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State Sen. Sydney Kamlager is now fighting to change that with Assembly Bill 333, the STEP Forward Act. Asked what motivated her to bring this bill, she told me that “AB 333 is about due process and ensuring consistency in the way gang enhancements are applied to a person’s sentence. When we see 92% of gang enhancements are used against communities of color, we have to consider how our criminal justice system is using the tools they already have at their disposal.”

You end up having a majority of Black and Brown folks, in prison, in lifetime sentences because of it,” she said.  “The felony murder special circumstance law represents some of the most discriminatory tendencies of our criminal legal system. It is overwhelmingly used against people of color with nearly 70 percent of those sentenced to life without parole being Black or Latino.”

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“We can do more,” said state Sen. Sydney Kamlager (D-Los Angeles), who is calling for a “long-overdue reckoning.”

“An ongoing $200 million investment will not only help heal and restore a public health system left shaken from the devastating covid-19 pandemic but is essential in preparing for the cries that are already here, like the sexually transmitted infections epidemic and the ones to come,” she said.

State Sen. Sydney Kamlager is pushing legislation that would change the way police respond to nonviolent 911 calls in California. She wrote it, in part, because of an experience she had when she called 911 after an ex-boyfriend showed up at her house unwanted and unannounced.

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