Friday, May 18, 2018


By Claire Trageser

Voters are now free to take a photo of their ballot from the voting booth, due to a change in state law.

In past elections, some voters have wanted to take "ballot selfies"— pictures of their ballots to post on social media. But that social sharing had been illegal in California to prevent vote buying and voter coercion.

But after the 2016 California primary, the California legislature voted to change the law. That change went into effect Jan. 1, 2017.

Monday, May 14, 2018

The Press Democrat

By Bill Swindell

The state Assembly May 10 passed legislation Thursday that would ensure homeowners are regularly provided an updated replacement cost estimate to rebuild their home.

The chamber by a 77-0 vote approved AB 1797 sponsored by Assembly member Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, part of package by local lawmakers to address the aftermath of last year’s wildfires, when many North Bay residents found themselves underinsured.

Levine argued the measure was needed because insurance companies are not mandated under law to produce or regularly update a replacement cost calculation for homeowners.

Friday, May 11, 2018

San Diego Jewish World

The California Legislative Jewish Caucus on Monday commended Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. for including in his final budget proposal funds to maintain and restore the landmark Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles.

The Governor released his May Revise in the State Capitol Monday, updating his January proposal with revenue totals from the income tax season.

The proposal included a $10 million, one-time appropriation toward a planned $20-million refurbishment of the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. The museum opened in 1993 and has welcomed more than 7 million visitors.

“Governor Jerry Brown’s proposal will help Californians understand the Holocaust in both historic and contemporary contexts and confront all forms of prejudice and discrimination that exist today,” said Assemblymember Marc Levine, D-Marin County, Chair of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus. “His recognition of troubling anti-Semitic trends and the importance of addressing them shows true thoughtfulness and leadership in combating the prejudiced climate we face today. I commend the Governor for recognizing the need to fight these issues head-on and educate Californians on this crucial history so that it may not repeat itself.”

Friday, May 11, 2018

Mercury News

By Nicoletta Lanese

Hundreds of animal activists across California are caught up in campaign preparations as a new cage-free farming initiative to ban cages for chickens, pigs and veal calves is expected to hit the ballot in November.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Los Angeles Times

By The Editorial Board

Wrongful convictions plague California's criminal justice system, and pretty much all participants and observers agree on the leading cause: faulty testimony from eyewitnesses. Police line up the suspects or show photos to people who saw either the crime or the events that led up to or followed it, and urge the witnesses to help them close the case and put the criminal behind bars. Wanting to do their duty, witnesses sometimes say, "I think that's the guy" when what they are thinking is, "I really can't tell."

That's essentially what happened to Francisco "Franky" Carrillo Jr., who was wrongfully convicted in a fatal drive-by shooting and spent nearly 20 years in prison after a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy showed a 15-year-old eyewitness a photo and said the person depicted — Carrillo — was the leading suspect. Six months later, five other eyewitnesses were shown the photo and identified Carrillo. They all later recanted.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

The Triton

By Caroline Siegel Singh

As the state of California faces a decrease in the number of college graduates required for a competitive workforce, the California state legislature has increased pressure on both the UC and California State University (CSU) systems to increase four-year graduation rates. According to the Public Policy Institute of California, the projected number of degrees in 2030 is nearly 1.1 million short of what constitutes a competitive Californian workforce. In order to close the gap, the legislature has asked the UC system to increase enrollment to confer an additional 250,000 degrees by 2030. Similar requests have also been asked of the CSU system.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Marin Independent Journal

By Colleen Bidwill

Lucia Martel-Dow’s recent accolade couldn’t have come at a better time.

While reading a scathing letter someone had sent her, attacking her work with immigrants in Marin County, she got a call from Assemblymember Marc Levine’s office telling her she’d been named North Bay’s Woman of the Year.

Martel-Dow, the director of immigration legal services at San Rafael-based Canal Alliance, couldn’t help but burst into tears. The past two years, she’s fought for immigrants’ rights, from helping families attain legal status to protecting people from deportation to educating the community about the rights of immigrants.