Last week, Rabbi Ron Stern lead a group of our Wise members to Sacramento for a day of lobbying for justice with the organization Religious Action Center – California (formerly Reform CA). Together with 150 clergy and members from Reform communities all over the state, they met with legislators (such as Assemblymember Sydney Kamlager-Dove) regarding the California Money Bail Reform Act, seeking important changes to California’s criminal justice system.
While in Sacramento, the Wise delegation joined with other congregations in the representatives’ districts to lobby about two of the bills that are part of the Religious Action Center of California’s agenda. We lobbied in the offices of Sydney Kamlager-Dove and Ben Allen for two bills. SB 10 seeks to eliminate the mandatory money bail system for misdemeanors. Like most unintended consequences of our criminal justice system, this impacts the poor and people of color disproportionately. For more information about the money bail system, click here. In addition, because we represented a faction of the Wise community we lobbied for sensible gun laws that would set the same standards on rifles and shotguns that currently apply to handguns, and allow for restraining orders to be filed by co-workers and school officials. Both offices were receptive to our positions.
At present, SB 10 is going through the “meatgrinder” of negotiations to respond to the many voices weighing in. These include the government, law enforcement, attorneys general, prosecutors, and so on. The RAC CA continues to monitor the process through our sources and depending on the version of the bill that is finally presented for a vote will decide the organizational position.
For information about the bills, please visit Wisela.org/CTO
Kol HaKavod to everyone who participated and h/t to Dara Frimmer for the group photo with Assemblymember Kamlager-Dove.