Equality California — working hand-in-hand with state lawmakers — made history in 2018, sponsoring and passing a record number of pro-equality bills and resolutions, according to Executive Director Rick Zbur.
Equality California sponsored 14 bills and three resolutions in 2018. Ten bills were signed into law and all three resolutions were adopted by the Legislature.
Equality California’s 2018 legislative package focused on the most vulnerable in its community, as it worked to address the persistent disparities in health and wellbeing that many LGBTQ people continue to face. The organization passed historic legislation to ensure transgender youth in the foster care system have access to the life-saving, gender-affirming healthcare they need; it made critical investments in combating California’s youth homelessness crisis; and it helped guarantee that law enforcement officers have the tools and training they need to serve and protect the LGBTQ community, according to Zbur.
In its 2018 Legislative Scorecard, Equality California awarded Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia 100 percent.
The overall score reflects officials’ votes on Equality California-sponsored legislation and priority supported legislation.
“For me it is simple,” Garcia told Uken Report about his perfect score. “I was elected to represent the residents of our 56th California State Assembly District. That means all of our residents. I am very mindful that the policies I introduce and support are both equitable and inclusive. For me, there is no room for discrimination, and I am proud to help advance legislation that will ensure a more just California for all.”
Following are just three of the bills Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law and that Equality California sponsored and Garcia supported:
GENDER HEALTH IN FOSTER CARE AB 2119
Child welfare agencies are required to assess the health needs of all young people in foster care and ensure they receive appropriate and timely care to address the needs identified by qualified professionals. AB 2119 makes clear that, to meet this obligation for transgender and gender nonconforming youth, child welfare agencies must ensure access to clinicians who provide gender-affirming treatment consistent with established standards of care. Equality California cosponsored AB 2119 with the ACLU of California, the Los Angeles LGBT Center, Lambda Legal and the National Center for Lesbian Rights. Signed into law by Gov. Brown on Sept. 14, 2018.
LGBTQ CULTURAL COMPETENCY TRAINING FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS AB 2504
LGBTQ people face higher rates of hate crimes and incidents, bias-based violence, harassment at the hands of law enforcement and discrimination within the criminal justice system compared to the general population. AB 2504 requires the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (CPOST) to develop LGBTQ-specific training for peace officers and dispatchers. Improving peace officers’ ability to communicate with and serve members of the LGBTQ community will assist them in responding appropriately to situations that involve LGBTQ people with understanding and acceptance. Signed into law by Gov. Brown on Sept. 30, 2018.
INCREASING ACCESS TO IDENTIFICATION FOR PEOPLE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS AB 2490
AB 2490 eliminates fees charged to people experiencing homelessness seeking to obtain certified birth certificates directly from the state. Many Californians experiencing homelessness live in counties that are not the county of their birth, and some may be unsure of their birth county. LGBTQ young people experiencing homelessness, in particular, often travel to major California cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles to find acceptance, which could be a long distance from their county of birth. For some of these individuals, communicating with or even locating their county of birth to request a birth certificate is a significant hurdle. Signed into law by Gov. Brown on Sept. 19, 2018.
You may see the balance of the Equality California bills by clicking here.
- Eduardo Garcia: Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia