carol Liu, and Scott Graves of the CA Budget Project 


Campus Climate panel discussion featured (from left) Senator Lois Wolk, Assemblymember Shirley Weber, UC Berkeley student Avi Levine, and Nancy Appel of the ADL
Thank you to our member organizations:   


Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles

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

Jewish Family Service of San Diego

Jewish Federation of San Diego County

Jewish Federation of Greater Long Beach and North Orange County

Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley

Jewish Federation of the Sacramento Region

Jewish Federation of Santa Barbara

Jewish Labor Committee Western Region

Hadassah Southern California

Anti-Defamation League

30 Years After

Jewish Vocational Service

From left: Gia Daniller-Katz, Assemblymember Cheryl Brown, Senator Marty Block, Paula Simon, and Kerry Welland
JPAC Advocacy Day Lobbying   

JPAC advocates met with over 50 senators and assembly members at the capitol and lobbied them to support three bills and two social service safety net programs.   


  • SB 840 (Lara):This bill would increase school safety by improving the handling of bullying and discrimination in public schools
  • SB 1165 (Mitchell, Block): This bill would add sexual abuse and sex trafficking prevention education to the sexual health education for junior high and high school students

 During our legislative appointments, JPAC advocates reported a overwhelmingly high rate of support from legislators on our policy priorities for this year, and all of the advocates ended the day with a great deal of satisfaction that their voices were not only heard, but welcomed and respected by our California law makers.


As a result of JPAC lobbying, Governor Brown restored funding for the State Emergency Food Assistance Program (SEFAP) to $5 million in 2014-2015 which is vital to help reduce hunger.  We successfully got SSI/SSP into the budget conference committee; however once they took up the social services programs the restoration was not adopted. The budget conferees were disappointed that the Administration chose to not support this item and they hope to revisit this next budget cycle. 

The two human trafficking bills passed out of their Committees and will now go to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. Both are expected to pass.  Unfortunately, SB 840 (Lara) did not pass out of the Appropriations Committee.


JPAC Legislative Update

JPAC Supports Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 121-Relative to the memorandum of understanding between Israel and California.


On Wednesday, March 5, 2014, Governor Jerry Brown and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed a Memorandum of Understanding between Israel and California to promote cooperation in economic development, research and trade.

This significant partnership prompted the State Legislature to draft a resolution calling for support and implementation of this partnership. 


You can read the resolution here.  Read our letter of support here.


JPAC Supports SB 910 (Pavley)-Domestic violence: restraining orders.


JPAC supported Senator Pavley's bill on clarifying restraining order interpretations in domestic violence cases.  The bill was approved unanimously by the Assembly Public Safety Committee - 7-0 vote on June 10, 2014.  The measure now goes to Assembly Appropriations Committee to review the bill's costs to the state.

Read the bill here.  Read our letter of support here.


JPAC Supports Cap and Trade Initiative to Promote Transit-Oriented Development and Affordable Housing  


On June 3, 2014, the Senate Budget Committee heard Senator Steinberg's and Senator DeLeon's Cap and Trade proposal that targets most of the money at "smart growth" initiatives, transit, affordable housing and helping poor areas in heavily polluted areas.   The funds are intended to help off-set Green House Gas Emissions (GHG) which was set up in earlier legislation such as SB 535 in 2012 and SB 375 in 2009. The proposal was broken up into a formula base so each area could be addressed in a way to be helpful to bring down our GHG usage as well as provide for sustainable communities as set forth in SB 375.

With the passage of SB 535 in 2012 there is already a law on the books that requires 25% of these funds to specifically go to disadvantaged communities.  


The final budget includes a three pronged approach to the investment of cap and trade auction revenues, including an FY 2014-15 appropriation of $872 million, a long-term appropriation plan for FY 2015-16 and beyond, and accountability measures. Further, the FY 2014-15 state budget commits the remaining $400 million from the FY 2013-14 cap and trade loan to the High Speed Rail project.


The deal also proposes to allocate future auction revenues, beginning in FY 2015-16, as follows:

  • 35% continuously appropriated for transportation, affordable housing and sustainable communities
  • 15% for transit including intercity rail and low carbon transit operations
  • 20% for affordable housing and sustainable communities
  • 25% continuously appropriated for High Speed Rail
  • 40% annually appropriated in the budget or through legislation for low carbon transportation, natural resources programs, energy programs, and other GHG reducing program.

In terms of investment in sustainable communities, there were a large number of groups advocating for three main modifications to the Governor's January Budget, including more funding for sustainable communities infrastructure, local street and road maintenance and rehabilitation as an eligible use within any sustainable communities program, and a regional governance structure that would require regional transportation agencies to develop competitive grant programs for counties, cities, and transit agencies. The $140 million in FY 2014-15 and the 10% of total auction revenues in FY 2015-16 and beyond that will be continuously appropriated, include active transportation projects including bicycle and pedestrian facilities and capital projects that implement complete streets as an eligible use. Also, at full implementation, the cap and trade auctions could generate up to $5 billion annually that are available for a competitive share of up to $500 million in sustainable communities' funds each year. Regarding the governance structure, the Strategic Growth Council (SGC) is required to develop implementation guidelines and selection criteria for the program, which does not prohibit the SGC from delegating competitive grant programs at the regional level with strict state guidance.


From JPAC's perspective, there are a number of wins in the overall package though much work remains to ensure the investment of cap and trade auction revenues provide for the maximum cost-effective greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

JPAC collaborated with Reform CA on our support for this issue.  Read a study about the issue here. Read our Support letter here.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a long-time JPAC member, recently celebrated its 100th anniversary of "fighting the defamation of the Jewish people and securing justice fair treatment for all." ADL has five regional offices in California (located in San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego) that work together to address issues that affect individual communities and the state as a whole.  Issues of campus climate on UC and CSU campuses often take center stage; most recently, ADL responded to attempts by Students for Justice in Palestine to discredit candidates for UCLA student body office who took trips to Israel sponsored by specific Jewish groups, including ADL.  The newly formed Assembly Select Committee on Campus Climate invited ADL to testify regarding our leadership in responding to hate on campus. ADL also continues to be a trailblazer on anti-bullying efforts - creating innovative education tools to assist students, parents, teachers and administrators.  A key legislative priority for ADL this year was Senator Lara's SB 840, which required training for school employees, includes procedures for referring targets of bullying to counseling services, and mandates reporting of all incidents of bias-based bullying-not just those that lead to expulsion or suspension.  For more information about ADL, visit

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Jewish Public Affairs Committee of California (JPAC)

The Jewish Public Affairs Committee of California (JPAC) is the largest single-state coalition of Jewish organizations in the nation. Comprised of local Jewish Federations, Jewish Community Relations Committees and Councils, and other Jewish community advocacy groups from throughout California we advocate on behalf of Jewish social service agencies, traditional community concerns, and broadly shared values that affect the citizens of our State.

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