California Homeless Bill of Rights
The California Statewide Homeless Bill of Rights Campaign is one part of 3 statewide campaigns in California, Colorado and Oregon. The Homeless Bill of Rights is a grassroots organizing campaign fighting to end the criminalization of poor and homeless people’s existence. The campaign strives to ensure that all people have the basic right to live where they choose without fear of harassment and criminalization at the hands of the police. This campaign is a way of working collectively with groups possessing different talents to address the many injustices that we face in our communities. We are building the power to create a social justice movement that will create a society where we can all thrive.
The California Statewide Homeless Bill of Rights Campaign is hard at work to build statewide power. We are engaging in street outreach, scheming ideas about direct actions and preparing community forums in various cities across California to keep up our fight against criminalization. We are also shifting gears this year from the #Right2Rest Act to run the Name and Dignity Act for Incarcerated Trans People, SB 310. The Name and Dignity Act is a partnership with the Transgender Gendervariant Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP), the St. James Infirmary and the Transgender Law Center (TLC). The Name and Dignity Act would change the process in which transgender people can access a legal name/gender change while in prison. This is impactful not only for the dignity, safety and well-being of trans prisoners who experience intense daily violence but is also an integral tool for trans people coming out of prison applying for housing, employment and healthcare. At WRAP, we know that the criminalization of poverty effects people differently across lines of race, gender, sexuality, ability, nationality and citizenship.
We are excited to be building up our alliances with organizations working with street based trans women and sex workers to continue to strengthen our multi-issue movement and grow our capacity to resist criminalization in all of the ways it appears.
SB 310 Materials
California WRAP Members
2017 Allied Bills to Look Out For
SB 10 or AB 42, the California Money Bail Reform Act would implement a pretrial release procedure for assessing a person’s risk and release them from custody with or without conditions depending on what the assessment found. There are some exceptions. You can read the fact sheet here.
SB 180, the RISE Act would repeal the three-year sentence enhancement for prior drug convictions, with the exception of convictions involving a minor. You can read the fact sheet here.
SB 185 would require a court to make special accommodations for people given traffic fine violations who are not able to pay them. It also prohibits the courts from stripping a person of their license for being unable to pay fines and makes provisions for people fail to appear in court. You can read the bill language here.
SB 239 would modernize laws that criminalize and stigmatize people living with HIV. You can read the fact sheet here.
AB 412 would make it possible for people unable to pay the $300 penalty for not paying a ticket or appearing in court to have that fee waived. You can read the bill language here.
AB 796 would mandate that SSI/SSP grants be at least the Federal Poverty Level by 1/1/2019 and restores the annual “Cost-of-Living-Adjustment” (COLA) in the program. Current SSI/SSP grants are 89% of the Federal Poverty Level ($12,060 annually). You can read the bill language here.
AB 1506 would repeal the Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act which currently allows rent increases on certain kinds of units, allows rent increases on subtenants following departure by tenants of rent-controlled units and prohibits the regulation of rental units that have been voluntarily vacated. You can read the bill language here.
Get Involved with the Campaign
The best way to get involved with the California Statewide Homeless Bill of Rights Campaign is to get in touch with one of the WRAP core members to find out about working on the local level to push for change on the state level.
Some other ways to get involved:
- Participate in a quarterly webinar about different aspects of criminalization and the Homeless Bill of Rights campaign.
- Invite California organizers to come to your community and hold a forum to talk about criminalization and the Homeless Bill of Rights campaign.
- Participate in WRAP’s street outreach to people on the streets in your neighborhood to hear their experiences and build a collective voice around criminalization.
- Provide connections with universities who want to do research on criminalization or others who want to support moving anti-criminalization legislation in 2017.
- Donate to WRAP or the 5 core members of WRAP in California.
If you have questions about the campaign you can write to us or call us:
In 2016, WRAP organizers in California ran the Right to Rest Act in the state legislature. The purpose of this legislation was to decriminalize sleeping, sitting, lying, resting, eating and existing while poor and/or homeless in public. Organizers are taking a break from the Right to Rest in 2017 to build up towards a powerful decriminalization bill next year in 2018.
Documents from 2016: