• baby-hand-header

        Reverence for Life

    We hold life sacred from conception to natural death. We support policies and services that assist pregnant women to make life-affirming choices.

  • poor-young-boy-header

        Human Dignity

    We believe that each person has a right to access the basic necessities of life. We advocate for food and income security for all and pay special attention to the needs of women and children.

  • judicial-header

        Restorative Justice

    We believe that the dignity of the human person applies to both victim and offender. We advocate for restorative justice policies for all impacted by the criminal justice system.

  • edu-header

        Education

    We support—as a matter of justice—access to a high quality education for all children.  We affirm that all parents have both the right and the responsibility to be involved in their childrens' education.

  • showcase-family

       Family & Marriage

    We support and defend the institution of marriage as the basic foundation of society.  We advocate for tax, workplace, welfare and divorce policies that enhance family unity.

  • liberty-head

        Religious Liberty

    We affirm our religious liberty, which is guaranteed in both the U.S. Constitution and the California state constitution.

Managing County Jails in a “Realigned” State

on . Restorative Justice

 jail phones“A bit of mercy,” says Pope Francis, “makes the world less cold and more just.”

Two of the bills delegates will discuss with legislators during the upcoming Catholic Advocacy Day involve some common sense, “merciful” adjustments to county jail procedures.

AB 1876 (Quirk, D-Hayward) would prohibit exorbitant charges and fees being added to phone calls into county jails. The practice of adding these fees make it difficult for family members to stay in touch with incarcerated relatives even though studies show that prisoners who stay connected with their families are less likely to re-offend. A 15-minute phone call to state prison, for example, now costs about $2.00. The same call to a county jail could be as much as $12.75 – six hundred percent more!

The second issue in the restorative justice area concerns when prisoners are released.

SB 833 (Liu, D-La Canada) would allow people released from county jails to voluntarily remain a few hours longer instead of leaving at midnight which is common practice.

Tags: restorative justice

Debate on Expansion of Universal Pre-School in CA Begins

on . Education

pre k smallIn 2010, California changed the date when five-year-olds became eligible for kindergarten. In the process the state also essentially expanded kindergarten to a two-year program. Variously known as universal pre-school or transitional kindergarten, the extra voluntary year focuses on the alphabet, numbers, colors and other basic skills needed for kindergarten, which is now far more academic than in decades past.

SB 837, co-authored by a slew of Democratic State Senators, would provide funding and set standards to significantly expand the program in California.  

The cost to the state may be $2.2 billion when the program is fully implemented in 2019-20 – some say that is low.

How Governor Brown – who is being very careful on using the state’s budget surplus - will react to this expansion of schooling is one question no one knows the answer to yet.

A Rare Opportunity: Measures Recognizes Humanity of the Unborn, Dignity of Mother

on . Blog

pregnant happy woman 150x190This year, the California Legislature has presented us with a rare opportunity—two bills we can support based on the whole of Catholic social teaching. They are SB 899 and AB 1579. But first, some background.

As Catholics, our Church teaches us to respect the sanctity of human life, to uphold the imperative of family, to honor the dignity of work, to understand God’s special love for the poor and to seek justice in our dealings with each other. Those “ideas” are found in Catholic social teaching—the distillation of divine revelation, age-old human wisdom and common sense—and if understood and followed, a framework for human thriving.

However, too often, we Catholics tend to focus on one aspect of the teaching over and against another aspect. Catholic social teaching is of a piece and can only be a reliable guide if taken as seamless. Respecting human life ought to occur throughout the trajectory of that life—from conception to natural death. Families must be seedbeds tended to nourish and guide the new generation. We need to remember the dignity of work and that those who are poor must be loved and brought along if able or carried if not. And overlaying it all, our human interactions must reflect justice—which can bring about peace.

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