Our Solís Policy Institute (formerly Women’s Policy Institute) fellows make policy, cultivate community, and they adapt.
As they navigate the ripple effects from the ongoing pandemic, SPI-State fellows and alum are championing their communities, partnering with legislators to put better laws on California’s books, and finding their way forward with resilience and creativity.
In addition to being our first-ever fully virtual cohort, here are just a few of the ways our SPI fellows are adapting to new legislative realities and advocating for racial, economic, and gender justice:
Bringing Folks Home
- Our Criminal Justice Reform team is working on AB 960 to increase the number of medically vulnerable people released from prison with Assemblymember Ting. After making its way out of the appropriations committee last week, this bill is one step closer to becoming a law thanks to the critical work of the Criminal Justice Reform team. With AB 124, our Trauma Services and Prevention team is working to fundamentally shift sentencing practices for survivors by encouraging a more holistic perspective that factors in age, mental health, and a history of trauma.
Caring for Parents + Families
- Striving to close racial disparities across pregnancy and infant health, our Community Health is advancing SB 65 with sponsorship from Senator Skinner after clearing the appropriations committee. As part of a two year bill, our Reproductive Health Rights and Justice team is working to address implicit bias in child welfare removal decisions with Assembly Member Carrillo and SB 656.
Building Economic Security
- Our Economic Security team made moves, cleared committees, and got closer to reducing the penalty fees for driving without a license – as these fines disproportionately impact low-income families and families of color. While AB 907 got held in appropriations last week, we’re confident the groundwork laid by this team will continue to build towards economic security for families of color in California.
Creating Safe Communities
- Our Pol-ICE Reform team worked on AB 481 with Assemblymember Chiu to regulate police access to military-grade equipment and also cleared the appropriations committee last Thursday.
Four of the five bills our fellows are working on this legislative cycle made it through the appropriations process and we’re looking towards June 4th where each bill will need to be passed on the floor.
In a constantly changing terrain, it’s been so powerful to see our six SPI teams and first alum team take care of themselves and their communities. Across Zoom rooms and conference calls and epic text threads, they championed their bills, lobbied legislators, and built community that reflects our inclusive and expansive values and gets us all a littler closer to our shared feminist future.