In the News

June 18, 2014

California is one of 12 states that punishes possession of crack for sale more severely than possession of cocaine powder for sale. Existing state law -- written in 1986 -- calls for a prison term of a year longer for crack than for cocaine, despite the fact hat both are felonies.

Efforts last decade to end this disparity failed, but the Sacramento Bee reports that Sen. Holly Mitchell's plan to treat both drugs the same under the law (SB 1010) has good support, and even from (some) cops say it's a good thing.

Source: http://www.sfweekly.com/thesnitch/2014/06/17/california-cops-still-fighting-crack-sentencing-reform

June 04, 2014

A proposed ban on fracking failed to gain passage in the state Senate twice last week, disappointing environmental activists across the state. The bill, SB 1132, would have placed a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing and acidization, which are well-stimulation techniques linked to air pollution, water contamination, and earthquakes. Environmental activists credit the bill’s failure to big oil’s aggressive lobbying; the coalition Californians Against Fracking estimated that groups such as the Western States Petroleum Association, which represents oil and natural gas interests, spent several million dollars lobbying against SB 1132 and previous moratorium proposals.

Source: www.eastbayexpress.com/SevenDays/archives/2014/06/03/big-oil-killed-fracking-ban

May 29, 2014

Lawmakers in the state Senate will decide this week on a law that would halt fracking in California until state government officials deem it safe – a move that could prevent the creation of some 195,000 jobs, according to figures provided by the oil industry.

Source: http://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/news/2014/05/28/california-fracking-moratorium-bill-could-add-to.html?page=all

May 28, 2014

An effort to halt the oil extraction process known as fracking failed in the California Senate as lawmakers rejected a bill that would have banned the practice until a state-commissioned study proves it is safe.

Source: http://blogs.sacbee.com/capitolalertlatest/2014/05/fracking-moratorium-dies-in-california-senate.html

May 28, 2014

The state Senate on Wednesday failed to muster the votes needed to set a moratorium on the oil drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, until a study determines that it does not pose a health risk for the public.

Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) said her bill is needed because of public concern that the injection of water and chemicals into the ground to stimulate oil production may threaten health.

Source: http://www.latimes.com/local/political/la-me-pc-calif-senate-votes-on-moratorium-on-oil-fracking-20140528-story.html

May 28, 2014

Late last week, the state Senate Appropriations committee approved a statewide moratorium on fracking, sending Senate Bill 1132 to the senate floor for a vote this week. The bill cleared the committee in a 4-2 vote just days after the estimate of extractable oil in the Monterey Shale was reduced by 96 percent from 13.7 billion barrels to 600 million.

Source: http://www.eastbayexpress.com/SevenDays/archives/2014/05/27/fracking-ban-legislation-headed-for-california-senate-floor-vote-this-week

May 24, 2014

Oil industry experts estimate that deep within the Monterey Shale, a land mass in California, there exists gargantuan amounts of oil.

But, environmentalists say these oil extraction techniques can lead to health and environmental problems. In fact, State Senators Holly Mitchell (D) and Mark Leno (D) have introduced legislation that would impose a moratorium on fracking and well stimulation in California.

Source: http://www.scpr.org/programs/airtalk/2014/05/23/37593/is-fracking-worth-the-risk-in-light-of-dismal-fore/

May 23, 2014

A sizable majority of Californians support slapping a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, according to a new poll released Thursday.

Source: http://blog.sfgate.com/energy/2014/05/22/poll-two-thirds-of-ca-voters-want-fracking-moratorium/

December 26, 2013

Mitchell was a key player in budget negotiations this year, advocating for a number of changes she said would help poor families. Mitchell pushed for a 12 percent increase in the monthly grants to Californians on the state’s welfare-to-work program, known as CalWORKs. The budget the governor signed granted a 5 percent increase, which Mitchell characterized as one of her greatest accomplishments in the Legislature.

Source: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/12/26/6027659/californians-to-watch-in-2014.html

December 23, 2013

The recent debate over a vacancy on the L.A. Unified Board of Education highlighted the changing demographics of South Los Angeles, and the concern in the African-American community is about losing political clout. 

When school board member Marguerite LaMotte suddenly died this month at the age of 80, the African-American community lost its sole representative on the seven-member school board. Last week, the board debated whether to appoint an interim member or hold a special election to fill the term that expires in early 2015.