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Courage Campaign Helps Secure Major Victories This Legislative Session

Thursday, 06 September 2012

Doug Gordon : 202-494-5141 :

Courage Campaign Secures Major Victories This Legislative Session

Online Organizing Helps Beat The Big Banks, Secure Pensions and Advance LGBT Rights

SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA – While some may question the power of online organizing, the last session of the California legislature shows how progressives can mobilize online to win on important issues.

Courage Campaign, a leading progressive organization with over 750,000 members, helped win victories including: ending the most deceptive practices of the mortgage industry, helping ensure low wage workers can save for retirement, making voting more accessible, and standing up for LGBT youth.

This session, more than most, showed the power of online progressive organizing at the state level — the cornerstone of what the Courage Campaign does.

Here is what some legislators said about Courage Campaign’s efforts:

“The Courage Campaign provides critical media and ground game supportto advance Progressive causes,” said Sen. Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles). “It was instrumental in advancing SB 1234 – ensuring retirement security for all.”

“Courage Campaign is not only a strong progressive voice but also a very effective advocate,” said Sen. Ted W. Lieu (D-Torrance). “I was proud to work with them on Senate Bill 1172, my legislation to end dangerous sexual orientation change efforts where gay minors are somehow deemed ill and in need of being ‘converted’ to straight, which, in fact, is psychological child abuse.”

“I have enjoyed the relationship that I’ve had with the Courage Campaign on my legislation. Their support of the Homeowner Bill of Rights was particularly valuable as it kept the grassroots informed as to how this legislation would help the California public,” said Asm. Mike Eng (D-Monterey Park).

“The grassroots efforts of the Courage Campaign helped me to promote a progressive win for the millions of California’s trapped in the foreclosure crisis. California has a fairly moderate legislature, but an organized advocacy campaign “of the people and by the people” was key to the victory in helping homeowners stay in their homes while also ensuring banks play by the rules,” said Sen. Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa).

Legislative victories assisted by the Courage Campaign include:

Corporate and bank accountability

1. The California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program – SB 1234 provides low-wage workers whose employers don’t offer a 401K plan with a simple way to save for retirement.

2. Oakland’s Goldman Sachs resolution – The Oakland City Council barred Goldman Sachs from ever doing business with the city again, unless they renegotiated a toxic debt swap that’s robbing Oakland taxpayers of $4 million per year. The resolution is a model for cities all over the country locked into similar bogus agreements.

3. Saving CEQA – Courage assisted environmental groups in stopping a secretive, last minute attempt by corporations to gut the California Environmental Quality Act. Reform may be needed, but we look forward to investigating potential improvements in the light of day.

4. The Homeowner Bill of Rights – SB 900 and AB 278 outlawed the most deceptive and unethical practices of Big Banks during the foreclosure process.

Ballot access

5. Election Day Voter Registration – AB 1436 allows voters to register up to and including Election Day and could increase voter turnout by 5% or 850,000 Californians.

6. Signature gathering translation – SB 1233 requires that ballot measures be translated into the languages covered by the Federal Voting Rights Act of 1965, so voters not fluent in English can fully participate and protect themselves from misinformation.

LGBT rights

7. Banning “reparative” therapy for LGBT youth – SB 1172 outlaws dangerous and scientifically bogus programs to change a minor’s sexual orientation.

# # # # # is an online organizing network that empowers more than 750,000 grassroots and netroots activists to push for progressive change and full equality in California and across the country. As a leading multi-issue advocacy organization, Courage Campaign’s work is supported by thousands of small donations from our diverse community.

Courage California, formerly Courage Campaign, works to unite communities organizing for progressive change, fight the forces of corruption, and hold our representatives to account in order to ensure that California’s elected officials act with courage. Our community of members envision California as a model of progressive, equitable, and truly representative democracy that sets the standard for our country.


Angela Chavez