ECDC Supports Iran Negotiations

The members present at the El Cerrito Democratic Club November, 2013 meeting unanimously waived the requirement for advance notice and unanimously approved the following statement:

We support the diplomatic efforts pursuing an agreement with Iran regarding its nuclear program, and oppose additional sanctions while Iran cooperates fully with the agreement made with the United States on November 23, 2013.

ECDC Co-Sponsors Resolution on Non-Profit Hospital Regulations

ECDC member Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto is sponsoring a resolution to require clarification of the charitable activity of non-profit hospitals. At its Oct 22 meeting, the ECDC Board agreed to co-sponsor the resolution at the CDP meeting on Nov 19.

Rochelle described her motivation for authoring the resolution. “The issue started to come up back in 2011 when [the California Nurses Association] started our negotiations with Sutter Health. Questions at that time were being asked by the nurses such as: how can a not-for-profit organization make three quarters of a billion dollars in profit in one year and get away with it? We were also perplexed as to why Sutter could give one million dollars to the Sacramento Kings and call it “donating to charity.” Meanwhile they were shutting down units that were not considered profitable and while out on the picket line we began to find out they were turning away patients in the ER that could not afford to pay. Sending them to the Alameda County Hospital.”

Rochelle supported AB 975, a bill from Assemblymen Weikowski and Bonta that would have required additional reporting on charitable activities from non-profit hospitals. While that bill died on the floor, Rochelle hopes that it will be re-introduced in the next session.

The text of the resolution follows:

California’s Nonprofit Hospitals and Charity Care

WHEREAS, nonprofit hospital’s in California frequently conduct business similar to for profit hospitals and, the profit (or excess revenue) of California’s nonprofit hospitals has soared into the billions of dollars while their top administrators’ salaries have climbed into the millions, while they continue to maintain a tax-exempt status; and

WHEREAS, according to the State of California Auditor, in the 2012 audit, the amount of charity care they provide has dropped to a percentage of service that is the same as or less than that of for-profit hospitals, while economically struggling counties and cities in California lose more than $1 billion as a result of the tax exemption of nonprofit hospitals, in addition to the direct payments counties make to hospitals in their geographic area to provide hospital care for the poor, thus effectively subsidizing the hospitals profits with taxpayer dollars; and

WHEREAS, the California State Legislature and Board of Equalization have already began to investigate nonprofit hospitals as well as questioning what nonprofit hospitals consider charity care and community benefits since there is currently no clear definition of what constitutes charity care or community benefits nor are there any clear enforceable penalties for non-compliance.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the California Democratic Party calls on Governor Jerry Brown and the California State Legislature to enact legislation to clearly define charity care and community benefits. 

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this legislation holds nonprofit hospitals accountable by protecting both the rights of all patients and the rights of the tax payers of California.

Authored by Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto, AD 15; Sponsor: Hilary Crosby, California Democratic Party Controller

ECDC Co-Sponsors Resolution on Reporting of Crimes Against Children

ECDC member Mister Phillips is sponsoring a resolution to alter penalties for non-reporting of crimes against children. At its Oct 22 meeting, the ECDC Board agreed to co-sponsor the resolution at the CDP meeting on Nov 19.

Mister described his motivation for introducing the resolution: “I drafted the resolution in response to the 2009 gang rape at Richmond High School. It upset me that witnesses would not report the crime to the police. It also upset me that the law did not require witnesses to report the crime to the police, because the victim was 16 years old. In my opinion, 16- and 17-year-olds are children. I think the law should protect 16- and 17-year-olds too.”

The text of the resolution follows:

REPORTING OF CRIMES AGAINST CHILDREN

WHEREAS, existing state law mandates that any person who reasonably believes that he or she has observed the commission of a murder, rape, or lewd or lascivious act where the victim is a child under the age of 14 years shall notify a peace officer, but does not mandate that any person who reasonably believes that he or she has observed the commission of a murder, rape, or lewd or lascivious act where the victim is a child over the age of 14 years shall notify a peace officer; and

WHEREAS, murder, rape, and lewd or lascivious acts are also committed against children over the age of 14 years, and the reporting of murder, rape, and lewd or lascivious acts committed against children over the age of 14 years is just as important as the reporting of murder, rape, and lewd or lascivious acts committed against children under the age of 14 years; and

WHEREAS, the expansion of existing state law to mandate that any person who reasonably believes that he or she has observed the commission of a murder, rape, or lewd or lascivious act where the victim is a child under the age of 18 years shall notify a peace officer would necessarily reduce the incidence of murder, rape, and lewd or lascivious acts committed against all children, including children over the age of 14 years;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the California Democratic Party calls on Governor Jerry Brown and the California State Legislature to expand existing state law to mandate that any person who reasonably believes that he or she has observed the commission of a murder, rape, or lewd or lascivious act where the victim is a child under the age of 18 years shall notify a peace officer; and

THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the California Democratic Party shall send copies of this resolution to Governor Brown and every member of the California State Legislature to encourage them to expand existing state law, as stated above, so that every child, regardless of age, is protected from murder, rape, and lewd or lascivious acts.

Authored by Mister Phillips; Co-sponsors: CDP African American Caucus; CDP Region 2; Democratic Party of Contra Costa County; Lawson C. Stuart, Chairman, CDP Veteran’s Caucus; Nadine Peyrucain, AD 14