Sample Letters of Support to Governor

Participate in the legislative process

For immediate release:

Support legislation for Indian country and suicide prevention by sending a request for signature letter to the Governor. If you support the following bills which have been sent to Governor Newsom, I respectfully request that you send in a letter of support. Sample language for your letters of support is included below. After you have written your letter send it to Leg.Unit@gov.ca.gov. Only letters pertaining to legislation should be sent to this email. Please send in your letters as soon as possible as the Governor is deciding NOW on whether to approve or veto legislation.

Take part in the legislative process and support quality legislation that helps our communities!

Below is sample language to ask Governor Newsom to sign letters for my bills which made it to his desk. The bills are:

  • AB 275: Native American Cultural Preservation:
  • AB 2112: Creation of a Statewide Office of Suicide Prevention
  • AB 2314: Increasing Native American Voter Participation
  • AB 3099: Department of Justice Law Enforcement Assistance with Trial Issues

 

ADDRESS AND SALUTATION FOR ALL LETTERS

September XX, 2020

Governor Gavin Newsom
1303 10th St., Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA   95814

SUBJECT: Requesting signature on AB XXXX  (Ramos)

Via email to: ­leg.unit@gov.ca.gov

Dear Governor Newsom:

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SAMPLE LANGUAGE FOR LETTERS OF SUPPORT [Scroll down for sample language for the bill(s) you wish to use]

AB 275: Native American Cultural Preservation

I respectfully request your signature on AB 275 regarding Native American cultural preservation.

In 2001 the State of California enacted AB 978 (also known as Cal-NAGPRA), to address the specific concerns of California Native Americans seeking repatriation of their human remains and other cultural items that are presently held by State-funded institutions and museums. AB 978 was never fully funded or implemented.

California Native American tribes are seeking the implementation of Cal-NAPGRA. The Native American Heritage Commission (NAHC) stands ready to carry out its duties with regard to implementation; however, the 20 year old law needs updating in accordance with federal law and also so that it meets current unique challenges faced by the California tribal community when seeking the repatriation of human remains and cultural items to which they are culturally affiliated.

AB 275 allows the Indian communities to move forward more effectively with their repatriation efforts by:

Updating key definitions and processes applicable to State museums and institutions including consideration of “tribal knowledge” and “state cultural affiliation” in the determination of repatriation eligible items. 

Requires State museums and institutions to engage in consultation with California Indian Tribes, where the NAHC may assist, but the agency or museum bears the obligation to contact and consult with California Indian Tribes.

Clarifies the California Native American Heritage Commission’s ability to assist in disputes, including identifying a certified mediator for settling disputes. 

These actions are needed at the state level so that the NAHC, museums and academic institutions can promulgate regulations for repatriation processes and California Indians can have increased representation within state agencies. In a June 2020 audit, California State Auditor Elaine Howle found that repatriation processes at the UC campuses to be lacking in regards to repatriation and in need of statewide standardization. Updating the definition of California Indian is one recommendation by the Auditor’s office that this bill would successfully implement. Estimated annual costs is in the hundreds of thousands for impacted state agencies to comply with the revised process of repatriating remains and associated funerary objects under the specifications of the bill.

For the reasons outlined, I urge you to support AB 275 and sign the bill into law.

Sincerely,

NAME

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AB 2112: Creation of a Statewide Office of Suicide Prevention

On behalf of (ORGANIZATION), I respectfully request your signature on AB 2112, a bill that creates a statewide Office of Suicide Prevention within the Department of Public Health to study and address the crisis of suicide.

Even before the current COVID-19 pandemic, suicide rates among all groups had been increasing drastically. Now, this mental health crisis has grown significantly under the weight of isolation and uncertainty. The state has a responsibility to focus resources on this crisis to ensure that these conditions do not worsen in the coming months and years.

Currently, there exists a patchwork of state and local suicide prevention resources and programs. Between schools, cities, county Departments of Behavioral Health and the state, a variety of practices and programs are utilized to support suicide prevention efforts. This presents an important problem: no one institution can identify best practices and dispense recommendations both to local agencies and statewide.

AB 2112 takes a vital step in addressing the crisis of suicide by coordinating state resources into a statewide Office of Suicide Prevention. This Office will devote resources to studying this crisis, make recommendations to the legislature, and advise on best practices to ensure that statewide resources are used to properly affect the crisis. By creating a statewide Office of Suicide Prevention, the state can target specific populations with greatest suicide risk to begin to address the root causes of the crisis.

For the reasons outlined, I urge you to support AB 2112 and sign the bill into law.

Sincerely,

NAME

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AB 2314: Increasing Native American Voter Participation

On behalf of (ORGANIZATION), I respectfully request your signature on AB 2314, a bill that will increase Native American voter accessibility by authorizing the Secretary of State to establish an advisory committee which would make recommendations and establish guidelines for removing barriers to Native American participation in the electoral process.

This bill proposes that the Secretary of State form an advisory committee tasked with establishing guidelines and recommendations for increasing Native American voter turnout by removing as many barriers to electoral participation as possible. The committee shall consist of the Secretary of State, his or her designees and additional members appointed by the Secretary of State. All members shall have demonstrated experience with voting rights or be a county elections official.

Native American communities are at great health and economic risk which are exacerbated by the current pandemic. As Native American people across our state navigate the unique challenges following this crisis, providing guidance on increased Native American voter participation will be key to lifting the voice of Indian Country. AB 2314 builds upon the work of community organizations and stakeholders and creates new opportunities for collaboration between voting rights groups and elections officials. Working together, the Native American Voter Advisory Commission will determine best practices and implement these policies. 

This bill was drafted in collaboration with the Secretary of State, who has identified means of implementing this policy within the Office of the Secretary of State. Costs associated with this bill have been identified as minor and absorbable.

For the reasons outlined, I urge you to support AB 2314 and sign the bill into law.

I respectfully request your signature on AB 3099 regarding Department of Justice law enforcement assistance with tribal issues.

Sincerely,

NAME

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AB 3099: Department of Justice Law Enforcement Assistance with Trial Issues

I respectfully request your signature on AB 3099 regarding Department of Justice law enforcement assistance with tribal issues.

Due to jurisdictional confusion between California law, federal law, and tribal courts, and a historic pattern of neglect of the Native American community, there is a perception that crimes committed against Native Americans on Tribal Reservations take place in a virtual “no man’s land” where crimes will not be investigated or prosecuted. Native American Women have a rate of victimization more than double other racial groups and on some tribal reservations Native American Women are murdered at a rate ten times the national average

Policing in Indian Country under PL 280 presents enormous challenges to both Tribal and State law enforcement. The jurisdictional complexity for Tribal officers requires knowing where a violation of tribal law occurred and the identification of the violator as a tribal member, non-Indian or non-member Indian. For State officers, questions arise of when and how they should take custody of a person detained by a Tribal officer in Indian Country for a violation of State criminal law. In addition, lack of reporting is a serious obstacle to understanding the challenges presented from State jurisdiction in Indian Country. Among other areas, data in relation to PL 280 is broadly lacking in measuring crime rates, law enforcement response, and quality of public safety services.

AB 3099 would help fix these problems by requiring the Department of Justice (DOJ) provide technical assistance to local law enforcement agencies that have Indian lands within or abutting their jurisdictions, and to tribal governments with Indian lands, including those with and without tribal law enforcement agencies. The technical assistance could be providing guidance for law enforcement education and training on policing, improving crime reporting, educational materials about the complexities of concurrent criminal jurisdiction with tribal governments and their tribal law enforcement agencies, and facilitating improved communication between local law enforcement agencies and tribal governments and their law enforcement.

These actions are needed at the state level because jurisdictions throughout California have varying interpretations of PL 280 and their responsibilities. Standardization across the State would allow for better data reporting, educational outreach, and improved cooperation between tribal and law enforcement groups. Estimated annual costs for four DOJ positions to implement this assistance is approximately $900,000.

For the reasons outlined, I urge you to support AB 3099 and sign the bill into law.

Sincerely,

NAME

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