Dec 10, 2016 by

A Voice for Choice Advocacy Objects to SB18 (details below).  We will post a more detailed analysis of the bill in the next few days, but in the meantime here are

Actions to Take:
1) Call you two CA legislators today and express your concern and ask for a meeting with your legislator asap.
2) Nurture a relationship with your two CA legislators – go to their Holiday Open house (all have them this month) and go to it and talk to them. (AVFCA will be posting dates of these in the next few days)
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) 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, I plan to be in Sacramento every week lobbying for you.  These donations will not fund me (I don’t take any of the donations raised.  My time and expenses are all paid by me).  I am just one person and so in order for me to do the work that needs to be done on the Advocacy side, I need a small professional team to support the day to day educational, secretarial, social media, etc. needs of A Voice for Choice.  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 you we would be much closer to our goal of $150,000.  We will be at the forefront of this in 2017 and we need your commitment to that.

SB18, the CA Children’s and Youth Bill of Rights Act was introduced this Monday 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 worse than SB277, much worse.  Senator Pan was has introduced this as a bill, with the hope of taking all 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.).

It 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 Details:
Bill Text: 
(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.

It is the intent of the Legislature, by January 1, 2022, to enact appropriate legislation to accomplish all of the following:
(a)  Develop and put forth research-based policy solutions that will ensure the Bill of Rights for Children and Youth of California, in its totality, is applied evenly, equitably, and appropriately to all children and youth across the state.
(b) Determine the amount of revenue and resources necessary to ensure that the Bill of Rights for Children and Youth of California, in its totality, is applied evenly, equitably, and appropriately to all children and youth across the state.
(c) Identify and obtain the revenue and resources necessary to ensure that the Bill of Rights for Children and Youth of California, in its totality, is applied evenly, equitably, and appropriately to all children and youth across the state.

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