A group of progressive organizations is trying to take on the California Chamber of Commerce's influence at the Capitol.
The groups, which include large labor, environmental and social justice organizations like the Service Employees International Union California, California Labor Federation, Sierra Club and Planned Parenthood, said at a Wednesday press conference that the chamber's annual "job killer" list of legislation opposed by the business lobby has too much influence over lawmakers' decisions. The groups' members said they wanted to present a progressive alternative.
"The simple reason is that as much progress as we have made, we can and must do better," said Antionette Dozier of the Western Center on Law & Poverty.
The progressive coalition is backing bills that would end juvenile solitary confinement, aim to prevent the sexual harassment of janitorial workers and create a new public retirement plan for private workers. It is also opposing measures that would expand exemptions to the state's primary environmental law and criminalize the failure to pay public transit fares.