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Janice’s Journal: SB 267 – We Did It

We did it! We stopped Senate Bill 267!! And now for the rest of the story.

Prior to the hearing on SB 267, California RSOL was invited for the first time to join two like minded organizations for meetings in the offices of all seven members of the Public Safety Committee. We didn’t have appointments. We just stopped by.

The reception we received from the two sides of the aisle were starkly different. We were warmly welcomed into the Democratic offices where we heard they had received lots of letters and phone calls. We met in those offices with THE staffer responsible for public safety issues who would be speaking to “the boss” about SB 267 before he/she voted on the bill at the committee hearing. In direct contrast, we hit a brick wall in the Republican offices. No one was available to meet with us.

When we finished, we believed we had 5 out of 7 votes in favor of our position, that is, opposed to SB 267. The next 18 hours dragged on as we hoped that no one would change his/her vote because we needed at least 4 votes to win.

When we arrived at the committee hearing the next morning, we were surprised to learn that instead of being the third bill to be heard, SB 267 would be the first. That meant no warm ups, no way to gauge the moods of the committee member before the bill was heard.

The hearing started out, as always, with the author of the bill and those who supported it. In this case, Senator Connie Leyva stated her reason for the bill was to protect children by keeping them away from sex offenders. She was joined by two representatives from San Bernardino County and, you guessed it, the City of Carson.

When the committee chair asked, there were no others to voice support for the bill. The committee chair then asked for those who were opposed to the bill. The three organizations who visited offices together on Monday (ACLU, Housing CA, and CA RSOL) rushed to the “podium” and spoke first.

As soon as the first speaker finished, he left the “podium” and the next person appeared. Before it was over, there were at least 15 people speaking in opposition to SB 267, the largest number of people speaking in opposition to a Public Safety bill according to a stranger in crowd. We had them outnumbered 5 to 1. Yet there was doubt.

The doubt disappeared, however, when Senator Mark Leno began to speak. He is an expert on our policy issues and it showed. He let those who attended the hearing know that SB 267 would not achieve the goal it had set. He let them know that a recent report of the California Sex Offender Management Board (CA SOMB) stated unequivocally that there is no research that shows that exclusions zones are helpful and in fact can lead to a decrease in public safety.

Senator Leno reminded everyone that the legislature created CASOMB as the state’s experts on sex offender policy and noted that the legislature has often ignored CASOMB’s reports and recommendations. The senator then urged the committee to heed CASOMB’s remarks regarding exclusion zones as well as CASOMB’s recommendations to create a tiered registry.

That was a gift. And perhaps it is a gift that can keep on giving. Perhaps we can use the momentum we now have, after stopping not one, but two bills, in the state legislature to move closer to a tiered registry. It may not happen this year but we could use this year to increase collaboration with more like-minded organizations as well as encourage more registered citizens and those who love them to Show Up – Speak Up – Stand Up.

When that happens, we will be ready to join the 46 states in the nation that already have tiered registries.

– Janice Bellucci

Real all Janice’s Journal entries

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Thank you again Janice, everyone at CA RSOL, and everyone who made an effort to get this bill withdrawn. I was concerned that SB 267 was guaranteed to become law. Fortunately there are some educated and rational thinking legislators. Hopefully we can ride this momentum and get more of our civil rights restored. I know Janice isn’t thinking about her legacy or her place in history, but in my heart and because of my situation to me she is one of the great civil rights activists. Not many would stick their neck out to help registered citizens, but for the… Read more »

I watched the video of this hearing. Two things:

1) Thank you and God Bless each of you who showed up and spoke up!!!

2) MARK LENO FOR GOVERNOR!!!!!!!

I second that nomination! Leno for Governor!

I would support Mark Leno 100%. However, I highly doubt that most of Southern California would vote for him simply because he is openly gay. Plus, Sen. Leno still has another year and a half before he is termed out. As for governor, I believe my former mayor Gavin Newsom will be running. I truly believe he would be open to a tiered registry since he has before challenged the Californian populace when he made gay marriage legal in San Francisco. Did it hurt his image? Of course, but it didn’t stop him from getting elected as Lt. Gov. David… Read more »

So many thanks to those involved. I can’t believe the changes that have been going on. I only thought there was one direction 11yrs ago, from difficult to much worse. I can’t believe how well I’ve been able to move on and forward over the last few years. Many many many thanks for your efforts Janice!

What a relief! A big THANK YOU to the team at California RSOL and to everyone who reached out via letters, emails and phone calls to voice their concern and opposition to this now withdrawn senate bill.

The pendulum has started swinging the other way and this is more proof that is happening, at least in California.

I know you will shy from the comparisons to Mother Teresa, but Janice, you have to wear it. We are a weary, war-torn bunch, put down, beat down, spit upon and despised. No other former convict has as much hatred, vitriol and disdain as we. YOU have no reason to stand for us other than its the right thing to do. And for that, you are loved and revered not by the masses, but us few. Thank you.

Janice and everyone at RSOL – THANK YOU for all your work on our behalf and the behalf of our families. We’ve suffered too much and too long this injustice. The fight must go on. THANK YOU.

Many, many thanks to Janice and Senator Mark Leno. My world was a different place without the efforts of Janice. She has given hope and restored many of my civil rights. She has made a difference that I thought could never happen. I have donated to CA RSOL to further advance our cause. I would hope that everyone that has benefited from the opposition to SB 267 and AB 201 will do the same. We won this battle, but the war is not over. We still have the cities of Carson and Murrietta to fix! And no doubt there will… Read more »

Loved the hearing it gives me hope to hear leno talk about how they have ignored CASOMB recommendations year after year. Finally someone with the courage and sense speaking out for commen sense approach. ACLU did an incredible job citing CASOMB which is key to change. Thanks Janice and all that spoke a.d stepped up. The issue and time is ripe for the registry to be overturned let’s all pray and support WARS effort in the upcoming class action and continue to support rsol ACLU and all the rest that are doing the right thing and fighting for good of… Read more »

Hello,

Can you elaborate on the class action lawsuit? I apologize but I am not aware of it and would like to research it and possibly participate.

Than you

A huge problem about the ACLU in this issue is that the ACLU has NEVER outright opposed registration. I have personally had ACLU lawyers tell me they are not against it. What they are doing here is simply toning it down bit – and making it clear that what remains is perfectly fine. They are not opposed to use having to continue to register for at least a minimum of 10 years – they think this is legitimate. And that is serving to lead us down the wrong road. It is NOT legitimate! We are getting led down a path… Read more »

The Constitution works …team works…..democracy works with an open public hearing procedure unlike the backhall conference changing record, readback record secluded closed from open public court procedure and slipped in false jury instructions from open court proceeding discussion orange county, calif style…..court proceedings like that you don’t need the accused to show up for court…its done without you being present ANYWAYS ………and that is the major difference here ……an open public process proceeding can WIN….its good for democracy …its good for our Constitution.

We need a study to determine the exact number of high risk violent offenders compared to all other offenders just to be able to cite such statistics would benefit our cause I beleive. There is no such statistics that I can find I beleive there should be such statistics in order to make informed decisions. It’s a major piece of information that is lacking.

Congratulations Janice and everyone who wrote letter or called the lawmakers. Janice and everyone else should feel very good about these results. Mike r, we already have what you want. Its called the “recidivism rate.” And according to that, there are hardly ANY high risk sex offenders – the belief that there are is just a myth! And in fact, if there were, there would be a hell of a lot more than something around 100,000 registrants, as the registry catches everyone going all the way back to 1947! And that is one BIG reason against the proposed tiers. The… Read more »

awesome!

thanks Janice and Senator!

I hope to donate next paycheck!

Kudos Janice!! You and CARSOL are my saviors!! You are my primary advocates to reform the laws affecting offenders whose crime was categorized as sexual in nature (and therefore reprehensible by the conservatives in the populace). Next, I pray you are finally able to get Tiered Registration.

NPS said “As for governor, I believe my former mayor Gavin Newsom will be running. I truly believe he would be open to a tiered registry since he has before challenged the Californian populace when he made gay marriage legal in San Francisco. Did it hurt his image? Of course, but it didn’t stop him from getting elected as Lt. Gov.” I don’t believe that at all since Chris Kelly got to him apparently as shown by his support for Prop 35. The same guy who doesn’t want people who would advocate for a tiered registry to have political free… Read more »

Anonymous Nobody said “Rather than an assessment, it should simply be a certain time since conviction based on the particular offense, after which the registration requirement simply expires, no application to stop needed (they already know how long it is since your conviction!), no assessment (other than to go to a lower tier).” The devil is always in the details. But, I didn’t see any proposal of an assessment for everyone based on anything other than the offense itself. I think I recall a chart indicating which offenses go into which tier. It was Oregon’s new tiering that required an… Read more »

Don’t forget, Static-99 is gay-hating*: RCs get scored one point higher if the victim was male. Or are the creators of Static-99 suggesting that female victimization is less egregious/more acceptable? That’s just plain wrong in either case!
(*Homophobia is an ‘excuse term’ that allows haters to plea fearfulness.)

An assessment review of EVERYONE is the only way to accurately apply a tier system.

Whether it is statistics based on type of offense or some other measure, it is always unfair to those individuals who don’t every re-offend to make them register as if they are guilty of a future crime they will never commit.

The assessments are already being done. They are to be used for the tiers. They are able to assess more than the simple charge on which you were convicted. The proposal is supposed to include the ability to apply for being reassessed into a lower tier. You have to apply to be able to stop registration – and that is a real detail for the devil. They can do what they want with assessments then or in the meantime. I can see George Runner being named chairman of the assessments, and he might have a very different outlook about them… Read more »

another WIN for RC (RSO)

If we keep this up and keep donating I would not be surprised if California actually become the 1st state to REMOVE Megan’s law.
Let’s make this happen!

I agree a tiering system is unacceptable and shouldn’t be considered any type of win the registry needs to go and I think its possible let’s hope wars efforts prove favorable.

Did anyone else notice that the majority of the reasons stated for the need for SB 267 were reasons that have been proven to be not true or plain ol myth by years of statistics and research? The one that was really sounding like desperation was the statement about “unreported sex crimes.” That statement shouldn’t be allowed to be part of the dialog because it is so obviously manipulation (attempt to instill fear) and trying to sound knowledgeable about something they couldn’t possibly know anything about since it is not reported. That statement is on a level with the statements… Read more »

NPS, I didn’t mean to diss you, but as I reread my posting maybe it came off that way. Sorry for the sarcastic tone. I really can’t get over his support for Prop 35, but he did do some positive things. His support for gay marriage is positive. His admitting he was wrong on his Giuliani-modelled tough on crime platform that got him elected Mayor of San Francisco is another example. All it took was the backlash to the cameras he put up on streetcorners. Newsom , like I am hoping John Roberts is, is able to re-evaluate things and… Read more »

Anonymously, Thank you for your message. I really didn’t take it as a diss. I pretty much understood your original comment as a different take on Lt. Gov. Newsome. I really respect him because he’s made mistakes and actually took ownership of it. He upset not only the religious right by coveting thy neighbor’s wife (which I’m surprised hasn’t been made an illegal registrable offense with these puritanical views on sex) but even the non-secular crowd when he broke the ultimate “bro code” by sleeping with his friend’s wife. He’s one of few politicians who actually admits his mistakes and… Read more »

Janice,

Thank you for your efforts on this and the defeat of SB 267. I was happy to participate in the letter writing campaign. I would like to assist anyway that I can in the future, please keep us informed of any volunteer opportunities. Let’s stop this unconstitutional and unfair treatment that is only for political gain. I spoke to a CASOMB member recently and he told me straight up that this is all political and unfortunately the main thing that will bring about change is finances and the cost of the programs to the state.

Remember the movie Shawshank Redemption? This part…. “Dear Mr. Dusfrane,In response to your repeated inquiries the state has allocated the inclosed funds for your library project. ‘this is $200!’ In addition the library district has generously responded with a generous donation of used books and sundries. We consider this matter closed. Please stop sending us letters.” “Good for you Andy” –Guard “It only took six years, from now on I’ll write two letters a week.” – Andy Let’s write our congress 2 times a week. By email, Fax or snail mail. To find your California legislators click the link below… Read more »

People there’s a petition on change.org to abolish the registry, make sure you sign it!

https://www.change.org/p/abolish-the-sex-offender-registry

Thanks

I just received a polite letter from a member of the Senate Public Safety Committee. He thanked me for my opinion, but he also said that SB 267 is “currently awaiting action by the Senate Committee on Public Safety.” (letter dated May 28). I thought it was withdrawn. The author changed his mind? Any news?

Eh, maybe he is getting it confused with SB54?

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