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Next Week’s Catholic Advocacy Day Focuses on Children

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April 20, 2017

Oftentimes, we define success by how much money we make or how many luxuries we acquire.

When you think about it, however, true success isn’t about money or things.  It’s about our health.  It’s about our community.  It’s about our kids. 

Have we set our children up to succeed or fail?  Have we provided them with the opportunity for a good education?  Have we given them a safe and stable environment that supports them at home and at school?  Have we modelled good values and helped teach them the difference between right and wrong?

These are some of the questions we used to narrow down the pieces of legislation we’ve set aside for Advocacy Day.

This year’s Advocacy Day on April 25 will focus on the safety and well being of our children, and providing pathways to ensure they have opportunities to thrive.  

Even if you aren’t attending this year’s event, you can still visit the Catholic Advocacy Day web page to quickly send a letter to lawmakers or view videos on the selected bills.

Youth & Immigration – SB 68 & SB 257 by Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Long Beach)

SB 68 (video) would expand opportunities for “Dreamers” and other students who could prove they had completed three years worth of high school academic credit and treat them as California residents for the purpose of paying resident tuition at the UC, CSU and California Community Colleges.

SB 257 (video) would allow students who already have the legal right to attend California schools (both citizens and non-citizens) to continue to attend classes at their previous elementary, middle school, junior high or high school even if their parents are deported and they are forced to live with a guardian who may live outside of their existing school boundaries.

Education – AB 586 by Assemblymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena)                         

AB 586 (video) would recognize the financial burden placed upon teachers by allowing targeted tax deductions for professional development costs incurred as new teachers acquire the necessary training and certificates they need to succeed in their profession. Investing in quality education means investing in teacher quality.

Restorative Justice - SB 304 by Senator Portantino

SB 304 (video) Juvenile Court School Pupils (Portantino, D-LaCanada Flintridge) would expand the components of the joint transition planning policy relative to coordinating education and services for the youth in the juvenile justice system. (Support)

Family Poverty – AB 1520 by Assemblymember Autumn Burke (D-Inglewood)

AB 1520 (video) would commit the State of California to reducing the rate of childhood poverty by 50% by 2039 and require the Department of Finance to prepare an annual progress report  as part of the Governor’s Budget detailing how that year’s proposed state budget would advance that goal.

Health Care & Familiy Values – SB 320 by Senator Connie Leyva (D-Chino)

SB 320 (video) is opposed by the CA Catholic Conference and would force religious employers to carry out employment practices that would undercut their religious values. In the case of Catholic schools, for example, it would nullify provisions of existing teacher contracts that forbid publicly undermining Catholic teaching. The legislation is unnecessary and solves a non-existent problem.

Homelessness – AB 824 by Assemblymember Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale)

AB 824 (video) would provide grants to non-profit organizations like Catholic Charities or Mercy Housing to provide housing and transitional services to homeless youth between the ages of 18 and 24 for a period of up to 3 years as a means of helping young people and preventing drug, alcohol and other problems associated with homelessness.