Western Center’s 2020 Election Debrief
Americans and Californians made it through another election, with big implications for the country’s future. Here in California, we voted on several important races and propositions on our 2020 ballot. Western Center’s debrief analyzes some of those propositions, what they mean for the future of California, and for the people we serve.
Overall, we are very pleased that Proposition 17 (Right to Vote for People Who Were Formerly Incarcerated) passed, and that Proposition 20 (Restore Crimes and Limit Early Release) failed, because both outcomes are important in the fight for criminal justice reform.
That said, we are disappointed with the outcomes of Proposition 15 (Schools and Communities First/ Prop 13 Split Roll), Prop 16 (Repeal Ban on Affirmative Action), Prop 21 (Reduce State Limits on Local Rent Control), Prop 22 (Repeal Worker Protections for App-based Rideshare Workers), and Prop 25 (Repeal State Law Eliminating Money Bail), as they solidify the status quo of racial and economic inequality in our state. Of course, we will continue to work toward more equitable policies for many of these issues through the legislative process.
CalFresh Court Win
The California Court of Appeal ruled on Tuesday that the Department of Social Services must replace CalFresh benefits (“food stamps”) when they are electronically stolen from recipients. Western Center and our partners at Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles represented plaintiffs who experienced electronic theft of their CalFresh benefits. The Court of Appeal decision reverses a trial court ruling that said the state is not responsible for replacing stolen benefits. Read more about the case here.
COVID Eviction Ordinances Protected
Last Friday, a judge denied the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles’ motion for preliminary injunction, which asked the court to stop enforcement of the City of Los Angeles’ COVID-related tenant protections. Western Center, along with Public Counsel, The Public Interest Law Project, and Susman Godfrey LLP, represent two tenants’ rights organizations, ACCE Action and Strategic Action for a Just Economy (SAJE), that successfully sought to intervene in the lawsuit to help defend the ordinances. The court’s latest decision is significant in the fight to keep renters housed in California, as it affirms the importance of people staying in their homes in the midst of the ongoing pandemic. Read more in this blog post by Western Center Senior Attorney, Nisha Vyas.