California Propositions & Legislation

Courage Campaign organizes for a more just and progressive California, one in which the California Dream is alive again, creating widespread and long-term prosperity for all its people without regard for race, creed, or sexual orientation. We support legislation and ballot propositions that would further these goals.

We fight Such a California might include: elite public education that once again offers pre-school to post-doc learning without regard to race or economic status; a health care system that serves everyone with compassion, efficiency and fairness; an efficient, vibrant, inventive, modern economy with a transportation system to match, accounting for true costs on and benefits to society and the environment; and a society where workers are treated with dignity and respect, where immigrants are welcomed, and people of all races, creeds and sexual orientations are treated equally.

Current Actions

Tell Sen. de Leon: Stop non-profit hospitals from putting PROFITS before patient care

Non-profit hospitals in California have made a mockery of their tax-exempt status for far too long. Every year these so-called charitable hospitals bring home billions of dollars in profits, avoid billions in taxes, and cheat poor communities out of desperately needed care. It’s outrageous and we must have the courage to hold these hospitals accountable! Sign the petition to stop non-profit hospitals from robbing taxpayers blind.

Tell CA Senate: Provide paid sick days to every worker

Nearly 6 million California workers cannot take an hour off of work to care for themselves or a loved one who is sick without putting their pay or job in jeopardy. Join us to ask the Senate Appropriations Committee to help guarantee a healthy workplace for all CA workers and protection from losing one’s job when illness strikes.

Tell Gov. Brown: Protect CA’s landmark climate change law

California's landmark climate change legislation -- AB 32 -- is under attack! Big Oil is leading a statewide mis-information campaign to delay the implementation of CA's groundbreaking cap-and-trade program. 16 California Democrats have already been swayed by Big Oil's deep pockets. We must have the courage to stand together and call on Gov. Brown to publicly state his plans to ensure AB 32 is fully implemented as it was intended.

Tell CA Legislators: Help prevent another mass shooting in California

California may have the strongest gun laws in the nation, but the recent shooting rampage in Isla Vista reminds us that we must do even more to prevent gun violence. And now we have an opportunity to address the specific instances that led to the Isla Vista tragedy -- by making sure people at risk for violence do not have immediate access to firearms.

End the crack/powder cocaine sentencing disparity in California

Crack and powder cocaine are the same drug, with nearly identical effect on the body. But crack cocaine is punished much more harshly and that doesn’t make any sense. These disparate sentencing guidelines have resulted in a pattern of institutional racism in our prisons. Tell the CA State Senate to pass a historic reform bill that will save taxpayer dollars and make our criminal justice system more fair.

Stop dealers from selling killer cars to consumers!

Due to a loophole in California law, car dealers are allowed to sell used cars without repairing safety recalls first. An analysis by CarFax shows that 36 million cars on the road right now -- or roughly one in seven -- are subject to a safety-related recall but have never been repaired. It's obvious that the law needs to change, but the car dealers are lobbying furiously because they don't want to bother repairing the cars before they make another sale.

Demand a Progressive Budget: Tell Sacramento to Invest $5 Billion More for Californians

The people of California are hurting. Badly. We have the highest poverty rate in the nation. More than $36 billion in funding for education, childcare, healthcare, nutrition, and housing were slashed during the Great Recession and have yet to be restored. Budget negotiations are going on RIGHT NOW, and instead of using new Prop. 30 revenue to restore funding to vital services, Governor Jerry Brown is hoping to fund prison expansion and stash billions away for the next rainy day. Well, we've got news for the governor: it's still raining!

Tell your CA Legislators: Help put a nurse and librarian in every California school!

California’s students deserve better. After years of budget cuts, most of our students have no access to medical care or counseling services during the school day and library hours at their schools have been cut back dramatically, but there is a new initiative in Sacramento that could help change that. It’s called "Healthy Kids, Healthy Minds" and would be implemented through Assembly Bill 1955.

Tell CA Legislators: Stop outrageous CEO pay!

In the past few decades, CEO compensation has skyrocketed to as much as 354 times more than their average worker, while workers’ wages have stagnated to some of the lowest levels in our nation’s history. Senate Bill 1372 is an important first step to combat this growing disparity by creating a tax structure that rewards companies that have a reasonable CEO-to-worker pay ratio, while increasing taxes on companies with excessive wage gaps.

Announcing the Big Oil Beacon!

Courage Campaign and our allies have launched an unprecedented step to take back our state government from corporate corruption. It's called the Big Oil Beacon, and it will shine a bright light on the toxic influence of the most powerful corporate lobbyists in Sacramento, while exposing the economic devastation facing Californians in specific legislators' districts. See whether your representative is working for YOU or Big Oil here.

Tell CA Legislators: Get the FRACK out of California!

With all the known health and environmental risks of hydraulic fracturing (a.k.a “fracking”), California, a supposed climate change leader, must change course on fracking! That’s why member-activists like you must have the courage to demand our state legislators support a statewide ban on fracking NOW. Tell your leaders in Sacramento to protect Californians from the dangers of fracking!

Success Stories

VICTORY: SB 1010 to help end the catastrophic 40 year War on Drugs just passed the CA State Senate!

Thousands of Courage members asked their State Senators to vote YES on SB 1010 by Senator Holly J. Mitchell to end the groundless crack and powder cocaine sentencing disparity in California, and they listened! If this bill becomes law it will help address the institutionalized pattern of racial discrimination in who we send to prison, and will also save tax dollars so they can be spent more wisely on treatment and rehabilitation programs.

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VICTORY: One step away from a major victory against the “War on Drugs”

Because of more than 13,000 Courage Campaign member-activists, the Local Control in Sentencing Act, SB 649, passed the Legislature and is now on Governor Brown’s desk. This historic and bi-partisan drug sentencing reform bill will save taxpayer dollars and reduce overcrowding in our prisons by allowing prosecutors to charge non-violent drug possession as a misdemeanor, rather than as a felony. However, we need your help to push this bill over the finish line.

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VICTORY: LIFE ACT passes CA Legislature

Courage Campaign led the fight for gun safety and the Legislature listened. The California Senate and Assembly passed the gun violence prevention package known as the LIFE (Lifesaving Intelligent Firearms Enforcement) Act and now we need to urge Gov. Brown to stand up to the NRA and immediately sign this lifesaving legislation.

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PROGRESS: We stopped Gov. Brown's irresponsible prison expansion plan

Thousands of Courage Campaign member-activists and our coalition partners stood up to the most powerful politicians in the state and made it clear that endless expansion of prison capacity for the benefit of private corporations has no place in California. Our tsunami of opposition forced Gov. Brown to agree to a compromise plan that could prevent the state from wasting $715 million of precious taxpayer dollars -- which were promised to restore our schools and vital services under Prop 30 -- and instead open up more opportunities for inmate rehabilitation. It's all up to the court now. We need your help to continue to fight for saner, more fiscally responsible reform of California's vast and deeply corrupt prison-industrial complex.

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Learn the critical role Courage Campaign members played in passing prop. 30 and defeating prop. 32

The Courage Campaign was proud to play a historic role in the November 2012 General Election, from passing Proposition 30 -- bringing critical revenue and groundbreaking tax fairness to California -- to defeating the right wing, Citizen’s United unregulated secret money machine by beating back Proposition 32, to tremendous wins on marriage equality, including Washington State, to shaping the narrative on Romney’s record on LGBT issues.

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Past Actions

Join the fight for fair opportunities for transgender students!

The National Organization of Marriage's (NOM) is attempting to repeal the historic School Success and Opportunity Act (AB 1266) -- a new law that provides fair opportunities for transgender students to participate and succeed in school -- with a referendum that will move forward, pending a full count of signatures, onto the ballot in November. We must get to work now and prepare our campaign with our fearless coalition partners so we are ready to fight back!

VOTE: Should Courage Campaign take on this fight?

We need your input before we gear up to take on the National Organization for Marriage (NOM)’s latest and most regressive attack against our transgender youth in California. They are currently gathering signatures for a 2014 ballot measure. If we’re going to act, we need to act now. As a member-driven organization, Courage Campaign must consult with our members before taking an official position on ballot measures. We need 60% of our members to agree with our staff recommendation.

VOTE to fight for an affordable San Francisco

Please help us decide whether or not to weigh in on the fight for affordable housing in San Francisco around the 8 Washington development. Read the pro and con arguments to Propositions B & C and let us know where you stand as a Courage member. As a member-driven organization, Courage Campaign must consult with our members before taking an official position on ballot measures. We need 60% of our members to agree with our staff recommendation.

Gov. Brown: Sign LIFE Act gun safety bills

Key bills from the LIFE (Lifesaving Intelligent Firearms Enforcement) Act sit on Gov. Brown's desk -- including a loophole-free assault weapons ban and background checks for ammunition purchases. With the stroke of a pen, he could give California the smartest, safest gun laws in the nation, but he has a poor track record when it comes to gun safety. We must convince Gov. Brown to sign these laws to protect Californians from more senseless gun violence.

Gov. Brown: Show your commitment to progressive solutions to prison overcrowding. Sign SB 649.

SB 649 is a historic & bi-partisan drug sentencing reform bill that will save taxpayer dollars and reduce overcrowding in our prisons by allowing prosecutors to charge non-violent drug possession as a misdemeanor, rather than as a felony. Send an email to Gov. Brown urging him to sign SB 649 to help end the so-called “War on Drugs.”