It’s hard to believe that the month of February is already coming to an end, but rest assured that the team at NextGen Policy has been very busy and we have lots of exciting happenings coming down the pipeline! This edition of What’s Next highlights several recent and upcoming events including: our guest commentary featured in a recent CalMatters op-ed, information on two upcoming student debt rallies taking place in both DC and Sacramento; the announcement of our co-sponsorship for AB 789, and a few helpful resources for you to keep on your radar. Take a look below:
★ Our Stance on Big Oil: NGP remains deeply frustrated by big oil’s continued use of misinformation to blame environmental policies for the rise in gas prices when the blame squarely lies in their own greed and price gouging. The oil industry has reaped hundreds of billions in profits the last few years and is spending their record profits to delay action on California’s climate targets and overturn vital air and water protections for communities located near oil drilling sites. We need our elected leaders to hold the oil industry accountable for its actions and redouble their efforts to help our state move away from its reliance on dirty fossil fuels – the health and economic benefits from these policy changes will benefit all Californians!
★ NGP in CalMatters: Our Senior Policy Advisor David Weiskopf was recently featured as a guest commentator in Cal Matters to outline Governor Newsom’s proposed changes to the California Climate Commitment in light of projected revenue shortfalls. The proposed cuts are across the entire climate program spectrum; however, the significant decreases in the sustainable transportation sector will take the state’s climate goals on a U-turn that we cannot afford! California can’t just prioritize and fund climate programs when it has a budget surplus – investing in active transportation programs and public transit is always fiscally prudent and responsible climate policy.
★ Student Loan Rallies in Washington DC and Sacramento: Tomorrow, February 28th, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on President Biden’s historic student debt cancellation program. While the case is being argued in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, individual borrowers, student associations, and student borrower advocates, are headed to Washington D.C. to hold a large student debt cancellation rally. Here in Sacramento, we’re showing solidarity by holding our own student debt cancellation rally on the West Steps of the California State Capitol. Our message – student debt cancellation is legal, just, long overdue, and necessary! RSVP to the Sac Rally today!
★ NGP Co-sponsors AB 789: We’re excited to be co-sponsoring AB 789 (Berman), a newly introduced bill that will ensure that students who aren’t succeeding academically due to personal hardships can maintain their access to financial aid. California should be doing everything possible to help students keep their financial aid so that they can continue to matriculate through school and achieve their educational goals!
This tax season, Californians have many opportunities to prepare and file their taxes free of charge! Find out if you qualify and take advantage of resources offered by Cal EITC 4 Me today.
★ Did You Know? The last day for a bill to be introduced in the 2023-24 legislative session was last Friday, February 17th. Over 2,700 bills were introduced by this deadline and the NGP team is currently reviewing the various bills introduced in our key issue areas to help us determine the priority bills we will support and advocate for in this legislative year. Stay tuned for more updates on our priority items!
★ Member Spotlight: Our Team had a fantastic chat with Assemblymember Valencia last week! We enjoyed speaking with him about our work in the areas of higher education, public safety, and digital equity. We look forward to working with him, particularly as a member of the Assembly Veterans Affairs Committee – where together we will work to provide housing, mental health treatment, and other much needed services to our state’s veterans! Keep up with his work on Twitter at @AsmValencia.
★ What’s Next: Get ready to celebrate Women’s History Month with us in March! Throughout the month, we’ll be highlighting women whose leadership has strengthened our nation, our state and our local communities, so please stay tuned.
★ Our Mission: NextGen Policy fights for progressive policy change to address environmental, social, racial, and economic inequities through justice-centered legislative advocacy, grassroots partnerships, and democratic civic engagement.