California must reassert respect for the civil rights of all its citizens. In a Republic governed by a Constitution, all legal codes must be coherent with that primary document, and its citizens and institutions — including governmental, military, and corporate entities — must have equal access to justice and be treated equally under the law.
As a nation, California must do better to ensure that our young people have the opportunity to reach their full potential. We cannot guarantee equality of outcomes, but everyone should have equal opportunities and not have their destiny determined by their zip code at birth. This commitment to justice will be reflected in all our policy positions and actions.
Rights of Women
The ability of women to become leaders in their communities is fundamental not only to the empowerment of women, but the creation of a fair and just society for all citizens. Supporting and promoting women in all their roles in a community, from their employment to their private lives and choices, is crucial for creating a culture in which all citizens are treated fairly, succeed in their lives, and contribute to the sense that everyone matters.
In the last few years we have seen how the increased participation by women in the political sphere, as well as breaking barriers in taking up jobs traditionally reserved for men, has been a force of political and social change in California. The California National Party is committed to advocating for policies which will continue to promote the rights of women, to encourage women to participate in the political process, and to continue to educate the public about the barriers faced by women and the role of political policies in defining and supporting the rights of women.
Workplace issues include equal pay, equal opportunity in hiring and promotion, appropriate policies for adjudication of sexual and racial discrimination, harassment and retaliation, and fair access to training programs. While California leads the nation in legislation regarding equal pay, California women continue to lose an estimated $78.6 billion every year due to the wage gap.
To address this inequality, we will do the following:
- Support equal and proportional access for women of all ages to training, jobs and promotions, capital, equity, and support in the creation of businesses.
- Support affirmative action, the rights accorded to women in Title IX, 20 USC section 1681 et seq, the UN contract resulting from the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) commencing in 1979, and ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the U.S. Constitution.
- Require that all businesses formed or operating in the State of California with 50 employees or more provide bi-annual reports to the State certifying the general equity and pay equality conditions in their workplace.
- Require that all corporations receiving any government contract from any state or municipal agency have at least 40 percent of its board members be women.
- Encourage women and provide resources to women, particularly women from ethnic minority, LGBTQ, and disabled communities, to run for public office, and promote and emphasize the need for equal representation in public office from local levels to the highest state and federal levels, including in police forces and the judiciary.
- Require that all educational materials used in classrooms in public and private schools include women’s history and promote gender equity.
Birth Control and Access to Safe, Legal Abortions
The CNP supports the long established policy that it is a woman’s right to control her reproductive choices. Birth control must be covered by all insurances, regardless of whether it is funded by and procured through a woman’s employer, including employers who object to birth control or abortion, or through individually obtained plans. The CNP will continue to keep abortions safe and legal in California and opposes any future threats to these protections.
Specifically, the California National Party will:
- Preserve confidential, unrestricted access to affordable, high quality, culturally sensitive health care services, including the full range of reproductive services, contraception and abortion, without requiring guardian, parental, or male partner’s consent or notification, or government intervention in any reproductive decision.
- Require that all businesses in California, including health care providers and insurance companies, charge women and men equal rates.
- Require sex education in school curriculum in California, including education on sexually transmitted diseases, for all schools receiving public funds.
- Require pharmaceutical companies to test the efficacy and safety of all drugs using women subjects in research studies, not just men.
Violence Against Women
From 2015 to 2017, the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence reported that approximately 40% of California women experienced domestic violence at some point in their lives. According to the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault, there were an estimated 2 million female victims of rape living in California, and an estimated 8.6 million survivors of sexual violence other than rape in California.
Human trafficking is a form of modern slavery that occurs in every state, including California. Sex trafficking constitutes over 75% of the trafficking cases in CA, with women being the victim almost 90% of the time. While the California Penal Code prohibits individuals from profiting from the business of sex workers, “pimping” continues to exist.
California has an obligation to eliminate violence against its women citizens. Tougher laws regarding violence towards women are needed, as well as programs initiated to prevent violence against women. Gender inequality allows for this violence to continue unabated, unpunished, and sometimes entirely unnoticed. Women should not have to wait years before having their abusers prosecuted, or before receiving assistance to leave an abusive situation.
In 2017, California strengthened its laws on sexual assault, including eliminating the statute of limitations for sexual assault, assigning mandatory prison time for offenders whose victims were unconscious at the time of the assault, and changing from misdemeanors to felonies the possession of certain drugs, like ketamine. The California National Party supports such efforts and is dedicated to adding tougher laws regarding sexual assault and violence against women.
Specifically, the California National Party does:
- Recognize that freedom and protection from violence or abuse, domestic and otherwise, is a fundamental right.
- Support the programs of the U.S. Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), 42 USC Section 13701 et seq., including educational and preventive initiatives, especially those that serve women at risk of sexual and domestic violence.
- Encourage the recognition that gun violence in domestic violence is a public health issue requiring mental and physical health treatment and intervention.
- Facilitate the awareness that the harassment of women in public by deed or verbally (such as catcalling) has a negative impact on the women involved and on a culture that tolerates such behavior.
- Support legislation such as AB 2034 which requires businesses exposed to trafficking to provide their employees with training on how to recognize the signs of human trafficking and how to report those signs to the appropriate law enforcement agency.
- Enforce current laws proscribing the exploitation of sex workers while decriminalizing sex work itself so workers can report abuses without fear of legal penalty; and begin exploring the legalization, regulation, and taxation of the voluntary sex worker industry.
- Work to increase availability of comprehensive educational and training programs for formerly incarcerated women to enhance parenting and job skills.
At the present time, under the U.S. Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), companies with more than 50 employees are required to provide unpaid, job-protected leave for family and medical reasons with continuation of group health insurance under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave. This includes 12 workweeks of leave for the birth and care of a child in its first year.
Employers with at least five employees must give employees a reasonable period of leave (generally six to eight weeks) for disability relating to pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions. This period is not to exceed four months. Also, California extends FMLA to same-sex couples, and the state’s disability program allows eligible workers to claim up to 55% of their wages while out on medical leave.
The California National Party supports these policies, and will actively oppose any proposed weakening of them in the future.
Additionally, we advocate for:
- Paid paternity leave for fathers for the same amount of time as that of maternity leave, and the same percentage of wages, no matter what the size of the company. Currently, paternity leave is only offered by about 24 percent of companies, and only averages about 22 days in length, while only about 36 percent of men take advantage of it.
- Employers must provide their full-time, year-round workers at least three weeks of paid vacation each year.
- Employers must also provide full-time workers at least one week of paid sick leave each year, so that women and men can stay home when they are ill, or to care for sick children.
- The expansion of workplace rights for women, including flextime, compensatory time, and pregnancy and family leave.
Child Care Available to All Californians
The California National Party is committed to ensuring that quality cost-free or low-cost child care is available to all Californians, regardless of employment, insurance, citizenship status, or any other factors. The cost of quality child care is currently out of reach for many Californians.
Specifically, we will:
- Establish CA Childcare and Education Savings Accounts (CESA) into which California deposits funds for each child in the household to be used by their caregivers exclusively for child care, regardless of income.
- Promote proper training, certification, equipment, facilities, and employment of child care professionals in all areas where they are needed.
Addressing Structural Racism
As an organization, the California National Party will place particular emphasis on including and empowering communities that historically have been marginalized. While great strides have been made in reducing racism and other forms of bias, work remains to be done. Much of this social change lies outside the realm of politics and cannot and should not be addressed through laws that attempt to dictate how people act towards one another. However, where structural bias exists it is the duty of the state to identify and remedy it, so as to develop a system that does not unfairly discriminate and guarantees equal access to justice.
Towards that end, California must guarantee equality of opportunity for all, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender, class, disability, or other status. At the legislative level, this should include equal pay for equal work, legal protections against discrimination, and robust mechanisms for addressing harassment and other symptoms of cultural bias. Women and gender-nonconforming people of color in particular experience the intersections of both sexism and racism, which mandates additional support to empower and liberate them.
A lack of jobs, unequal pay, unequal education, hiring discrimination, historical disinvestment, and capital flight from communities of color has severely damaged the capability of people of color to find and keep jobs that pay a living wage. The California National Party believes that California should take expansive affirmative action to assist communities of color, with an emphasis on black communities, via the following actions:
- Provide free vocational training to adults or the formerly incarcerated through strategic expansion of existing CalWORKS programs.
- Implement robust tax breaks and credits specific to minority-owned small businesses.
- Implement a micro-credit loan system for individuals with education or experience in business and who produce viable risk-assessed business plans.
- Create a hedge and/or sovereign wealth fund specifically for reinvestment in communities of color, via the publicly-owned Bank of the Republic of California.
Collecting and categorizing information is a core function of any government, and yet most data is either poorly analyzed or not collected in the first place. This lack of clarity on racial issues is compounded by a broader lack of people of color working in city, county, and state government. The California National Party believes that California should:
- Collect dis-aggregated demographic data on all its residents and recognize additional ethnic categories beyond the simplistic ones currently in use.
- Expand data collection on police use of force and policing more generally.
- Implement affirmative action hiring initiatives for executive- and mid-level positions across all state and county agencies.
Rights of First Nation Californians
The California National Party respects the sovereign rights of First Nation Californians and must exert pressure on the federal government to do the same. To begin making reparations for the genocide that has been perpetrated against First Nation Californians, we support the doubling in size of all First Nations’ lands in order to provide some compensation for past crimes. Where possible, all land returned will come from the 45% of California currently controlled by the federal government. If any present owners must be displaced, which will be avoided if it is practical, they will be paid fair market value for their land.
As California becomes independent, First Nation Californians should have the option to either re-assert their right to autonomy and self-rule, or to voluntarily join the Republic of California, as determined by a vote of each group’s members.
Rights of the Disabled
Disability is a normal part of life. The California National Party supports the inclusion of people with disabilities in society and the elimination of barriers to that inclusion.
Right to Healthcare
In terms of the health and medical needs of people with disabilities, the California National Party is committed to comprehensive universal healthcare, as a civil right. When enacted as law and policy, universal health care will ameliorate many of the hardships, stresses and fears faced by people with disabilities. It will also cast aside the current perverse system where a person with a disability has to remain impoverished to qualify for Medi-Cal or other health care programs.
Right to Community Inclusion
We stand opposed to the institutionalization of people with disabilities and seniors and believe that keeping people in their homes and their communities is a priority for a civil society. Programs that support communal inclusion, like In Home Supportive Services, must be funded at adequate levels to assure that people with disabilities can reach their potential and safely remain in their homes if they choose to do so.
Policies within social safety net programs that treat beneficiaries as “suspects” must be eliminated. Though preventing fraud and abuse is important part of any program, being impacted by a disability is not a crime. Providing every adult with a basic income will do more than anything else to stabilize these at-risk populations. We also support generous tax credits for families caring for aging relatives or family members with chronic illnesses or disabilities.
Californians with Disabilities Act
We support the expansion of the civil rights of people with disabilities through enacting a Californians with Disabilities Act (CDA). The CDA will build upon existing California statutes to provide protection that exceeds the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and protects the rights of people with disabilities in the workplace, public accommodations, and governmental programs, services and activities. Other California laws that protect the rights of people with disabilities, such as the Fair Employment and Housing Act, will be harmonized with the CDA, or left in place and bolstered.
California should be able to assure justice for people with disabilities without having to rely on a patchwork of state and federal law. The CDA will be tailored for our society. Education about the rights of people with disabilities and enforcement of the CDA will include a public sector enforcement component so that civil litigation is not the only method to achieve access and justice. We also support robust tax credits for small businesses seeking to become accessible to people with disabilities and comply with the law.
There is a strong correlation between mental illness and poverty and homelessness. This is particularly true in minority communities. California cities must end the practice of providing homeless with one-way bus tickets, as this merely relocates individuals at risk. We are committed to ending the use of police and jails as the principle modality for addressing mental illness. In particular, ending the private prison experiment will reduce the financial incentive to incarcerate people with drug addictions, many of whom are undiagnosed and unmedicated.
We support California’s entry into the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), an international norm that was rejected by the United States Senate. Until the day we can enter the CRPD as a sovereign nation, California will voluntarily abide by the CRPD and advocate for the United States to enter that convention.