Jewish Community Relations Councilof San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin, Sonoma, Alameda and Contra Costa Counties


JPAC Advocacy Day 2016

May 11, 2016
Posted by: JCRC Staff

A robust delegation from the Bay Area traveled to Sacramento this week, joining Jewish community members from across the state to network with legislators and advocate for public policy issues of importance to the broad Jewish community, as part of the Jewish Public Affairs Committee of California (JPAC). This year, JPAC Advocacy Day focused on four issues: ensuring non-discriminatory practices in housing, safeguarding mental health services, ensuring funding for Senior Nutrition programs, and ensuring California doesn’t unwittingly support the BDS movement.

The latter is found in Assembly Bill 2844 (Bloom), which would prevent California from contracting with companies that boycott Israel. The bill reaffirms California’s increased cooperation, research and trade on alternative energy, agricultural and other critically important technologies. Join our letter-writing campaign to support this bill.

The Advocacy Day keynote speaker was Assembly Speaker Emeritus John Perez, and there was a panel discussion on “Addressing Homelessness in California: Causes and Actions” with Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian from California’s 46th District, Speaker Emeritus Toni Atkins, Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California Policy Director Michael Lane, and Steinberg Institute Executive Director Maggie Merritt. Nancy Volpert of Jewish Family Services Los Angeles was the moderator.

In addition, The Earl Raab Award, awarded annually to a community activist who best exemplifies Raab’s high standard of communal activism and advocacy, was presented to JCRC Executive Director Rabbi Doug Kahn by California Senator Mark Leno. Kahn, who will retire in June, was honored for his years of unparalleled leadership and devoted service. (Join us for on June 14th A JCRC Community Celebration in honor of Doug’s retirement.)

Here’s a brief description just a few of the issues that JPAC is supporting:

AB 2844 (Bloom): California Combating Boycott, Divest, Sanction of Israel Act of 2016 – This bill will prohibit California public entity from entering into any contracts with a company that is engaging in discriminatory business practices in furtherance of a boycott of any sovereign nation or peoples recognized by the government of the United States, including, but not limited to, the nation of Israel. You can help Help Combat BDS today by telling your representatives that AB 2844 is their best bet to keep the BDS Movement from meddling in our state!

SB 1053 (Leno): Housing Opportunity Act – This bill will provide all Californians with a full and fair opportunity to seek housing by ensuring that landlords cannot deny applicants simply because they receive Section 8 vouchers.

Budget Request: The Senate’s “No Place Like Home Initiative” maintain critical funding for mental health services – The California Senate has introduced a budget initiative called “No Place Like Home” to prevent and address homelessness in our local communities, with a particular emphasis on helping those with mental illness. This proposal will re-purpose money from Proposition 63, the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), which funds critically-important preventative and community-based programs for mentally ill homeless people. We request that funding for the “No Place Like Home” Budget Initiative not re-direct monies from preventative and community-based mental health programs.

Budget Request: $5.4 million in General Fund support for the Senior Nutrition Program – This is one-time General Fund allocation for The Senior Nutrition Program. The funds will enable seniors to remain safely in their homes and improve their quality of life while reducing financial pressure on the healthcare system.


PHOTO: Rabbi Doug Kahn with Senator Mark Leno. See more photos here.