As they approach their work in Sacramento this year, Jewish lawmakers assume an outsized importance. California is seen as an important battleground for issues such as immigration and climate change that are putting progressive states seemingly at odds with the incoming presidential administration. And at the center of California’s progressive politics, members say, is the Jewish caucus.
Levine was Elected Unanimously by Colleagues to Chair the Jewish Caucus
9/29/16 - State Sen. Marty Block (D-San Diego), chairman of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus, said the bill was carefully crafted to avoid encroaching upon freedom of speech. “That said, the bill seeks to ensure that those wishing to do business with California are not using First Amendment arguments as a pretext to practice illegal discrimination in the form of boycotts,” Block said in a news release, questioning whether the “current BDS movement [is] merely an attempt to resurrect the age-old boycotts of Jewish merchants, rooted in virulent anti-Semitism, this time masked as First Amendment-protected political speech.”
AB 2844 prohibits California contracts with firms illegally discriminating against Israel and other sovereign nations
SACRAMENTO— California contracts of $100,000 or more will need to abide by the Unruh Civil Rights Act and California Fair Employment and Housing Act and not practice any violation of those policies against a sovereign nation or people, including Israel, under AB 2844 signed recently by the Governor.
AB 2844 (Bloom) Sent to the Governor with Bipartisan Support from the Legislature
Assemblymember Marc Levine (D-Marin County), vice chair of the Legislative Jewish Caucus, released the following statement on this week’s passage of AB 2844 (Bloom). This bill seeks to prevent discriminatory boycotts of Israel such as the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement. In doing so, AB 2844 reinforces the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by Governor Jerry Brown and Prime Minister Natanyahu in 2014.
SACRAMENTO - Today, the California State Assembly adjourned in the memory of author, professor, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Eliezer "Elie" Wiesel. Elie Wiesel passed away at the age of 87 on July 2, 2016 in New York. As a Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel was a strong and compassionate voice for human rights. He dedicated his life to teaching the world about the Holocaust through sharing his own personal story of suffering and survival. Wiesel believed it was essential to speak out against genocide and violations of human rights.
SACRAMENTO – Legislators, veterans and community leaders today decried a swastika display in Sacramento’s River Park neighborhood as offensive and an insult to victims of the holocaust and veterans who fought the Nazis during World War II. They urged the immediate removal of the display.
The press conference was attended by more than 40 legislators representing both parties, both houses and all ethnic caucuses. They stood together in solidarity against this “unambiguous symbol of hate.”
Carrying signs bearing the slogan “Not here! Not now! Not Ever!” members of Sacramento’s Jewish community were joined Monday evening by people of other faiths, as well as local and state political leaders, in denouncing anti-Semitism.
The rally on the west steps of the state Capitol was organized by the Jewish Federation of the Sacramento Region in response to events around the world, including the recent swastika graffiti on a Jewish fraternity house in Davis and the display of swastikas at a home in Sacramento’s River Park neighborhood.
Upon seeing a swastika on the wall of the fraternity house in January, Julia Reifkind, president of Aggies for Israel, said she experienced “an indescribable feeling of terror that I will never forget.”
SACRAMENTO – Recognizing the many ties that inexorably bind the state of California to the nation of Israel, the California Legislative Jewish Caucus issues the following statement today:
“We stand with Israel.
“The California Legislative Jewish Caucus extends our solidarity and support for the people of Israel. We pray for their safety during these difficult times.
“We condemn the actions of Hamas; a U.S. designated terrorist organization, whose charter calls for the destruction of Israel.