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Democracy Works – LWVC Year in Review

2023 marked yet another exciting and dynamic year for the LWVC, leading many important efforts, arm in arm with our statewide and community partners.

Making Democracy Work in 2023

Read our Year in Review, Democracy Works!

Here are some highlights:

The LWVC led an impactful year of work to support voters in California. We commissioned two redistricting reports, participated in numerous coalitions and task forces, and supported federal climate policy efforts. The influx of new legislators also resulted in the introduction of 2,632 bills – the highest number in over a decade. Of those, the League took positions on 77 bills, a 13 percent increase from the same period in the previous legislative session.

We won an important victory for fair local redistricting when Governor Newsom signed our sponsored bill, AB 764 (Bryan). The new law will prohibit the consideration of incumbent protection as a factor in drawing the lines, ensure that the safeguards of the Fair Maps Act extend beyond cities and counties to educational and special districts, and make the process more transparent and equitable overall. However, our victory is tempered by the Governor’s veto of another sponsored bill, AB 1248, which would have required large local jurisdictions to establish independent redistricting commissions before the 2030 cycle. The League is, however, in this for the long haul and will continue to advocate for independent redistricting commissions in local governments across California.

Following our work to restore the right to vote to people who are no longer incarcerated, the LWVC continues to work with our coalition and the Secretary of State’s Office to designate the Division of Parole Operations as a National Voter Registration Act agency. Doing so would make voter registration much more accessible to people who are on probation or parole and were granted voting rights through the successful passage of Prop 17 in 2020.

This legislative session was cause for celebration with the successful passage of legislation to strengthen the Fair Maps Act, extend protections and convenience to California voters, beat back climate change, and to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot to promote fairness in the democratic process.  Many of our priority criminal justice bills have been held as two-year bills due to the complexity of managing opposition and educating new legislators on the need for reform. In collaboration with state partners, we will resume advocacy on these bills when the legislature reconvenes in January. 

For more details, make sure to check out the full Democracy Works Newsletter!