At Chrysalis, we work with individuals who have been impacted by systemic barriers to quality employment by providing resources and support needed to find and keep a job. We also recognize that we have an obligation to help break down those systemic barriers by contributing to the creation of equitable systems and hiring practices in our communities, so that everyone has the opportunity to work and thrive.

Over the years, Chrysalis has steadily provided our organization’s knowledge and support to advocacy efforts. We are looking forward to finding new ways to share information with our community about what we are following and the conversations in which we are including our voice and expertise. For this post in our newsroom, we have compiled a brief list of local, state, and federal policies and bills on which we have been working during the first quarter of the year.

Since the start of the year, in partnership with a range of organizations and collaboratives working to address employment, homelessness, and reentry, Chrysalis has signed on in support of legislative and budget initiatives at the local and state level. Here is a list of some of the efforts we are watching:
California Bills We Supported
  • AB 1816 (Bryan): A continuation of last year’s AB 328 (Chiu), which Chrysalis also supported. Would seek to create housing and workforce training programs specifically for the reentry community, including permanent supportive housing, grants and rental assistance, and other forms of direct support.
    Resource Link: AB 1816 Fact Sheet / Los Angeles Times Op-Ed
  • SB 914 (Rubio): Seeks to reduce gender bias and disparities in outcomes in California’s response to homelessness by embedding a focus on domestic violence survivors and other vulnerable populations into local homelessness plans. Set for hearing March 29.
  • AB 2670 (McCarty): Will create CA RISE (Regional Initiative for Social Enterprise) which would provide funding and technical assistance to employment social enterprises and connect them with local public partners, training providers, and private sector employers.
    Resource Link: AB 2670 Fact Sheet
  • AB 1720 (Holden): Will remove the candor trap (requiring people to self-report their conviction history) from California Department of Social Services applications and implement a simplified criminal record exemption process. This will increase access to CDSS regulated careers for individuals with a background in the justice system.
  • Care First Community Investment: Chrysalis also sent a letter to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors urging them to fully fund Care First Community Investment (CFCI, formerly Measure J) which seeks to invest in youth and small business development, job training, housing services, and alternatives to incarceration.
    Resource Link: Los Angeles Times Op-Ed
California Bills We Opposed
  • AB 1597 (Waldron), AB 1599 (Kiley), and AB 1603 (Salas): All three of these bills sought to roll back the reforms of Proposition 47. All still in Committee.
    Proposition 47 was a referendum passed by voters in November 2014, which converted nonviolent offenses, such as drug and property offenses, from felonies to misdemeanors. The measure also required that money saved as a result of the measure would be spent on prevention and treatment programs designed to keep individuals out of prisons and jails. The measure affected both future convictions and allowed for those incarcerated at the time to petition for resentencing. In addition to saving hundreds of millions of dollars and reducing our overall prison population, reducing nonviolent offenses to a misdemeanor rather than a felony increases the likelihood that individuals can secure housing and employment, which are key to reducing recidivism. Proposition 47 also helps to fund opportunities such as Chrysalis’ SECTOR program. Rolling back the provisions of Proposition 47 would be expensive, overly punitive, and would reduce the ability of individuals to rebuild their lives.
    Resource Link: LAC DHS Prop 47 Two-Year Report
If you are interested in expressing your support or opposition to any of these bills, we encourage you to contact your legislators. You can start by visiting the California Legislative Information website to learn more about each bill and access contact information for your local representatives.

Be sure to follow us on social media and keep an eye on our Newsroom for more updates on these initiatives.