Tuesday morning started very early for some dedicated advocates. Traveling from all over the state to Sacramento, almost every diocese in California was represented at the Capitol for the annual Catholic Advocacy Day.
Groups convened at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament for a prayer service and last minute briefings then filtered out of the cathedral to begin meeting with legislators and staff. Catholic advocates opposed legislation and budget proposals that would fund lethal prescription for Medi-Cal recipients and set up a physician-assisted suicide hotline. And they supported bills to help teachers, protect child witnesses in trafficking cases and repeal the Maximum Family Grant.
Advocates also brought up issues that were important locally:
In a meeting with Assembly Member Rob Bonta’s office, Cristina Hernandez and Geoff Collins, both from the Diocese of Oakland, spoke of the pain their city is experiencing because of the high crime rates. They each stressed the importance of restorative justice practices and how they can help their city heal.
Another group from Monterey discussed at length the issue of human trafficking in Monterey and what the church as well as the legislature is doing to combat this horrific problem.
One of our target bills - AB 2590 - Sentencing; restorative justice – happened to be up for a hearing in Assembly Public Safety Committee that morning. Attendees were able to stop by and voice their support of this bill in the committee room. The measure, which the California Catholic Conference sponsors in conjunction with other faith-based groups, easily passed the committee. (Thank you for your emails in support of this important restorative justice bill.)
You can still support the advocates by participating in the Virtual Advocacy Day on the California Catholic Conference website. The Alert will remain active throughout the weekend.