César Chávez, Dolores Huerta, Larry Itliong

Equal Justice Society

chavez

This Saturday, March 31, is César E. Chávez National Holiday and César Chávez Day in California, an official state holiday. 2018 also marks the 25th anniversary of César Chávez’s passing. The American labor leader and civil rights activist helped spark and lead a movement in the 1960s and 1970s to empower farmworkers in California and throughout the country in order to end the suffering caused by racist agribusiness owners.

Chávez and the United Farm Workers employed radical acts of non-violence to raise awareness of the struggles and mistreatment of the farmworkers. Chávez himself underwent many fasts to advance the farmworkers’ rights movement. In 1988, he started an eventual 36-day fast to protest the use of pesticides in the fields.

“This solution to this deadly crisis will not be found in the arrogance of the powerful,” said Chávez, “but in solidarity with the weak and helpless. I pray to God that…

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Recommendations on 2012 Ballot Measures

Click to download a PDF of our California 2012 ballot measure recommendations, which were decided upon by the CCRC Steering Committee. Not all member organizations of CCRC endorse each of the positions. Please register to vote by October 22.

CCRC is a statewide community of civil rights organizations, activists, educators, lawyers, and advocates representing a wide range of issues and working as one to create a just and healthy society. We stand for quality education for all, good jobs, affordable housing, access for people with disabilities, safe neighborhoods, environmental justice, LGBTQ equality, a fair criminal justice system, access to healthcare and transit, economic equity, immigrants’ rights, social equity, racial justice, increased opportunities for disadvantaged communities, and a populace, government and business community that share a responsibility to ensuring human dignity for all Californians. Continue reading →

CCRC Endorsements

Click to download a PDF of our California 2012 ballot measure recommendations, which were decided upon by the CCRC Steering Committee. Not all member organizations of CCRC endorse each of the positions. Please register to vote by October 22.

Proposition 30 – Governor Brown’s Initiative to Fund Schools & Essential Services
Raises income taxes on top 2% of Californians to fund schools and essential services such as healthcare and public safety.Also, includes quarter cent (1/4 cent) sales tax. More info: www.yesonprop30.com

Proposition 31 California Forward/Think Long Initiative
Misguided “reforms” that adds layer upon layer of restrictions and poorly defined requirements, leaving key decisions up to unelected bureaucrats. Implements a spending cap which would make it difficult to restore funding to programs decimated by previous budget cuts. More info: prop31facts.com

Proposition 32 Special Exemptions
Would increase corporate power and essentially eliminate the voices of working people in California politics. This initiative poses as ‘campaign finance reform’ but has been referred to more accurately as Citizens United on steroids. stopspecialexemptions.org

Proposition 33 Auto Insurance
Though some argue this initiative is ultimately good for consumers, there is concern that not all consumers would be protected and some would be left paying more than others because of access to coverage.
More info: stopthesurcharge.consumerwatchdogcampaign.org

Proposition 34 Replace the Death Penalty with LWOP
Will replace California’s broken death penalty with justice that works for everyone. Proposition 34 replaces the death penalty with life in prison with absolutely no chance of parole. It will guarantee we will never execute an innocent person, requires convicted killers to work and pay restitution to the victim’s compensation fund. Will save $1 billion in five years and directs $100 million to law enforcement to solve more rapes and murders. More info:  www.safecalifornia.org

Proposition 35 Human Trafficking
Increases penalties for human trafficking, sex offenses and imposes new restrictions on registered sex offenders. Some components of this initiative will likely be found unconstitutional. Also, it increased penalties within the troubled criminal justice system, which incarcerates people of color and the poor at a disproportionately high rate. More info: https://www.aclunc.org/legislation/ca_propositions/index.shtml

Proposition 36 Three Strikes Reform
Revises the three strikes law to impose life sentence only when the new felony conviction is “serious or violent.” Authorizes re-sentencing for offenders currently serving life sentences. Saves $100 million a year. More info: www.yeson36.org

Proposition 37 Genetically Engineered Foods Labeling
“Right-to-know’ initiative would require clear labels informing consumers if foods are genetically modified. Would become the first law of its kind in the nation though 40 countries globally already require labeling. More info: www.carighttoknow.org

Proposition 38 Tax for Education and Early Childhood Programs
Prop 38 raises ten billion dollars annually to restore funding to Pre-K through high school by raising rates on income, using a sliding scale based on the ability to pay, with the wealthiest Californians paying the most. More info: http://www.prop38forlocalschools.org/

Proposition 39 Close Corporate Tax Loophole
Closes a corporate tax loophole and raises $1 billion per year. Dedicates $550 million annually for five years to fund projects that “create energy efficiency and clean energy jobs” in California. More info: www.cleanenergyjobsact.com

Proposition 40 Redistricting
A “yes” vote will approve the new State Senate districts drawn by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission (created by 2008’s Prop 11). A “no” vote will require the districts to be drawn again. More info: holdpoliticiansaccountable.org

Communications Structure

Finding Our (Collective) Voice and Making It Heard

Do you wonder why the catchwords and messages of the Right have such traction in the media marketplace, while progressive voices seemed to be drowned out?

The California Civil Rights Coalition is committed to finding effective, powerful, and creative ways to express our shared messages, and to developing vehicles to make sure our voices are heard.

We hope you will join us for the communications session of the Civil Rights State of the State where we will talk about our shared values and find practical ways to make our communications more effective. This session will be led by Claudia Pena, CCRC Coordinator; Bilen Mesfin, EJS Communications Consultant and Principal at Change Consulting, LLC; Keith Kamisugi, EJS Communications Director; Elaine Elinson, EJS Communications Consultant and former ACLU-NC Communications Director.

We have designed this session to be useful to many kinds of groups – from local, grassroots organizations who do not have communications staff, to larger groups with experience, national connections and resources to share.  But only your participation will make it really work!

Highlights include:

Identifying Opportunities and Challenges – A frank accounting from seasoned communications professionals about the benefits – and pitfalls – of doing joint media work.

Defining Our Common Values – We will begin the conversation in attempting to name the shared values that underlie all the work we do – whether in health care, immigration, education, race discrimination or LGBT rights – and explore the best ways to express those values.   We will look at how the messages and vocabulary of the right have seeped into the media and our daily dialogue – phrases like “birthright citizenship,” “illegal aliens,” “colorblind society,” and “special interest groups,”  — and how we can debunk them.

Staging a Press Conference – Dos and Don’ts – Here, you will have a chance to take an issue in the news (like the stonewalling that led to the collapse of the state budget talks or how proposed cuts affect your community) and work with others to determine the most effective messages, messengers and media strategy.

Finding Our Way Forward – We will begin finding the best ways for the Coalition to create a unified response around major issues, support organizations seeking to publicize their key issues, and figure out how to provide resources (like a handbook, training, etc.) to groups that do not have communications staff.