Decision Maker

Susan Rubio

  • CA022
  • State Senator

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Petitioning Adam B. Schiff, Eric Garcetti, Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters, Gavin Newsom, Xavier Becerra, Jackie Lacey, Kamala D. Harris, Kevin de Leon, Laura Friedman, Holly Mitchell, Susan Rubio

Justice 4 Amie - Domestic Violence Laws Updated

Due to domestic violence, I recently lost a wonderful friend, Dr. Amie Harwick. She was murdered as a result of poorly written laws that do not protect the victims and properly punish the offenders. I refuse to let her death be in vain. She was a Doctor in the Mental Health Field and advocate in the community. We need to do the same and advocate for Amie. So I am launching JUSTICE 4 AMIE! Amie had a restraining order in place against a violent ex boyfriend she dated over a decade ago. The restraining order had expired before her untimely death. In the last week of January 2020, this ex boyfriend attended an event, at which she was making an appearance, and continued his harassment of her. He began to stalk her thereafter and on late Valentine's night decided to attack her in her own home. This man clearly needed treatment, incarceration and/or punishment for years prior to this attack. She should have never been in this situation like so many other victims. The process to get a restraining order is very difficult, traumatizing and must be repeated when the restraining order expires. With this in mind I believe the laws and statues need to be re-written as follows: 1. No expiration date or a longer protection term and to not be lifted until victim requests it to be cancelled. 2. Mandatory affirmative obligation for long term counseling for the stalker/abuser if a restraining order is violated even a minor offense. If they are deemed a harm to the victim or society, then institutionalization may be ordered. 3. Victims should not have to testify in a courtroom close to their abuser/stalker. There should be an option to live stream in a safe space in a satellite location for the hearing with the judge. It's a traumatic experience that the victim is already dealing with and should not be subjected to it again if they do not feel they can. That is why many abusers get away with their actions: many victims back out of trial due to fear of facing their perpetrator. 4. Just like sex offenders, a National Restraining Order Registry should be made to warn others of offenders that have restraining orders.  There can be levels just like Sex Offender Registry.  A national database so that you can look up an individual and see if they have multiple restraining orders out on them.  It is very difficult to search an individual now to determine if they have had more than one Restraining Order without knowing the Victim etc.  5. Financial Abuse by Abusers is very serious and is another major reason why most victims find it difficult to leave their abuser.  Identity Theft since the abuser may have all the personal and financial information of the victim. Their Credit Scores ruined by partners running up charges and not paying their debts to hurt the victim.   Coercive Abuse.     UPDATE for 5. -  SUPPORT SENATE BILL 1141 by Senator Rubio who is currently pushing for Legislation on this matter in California. 6. Free access to Attorneys just like criminals have free access to public defenders.  A victim should not have to bear the legal fees that are incurred when seeking protection.  7.  The personal addresses of anyone should be blocked from public access and remain private per individuals request.  Voter Registration and Business Registration is an easy way to access someone's personal home information which gives Stalkers and Abusers access to the victim's home address.  Privacy matters!    UPDATE for 7.  = 8.  Supporting Current Bills to pass like SACRAMENTO, CA – Sen. Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) has introduced Senate Bill 1141, which will expand legal protections for survivors of domestic violence by criminalizing threats, humiliation, intimidation, and other coercive actions that are used to frighten and control a victim. SB 1141 makes coercive control a crime punishable by imprisonment in jail not to exceed one year, or by imprisonment in the state prison, or by a fine not exceeding $1,000. The bill defines coercive control as the deprivation or violation of the victim’s personal liberty, which can be established through a course of conduct including force, duress, isolation, or economic abuse. Examples of coercive control include controlling a person’s finances; isolating a person from family and friends; and monitoring a person’s day-to-day activities. “Current domestic violence laws do not reflect how domestic violence is practiced in reality,” Sen. Rubio said. “The new crime of coercive control recognizes that domestic violence encompasses more than just physical abuse. This change protects survivors of domestic violence by making their cases harder to dismiss and easier to prosecute.”  “SB 1141 authored by Sen. Rubio recognizes that domestic violence is not limited to physical violence,” said Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, the bill’s sponsor. “This legislation addresses the very real harm of coercive control and strengthens the State’s protections for domestic violence survivors.” England, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland have had coercive control laws for several years, encouraging changes in how their societies view individual acts of violence as part of a broader pattern of abuse. The unique harms suffered by domestic violence survivors occurs as much from the deprivation of liberty achieved through a pattern of power and control as it does from discrete physical acts of violence.   If anyone has any other ideas, we would love to hear them. People shouldn't have to die to make changes. As she helped countless numbers of other people in life, we need to use Amie’s passing as a catalyst for change. So her family, friends, and loved ones’ pain from her death is not in vain. Enough is Enough. 1 in 4 will experience severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. 1 in 3 women will experience rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. 3 women a day are killed by domestic violence. #Justice4Amie Lets get a Million Signatures & More

Diana Arias
296,647 supporters
Petitioning Andrew M. Cuomo, California Governor, Susan Rubio

Domestic Violence Law Reform USA

We are campaigning for domestic violence laws to be strengthened and modernised in the USA to reflect the reality of domestic abuse in all it's guises and better protect women and girls. We are a group of survivors, campaigners, activists and experts. We know this will save lives and money. Prior to the pioneering coercive control law in England and Wales, only 3 out of every 100 men reported for domestic violence were convicted and almost none were jailed (Fontes and Stark 2017). Abusers reported for 50 or more offences were no more likely to be punished than those who committed a single offence (Fontes and Stark 2017). The same injustices occur in the USA with the same victims and perpetrators repeatedly reporting to Police and other front-line professionals. Many blame the victims for “staying” rather than focusing on the abuser and their abusive behaviour. Most wait for an assault with clear evidence before acting and the police and court system continue to trivialise and minimise the abuse. THE BOTTOM LINE? The current approach is not working. Despite all the resources allocated to domestic violence, most professionals do not understand coercive control and as a consequence US victims and their children remain unsafe and at risk because their abusive partners are not held accountable.  THE FACTS AND EVIDENCE Between 2000-2006, 3200 American soldiers were killed in combat. During that same period, more than three times as many women died at the hands of their husbands and boyfriends (Rachel Louise Snyder 2019) FOUR women are murdered EVERY day in the US by a current or former MALE partner. Some of the most dangerous cases happen when domestic violence, stalking and coercive control co-occur. Intimate partner terrorists often use a combination of terror, threats and fear as well as risk and reward to control their victims. In the five years following 9/11, almost 5 times as many women were killed by intimate partner domestic terrorists than in the World Trade Centre attack by international terrorists (Lundy Bancroft 2014) These 'murders in slow motion' are PREVENTABLE and prioritising women's lives and safety through early identification and intervention is vital to saving lives and saving money. THE MOST DANGEROUS PLACE FOR A WOMAN AND CHILDREN IS THE HOME. We must improve the Criminal Justice System for women who are in need of protection and safety.The sobering reality is that less than 1% of men charged with domestic violence offenses go to prison in the US. Currently, domestic violence laws focus on and respond to individual incidents according to the level of physical harm. Consequently, coercive control, where frequent low-level violence is accompanied by the other tactics, has no legal standing. Few elements of coercive control are currently considered criminal, or are only crimes when committed against strangers.  WAKE UP CALL: COERCIVE CONTROL SIGNIFICANTLY CORRELATES WITH MURDER The domestic homicide rate has increased significantly throughout the pandemic. Most of these cases, if not all, are coercive control cases. Many women do not report as they know there is little point and when they do 95% of the reported cases have no injury, and so they are treated as low level (Stark 2017). A prosecution or conviction are rare, and plea bargaining commonplace.   We must look beyond the bruises. Domestic violence is not just about assault. The cumulative effect of 1000 cuts is devastating. Many women do not report until the behaviour has escalated and there may be injuries. For many this is too late. Criminalising these forms of intimate partner violence would send a powerful signal and give victims confidence to come forward earlier, leading to early intervention and prevention.  JENNIFER MAGNANO and her three children Jessica, David and Emily had to live by the rules set by her husband, Scott. There were rules about bathing, vacuuming, eating and even shovelling snow. These rules were grounded in fear. If a rule was broken there would be a serious consequence. Jennifer felt if she stayed he would kill her, and, if she left, he would kill her. He said he would kill her whenever there was a domestic murder reported in the news - and she believed him. Jennifer escaped with her three children and the help of her best friend one night having reported the abuse and child sexual abuse to the police. Despite this, Scott used the family court to track her down and get custody of the children. Jennifer was forced to go back to the family court and he used the finances to continue to control her. She returned to the family home, where he lay in wait for her, and he shot her dead in front of the children. He was true to his word  #HerNameWasJenniferMagnano Jessica, Jennifer's daughter said: "It just became a lot about rules, before the violence. There were rules about washing our hands, how often, how long, the water had to be a certain temperature. The way we had to wipe our feet, you could just come in the house and throw off the shoes, you had to do it this certain way, and you had to brush off your sock before you put your shoe on. He was strict about everything, but not strict in like a normal sense, like it didn’t make sense, we weren’t allowed to do a lot of typical childhood things." On reporting: "I just got this sense that it was as if we called and reported that somebody knocked our mailbox over, it just didn’t seem to resonate. What we were telling them didn’t seem that important somehow. If someone tells you that they are in fear of their lives and they give you this detailed account - and we just wouldn’t be taken seriously, and look what happened. We never really had a sense that we were being helped." Sadly, Jennifer's case is not uncommon. On average it takes a victim seven times to successfully leave an abuser. Many blame, judge and shame the victim and see going back as a character or personality deficit, as it if is a choice, which it is not. Interestingly, it is only after separation that very same behaviour which was exerted in the relationship, control, is then criminalised: we call it stalking. Therefore the moment of ‘break-up’ becomes legally meaningful yet separation can be the most dangerous time for women.  SO WHAT EXACTLY IS COERCIVE CONTROL? A strategic course of conduct in which violence, sexual coercion, intimidation, isolation and control are used to dominate and exploit and deprive of basic rights and resources. The abuser’s behavioural strategy of coercive control is utter domination.  Rules and regulations, with fear of consequence, keep a victim controlled by invisible chains. Examples include: Gaslighting; Unreasonable and non-negotiable demands; Surveillance, monitoring and unwanted contact in the relationship; Isolation - destroying the partner’s other relationships and isolating her/him from friends, family members, co-workers and others; Restricting daily activities including bathroom use, use of medication, sleep, food; Coercion – a combination of demands, threats of negative consequences for noncompliance, using the children; Emotional Withholding; Manipulation through minimisation, denial, lies, promises, etc. Threats and intimidation; Excuses, rationalisations and blame; Stifling the partner’s independence and freedom of choice; Controlling partner’s access to information and services; Sexual abuse and violence; reproductive coercion; Economic control and exploitation. We must seize every opportunity to strengthen laws to better protect victims – adults and children. There is a proven link between domestic abuse and child abuse. Jennifer and her children's case is not unique. Children are often coercively controlled and abused too – by the same abuser. The impact on the child(ren) has serious, long lasting consequence. Jennifer Magnano was shot dead in front of her children. Emily, her daughter says has to live with the invisible bruises for the rest of her life: "My dad was conniving, manipulative, and degrading.  He had no regard for others’ feelings or their lives in any way. He scared me, my brother and sister so much just by walking into the room. We were constantly paralyzed by the fear of making him mad, because we knew that he was just moments away from snapping and anything that we said or did could set him off." HELP US HELP OTHERS. No child should grow up in this environment or witness what Emily did. Police, prosecutors and the judiciary must have the best possible tools to do their job to keep victims and their children safe in their homes, the very place where they should feel safe. It's time for the laws to evolve and be modernised.  CALL TO ACTION Please show your support: 1. SIGN & SHARE the petition 2. WRITE to your senator and ask that they criminalize coercive control to better protect women and girls 3. COMPLETE the Victim's Voice Survey if you are a victim of domestic abuse. It will take 2 minutes: Thank you, Laura Richards, Debra & Terra Newell Jennifer Magnano's children Jessica, David and Emily        

Domestic Violence Law Reform Coalition
7,500 supporters
Petitioning Donald J. Trump, President of the United States, Bernie Sanders, Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell, Larry Hogan, John P. Sarbanes, Chris Van Hollen, Diana DeGette, Joe Neguse, Catharine Young, Scott R....

Save 220k Massage Therapist's Careers Covid-19 Licensed Health Care Economic Hardship

                     Attention: Please share this across Social Media Platforms. Virtually  ALL Massage Therapy Has Ended  Nationwide until further notice. Yes, there are some places where therapists continue to treat clients. Which seems contrary to the US Surgeon General recommendstion of Social Distancing.     Economists originally anticipated a minimun 2-5 week( as of March 20, 2020 ) Industry interruption. Many economists have a longer term view. However long, will depend on where you are and how you choose to handle this.  I suggest we listen and show greater restraint by staying home for as much as possible.   We can help possible  spread of the virus together.  If you are in a low occurrence area. Please act as if it's a high risk.  To stop your community from becoming the next hot spot.   To all in designated hot spots. I wish a minimal severity and a speedy recovery.  This is having a significant impact on most therapists. Please sign and share. Please share the reason you signed.  Federal Aid for Licensed Massage Therapists impacted by the Federal guidelines on Social Distancing. Have caused hands on massage therapy to stop.    We help people feel and get better all the time. It's therapeutic. The average income is somewhere between $25,000.00 - $33,000.00 depending on who you ask. Most therapists are self employed small business owners or independent contractors. Many are retired nurses and have families to support. There's not much safety net beyond personal savings. Most are forced to supplement their income with another job. Or have a significant other. Who can provide insurance and other benefits. Otherwise, going without Health insurance.                 Massage therapists are disappearing right now! We need help now.  Conventions & Health and Wellness screening events have all postponed. We're told we'll circle back sometime in the future. After all this shakes out. That's difficult to plan a budget around.                                       We know We're not alone.  Please let your Massage therapists know YOU CARE. Sign and Share.                                           We spend too. We need to pay rent, car payments, insurance, food, communications funds/ low or no interest loans to replace lost income.   Please help with Emergency Medicaid Health Insurance for those who are uninsured. Equal relief / aid funding of all self employed Licensed Massage Therapists, as we are NOT covered under the current proposed relief bill being voted on at the Federal level. We the undersigned assert our right to have our Elected Officials hear our voices and cries for help. As we enter this economic crisis and the impact on lives of those who are sacrificing our livelihoods. As we struggle to keep our communities healthy. Gratefully,   Brion Weintzweig, Licensed Massage Therapist - Maryland & Washington, DC  

Brion Weintzweig
1,236 supporters
Petitioning Senator Susan Rubio

I support SB 614--Eliminate the RICA

By signing this petition, I am stating that I support SB 614, a bill to eliminate the outdated RICA (Reading Instruction Competency Assessment) as a requirement for earning a California Teaching Credential.  The RICA is unnecessary because there is a rigorous and comprehensive accountability system in place to ensure that teachers are prepared to teach reading and literacy skills to children in California. Some highlights include: Over 600 hours of supervised teaching experience, with coaching and evaluation by experienced mentor teachers Successfully passing state-adopted teaching performance assessments, in which teachers plan and teach a series of literacy lessons, video tape their instruction, assess student performance, write structured reflections, and submit this authentic assessment for scoring by trained, calibrated scorers Preparation by a credential program that is approved by a rigorous accreditation process by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, which ensures extensive coursework aligned with current CA state standards and research based practices in teaching reading The RICA exam is serving as an unnecessary barrier to highly qualified teachers who are ready to give California students an excellent education. The test has serious issues with: 1. Content: The current RICA exam, as written, tests students on 1997 English Language Arts Standards; as teacher educators, we teach our candidates to implement 2012 California Common Core Standards and the ELA/ELD framework. The RICA test does not reflect current research and instructional best practices in literacy. 2. Bias:  The RICA pass rates show evidence of bias against individuals in certain subgroups. For example, English-only examinees have an average first-attempt pass rate of 71%, while the pass rate is 56% for examinees who speak one or more languages other than English (CTC agenda item 2018-02-4e). 3. Predictive Validity: There is no evidence that successful completion of the RICA is predictive of the examinee’s ability to effectively deliver literacy instruction that leads to student learning.  Students in California deserve well-prepared teachers, and the RICA is keeping them out of the classroom.        

Mimi Miller
796 supporters
Petitioning Kamala D. Harris, U.S. Senate, California State Senate, Dianne Feinstein, California State House, Nancy Pelosi, Connie M. Leyva (D), Senator Susan Rubio (D), Senator Holly Mitchell, Senator Toni G....

Sammy's Bill: Providing Women More Options & Viable Fetuses A Fighting Chance At Life!

The IssueCDC reported a total of 862K abortions for 2017.  1.3% of abortions were equal to or greater than 20 weeks gestation. The cut-off age for abortion in California is 24-weeks gestational age.  Recent scientific studies are showing a 75% survival rate with 24-week fetuses; most experience mild to no neurological and developmental issues by their second birthday.  These positive outcomes are primarily due to recent advancements in neonatal intensive care and neonatal science.  As a result of these new advancements, many 24-week fetuses chosen for abortions are potentially viable fetuses by today's medical standards. Moreover, studies show many women who experience late-term abortions suffer from emotional distress and conflict for many decades, if not for their lifetime.Existing LawThe Supreme Court does not define viability because they say the point of viability varies. The court ruled; viability could only be determined on a case-by-case basis and by the woman's doctor.  The same doctor who, due to state abortion laws, may not have the ability to perform an ultrasound to assess accurate fetal viability and a more exact gestational age.Sammy's BillWith this Bill and your help, women would have an additional option for themselves and their potentially viable fetuses. Sammy’s Bill would like to provide women the ability to induce labor via pre-term induction procedures with fetal-safeguarding protocols. A pre-term induction procedure ends her pregnancy but does not terminate the life of her potentially viable fetus. Sammy’s Bill would create a state law allowing women an additional choice as well as an alternative option, where women can request a pre-term induction procedure versus a dilation and evacuation procedure if the fetus is deemed potentially viable by her doctor.  Hospitals with neonatal intensive care units throughout California are already successfully saving "wanted" 24-week and older fetuses by utilizing the same pre-term induction protocols. We now have safer protocols that address successfully the plethora of complications that use to compromise the mothers' and fetuses' welfare during pre-term pregnancies. Further, we have nurses, forever adoptive parents, and the infrastructure already in place via our non-profit organization, "Angels In Waiting" ready to help these infants should their mothers choose to relinquish them. To Learn More & Support Us

Angels In Waiting
519 supporters
Petitioning Gavin Newsom, Melissa A. Melendez, Susan Rubio, Hugh​.​Slayden@sen​.​ca​.​gov , Cathleen Galgiani, Holly J. Mitchell, Anthony J. Portantino, Richard D. Roth, Patricia C. Bates, Buffy Wicks

Require Insurance Companies in California to Cover IVF

Currently, the law that mandates the coverage of infertility by insurance companies specifically exempts them from having to cover IVF. No matter what your health situation, no matter what your diagnosis for infertility, no matter how good your insurance plan is ALL Companies are exempted from covering IVF. California was one of the first states to require infertility coverage and the law reflects that by requiring insurance companies to require procedures (GIFT & ZIFT) that are outdated and not performed anymore. I am blessed to have amazing health insurance, but this health insurance specifically excludes IVF and all medications. This exclusion has cost me $20,000 out of pocket for my first attempt. I have taken on a part-time job to save up enough to try again. I am not alone or special in the lengths that I have gone to have a child. Many fertility centers offer financing at nominal interest rates. Some women I know are borrowing from there retirement accounts or starting Go Fund Me pages. Think about that.. one of the most basic women health issues require you to fund it yourself! According to the CDC 10 percent of women (6.1 million) in the United States ages, 15-44 have difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant. The US birth rate is in constant decline for the past 2 years. In 2018 the birth rate was the lowest since 1986. More women are delaying childbearing, and others are born with issues that limit their ability to conceive naturally. Currently, Arkansas, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Texas, and West Virginia REQUIRE IVF and fertility preservation coverage. Please give Californians the same right and access to healthcare coverage as these other states. Join me in this petition the members of the California Governor and members of the Senate Standing Committee on Insurance requesting change the existing law to require insurance companies to cover IVF. You can help by signing this petition today and let our representatives know that you support that change.

Paula Crowell
143 supporters
Petitioning Gavin Newsom, Cecilia M. Aguiar-Curry, Joaquin Arambula, Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, Marc Berman, Frank Bigelow, Richard Bloom, Tasha Boerner Horvath, Rob Bonta, William P. Brough, Autumn R. Burke, Ian C....

Keep Californian Police in Check

My name is Justin Xiao. I'm a junior in high school that wants to see change in the police system. While I have the passion to make change, there are several obstacles to getting this done the normal way: I do not have 2000$ lying around to apply for an initiative, nor am I 18 years old yet. The corona epidemic is still very real, so I can't go door to door with a petition. And that brings me here. I need to get one of the listed legislators to author our cause. Your valued contribution can be part of a very real change to our broken justice system that repeatedly allows criminals to abuse the power of being a police officer. Your signature can help us weed out the bad cops that undermine public trust in an institution meant to protect us. what I have proposed as an amendment into the California penal code is an addition to that of which was signed in by governor Newsom in August of last year. While that bill delivers a valiant effort at promoting de-escalation over violence, the fact that California remains a leading state in police violence compounded on the recent state of affairs has proven that these measures are ineffective. My proposed amendment explicitly punish the criminals that dare hide among the police, and ensure that they get out of our system for good. One murder should be their last. While I am sure the proposed text is not perfect, what matters now is delivering an idea. I'm sure we can do this together. Stay safe and take a moment to share this with some friends and family. Change in one state is the beginning to change in the nation.  

Justin Xiao
99 supporters
Justice 4 Amie - Domestic Violence Laws Updated

My condolences to the friends and family of Amie Harwick. As a domestic violence survivor, I understand the challenges victims experience -- our laws are designed to protect the abusers more than the victims. As one of Amie's friends said, victims are often let down by our system. Many people don't understand the legal barriers to getting a restraining order. As Congressman Adam Schiff said in his statement, protective orders need to be easier to obtain and renew. In my case, a judge recently extended a restraining order against my abuser for five years. Four days later, he violated it by coming to my office building. But unfortunately, he got away with just a warning. In this case, unless he kills me, there's nothing more law enforcement can do. That's why I stand with victims. I want to say to all survivors, your voices are being heard in Sacramento. This is why I advocated last year to give survivors more time to seek justice, and this year, I'm working on expanding domestic violence protections. We need to craft our laws based on how domestic violence is practiced in reality. Let's not forget Amie and the countless others who are victims of domestic violence. I will continue to push for victims' rights. Let's do this together.

8 months ago