Filed under: FAIR Education Act
By Adam Bink
Karen England is the Executive Director of the Capitol Research Institute, the lead sponsor of the referendum to repeal California’s FAIR Education Act. Earlier this month she spoke at Calvary Chapel church in Chino Hills, CA (where the Stop SB 48 proponents were collecting signatures last time around). For those who missed it, last Thursday Karen and her band of homophobes filed for title and summary to put an initiative on the ballot in California repealing the FAIR Education Act.
Today, mother of two and Courage Campaign Communications Manager Ana Beatriz Cholo blogged at the Huffington Post on what happened when Karen spoke at Calvary Chapel. It provides a little insight into what’s coming up. Click below to read more, and find out how you can help defeat Karen and her cohorts a second time.
By Adam Bink
Well, as if this day couldn’t get any more hectic, it just did. And, on the subject of California ballot initiatives, funny enough.
Today, the organizations opposing the FAIR Education Act (also known as SB48) requested title and summary from the Attorney General, which is the first step towards placing an initiative on the November 2012 ballot to repeal it. Once they get it, they will have 150 days to collect 504,760 signatures to place the measure on the ballot. We at Courage Campaign expected this coming sooner or later. You may remember the same people tried and failed to qualify the law for a ballot referendum. This is different, and is more or less another shot at the same goal.
The FAIR Education Act is a law taking effect in January which requires schools to integrate factual information about social movements, current events and history of people of color, people with disabilities and LGBT people into existing social studies lessons. It also prevents schools from adopting instructional materials that discriminate.
For some background on this, their chances to get it on the ballot and what you can do to stop it (especially for those who are new here), here’s what I wrote a few weeks ago:
An initiative requires collection of the same number of signatures as a referendum (504,760) but one gets more time in which to get complete the process (90 days for a referendum to get title and summary, collect signatures and turn them in vs. 150 days for an initiative). In addition, for an initiative, the 150-day clock starts after title and summary is received from the attorney general, whereas with a referendum that time counts against the 90 days (meaning one must wait for title and summary before collecting signatures, but the 90-day clock has already started ticking). The initiative must also qualify at least 131 days before the next statewide election at which the sponsor is attempting to qualify the measure — in this case, before November 6, 2012. They also must start from scratch — they cannot use the signatures they collected the first time around. There are also additional deadlines depending on how many signatures are collected and which counting method is used by elections officials to verify signatures.
Translation of all of that. The Stop SB 48 campaign claims they collected 497,404 signatures. Let’s say for the moment that isn’t bluster and it’s accurate. A general rule of thumb on collecting signatures is that a percentage (some say around 20%) are invalid for one reason or another — and that is acknowledged below by the campaign itself. So they fell fairly short, even if they aren’t exaggerating. If they get an extra 60 days to collect signatures, will they make it? Maybe. They are facing some tight deadlines, and a lot of that depends on different factors — how much money they raise this time to employ paid signature-gatherers since (with very, very few exceptions) all-volunteer or mostly volunteer efforts don’t make it; whether, after our successful decline-to-sign campaign was mounted, the public will be fooled by the lies that were and will be told by the campaign; how many resources our side has to fight the effort; whether, after the law takes effect in January, the public and/or people who signed the referendum the first time realizes the sky hasn’t and won’t fall on kids in California schools; on and on.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on this one. It goes without saying that we will need everyone’s help to beat this back a second time. If you haven’t chipped in to our decline-to-sign campaign efforts, please throw some coin in. If you haven’t signed up for updates on the FAIR Education Act and our work to defend it, please do so if you’re interested. Over 12,000 Courage members across California helped beat this back the first time through community education and confronting signature gatherers, along with our coalition partners at EQCA, GSA Network and others. For more on that, check out the link at top. We’ll need everyone’s help again.
The formal request for title and summary can be found here. They simply want to delete “sexual orientation” or “LGBT” wherever they find it in the statute. No kidding.
Needless to say, Courage Campaign, its members and all of you worked hard to keep this off the ballot the first time. They failed, in no small part due to everyone pulling together and telling the truth about what the FAIR Education Act does. Let’s do it again!
It you’re new to Prop8TrialTracker, you can find all our coverage here on the blog regarding the FAIR Education Act and efforts to protect it by clicking here.
Below the click, you can find Courage Campaign’s statement on today’s news.
By Adam Bink
Mylinda Mason is a school board candidate in Modesto, CA who opposes the FAIR Education Act, saying she doesn’t want to introduce any kind of “sexuality” discussion into schools. You know, like Billie Jean King, Bayard Rustin or Harvey Milk.
So her signs were defaced, and she responded by attacking all LGBT people in the area. Modesto Bee:
A school board candidate’s conservative view about homosexuality was the focal point for two opposing groups who waved picket and campaign signs Saturday afternoon during a demonstration at Modesto’s Five Points intersection.
About a dozen people gathered there to protest against Modesto City Schools board candidate Mylinda Mason, who on Facebook angrily denounced people she believes tore down her campaign signs.
In her Facebook posts, Mason called those who damaged her signs “homosexuals and other liberals.” She also wrote: “Militant homosexual groups and pro abortion activists have engaged in this type of behavior for decades, only now attacks are getting even more brazen.”
Sarah Ciccarelli helped organize the protesters who oppose Mason’s campaign. She said Mason will breed intolerance at the school district if she’s elected.
“I do not approve of anyone defacing (campaign) signs,” said Ciccarelli, 20, of Modesto. “But I don’t know why she brought up her beliefs anyway. These beliefs do not belong on a school board.”
Mason said she heard about the planned protest and gathered about 30 supporters to counter their demonstration with one of her own at the same intersection.
“I’m not a homophobe,” Mason said while holding one of her campaign signs. “I don’t hate them one bit.”
Mason said she hates that schools would introduce any type of sexuality discussion, including homosexuality, into curriculum.
The candidate is referring to a new state law that requires schools to include the historical contributions of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people as well as people with disabilities. Beginning Jan. 1, schools must include these contributions in social science instruction.
“This is about that they want to shut me up,” Mason said while pointing to a large campaign sign that was spraypainted with “she hates gays.”
Ciccarelli said her group originally had planned to march along the street where Mason lives, but they decided Five Points would offer more visibility. She said the new state law helps ensure students learn about people of all backgrounds and fosters tolerance for those who are different.
“So they’re not afraid of it,” Ciccarelli said. “So students won’t get bullied because they’re homosexual.”
The protest lasted a few hours with no confrontations. At one point, some demonstrators from each side held their signs on the same corner of the intersection.
Here’s what Mason wrote on her Facebook page:
“Wow…Tough day. The Liberals are going out of their way to attack my positions on the social issues that will largely influence any implementation of mandates as a result of my School Board ‘votes’. My Biblical family values are not up for random change.”
“My signs are being damaged, torn down and stolen all over town by the intolerant left. The threat of a Christian grandmother is more than they can take. I just received the third phone call this morning to let me know about the damage done in the dark of night. Having taken a stand for what is right and true, homosexuals and other liberals want to make me pay a price, if not financially at least emotionally and psychologically. Militant homosexual groups and pro-abortion activists have engaged in this type of behavior for decades, only now attacks are getting even more brazen. MM”
More from this local TV news report.
I don’t know what the outcome of tomorrow’s elections will be, but I’m not sure anyone’s Biblical views, least of all Mylinda Mason’s, belong on a public school board. And someone should tell her that the FAIR Education Act is about teaching diversity and civil rights, not what all the right-wing groups are telling her it’s about.