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California’s Jewish Caucus pursues ‘tikkun olam’ with new slate of legislative goals

Priorities include efforts to help LGBTQ students, ethnic minorities and nonprofit groups.

California State Capitol in Sacramento. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
California State Capitol in Sacramento. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

The California Legislative Jewish Caucus aims to pursue a broad variety of bills to lift up many struggling groups during the 2023 session.

Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel, the co-chair of the Jewish Caucus, said that “this year, we are proudly bringing our Jewish values into the policymaking process and working closely with allies in other communities to address issues like hate crimes, Holocaust education, community security, mental health and environmental justice.”

The top three “priority” bills include a proposal to regulate automated decision tools to counter “algorithmic discrimination”; expansion of the California State Nonprofit Security Grant Program; and streamlining efforts by faith-based groups and nonprofit colleges to build affordable, multifamily housing.

The caucus also named 10 bills in its “Tikkun Olam Priorities.”

Several items of legislation focused on aiding students. These include training teachers in improving support for LGBTQ students and those struggling with the effects of body shaming. Another bill aims to eliminate barriers to students keeping their financial aid through a new set of academic standards. Other new potential laws are geared to improve case management for refugees and eliminate price markups in canteen stores at prisons.

Scott Wiener, the caucus’s co-chair, said: “I am especially proud to have housing bills and bills that protect our LGBTQ siblings in the Jewish community included in the package. Stable and affordable housing should be a right, and no person should feel unable to live as their authentic self.”

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