From Resistance Manual
This is the approved revision of this page; it is not the most recent. View the most recent revision.
Jump to: navigation, search


Elected Officials
Ways to Resist


  • 11/2017 The Advancement Project California launches RACE COUNTS initiative. With 3D data visualization, the data project measures California counties on racial disparities and key issues (Economic Opportunity, Access to Health Care, Education, Democracy, Crime and Justice, Health Built Environments, and Housing). Explore the many ways to use these rich data for the state, each county, and by other variables and filters here. More about the methodology and data can be found here. The data can be used to identify issues that need addressing, their impact, and to track progress. Read more about work in progress and key issue campaigns at the state and community level here.
  • 9/16/2017: California lawmakers voted to make the state a "sanctuary" for undocumented immigrants. Senate Bill 54 would limit state and local law enforcement communication with federal immigration authorities, and prevent officers from questioning and holding people on immigration violations. [5]
  • 8/28/2017 President Trump issued an executive order that reverses an Obama era order that prohibited police departments from receiving some types of military equipment. The restrictions were considered necessary after police responded to civilian protests with armored vehicles, snipers and riot gear. In 2015, Governor Brown vetoed a restriction on militarizing California police departments citing then president Obama's order. Now that President Trump has reversed the restrictions, military grade equipment can be used for policing civilians.

Special Call to Action: Call your state legislators and local city council representative/county commissioner and ask them to introduce legislation to prohibit police departments from receiving or purchasing military equipment from the federal government. You can contact your state legislators using this tool: to call Governor Brown and your representatives.

To see past updates for California, click here.

Actions Taken by the State Government
Actions Taken by the State Government

Legislative Actions

Legislation that Supports Equity and Justice
Important bills proposed by California lawmakers this legislative session that should be supported:

  • SB 584 Requires 50 percent of electricity to be produced by renewable sources by 2025 and 100 percent by 2045.

  • SB 562 Creates a single-payer healthcare system.

  • California Values Act (SB 54) Makes California a "Sanctuary State," prohibits law enforcement cooperation and data sharing with federal immigration authorities, and prohibits state and local law enforcement from being deputized by the federal authorities.

  • SB 31 Ensures that California does not participate in any federal program that targets and registers Muslims.

  • SB 6 Establishes a legal defense fund to ensure that immigrants who are detained and facing deportation have legal representation.

  • SB 149 requires candidates to release their tax returns from the past five years to appear on the state's ballot.

  • AB 3 Establishes regional centers to train defense attorneys and public defenders on immigration law and the consequences of criminal convictions.

  • Vehicles: Violations (SB 185) stops the automatic suspension of driver's licenses for people who are unable to pay fines or fees for minor traffic tickets and requires courts to determine a person's ability to pay before setting fine amounts.

  • AB 163 Restricts police involvement in schools, including preventing police from enforcing low-level offenses.

  • AB 282 Requires police to receive procedural justice and implicit bias training.

  • SB 239 would make it a misdemeanor instead of a felony to intentionally expose someone to HIV[6] (for more information on HIV criminalization laws see the LGBTQ Equality page).

  • AB 674 boost voter turnout by making November elections in even years a holiday for schools and state workers.

  • SB 219 would protect the rights of LGBTQ+ seniors in long-term care facilities.[7]

Harmful Legislation
Harmful bills proposed by California lawmakers this legislative session that should be opposed:

  • "Right to Work: Labor Organizations (AB 2). The bill would allow the state to prohibit unions, that collectively bargain on behalf of both members and nonmembers, from requiring union fees for the services they provide to all workers they represent. They are designed to reduce unions' income and power.

  • AB 985 requires voters to present ID before receiving a ballot at their polling location.

See also the main policy pages for federal legislative tracking.

Executive / Administrative Actions

Key Upcoming Elections
Key Upcoming Elections

Click here to find out if you are registered to vote.

Register to vote here. The deadline is 15 days before Election Day. Bring proof of identification the first time you vote. No document is required to vote.[8]

Federal Elections

2018 US Senate Elections
Dianne Feinstein's US Senate seat will be up for reelection in California in 2018.

2018 Key US House Elections
Ten US House districts in California are swing districts, meaning that they were decided by a vote margin of 15% or less in the 2016 election.[9] Among these, House Republicans and Democrats have identified five of these districts as priorities for the 2018 elections, as well as a sixth district that was not a swing district in 2016. Midterm elections are typically very challenging for the party in control of the federal government. Only presidents with job approval ratings above 50% have been able to stave off losses.[10] Since 1982, the party in control has lost an average of 28 seats,[11], which means that the Democrats should have the advantage if they can get their voters to turn out for midterm elections.[12]

Key Republican US House seats to flip Democratic

  • CA-49 Republican Darrell Issa won by only 1,621 votes (0.5%).
  • CA-10 Republican Jeff Denham won by only 8,201 votes (3.4%). Republicans have identified this race as a priority.[13]
  • CA-25 Republican Steve Knight won by only 16,349 votes (6.3%).
  • CA-21 Republican David Valadao won by only 17,844 votes (13.5%). Republicans have identified this race as a priority.[14]
  • CA-39 Republican Ed Royce won by only 38,098 votes (14.5%).

Key Democratic US House seats to prevent being flipped Republican

  • CA-07 Democratic Ami Bera won by only 6,965 votes (2.3%). Democrats have identified this race as a priority.[15]
  • CA-24 Democratic Salud Carbajal won by only 21,254 votes (6.8%). Democrats have identified this race as a priority.[16]
  • CA-31 Democratic Pete Aguilar won by only 26,204 votes (12.1%).
  • CA-52 Democratic Scott Peters won by only 41,850 votes (13.1%). Democrats have identified this race as a priority.[17]
  • CA-09 Democratic Jerry McNerney won by only 34,171 votes (14.7%).

While district 36 was not a close election in 2016, Democrats have identified it as a priority for 2018. Democratic Rep. Raul Ruiz (CA-36) won the last election with 62.1% of the vote.

State Elections

  • Open Governor election in 2018

Local Elections

  • Los Angeles, California - Primary for mayor, eight city council seats, city attorney, and city controller on March 7, General May 16 [18]
  • Riverside, California - City Council
  • San Francisco - possible special election

Mayoral Elections

School Board Elections

Prosecutor Elections

Sheriff Elections

County Commissioners Elections

City Council Elections

Obamacare / link=

In California, 8% of the population remains uninsured compared to a national average of 9%.[19] California is a state that has expanded Medicaid coverage to more people as allowed under the ACA.[20] The Bay Area Council Economic Institute found that the state’s uninsured population was cut in half between 2014 and 2017.[21]

ACA Repeal

  • Partially repealing Obamacare through budget reconciliation would cause 4,887,000 Californians to lose their health insurance (12.5% of the population), including 764,000 children.[22]
Repealing Obamacare would increase the uninsured population in California [1].

  • If there is a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act, 5,437,000 Californians (or 13.9% of the population) would lose coverage.[23]
  • Not covering preexisting conditions will disproportionately affect people with disabilities.
  • Insurers would be able to impose lifetime limits on coverage if there is a full repeal of the ACA.[24]
  • California would lose 209,000 jobs if the ACA is fully repealed; most of those jobs are in health-care or supportive industries.[25]
  • Under the ACA Repeal-and-Delay Strategy, young adults in California could pay $653 more in 2018.[26]
  • Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein voted to keep the ACA.[27]


The Facts

  • More people are killed by police in California than any other state, with 764 people killed by police in California from 2013 to 2016.[28]
  • When adjusting for population size, California has the eighth-highest per capita rate of killings by police among the 50 US states.
  • Black people in California were 2.6 times more likely to be killed than their white counterparts.[29]

Policy Solutions / Issues

  • Racial Profiling Ban: On October 3, 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 953, The Racial and Identity Profiling Act of 2015. This Act requires law-enforcement agencies to collect basic information on police stops in response to growing concerns about racial profiling and police misconduct. AB 953 goes one step further than other similar laws, like one adopted in Connecticut, to include both traffic and pedestrian stops.[30] Assembly Bill 953:
    • Updates California’s definition of racial and identity profiling to be in line with federal recommendations by including other demographic characteristics, such as gender and sexual orientation.
    • Requires that California law enforcement agencies uniformly collect and report data on stops, frisks, and other interactions with the communities they serve.
    • Establishes an advisory board to analyze stop data and develop recommendations to address problems with disparate policing where they exist.
  • Use of Force Data Collection: On the same day, October 3, 2015, Governor Brown also signed into law another data collection bill, Assembly Bill 71, to gather information about police use of force.[31] Previously, law enforcement officers in California reported any death in custody on paper forms. No state in the country, including California, collected data on any nonlethal use of force. Assembly Bill 71 created a new requirement for California law enforcement agencies to annually report data to the California Department of Justice on any incidents that occurred in the previous year involving use of force by a civilian or peace officer against the other that involved a firearm or resulted in serious bodily injury or death.[32]
  • Deadly Force Law: California's deadly-force law allows police to use deadly force in situations where it is not necessary or even reasonable, which violates US Supreme Court precedent as well as international law.[33] The law does not even include language requiring the office to have a “reasonable belief” or even “probable cause” regarding a threat, as required under US constitutional law. Research shows that permissive deadly force policies like California's contribute to higher rates of police-involved killings. For example, an analysis of the nation's 100 largest police departments found that departments are 25% less likely to kill civilians when they have policies that require officers to exhaust all other reasonable means of resolving a situation before resorting to deadly force.[34] Delaware, for example, has a law making deadly force a last resort only after other means are exhausted.[35]
  • Police Accountability: California is one of the least transparent states in the country regarding police misconduct. California law prevents police departments from releasing police personnel files, including records of misconduct, to the public.[36]. This law thus helps shield officers from public accountability. California is also one of 14 states that has a Police Officer Bill of Rights law.[37] This law includes measures that make it harder for police chiefs and the public to hold officers accountable for misconduct. Specifically, the law[38]:
    • Restricts interrogations of officers suspected of misconduct.
    • Prevents officers from being disciplined if an investigation lasts longer than 1 year.
    • Gives officers 30 days' notice before they are disciplined.
    • Allows officers to record their own interrogations.
    • Requires officers to be paid while being interrogated off-duty.
CA police bill of rights law makes it harder to hold officers accountable[].
  • The 3rd District Court of Appeal in California tossed out a state law[39] that banned the use of grand juries in cases of police shootings, meaning that grand juries will once again be involved in determining whether police officers should face criminal charges for shooting civilians.[40] To ensure accountability in these cases, the CA legislature should either pass legislation requiring independent investigations and prosecutions of police shootings, as has been done in Connecticut,[41] or pass a constitutional amendment banning the use of grand juries in these cases. Since prosecutors tend to be able to convince grand juries to charge someone if they want that person charged, it might be more effective to ensure that an independent prosecutor oversees these cases rather than ban the use of grand juries altogether.

Consent Decrees

Department of Justice Out of Court Agreement 2015 Inglewood Police Department:

  • Incidents: Historical hostilities and community hate crimes against section 8 voucher holders resulted in lawsuit from NAACP and The Community Action League; Complaints of racial stereotyping, discrimination, racially derogatory language, and harassment within the sheriff’s department.
  • Findings: Pattern of unconstitutional stops and searches; Unreasonable use of force, biased policing in violation of the 4th Amendment against African-American and Latino residents; Violations of the Fair Housing Act and the 4th Amendment; Deputies' detainment of residents in the backseat of patrol cars in violation of 4th Amendment; Civilian complaint process undermines accountability and reflects bias and lack of adequate investigation or tracking of discriminatory policing complaints.

Out of Court Agreement 2015: Community Advisory Committee engagement; Re-training and revised policies in stops, searches, arrests, use of force, and bias-free policing to comply with 4th Amendment; Analysis of use of force data force data to identify trends and correct deficiencies.


The Facts

  • California has more than 10 million immigrant residents—one in four of the foreign-born population nationwide and more than any other state.
  • The vast majority of California’s immigrants were born in Latin America (53%) and Asia (37%).[42]
  • Undocumented workers make up approximately one-tenth of California’s workforce, contributing $130 billion to the state’s gross domestic product.[43]
  • In 2010, undocumented immigrants in California paid $2.2 billion in state and local taxes, including $1.8 billion in sales taxes, $152.1 million in state income taxes, and $302.8 million in property taxes.[44]


The Facts

  • In 2015, 27% of immigrants in California were undocumented, nearly 3 million people.[45]
  • Immigrants make up 35% of the workforce in California's state population.[46]
  • If the state's undocumented immigrants were deported, California would lose $301.6 billion in economic activity, employment would decrease by 17.4%, and 3.6 million jobs would be eliminated.
  • If undocumented immigrants were given legal status, California would add 633,000 jobs to the economy, increase labor income by $26.9 billion, and increase tax revenues by $5.3 billion.[47]
  • If the DREAM Act were passed, it would bring in $97.7 billion of economic impact.[48]

Policy Solutions / Issues

  • California would likely lose $132.4 million in Justice Department funding if Trump's plans to ban federal funding to sanctuary jurisdictions is implemented.[49] This is less than one tenth of one percent of the total CA budget.
  • In 2013, Governor Brown signed into law the TRUST Act. Prior to the TRUST Act, ICE requested that local jails hold community members until they could be picked up for deportation. Following Governor Brown’s signature, community members were protected from such holds unless they had committed certain crimes. The holds caused significant suffering and further weakened community-police relations as ICE sought to have local police and sheriffs help carry out mass deportations. After TRUST went into effect, a federal court found all immigration holds unconstitutional, but ICE is circumventing TRUST’s protections by requesting that local law enforcement notify them of personal information, such as release time. The TRUST Act closes that loophole and brings accountability to the system.[50]
  • In 2016, Governor Brown signed the TRUTH Act, Assembly Bill 2792.[51] This law requires local jails throughout the state to inform immigrant community members of their basic right to decline abusive interrogations with federal deportation agents—or to have an attorney present. Specifically, the TRUTH Act puts vital know-your-rights information in the hands of immigrant community members held in local jails and targeted by ICE. The new law guarantees community members the “right to know” if ICE has asked the local jail to turn the person over for deportation, and the “right to say no” or to request to have an attorney present for abusive interview requests where deportation agents often coerce, intimidate, and violate basic rights. Though interviews with ICE inside local jails are optional, immigrants were previously denied information to that effect. If local law enforcement does notify ICE about a person’s release date, they must also notify that person’s loved ones or attorney.[52]
  • On January 31, 2017, Los Angeles City Council members Joe Buscaino and Curren Price proposed to draft a measure to decriminalize street vending. City lawyers are drawing up new rules so that street vendors will eventually be offered permits, which will lead to legalization. It is unclear yet whether amnesty can be offered to vendors already facing criminal charges. The proposal offers a limited amount of permits to be issued to vendors who set up in yet-to-be assigned zones. Permit costs have yet to be determined.[53]


  • Connect people who are experiencing immigration issues and/or are at-risk of deportation to Crisis Resources, which can help protect and assist them.
  • Share Tools of Resistance to provide people vulnerable to deportation with information on protecting their physical security.

Sanctuary Policies

  • 2/9/2017: San Francisco is putting in place a "sanctuary in transit" policy. Local law and BART would work to limit collaboration with ICE in regard to raids.[54]
  • 2/1/2017 Santa Clara County plans to sue President Trump over his immigration order.[55]
  • 1/31/2017 California state legislators on Tuesday advanced a bill that would make the entire state a sanctuary for undocumented immigrants, in defiance of President Trump’s stated plans to deport millions of people.[56]
  • San Francisco and Los Angeles are described as "sanctuary cities".[57] The term "sanctuary city" is used to describe places that limit how much they help federal law enforcement (usually ICE) with removals (also known as deportations).
  • Los Angeles does not turn over individuals to federal enforcement for low-level crimes to be deported, or honor ICE requests to detain individuals.[58]
  • San Francisco law prohibits local enforcement from cooperating with ICE.[59]
  • San Francisco does not honor criminal warrants or hold individuals when they are ready for release based on immigration detention requests.[60]
  • As a response to Trump's sanctuary city defunding, Santa Clara County has approved a lawsuit against the executive order.[61]
  • California Senator De Leon has introduced SB 54, the California Values Act, a measure that would turn California into a sanctuary state (border-to-border protection). The measure would bar state and local law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration holds; make public buildings, including schools, hospitals, courthouses and shelters, safe spaces with minimal immigration enforcement; and shield immigration-related data from the federal government. The bill passed the Senate Public Safety Committee on January 31 and has been referred to the Appropriations Committee, which often holds up bills due to their cost.[62] Text here.

Voting Rights
Voting Rights

The Facts

  • 222,557 people are disenfranchised in California because of a felony conviction, including 63,390 black people[63].
  • 75.3% of registered voters turned out to vote in the 2016 presidential election, about 3% higher than in 2012 but less than the 79.4% turnout in 2008.[64]

Policy Solutions / Issues

  • In 2015, the New Motor Voter Act was signed into law by Governor Brown, making California the second state in the nation to do automatic voter registration, registering voters automatically through its department of motor vehicles (voters can choose to opt out).[65]

Mass Incarceration
Mass Incarceration

The Facts

  • In 2014, there were 218,308 incarcerated individuals in California,[66] plus a probation population of 294,057 and parole population of 89,527.
  • 2,376 people are incarcerated in private prisons in California.
  • 8,094 juveniles are incarcerated in California.
  • Of the prison population, 40,362 people were serving life sentences, and 4,603 were serving life sentences without parole.
  • Black incarceration rates are much higher than white or Latino rates, at 1,767 per 100,000 compared to 201 and 385 for white and Latino, respectively. In California, a black person is 8.8 times more likely to be incarcerated than a white person.
  • Expenditures for corrections in 2014 cost $11.3 million.

Policy Solutions / Issues
In 2011, the United States Supreme Court ruled that California's prisons were overcrowded and violated the Eighth Amendment.[67] The state was ordered to reduce its prison population. Prison numbers dropped after voters approved Proposition 47 in 2014, which reduced certain nonviolent felonies to misdemeanors and gave more inmates a higher chance for parole consideration. Proposition 57 was also designed to lower prison populations.[68]

In 2017 The Marshall Project and the Los Angeles TImes found that in Los Angeles and Orange Counties there are at least 26 jails that allow prisoners to pay for an upgraded jail stay including amenities like televisions. [69]

Benefits / Tax Cuts
Benefits / Tax Cuts

Income Tax

The Facts

  • California residents who face a tax increase under Trump’s plan:[70]
    • Households: 1,026,000
    • Adults and children: 3,051,000
    • Children: 1,771,000


Public Benefits

The Facts

  • In 2015, an average of 2,096,960 households and 4,417,772 individuals received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (SNAP, formerly called Food Stamps) in any given month in California.[71] In 2011, approximately 10% of the population of California was receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (SNAP, formerly called Food Stamps).[72] The average monthly benefit per California household was $305 per household and $141 per person in 2016.[73]
  • In 2016, an average of 992,952 households received Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), which is direct financial assistance, in any given month.[74] The average monthly benefit for a single parent with three children residing in California was $704 in 2014.[75] Average benefits in California have fallen in value by 22.5% since 1996.[76]
  • In December 2015, there were 360,394 Social Security recipients in the "aged" category[77] who received an average of $518.50 per person, for a total of $186,865,000.[78]

Housing / Infrastructure
Housing / Infrastructure


The Facts

  • 1,592,500 low-income families spent more than half of their income on housing.[79]
  • In 2014, California had 21 units of affordable and available housing for every 100 households categorized as “extremely low income” (at or below 30% of the area median income.)[80]
  • In California, there were 118,142 homeless people in 2016.[81]
  • Of the homeless population, there were 6,764 families, 9,612 veterans, 10,375 unaccompanied young adults (18-24), and 31,548 people experiencing chronic homelessness.[82]
  • California received more than $5 billion in federal rental assistance funding in 2014.[83]
  • In California, more than 492,000 families relied on federal rental assistance in 2014.[84]
  • Nearly all California households using federal rental assistance included children, elderly people or disabled people.[85]



The Facts

  • California’s infrastructure received a score of C from the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2012.[86]
  • This study gave the state “good” scores for ports and solid waste, and identified urban runoff and levees as being in “poor” condition.[87]
  • In 2013, the Department of Transportation found that 27.9% of California’s bridges were structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, and 68% of California’s roads were in poor or mediocre condition.[88]
  • Driving on these roads leads to an additional $586 per motorist per year in increased vehicle repairs and operating costs.[89]


  • According to Governor Jerry Brown (D), roads, highways and bridges are major infrastructure priorities for California.[90]
  • Upcoming transit projects for Los Angeles will extend service, including the Crenshaw light rail line and new subways.[91]

Women's Rights/Reproductive Justice
Women's Rights / Reproductive Justice

Planned Parenthood

The Facts[92]

  • California has 115 Planned Parenthood centers.
  • In 2015, 45 centers were in rural, medically underserved, or health provider shortage areas.
  • On average, there is one Planned Parenthood for 72,973 women of reproductive age.

Policy Solutions / Issues


The Facts[93]

  • There were 512 abortion providers in California in 2015.
  • In 2014, eight out of every 1,000 women of reproductive age in California had an abortion. The national abortion rate is 14.6.

Policy Solutions / Issues[94]
California has no major restrictions on abortion access.

Contraception and the ACA

California has moved to protect no-cost birth control. One option per person is covered under state law, and each person can receive IUDs, oral contraception, or tubal ligation (though it should be noted that California's law does not cover vasectomies).[95]

Women and Wages

The Facts[96]

  • In California, 14.9% of women live in poverty. 37% are single mothers and 11% are women age 65 and older.
  • For every dollar made by men, women are paid $0.86, which is six cents above the national average of $0.80.
  • African American women are paid $0.63 for every dollar paid to white men, while Latina women make $0.43 for every dollar made by white men.

Domestic Violence in California

The Facts[97]

  • In California, 32.9% of women and 27.3% of men experience intimate-partner physical violence, intimate-partner sexual violence and/or intimate-partner stalking in their lifetimes.
  • In 2007, there were 174,649 domestic violence–related calls to law enforcement. 40% of reported incidents involved weapons.
  • Between 2011 and 2012, rape crisis centers served 31,790 survivors of sexual violence.
  • In a single day, domestic violence shelters served almost 5,800 women and children.
  • A forcible rape occurs every 56 minutes in California.
  • Domestic violence fatalities increased by 11% between 2009 and 2011, while other types of homicides decreased. Domestic violence homicides comprise 11.8% of all California homicides.
  • As of December 31, 2015, California had submitted 8,245 domestic violence misdemeanor convictions and 10 domestic violence protective orders to the NICS index.

LGBTQ Issues / link=
LGBTQ+ Issues

Religious Freedom Law

California does not have any religious freedom laws. Religious Freedom laws protect the right of people to practice their religion and limit laws imposing on that right, and were intended to protect religious minorities. However, after same-sex marriage was legalized, conservative states have attempted to enact similar laws with provisions that allow discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals.[98]

Nondiscrimination laws

California has passed nondiscrimination laws protecting LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, education, adoption, foster care, insurance, credit, jury selection and state employment.[99]

  • In 2014, California became the first state in the US to officially ban the use of gay panic and trans panic defenses in murder trials.[100]

Parenting laws

California has passed nondiscrimination laws protecting LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in second-parent adoption, surrogacy, foster care, parental presumption, consent to inseminate (meaning that in the case of the insemination of one member of a female same-sex couple, the partner not carrying the child is officially recognized as a parent) and de facto parent recognition.[101]

Hate crime laws

California does include LGBTQ+ people in its hate crime laws as a protected group, and does have required reporting of hate crimes against LGBTQ+ people.[102]

Youth Laws

California has passed anti-bullying laws, including cyberbullying, that directly mention LGBTQ+ youth, enumerating model policies and promoting alternative discipline. The state has also passed laws requiring school suicide prevention policies, transgender inclusion in sports and protection from conversion therapy, as well as addressing LGBTQ+ youth homelessness. It has LGBTQ+ inclusive sex education laws and juvenile justice policies.[103]

Health and Safety

California does include LGBTQ+ nondiscrimination protections in ACA exchanges, bans insurance exclusion for trans health care, includes transgender health care in state Medicaid and inclusive health benefits for trans state employees, collects data on LGBTQ+ health, allows gender marker changes on drivers’ licenses and birth certificates, and has passed a law requiring gender-neutral single occupancy restrooms.[104]

  • California has repealed the state’s prohibition on organ transfer from HIV-reactive donors, authorizing donation if the recipient is also HIV reactive.[105]
  • California became the first state within the US to legally require that all single-occupancy bathrooms be gender-neutral. The law takes effect on March 1, 2017.[106]

Educational Justice
Educational Justice

The Facts

  • California is ranked 34th in the US in per-pupil spending as of 2013, with an average expenditure of $5,507 per student.[107]
  • As of 2013, California ranked fourth in teacher pay, with teachers earning an average of $69,324 per year.[108]
  • 90% of students in California attend public schools. As is the case in other states, students who attend private schools come from wealthier families, with private school families earning an average 95% higher income.[109]
  • As of 2014, public charter school enrollment accounted for 8.3% of total public school enrollment.[110]
  • California's overall graduation rate is 81%, which is slightly above the national average. By student group, the four-year graduation rates are as follows:
    • White: 88%
    • Latino: 77%
    • Black: 68%
    • Asian/Pacific Islander: 92%
    • American Indian: 71%
    • Economically Disadvantaged: 76%
    • Limited English Proficient: 65%
    • Students with Disabilities: 62%[111]

Consumer Protections /Worker's Rights
Consumer Protections / Worker's Rights

The Facts

  • California’s minimum wage is $10.50, which is higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25,[112] but this current amount is at least $2 lower than the living wage calculations for its most populated urban areas.[113] [114]
  • California passed legislation for paid sick leave in 2014.[115]
  • California passed legislation for paid family leave that allows for 55% of the employee’s weekly wage for up to six weeks.[116]


  • California is a state with an at-will exemption.[117] "At-will" means that an employer can terminate an employee at any time for any reason, except an illegal one, or for no reason, without breaking the law.[118] Likewise, an employee is free to leave a job at any time for any or no reason with no adverse legal consequences.[119]
  • California also has a public policy exemption,[120] meaning that an employer may not fire an employee if it would violate the state's public policy doctrine or a state or federal statute, including refusing to perform an act that state law prohibits (e.g., refusing an employer's request to commit perjury at a trial), reporting a violation of the law (e.g., reporting an employer's fraudulent accounting practices or use of child labor), engaging in acts that are in the public interest (e.g., joining the National Guard or performing jury duty) and exercising a statutory right (e.g., filing a claim under the state workers' compensation law).[121]
  • California does allow for implied contract exemptions.[122] An implied contract can be created in several different ways: oral assurances by a supervisor; or handbooks, policies or practices as written assurances by the employer. This means that if there is no written contract between the employer and employee, that employee may have an exception of fixed term or even indefinite employment based on an employer's statements.[123] As a general rule, courts disregard language promising long-term, lifetime or permanent employment as aspirational and consider the relationship to be at-will.[124]
  • California does support the Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing.[125] Courts have interpreted this in different ways, from requiring just cause for termination to prohibiting terminations made in bad faith or motivated by malice.[126]

Climate / Environment
Climate / Environment

The Facts

  • Around 11% of California's electrical energy generation is nuclear; about 53% is from natural gas, and the remainder is from renewable sources. [127]
  • California has 98 sites on the National Priorities List. [128]
  • Approximately 45 percent of California’s land is federally owned. [129]
  • In 2014, the Black population had the highest air pollution exposure indices—of 68—compared to an overall index of 51 and a White index of 54. [130]
  • In 2012, Native American people in California were most likely to have asthma (17.3%), compared to 8.2 percent overall. [131]
  • EPA Region 9 (Pacific Southwest) serves California.


  • In February 2017, the California Senate leader introduced a bill that would require the state to generate 50 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025—five years earlier than currently mandated—and 100 percent by 2045.[132]
  • The environmental agency in California is CalEPA (the California Environmental Protection Agency). [133]
  • The California Scoping Plan was adopted in 2008 and aims to reduce GHG to 1990 levels by 2020. [134]
  • California has a renewable energy portfolio standard of 33% by 2020 and 50% by 2030. [135]

EPA Grants

The Environmental Protection Agency has awarded funding to many businesses and local governments in California to pay for environmental improvements[136], including:

  • $300,000 to small businessesIndustrial Microbes, Inc. in Emeryville, for to make chemical manufacturing more efficient and less polluting.[137]
  • A $100,000 Small Business Innovation Research contract to Microvi Biotech, Inc., in Hayward, to recover and treat nutrients in wastewater.[138]
  • $120,000 to Asian Health Services to reduce chemical exposure for nail-salon workers in Alameda, San Francisco and San Mateo Counties.[139]
  • $173,479 to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to help small- and medium-size businesses reduce their environmental impacts.[140]
  • $155,000 to Santa Cruz City Schools to replace or repair nine diesel school buses, funded through the EPA’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Act.[141]
  • $20,000 to Sundale Union Elementary School in Tulare to replace a diesel school bus.[142]
  • $244,428 in environmental education grants to the Plumas Audubon Society in Quincy, Education Outside in San Francisco, and the Napa County Resource Conservation District in Napa.[143]
  • $28 million in funding for California native tribes to support environmental programs, drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, and community education.[144]
  • $4.2 million in federal grants to restore wetlands, improve water quality, and “green” the urban landscape in and around San Francisco Bay.[145]

In December 2016, the EPA announced two settlements with 12 private parties to begin cleaning up the Yosemite Slough, an intertidal water channel in the Bayview District of San Francisco. The site is highly contaminated, including with lead. The studies and cleanup efforts are intended to prevent future harm to San Francisco Bay, which is a designated "estuary of national significance" under the Clean Water Act. The EPA is using the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, also known as Superfund, to guide the cleanup of the Yosemite Slough site. [146]

Disability Rights
Disability Rights

The Facts

  • 10.4% of Californians live with a disability. The national average is 12.4%. [147]
  • In California, 20% of residents with a disability are employed, while 75% are not in the labor force. Among California residents without a disability, the figures are 63% and 30%, respectively.[148]
  • California's Unruh Civil Rights Act, as amended in 1992, provides even stronger protections for Californians with disabilities than does the federal Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.[149]. Californians who have experienced discrimination based on disability status or other marginalized identity can contact the state's Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) to file a complaint.[150]
  • Under California state law, landlords cannot enforce "no pets" policies against tenants who require the assistance of guide dogs, signal dogs or psychiatric service dogs. Landlords must make reasonable accommodations to facilitate the equal enjoyment of housing by people with disabilities, and therefore service animals must qualify as exceptions to any no-pet housing policy.[151]
  • Medi-Cal,[152] California's Medicaid program, covers mental health services for low-income Californians living with mental illness. Forms of care offered through Medi-Cal plans include psychology, psychiatry, group therapy, collateral services for affected family members, medication, crisis intervention and managed care.[153]

Organizations and Events

Find state/local chapters of national organizations here.

Disability Rights Organizations

  • Disability Rights California: "We envision a barrier-free, inclusive, diverse world that values each individual and their voice. In this world, all people with disabilities enjoy the power of equal rights and opportunities, dignity, choice, independence and freedom from abuse, neglect and discrimination."

Organizations Resisting Institutional Racism

Organizations Resisting Mass Incarceration

Energy and Environment



Event Calendars

Local News Sources
Local News Sources

  • KTVU News for the Bay Area, SF, Oakland, and the South Bay

Relevant City and County Information
Relevant City and County Information

Los Angeles
Los Angeles

Elected Officials
Elected Officials

County of Los Angeles

City of Los Angeles


The Facts

  • From 2013 to 2016, the Los Angeles Police Department killed 83 people,[154] more than any other police department in America.
  • Black people are nearly 4 times more likely to be killed by the LAPD as their white counterparts.
  • In 2014, Los Angeles was one of the 17 of the 100 largest US cities where black men were killed by police at a rate higher than the US murder rate.[155]
  • Black people are 9% of the Los Angeles's population but account for 19% of police shootings and 31% of "less serious" use-of-force cases.[156]
  • Half of all complaints filed with the LAPD alleging biased policing involve interactions with black men.[157]
  • 60% of black LA residents do not believe that LAPD officers "treat people of all races and ethnicities fairly," nearly twice the rate of white residents.[158]
  • After investigating themselves, the LAPD upheld none of the 97 cases of alleged racial profiling against its officers in the first half of 2016.[159]


Los Angeles has a Sustainable City pLAn that commits the city to environmental progress.


San Francisco
San Francisco

Elected Officials
Elected Officials


  • Jeff Adachi, the San Francisco public defender, has proposed setting aside $5 million from the city’s budget to defend undocumented immigrants from Trump's deportation plans.[160]
  • San Francisco Mayor Lee has promised that San Francisco will remain a sanctuary city,[161] despite Trump's executive order to punish sanctuary cities.


The Facts

  • From 2013 to 2016, the San Francisco Police Department killed 15 people.[162]
  • Black people are 3.4 times more likely to be killed by SFPD than their white counterparts.

Policy Solutions / Issues
Use of Force Policy Changes: In 2016, San Francisco's Police Commission and Board of Supervisors approved a new SFPD use of force policy[163] that:

  • Requires that police use de-escalation when possible.
  • Requires that police intervene when another officer uses excessive force.
  • Prohibits police from using deadly force, except as a last resort, and not against someone who is only a threat to themselves.
  • Requires police to report each time they point a firearm at a civilian.
  • Prohibits shooting at moving vehicles unless deadly force against officers is being used by means other than the vehicle.

Police Accountability:

  • In 2016, voters approved Proposition G,[164] which renames the Office of Citizen Complaints to the Department of Police Accountability (DPA), requires the DPA to review police use-of-force policies and incidents, and gives it access to police records and documents.
  • In 2016, SF District Attorney Gascon established an independent investigative unit within the DA's office[165] to handle police shootings and other misconduct. However, the unit does not require a prosecutor from a different jurisdiction to handle the case (i.e. special prosecutor), as activists have demanded.
  • In 2016, San Francisco's Police Commission approved a policy[166] governing the use of body cameras that requires officers to use body cameras and prevents them from reviewing footage before making initial statements, but allows them to review footage before a full interrogation.


San Diego
San Diego

Elected Officials
Elected Officials


The Facts

  • From 2013 to 2016, the San Diego Police Department killed 21 people.[167]



Elected Officials
Elected Officials

City of Sacramento
County of Sacramento


The Facts

  • From 2013 to 2016, the Sacramento Police Department killed nine people.[168]
  • Black people are nearly twice as likely to be killed by Sacramento police as their white counterparts.

Policy Solutions / Issues
In 2016, Sacramento city council approved policies for the Sacramento PD that:

  • Require officers to intervene if they witness another officer using excessive force.
  • Require officers to use the minimum amount of force necessary.
  • Make the Community Police Commission 100% civilian-led.
  • Require the release of all video associated with an officer-involved shooting, in-custody death, or complaint within 30 days.



Elected Officials
Elected Officials


The Facts

  • From 2013 to 2016, the Stockton Police Department killed 14 people.[169] Stockton PD has the fifth highest rate of police-involved killings among the 100 largest US cities.
  • Black people are nearly twice as likely to be killed by Stockton police as their white counterparts.
  • In 2014, Stockton was 17 in the 100 largest US cities where black men were killed by police at a rate higher than the US murder rate.[170]



Elected Officials
Elected Officials


The Facts

  • From 2013 to 2016, the Oakland Police Department killed eight people.[171]
  • Black people are 2.7 times more likely to be killed by Oakland police as their white counterparts.

Policy Solutions / Issues
On November 8, 2016, Oakland voters approved Ballot Measure LL,[172] which:

  • Establishes a community police commission with the power to appoint, assign, discipline and fire Oakland police officers and select the candidates for Police Chief.
  • Requires that officers exhaust all other reasonable alternatives before using deadly force.
  • Incorporates a greater emphasis on de-escalation in police training.
  • Ensures that investigations evaluate officers based on whether they used appropriate de-escalation tactics.