SB 288 allows Dreamers and other immigrants to run for Democratic Party County Central Committee positions
(From Press Release) – Yesterday, Senator Scott Wiener’s (D-San Francisco) Senate Bill 288 was endorsed by the California Democratic Party. SB 288 makes it legal for immigrants to run for California Democratic Party County Central Committee seats. Specifically, the legislation allows DACA recipients, immigrants with Temporary Protected Status (TPS), immigrants who have received asylum, and green card holders to run for these positions. (The legislation also applies to the Peace and Freedom Party).
It is currently impossible for Dreamers and other immigrants to run for Democratic Party positions, because under the California Elections Code, only registered voters can run. SB 288 changes the Elections Code so that these immigrants can participate in leadership roles in the Democratic Party.
“Immigrants are already leaders in our communities and deserve a seat at the table in the Democratic Party,” said Senator Wiener. “Immigrants pay taxes and contribute to our economy, culture, and civic life. I am proud that our legislation received this vital endorsement.”
An estimated 200,000 Dreamers live in California alongside a broader immigrant population of over 2.5 million. Although current law excludes Dreamers and other immigrants from taking on leadership roles in the Democratic and other political parties, a variety of related policies have aimed to better include them in other settings. In 2018, Governor Jerry Brown nominated Lizbeth Mateo to serve as an education advisor. Upon confirmation she became the first-ever Dreamer to receive a statewide appointment. In early 2019 the Chair of the San Francisco Democratic Party, David Campos, appointed a Dreamer, Sarah Souza, to serve on San Francisco’s Central Committee. Recent legislative actions have also expanded Medi-Cal and other public benefits to many immigrants. Activists and policymakers affiliated with the CDP have been on the forefront of these changes, and there is a broad appetite within the party to better incorporate the perspectives of Dreamers and other immigrants into the political process.
SB 288 is co-authored by Senators Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica), Anna Caballero (D-Salinas), Maria Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles), Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach), Ben Hueso (D-San Diego), and Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), and Assemblymembers David Chiu (D-San Francisco), Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) and Phil Ting (D-San Francisco).
Full text of the bill can be found here.