Dec 162016
 
Gov. Brown On Climate Change: "We Will Persevere"

Governor Brown addresses scientists at American Geophysical Union fall meeting. Photo Credit: Joe McHugh, California Highway Patrol.

 

Governor Brown to Climate Scientists: “We Will Persevere”

 

Rallying thousands of scientists at one of the largest international gatherings of its kind, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today called on the scientific community – the “truth-tellers” and “truth seekers” – to mobilize for the climate fight.

“The time has never been more urgent or your work never more important. The climate is changing, temperatures are rising, oceans are becoming more acidified, habitats are under stress – the world is facing tremendous danger,” said Governor Brown at the American Geophysical Union’s annual fall meeting in San Francisco. “It’ll be up to you as truth-tellers, truth seekers to mobilize all your efforts to fight back. We’ve got a lot of firepower. We’ve got the scientists, we’ve got the universities, we have the national labs and we have the political clout and sophistication for the battle – and we will persevere. Have no doubt about that.”

“We will pursue a path of collaboration and bold political advancement – whatever they do in Washington – and eventually the truth will prevail,” Governor Brown continued. “This is not a battle of one day or one election. This is a long-term slog into the future and you are there, the foot soldiers of change and understanding and scientific collaboration.”

Governor Brown’s remarks follow the action to prevent further coastal oil and gas drilling, reduce ocean acidity and boost renewable energy development in California. In recent weeks, Governor Brown issued a joint release with the governors of Oregon and Washington and the premier of British Columbia reaffirming their commitment to climate action at the close of COP22. The Governor also announced 29 new members to the Under2 Coalition, an international climate pact formed by California and Baden-Württemberg, Germany among cities, states and countries to limit the increase in global average temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius, the level of potentially catastrophic consequences. A total of 165 jurisdictions have now joined the coalition representing more than a billion people and $25.7 trillion in combined GDP – more than one-third of the global economy.

California’s Leadership on Climate Change
California is playing a world-leading role in setting aggressive climate goals, broadening collaboration among subnational leaders and taking action to reduce climate pollutants.

In September, California took bold action to advance its climate goals, establishing the most ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction targets in North America and the nation’s toughest restrictions on destructive super pollutants. The Governor also signed legislation that directs cap-and-trade funds to greenhouse gas reducing programs which benefit disadvantaged communities, support clean transportation and protect natural ecosystems.

This action builds on landmark legislation the Governor signed in October 2015 to generate half of the state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030 and double the rate of energy efficiency savings in California buildings. Governor Brown has also committed to reducing today’s petroleum use in cars and trucks by up to 50 percent within the next 15 years; make heating fuels cleaner; and manage farm and rangelands, forests and wetlands so they can store carbon.

Over the past year and a half, the Governor has traveled to the United Nations headquarters in New York, the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, France, the Vatican in Italy and the Climate Summit of the Americas in Toronto, Canada to call on other leaders to join California in the fight against climate change. Governor Brown also joined an unprecedented alliance of heads of state, city and state leaders – convened by the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund – to urge countries and companies around the globe to put a price on carbon.

These efforts to broaden collaboration among subnational leaders build on a number of other international climate change agreements with leaders from the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Mexico, China, North America, Japan, Israel, Peru and Chile and Governor Brown’s efforts to gather hundreds of world-renowned researchers and scientists around a groundbreaking call to action – called the consensus statement – which translates key scientific climate findings from disparate fields into one unified document.

The impacts of climate change are already being felt in California and will disproportionately impact the state’s most vulnerable populations.

From the editors of Anything L.A. Magazine: we are journalists not lawyers, and admittedly, we don’t know whether California’s commitment to slowing down global warming can in fact prevail against the federal government. But – as Angelenos – we are immensely proud of California’s Governor. Governor Jerry Brown – in spite of his age – is progressive and his heart is in the right place. I believe that I speak for the overwhelming majority of Californians as I express our sincere gratitude. Few leaders have the gift of courage and foresight, our Governor does.

 

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Oct 052016
 

California Governor Jerry Brown

Governor Jerry Brown has signed many new bills and amendments to existing laws, recently. Among them are three pertaining to rape. One of them changes, one expands and one modifies existing California rape law.

Senate Bill No. 813: NO Limitation Statute In Rape Cases In California
A rape is s rape whether it took place yesterday or 25 years ago. In a rape case, the perpetrator may not be easy to identify, find or prosecute (think of Bill Cosby!) while the rape victim / survivor is effectively sentenced to a life with a trauma. Rape charges and / or prosecution of a rapist however have a 10 year limitation statute. Now, thanks to Governor Brown – at least in California – rape survivors will be able to pursue and get justice without time limitations.
“This bill would allow the prosecution of rape, sodomy, lewd or lascivious acts, continuous sexual abuse of a child, oral copulation, and sexual penetration, that are committed under certain circumstances, as specified, to be commenced at any time. The bill would apply to these crimes committed after January 1, 2017, and to crimes for which the statute of limitations that was in effect prior to January 1, 2017, has not run as of January 1, 2017.” Read full text of the new law

Assembly Bill 701: Expanded Definition Of Rape
Expanding the legal definition of rape will allow / facilitate the prosecution of a wider range of sex crimes as well as increase sentences for sex offenders. The new bill states that in California “all forms of nonconsensual sexual assault may be considered rape”. Rightfully so, any type of sexual assault is rape. Read full text of the new law

Assembly Bill 2888: Harsher Sentencing Guidelines For Rape Of Victims Incapable Of Giving Consent
This bill clearly aims at preventing lenient sentences for rape of unconscious or otherwise incapacitated victims. If you recall the recent case of California’s rapist Brock Turner, you may remember that the law recommended up to 14 year prison sentence; prosecutors called for 6 years and yet, Turner (thanks to the judge’s way too lenient recommendation!) was released from jail after only 3 months!
“This bill would prohibit a court from granting probation or suspending the execution or imposition of a sentence if a person is convicted of rape, sodomy, penetration with a foreign object, or oral copulation if the victim was either unconscious or incapable of giving consent due to intoxication.” Read full text of the new law

Some people still believe that rape is “only” a sex crime. It isn’t. It’s a crime of violence, it asserts the perpetrator’s domination over the victim by force. In this aspect, rape is no different than murder or armed robbery, all three involve assault.

From now on (well, starting in January 2017) in California rapists will be prosecuted like all other violent criminals. No more excuses (no statute of limitation); no more lenient sentences (mandatory sentencing); no brakes on technicalities with the newly expanded definition of rape.

Rape is the most degrading and humiliating of crimes. Until now so was the judicial process: it often demeaned rape survivors more than the rapists. No wonder the majority of rape cases are not reported. The new legislation changes the power differential between rape victims and rape perpetrators in California’s court system. It is likely to encourage more reporting and – let’s hope! – prevent rapes.

In 2016 Governor Brown and California Legislature took a stand on behalf of rape victims and survivors. From now on, with no statute of limitation on rape charges; the definition of rape expanded to include all forms of rape and with rape victim’s incapacity to give consent no longer held against the rape victim but the rape perpetrator, there is new hope for justice for rape victims. The new Bills empower – restore dignity to – rape victims.

The three recently passed Bills change the legal landscape of rape law. Hopefully, they’ll serve as inspiration and models for change of national rape law.

The new legislative acts pertaining to rape are sure to contribute to Governor Jerry Brown’s legacy. By declaring allegiance to victims’ rights and – dare I say? – women, the Governor pioneered new approach to justice for rape victims and made ALL Californians proud.

 

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Sep 102016
 

Health For ALL Kids In Los Angeles

Mayor Garcetti reminds low-income families to sign up their children for Health4All Kids

 

On September 9th 2016 Mayor Eric Garcetti released a public service announcement encouraging low-income Angelenos to enroll their children in Medi-Cal.

“Every child in Los Angeles deserves good medical care — and no parent should have to worry about affordability when it comes to getting their children covered,” said Mayor Garcetti. “Expanding access to healthcare is part of building a stronger city, and we have to make sure that no families are left behind.”

In 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Health4All Kids — legislation authored by State Senator Ricardo Lara — which expanded Medi-Cal to every child in California under the age of 19, regardless of immigration status.

In California, an estimated 170,000 children are eligible for the Medi-Cal expansion. There are approximately 75,000 eligible children in Los Angeles County. Since May of this year, Mayor Garcetti’s Office of Immigrant Affairs has been working with the Los Angeles Public Library, Clinica Romero, and the Mexican Consulate to roll out information on how to enroll. These efforts have been supported by the California Endowment.

“Medi-Cal’s expansion to cover all children, regardless of immigration status, means peace of mind for more families,” said Dr. Robert K. Ross, President & CEO, The California Endowment. “It means free preventive care and access to medical services for when their children get sick. This is why our collaboration with the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office and countless of other partners is so critical — because families need to get informed so that they can enroll their children right away.”

“Clinica Romero strongly believes that every child deserves the opportunity to have health coverage and health access,” said Sandra Rossato, Executive Director of Clinica Romero. “Making health coverage a priority for children in the City of Los Angeles in partnership with the Mayor’s Office, Los Angeles Public Libraries, and the Mexican Consulate is indicative of our commitment for every child.”

These PSAs will be shown at the following sites:

  • Clinica Romero
  • Kheir Clinic
  • Consulate General of Guatemala
  • Consulate General of El Salvador
  • Consulate General of Mexico
  • Consulate General of The Philippines

Families looking to enroll, can find the nearest clinic visiting: www.localclinic.net

English and Spanish PSA: https://app.box.com/s/b272lfhh17glrxgggnpelhis7esbomf9