The Most Effective Legislative Body in California (That You Barely Know About)

By Alicia Gámez, Gámez Law

The Bar Association of San Francisco’s Delegation to the Conference of California Bar Associations (CCBA) enjoyed a string of successes this year. The CCBA is California’s foremost attorney-run legislative body that has, for over 70 years, provided unparalleled opportunities to create and change California law. In recent years, over 50% of CCBA-sponsored bills have become California law.

At the October 6-8 conference in Sacramento, the BASF Delegation submitted 23 resolutions to CCBA, of which 14 were approved and are on their way to the legislature. A highlight this year was the approval, after many years of persistence, of the resolution banning police use of choke holds.

Here is the full list of the Delegation’s 2017 successes:
• Prohibit peace officers from applying carotid restraint and choke holds
• Require the Attorney General to appoint a special prosecutor when a peace officer uses deadly force
• Create a process for a custodial parent to designate a standby guardian for his/her child
• Reform California’s monetary bail system
• Prohibit local agencies from receiving federal surplus military equipment without a vote of the local legislative body
• Allow student access to facilities corresponding to their asserted gender identity, and require accommodation of students’ desire for increased privacy in school restrooms and locker rooms for any reason.
• Authorize the California Legislature to urge amendments to the Apportionment Act of 1911 and Act of Reapportionment of 1929 which capped the US House of Representatives to 435 members.
• Preserve the right to have court proceedings reported by a court reporter
• Exclude evidence obtained from a vehicle search unless consent, a warrant, or imminent threat of harm exists
• Prohibit suspension of driver’s licenses for habitual school truancy
• Prohibit suspension of driver’s licenses for conviction of prostitution related offenses
• Prohibit suspension of driver’s licenses for vandalism offenses
• Remove Vehicle Code infractions from list of offenses on which a state penalty may be assessed on top of other penalties
• Require shopping centers to collect recyclables where customers enter / exit and shipments of goods are received

The Delegation is now beginning work on its 2018 resolutions, which are due in February. Now is the perfect time to join the Delegation and fix that point of law that you know is broken.

Want to learn more? The Delegation will host a “how-to” program in January to help you shape and polish your idea into a successful resolution. We look forward to seeing you there.

To learn more about the Delegation, please visit www.sfbar.org/ccba.