A Voice for Choice Advocacy Objects to SB18 (details below).  We stand with other organizations who have voiced their opposition to SB18:SB18 organizations 031617

Click here (English/Español) to print Flyer Opposing SB18 to share with Legislators, Parents and all concerned with the loss of our rights.  For a full legislative package, click here.

SB18, the CA Children’s and Youth Bill of Rights Act was introduced December 5, 2016 by Senator Pan (SB277 Author).  In short, if passed, it would allow the state of California to create policy around seven areas of what is in a child’s best interest, not the parent.  While we all want kids to be safe and healthy, it is the parents decision, not the states, how to raise a child.
Every parent has a different criteria of what they deem in the best interest of their child.  This is not something the state has any right to define and mandate.  A parents right to raise their child as they see fit has been upheld in the US Supreme court on many occasions, but most recently by Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57 (2000).

“The liberty interest . . . of parents in the care, custody, and control of their children is perhaps the oldest of the fundamental liberty interests recognized. It is cardinal … that the custody, care, and nurture of the child reside first in the parents, whose primary function and freedom include preparation for obligations the state can neither supply nor hinder. It cannot … be doubted that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment protects the fundamental right of parents to make decisions concerning the care, custody, and control of their children.” Id. at 65 (2000)

Therefore this proposed law is unconstitutional from the onset.  It is also Unnecessary and Overreaching. Common Sense Kids Action and Senator Pan was have introduced this as a bill, with the plan to take rights away from parents that do not conform to the government definition of how children should be raised on all fronts.  This includes, but is not limited to, homeschool, gun rights, medical rights, parental rights and much much more.  These could all be removed if this bill is passed.  It is asking for 7 areas of parental rights to be researched, so a policy with guidelines for each can be created, the funding for each of these to be investigated and the funding to be shored up so it can be implemented.  This means that if this bill passes all of these things will be law and the policies that are created will NEVER have to be agreed upon by the Legislature because they have already agreed to it in general with this bill.  To note: all of the 7 areas of this bill already have laws in place that ensure if a child is being endangered that the state will intervene.  E.g. Physical or sexual abuse, guns in homes, truancy, etc.).  The LA Times Editorial Board agrees, as can be read in their February 7, 2017 article: A Lofty – and troubling – proposed bill of rights for California kids.

Actions to Take:
1) Call you two CA legislators today and express your concern and ask for a meeting with your legislator asap. http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov
2) Nurture a relationship with your two CA legislators – go to their coffee mornings (all have them one a month) and talk to them.
3) Talk to all friends and family members about it and cause them to be outraged.  Everyone, especially parents, in CA should be in uproar about this, or at least one piece of it.
4) Please join those FaceBook groups that are applicable to you and request to add other people to them that also have mutual interests. Information will be cross posted here, but this way the focus of these issues can be discussed in greater detail:

Oppose SB18 – Health and Alternative Medicine Advocates (includes vaccines and GMO alternatives)
Oppose SB18 – Homeschoolers and Education Advocates
Oppose SB18 – Religious Advocates
Oppose SB18 – Responsible Gun Owners
Oppose SB18 – Special Needs/Education Advocates
Oppose SB18 – Responsible Alcohol, Tobacco and Marijuana Advocates
Oppose SB18 – LGBTQIA+ Advocates

5) Donate to A Voice for Choice (www.avoiceforchoice.org/donate).  We have a huge amount going on in 2017 (SB277 lawsuit, vaccine education, new parent/moms childbirth education, doctor outreach, just to name a few), and with this addition, Christina plans to be in Sacramento at least 2-3 times a month lobbying for you.  These donations will NOT fund her (she doesn’t take any of the donations raised.  Her time and expenses are all paid by her).  She is just one person and so in order for her to do the work that needs to be done on the Advocacy side, A Voice for Choices needs a small professional team to support the day to day educational, secretarial, social media, etc. needs.  Please donate as much as you can either in a one time or ongoing donation.  Just $15 a month would give us $180 a year.  If we got that from each of our supporters be able to do more amazing things.  We will be at the forefront of this in 2017 and we need your commitment to that.

Bill Details:
This bill is sponsored by Common Sense Media (https://www.commonsensemedia.org/kids-action/blog/kicking-off-the-right-start-town-halls) and is similar to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which the US has not yet ratified.  http://www.ohchr.org/en/professionalinterest/pages/crc.aspx

Bill Text: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201620170SB218
The below is a shortened version of the bill, which has amendments which have not get been update on the above website.  They can be found by clicking here.
SECTION 1.
(a) The Legislature finds and declares that all children and youth, regardless of gender, class, race, ethnicity, national origin, culture, religion, immigration status, sexual orientation, or ability, have inherent rights that entitle them to protection, special care, and assistance, including, but not limited to, the following:
(1) The right to parents, guardians, or caregivers who act in their best interest.
(2) The right to form healthy attachments with adults responsible for their care and well-being.
(3) The right to live in a safe and healthy environment.
(4) The right to social and emotional well-being.
(5) The right to opportunities to attain optimal cognitive, physical, and social development.
(6) The right to appropriate, quality education and life skills leading to self-sufficiency in adulthood.
(7) The right to appropriate, quality health care.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this act to expand and codify the Bill of Rights for Children and Youth of California created by Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 80 (Res. Ch. 101, Stats. 2009), to establish a comprehensive framework that governs the rights of all children and youth in California, outlines the research-based essential needs of California’s children, and establishes standards relating to the health, safety, well-being, early childhood and educational opportunities, and familial supports necessary for all children to succeed.

SECTION 2

Whereas California has the sixth largest economy in the world, and leads the country in innovation and diversity; yet California’s children rank 47th in terms of their economic well-being; and,
Whereas accessible child care, early learning, quality educational and job training opportunities, comprehensive health care, and well-supported families are necessary to ensure the productive potential of all Californians and to ensure every child has the opportunity to; yet there has been no comprehensive effort to ensure California’s children and youth have access to such necessities and opportunities; and,
Whereas California’s tax structure was designed during the Great Depression and is outdated, unfair, and unreliable, with newer economic sectors escaping tax obligations; and,
Whereas according to the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO), the total value of taxable sales has grown more slowly than the economy, necessitating higher sales tax rates to generate comparable revenue; and,
Whereas the increasing volatility of the state’s economy, and the stock market, has translated into greater unpredictability of state tax revenue, presenting challenges for budget forecasts; and,
Whereas, according to the California State Library, the Legislature considered 4,600 tax proposals in the past two decades, the vast majority of which were directed at a single tax or group of taxpayers rather than to achieve comprehensive reform, demonstrating that fiscal necessity, rather than overarching policy considerations, have prompted most recent major tax changes; and,
Whereas it is necessary to increase revenue predictability and to ensure sufficiency of revenues adequate to meet the needs of California’s children and youth; therefore be it,

Resolved by the Senate of the State of California, the Assembly thereof concurring,
That a joint committee composed of nine Members of the Senate to be appointed by Senate President Pro Tempore and nine Members of the Assembly, to be appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly, that is representative of the diversity of California’s legislative districts be established; and be it further
Resolved, That the joint committee develop “California’s Promise to its Children and Youth,” a blueprint for the care and welfare of children and youth in various contexts, including, but not limited to health care, nutrition, homeless assistance, education, and foster care, and to serve as an example to other states by raising the standard of living for California’s children; and be it further
Resolved, That the joint committee and its members shall have and exercise all of the rights, duties, and powers conferred upon investigating committees and their members by the Joint Rules of the Senate and the Assembly as they are adopted and amended from time to time, which provisions are incorporated herein and made applicable to this committee and its members; and be it further
Resolved, That the Senate Committee on Rules may make money available from the Senate Operating Fund, as it deems necessary, for the expenses of the joint committee and its members. Any expenditure of money shall be made in compliance with policies set forth by the Senate Committee on Rules and shall be subject to the approval of the Senate Committee on Rules; and be it further
Resolved, That the joint committee shall, within 15 days of authorization and consistent with the normal annual appropriation process for funding legislative committees, present its initial budget to the Senate Committee on Rules for its review, comment, and approval; and be it further
Resolved, That the joint committee shall by November 30, 2020, in consultation with medical organizations involved in child health care, educational organizations and institutions, organizations in child development and welfare, and applicable State agencies and commissions, develop a plan to implement the framework by January 1, 2024; and be it further
Resolved, That the joint committee shall by November 30, 2020, in consultation with experts and organizations in tax reform, academia, research institutes, business, labor, local government, the Franchise Tax Board, The Board of Equalization, and applicable State agencies and commissions, shall identify and propose comprehensive tax reform solutions that increase revenue predictability and ensure sufficiency of revenues adequate to support the implementation of California’s Promise to its Children and Youth for presentation to the State Legislature and, if necessary, to the voters of California; and be it further
Resolved, That the joint committee is authorized to act until November 30, 2024, at which time the committee’s existence shall terminate; and be it further
Resolved, That the joint committee shall submit a report at the end of each legislative session to the Legislature on its activities.