(SACRAMENTO, CA, 4/24/2014) - This past Tuesday, April 22, almost 200 Muslims from across California held more than 70 advocacy meetings with elected officials and their staff in Sacramento as part of the third annual Muslim Day at the Capitol (MDAC) organized by the California chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Participants engaged their legislators on three critical issues in efforts to promote just, equitable and progressive policies within the state:
- AB 1976 and AB 330, which are two bills that seek to make college more affordable for incoming students
- AB 241 a bill that aims to expand access to health care coverage for all Californians, regardless of immigration status
- SB 828, which would ban state agencies, officials, employees and corporations that provide services to the state from supporting federal government agencies including the NSA in collecting electronic data from Californians without a warrant
The highlight of the day for many participants was an opening reception on the Senate floor, where they were welcomed by State Senator Ricardo Lara (CA-33), Assembly Members Ed Chau (CA-49) and Sharon Quirk-Silva (CA-65). After conducting their legislative visits, the attendees heard from Assembly Members Christina Garcia (CA-58), Roger Dickinson (CA-7), Betty Yee of the State Board of Equalization, and Deputy Attorney General Maggy Krell.
"For many participants, Muslim Day at the Capitol is the first time they engaged their local lawmakers," said CAIR-SFBA Executive Director Zahra Billoo. "By equipping participants with hands-on experience and knowledge of the legislative process, we hope to galvanize Muslims to play a role in advocating for policies that positively impact California."
"A face-to-face meeting is the most effective way to communicate and build a relationship with our legislators," said CAIR-Sacramento Valley Executive Director Basim Elkarra. "Muslim Day at the Capitol aims to facilitate that relationship-building process in order to make our voices heard on critical issues."
CAIR-CA is a chapter of CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR-Sacramento Valley Communications Coordinator Maheen Ahmed, firstname.lastname@example.org, 916.441.6269