In the News

July 18, 2014

State legislators are finally addressing one of the most racist drug laws on the books.

The act, Senate Bill 1010, aims to reverse a drug policy that for years incarcerated people of color for exponentially longer prison terms than white individuals for violating essentially the same law: possession of cocaine for sale.


July 11, 2014

It looked like 1966 in South Los Angeles this week when the community galvanized into a united force to confront an issue many thought had long been overcome — allegations of police brutality against defenseless black citizens.


July 03, 2014

Mitchell’s bill will correct the groundless disparity in sentencing, probation and asset forfeiture guidelines for possession of crack cocaine for sale versus the same crime involving powder cocaine that has resulted in a pattern of racial discrimination in sentencing and incarceration in California. SB 1010 now moves on to the Assembly floor for its final legislative vote.


June 27, 2014

Fracking is a highly controversial oil and natural gas extraction technique that uses huge amounts of water mixed with chemicals and sand to blast open nonporous rock formations deep underground. The method releases oil and gas, but also poses a wide array of threats to human and environmental health. The rationale for a fracking moratorium was to halt the procedure until more studies are conducted to ensure it can be done without causing harm.


June 21, 2014

California state Senator Holly Mitchell, sponsor of anti-fracking legislation, told ABC News in May: "The cost-benefit analysis of fracking in California has just changed drastically." Referring to the 96% reduction, she asks,

"Why put so many at risk for so little? We now know that the projected economic benefits are only a small fraction of what the oil industry has been touting. There is no ocean of black gold that fracking is going to release tomorrow, leaving California awash in profits and jobs."


June 20, 2014

"We have compromised the core infrastructure of the Medi-Cal delivery system," Mitchell said. "We knew that the people left in fee-for-service would be those who are most vulnerable, the most at-risk. ... The frail and elderly are not going to be able to find access to care in their communities."


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.


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.


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.


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.