Protesters "die-in" at the Capitol

Sep 3, 2015

Protesters staged a “die-in” at the capitol Wednesday, rallying in support of legislation they believe will reign in racial profiling by police.  The demonstration moved from the capitol grounds to the hallway in front of Governor Jerry Brown’s office – but the governor wasn’t there to hear them.  Christopher Cadelago and Alexei Koseff, Sacramento Bee:


“Chanting “Black lives matter!” and staging a massive “die-in,” scores of people rallied Wednesday at the state Capitol in support of legislation that seeks to stamp out racial profiling by law enforcement.


“Protesters marched through the streets and then crowded the halls outside the office of Gov. Jerry Brown, demanding his signature for Assembly Bill 953, [by Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, D-San Diego] which still must clear the state Senate before it reaches the governor’s desk. It would require law enforcement to gather and report data on stops, something advocates hope will illuminate the extent of racial profiling.”


And, according to numbers released the same day by the California Department of Justice, it looks like there may be quite a bit of racial profiling going onTami Abdollah and Amanda Lee Myers, AP:


“Just 6 percent of Californians are African American, yet they are involved in 17 percent of all arrests in the state and a quarter of in-custody deaths, according to what officials called a nationally unprecedented release of data Wednesday.


“The data paints a clearer picture of the racial disparity in arrests and deaths across California and comes as a number of high-profile, police-involved deaths of young black men has ignited a national debate on police practices.


“In addition to being arrested and dying in disproportionate numbers, black juvenile males who are arrested are booked into jail at a 25 percent higher rate than whites, according to the data, released by the California Department of Justice on a searchable, state-run website.”   


Speaking of searchable state databases, Secretary of State Alex Padilla unveiled a new search tool developed by MapLight to help sort through campaign contribution records.


“The search tool, developed by the nonprofit MapLight, takes nearly 15 years of Cal-Access contribution filings and presents them in a simpler and quicker search engine. People can look for specific candidates, donors, or time periods and download the results.


“Someone, for example, could search for specific contributors to Jerry Brown campaign committees from 2005 through 2010. Donation data will be updated daily. Padilla called the search function ‘a marked improvement’ over the main Cal-Access search tool, which debuted in 1999.”


The legislature sent several bills to the governor’s desk Wednesday, including measures that would ban concealed weapons on school campuses, require state pension funds to divest their holdings in coal, and make it a felony for police to alter or delete video evidence.  Patrick McGreevy and Melanie Mason, LA Times:


“The gun legislation passed the state Senate as the latest in a series of gun controls approved by the Legislature — and in many cases signed into law — in recent years.


“It would prohibit those with concealed-weapons permits from bringing the firearms onto college and K-12 campuses without permission from school officials.


"’Many would be surprised, as I was, to learn that California law currently allows concealed firearms on any campus, even on an elementary school campus,’ said the bill's author, Sen. Lois Wolk (D-Davis). She said her proposal would be ‘helping our school officials control firearms on their campuses.’"


One bill that has not emerged from the legislative shuffle is SB350, a wide-ranging climate change bill that has seen scorching opposition from the oil industry.  Moderate Democrats are widely seen as the key to the bill’s success or failure, making Assemblyman Henry Perea (D-Fresno), leader of the Mods, the guy to watch.  More Melanie Mason:


“Right now, a significant portion of Democrats, mostly moderates, are withholding their support [of SB350]. Perea may not hold the keys to all of their votes, but he's become their most public spokesman. And he's not quite sure where they — and he — will end up.


"’I want to say yes,’ Perea said. ‘I want to give people the opportunity to help me say yes. But I'm not going to just say yes for any bill because that's where the prevailing winds are going.’


“To get to yes, he has a few requests, among them: a scaling back of De León's proposal to slash gas use by half by 2030 — or giving the Legislature the final say on how it gets done.”


Led my San Jose mayor Sam Liccardo, eight cities in the Silicon Valley are announcing that they are united in an effort to raise the minimum wage in the region.  Ramona Giwargis, San Jose Mercury News:


“The official announcement is expected in a news conference Thursday. The mayors of Campbell, Palo Alto, Cupertino, Milpitas, Morgan Hill, Monte Sereno and a representative from the city of Santa Clara are expected to announce their support for the initiative..


“Liccardo, along with Councilmen Chappie Jones and Manh Nguyen, last month called for a study on raising the pay floor to analyze impacts on both residents and businesses. The study is estimated to cost $100,000...


“Both Jones and Liccardo have reached out to mayors across the county to rally support for the joint venture. Liccardo said it's critical to move forward with raising minimum wage as a region, as opposed to each city tackling the issue individually.”


In Sacramento, last night, a meeting of a minimum wage task force organized by Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson didn’t go so well.


It’s the age old question: Why did the chicken cross the road?  We may never know, but yesterday, one brave hen attempted to cross not just the road, but the Bay Bridge. (with photos)


“A chicken was spotted crossing the Bay Bridge toll plaza Wednesday morning, quickly drawing up many punchlines….


Caltrans opted to let the chicken run around deeming that more safe than putting someone into  traffic to catch it.


“’Let CHP find out why the chickens crossed the road,’ the California Highway Patrol tweeted. ‘It’s not worth getting hit!’


After about three hours, the chicken was taken into custody by the CHP, and was transported to a local vet…