This is Essential Politics for August 2017. Find our daily look at California political and government news over here.
California state senators began their return to legislative work on a somber note Monday, with a remembrance of the victims of violence in Charlottesville, Va., and Barcelona Spain, and an appeal by Senate leader Kevin de Léon (D-Los Angeles) to reject the white nationalist ideology on display in Virginia.
De Léon began the floor session with a warning of a "rising tide of hate and intolerance threatening to once again tear us apart."
Regardless of political party, De Léon said he believed all of his fellow senators "would stand up and speak out against fascism, white supremacy and hate if it threatened our own community."
"It's incumbent on all of us to remember our history and not repeat our past sins," he added. "We have to come together to heal, to move forward and to hold ourselves to a much higher standard."
De Léon notably did not mention President Trump, whose response to the melee between white supremacists and counter-demonstrators was widely panned.
He did announce two specific actions the Senate will take in response to the Charlottesville violence: a series of public hearings to examine California's preparedness for future neo-Nazi rallies, and informational hearings to examine the rise of white supremacist organizations in California.