Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

October 11, 2011
Foes of gay curriculum say they 'need a miracle' to qualify referendum

With just one day left to circulate petitions, organizers of an effort to repeal a new law requiring that California students learn about the historical contributions of gay and lesbian individuals have told supporters that they "would need a miracle to qualify this referendum."

The Pacific Justice Institute and an arm of Capitol Resource Institute have been leading an effort to overturn Senate Bill 48, which requires public school instruction to include the role and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, people with disabilities and members of different cultural groups. They face a Wednesday deadline for submitting to election officials the roughly 505,000 valid voter signatures needed to place a referendum of the law on the ballot.

Despite days of emails calling for a final push in the signature gathering campaign, referendum organizers told supporters in an early morning email that "it is doubtful we will get the number of signatures we need to qualify" the proposed referendum.

"The only possible scenario for snatching victory from the jaws of defeat is a 24 hour petition marathon," the email reads.

A follow-up email announced that they had received 5,000 additional signatures, declaring that "battle is not over quite yet."

Still, supporters of SB 48, which was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown earlier this year, celebrated the news as a sign the referendum will fail to qualify.

"The FAIR Education Act will simply ensure that California's students learn an honest, accurate, and inclusive account of history, but opponents of equality have grossly distorted the intent and the effect of the FAIR Education act in their quest to secure signatures for this referendum. Today's victory shows that their lies cannot stand up to our truth," Equality California Executive Director Roland Palencia said in a statement.

October 11, 2011
Executive director of California LGBT-rights group to resign

The executive director of the state's largest advocacy group for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered rights has decided to step down after less than six months on the job.

Roland Palencia, selected in May to replace longtime Equality California leader Geoff Kors, announced last night that he will leave his post on Friday. He said in a statement released by the group that he "will continue to be an avid and involved supporter of EQCA and its work for equality."

"Over the next year, the movement in California faces a unique set of challenges that demands leadership uniquely positioned to take those challenges head-on, strengthen the organization and bring together the diverse parts of our movement into a powerful force for change," he said in a prepared statement.

EQCA Board Chair Cathy Schwamberger thanked Palencia for his "important work to build diverse and inclusive coalitions and engage and reconnect our movement."

"That work has helped to position our movement to fight back against attacks on the LGBT community and protect advances in equality -- the effects of which will impact our movement for years to come," she said in a statement.

The EQCA Board of Directors plans to release a transition plan for selecting a new leader by the end of the week. EQCA spokeswoman Rebekah Orr declined to comment further on the announcement, saying Palencia's "decision to resign was a personal one for him."

October 11, 2011
AM Alert: California Republicans take the long view

The California Republican Party is on the road today for a town hall, an evening event in Lafayette.

The target group? High school students, not the first group you might think to engage heading into the 2012 elections.

Spokesman Mark Standriff says the outreach is part of chairman Tom Del Beccaro's efforts to get the party out of its comfort zone and speaking to new potential members, beginning a discussion that might eventually lead them to consider the party's candidates and ideals.

"They're going to vote someday," he said.

The event starts at 7 p.m. at the Lafayette Veterans Memorial Building on Mt. Diablo Blvd.

Elsewhere, today's the day a committee supporting Latino candidates and issues holds a $5,000-a-head fundraiser at The French Laundry.

The group, "Yes We Can," will give guests a chance to mingle with Assemblyman Tony Mendoza, D-Artesia, and other members of the Latino Legislative Caucus.

Today is also the kick-off of "Let's Jump," an effort led by First Lady Michelle Obama to break the Guinness world record for the most people doing jumping jacks in a 24-hour period.

In California, jumping events held at various landmarks begin at noon on the west steps of the Capitol. The rest of the schedule:

1 pm: Muscle Beach, Santa Monica
October 12, 2011 - 9 am: Hollywood Sign, Hollywood
October 12, 2011 - 10 am: Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

A Senate hearing on technology in the classroom, originally set for 10 a.m. today in the Silicon Valley, has been postponed. The chair of the select committee, Sen. Elaine Alquist, will devote her time to jury duty instead.


Capitol Alert Staff

Jeremy White Jeremy B. White covers California politics and edits Capitol Alert's mobile Insider Edition. Twitter: @capitolalert

Amy Chance Amy Chance is political editor for The Sacramento Bee. Twitter: @Amy_Chance

Dan Smith Dan Smith is Capitol bureau chief for The Sacramento Bee.

Christopher Cadelago Christopher Cadelago covers California politics and health care. Twitter: @ccadelago

Micaela Massimino Micaela Massimino edits Capitol Alert.

Laurel Rosenhall Laurel Rosenhall covers the Legislature, the lobbying community and higher education. Twitter: @LaurelRosenhall

David Siders David Siders covers the Brown administration. Twitter: @davidsiders

Dan Walters Dan Walters is a columnist for The Sacramento Bee. Twitter: @WaltersBee

More Capitol Alert

Capitol Alert on Twitter

Popular Categories

Now on


November 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Monthly Archives

Latest California Clips