21 and Counting Including Obama

By now, Calpeek readers know that Congresswoman Barbara Lee is the latest well-known elected official to announce her campaign to replace retiring U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein.  But, did everyone know that there are actually 21 candidates, other than Feinstein, who have opened committees with the Federal Election Commission?  Calpeek has a handy list for you to peruse here.  Some are well known candidates like Congressmembers Adam Schiff and Katherine (Katie) Porter.  Others may not be well known, but some have tried running for office before.  We would love that Barack Obama is running, but it’s not that Barack Obama.  


Slavery is Legal in California

Well, technically, involuntary servitude is legal, but anyone forced into either involuntary servitude, slavery, or indentured servitude, probably doesn’t care about the technicalities.  Involuntary servitude is illegal according to 22 U.S. Code § 7102 unless a government declares it legal in the case of individuals who are imprisoned and need to earn money because they are required to pay restitution. California allows it for punishment for crime.  Progressives in the state legislature want to change that and have proposed placing a constitution amendment on the November 2024 ballot called “End Slavery in California Act.” A similar effort last year failed to make the ballot.  The L.A. Times has lots of interesting details here.


California’s Julie Su May Get a Big Promotion

Former California Labor Secretary Julie Su currently resides in DC and serves as the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Labor.  Previously, Su worked in the administrations of both Governors Gavin Newsom and Jerry Brown.  On Wednesday, President Joe Biden officially nominated her to take Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh’s job.  Walsh is leaving the administration this month.  Biden has no Asian-Americans currently serving as a cabinet Secretary.  Su still needs to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.


Let the Countdown Begin: E-365

If it feels like campaign season has already begun, you are not imagining things.   Sunday will be E-365!  California’s 2024 primary election will be held in 365 days – on March 5.  Candidates will begin pulling their Declaration of Candidacy paperwork on November 13, 2023 which is just over 8 months from now.  Although there are no candidates for statewide office scheduled to appear on the ballot, there will be candidates for the U.S. President and for the open U.S. Senate seat, as well as one statewide ballot measure – SCA 2.  A significant number of the races for the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislature are expected to be contested because there will be open seats.  County races will also be on the ballot as well as those for some cities, school districts, and special districts.  


Bass Backs Lee

In the race to replace State Senator Dianne Feinstein, Congresswoman Barbara Lee picked up support from Los Angeles Mayor and former Congresswoman Karen Bass.  Bass stated that Lee’s experience as a “progressive fighter” is what California needs.  The endorsement could be a big deal for Lee based on how Bass did in the recent Mayoral race and what L.A. voters bring to the outcome of a Senate race. Lee, a 25-year incumbent, is very popular in her Bay Area area district, but not well known in Southern California.


Shasta County May Start Counting By Hand

Swept up in unproven voter fraud claims, the Shasta County Board of Supervisors has canceled its contract with Dominion Voting Systems and is considering other options for counting votes – including counting by hand.  According to the Los Angeles Times, Supervisor Kevin Crey (part of the newly empowered hard-right majority), also stated that he had been in touch with Mike Lindell, the MyPillow guy and pro-Trump election conspiracy theorist, about supporting a pilot voting program in Shasta County.  On the same day, Kern County Supervisors considered whether or not to keep Dominion Voting Systems.  After hours of public testimony from residents who were convinced that the voting system provided by Dominion is rigged, the Supervisors decided to keep Dominion although the vote was very close.


State Ends Covid State of Emergency            

It’s official!  On February 28, California ended its COVID state of emergency which was declared to give Governor Gavin Newsom additional powers to issue mandates intended to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus as well as bypass certain state laws according to the New York Times.  During the nearly three years that the state of emergency was in place, the Governor engaged in more than 500 legal and policy measures.  President Joe Biden has also announced plans to end the nation’s COVID related state of emergency this coming May.  


(Ambassador) Garcetti Update 2023

It’s been a while since we’ve been able to share an update on former Los Angeles City Mayor Eric Garcetti’s nomination to serve as U.S. Ambassador to India.  According to the Los Angeles Times, it seems that the former Mayor’s efforts to jettison the City of Angels and finally call India home made a little progress this week during a trip to the Capitol and a meeting with Maine Senator Susan Collins.  “I had an excellent meeting with Mayor Garcetti yesterday, and I was impressed with his knowledge of India,” stated Collins.  She continued to say that “we discussed the allegations against his aide and his response to those allegations.  I still want to review Senator Grassley’s report, but I don’t think that ‘should have known’ is a fair standard to use.  So I haven’t made a final decision, but I was impressed.”  It seems that, in addition to impressing Collins with his ability to order Indian from the takeout menu (CalPeek commentary – no menu is known to have been present during the meeting), Democratic Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii said she would give Garcetti the ole thumbs up on the Senate floor.  Even with such joyous news for Garcetti, he still needs to make it through committee and that means getting past Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida who previously placed a hold on Garcetti’s nomination.


Calling All Communications Professionals – Job Posting

The California Teachers Association is hiring for the position of Communications Manager.  The Communication Manager serves as a member of the senior management team of the Training, Information and Development Division (TIDD), provides strategic counsel to the Associate Executive Director and plays an integral role in the development and administration of the programs and initiatives of the Division. The Communications Manager is in charge of developing and implementing a comprehensive internal and external communications strategy for the Association, including message development, media relations, social media and multimedia advocacy, association publications, member engagement, and training. Please visit our job posting page to view the complete job description and to apply.

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