California Legislative Update - July, 2010 - Abortion and Community Organizing


July 9, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - - Recently I had the opportunity to interview a local, young, Latina Community Organizer who is working within a Catholic Parish in the Oakland Diocese. The Pastor with whom she is working is so enamored of this group, CCISCO, (Contra Costa Interfaith Supporting Community of Organizing) that he has placed their logo on his parish letterhead stationery and provided this woman with an office and committee within the parish. Parish committees are referred to as Local Organizing Committees - LOC. The committee at this particular church is an all Latino committee “because we can’t get anybody else to join” she said. The Chancery takes no position on the development of these groups within the parish and, therefore, within the diocese.

The young woman stated that she is working with 4 of the 5 Catholic parishes in Concord. CCISCO is also working with other Contra Costa based Denominations and local legislators as well. Outside of Contra Costa County, in Alameda County, other community organizing groups are active within churches. Community of Renewal - COR - is one of these groups.

Depending upon the size of the Parish. Each provides a donation to CCISCO anywhere from $200.00 to $1,000.00 for the privilege of working with CCISCO. This is standard. Community organizing groups do not volunteer their services. They use local residents and parish members as volunteer protestors for hidden agendas. They also engage in verbal virtuosity, as Thomas Sowell says by substituting kind, compassionate words and phrases for reality, i.e. undocumented instead of illegal.

This young woman proudly informed us that only the previous week she had taken a busload of parish school students to Sacramento where they assembled at the Catholic Cathedral prior to going off to lobby the legislators for health Care and Immigration issues.

During our interview the Community Organizer talked about CCISCO’s work in the area of immigration reform. They focus on the “undocumented” immigrant, the one who is not eligible, so she said, for a social security number and, therefore, a decent paying job. She mentioned working with the City of Concord in the hopes of finding employment for this group of undocumented (illegal) residents in the building trade area particularly in the town development of the former military base. She stated very firmly that due to a person’s status as an undocumented, that person is never able to become a naturalized citizen and, therefore, never able to get a decent job. That is why, in reference, she was working to get recognition and citizenship for this group of people.

[note: Diocesan Social Justice Committees and the state office of Bishops, in Sacramento are constantly working to produce a change in the immigration laws allowing illegals to obtain almost instant legal status. This is referred to in legislation as The Dream Act.]

I checked with the United States Customs and Immigration Office in San Francisco regarding her claim. It is not quite accurate. I make no claim to being well informed about immigration laws. but, according to a USCIS representative, there are ways for anyone reaching the age of 18 years, to begin application for naturalization. Few of them requiring deportation of the individual or his/her illegally established parents.

It has been pointed out in previous legislative reports that Planned Parenthood and PICO have often been listed along with the California Catholic Conference and or Catholic Charities, in support of legislation. Also, in an earlier SOT we reported on a Parish Nurse’s activities in an Antioch, Ca. Parish in which she admitted that she referred young people to Planned Parenthood for reproductive services. She didn’t mention working with Birthright or Pregnancy Crisis Centers.

An article in the most recent Catholic Voice, the official publication for the Oakland Diocese, reported on a South Alameda County faith-based organization entitled COR and how it is working to help youth. The article also quoted a community organizer with a group called “Youth Up-rising.” Checking this group online shows that they connect youth to Planned Parenthood’s clinics for abortions and contraceptives.

So, we have the situation of the Bishop stating his pro life concerns while the parishes are, at the same time, coordinating their efforts with groups who promote abortion and contraception to the youth of the parishes. And, don’t forget the dues that these parishes are paying for the “privilege” of working with these groups.

In addition, while researching this article I came across a community organizing group in the Monterey area referred to as COPA - Communities organizing for (relational) Power in Action. They are also working in Catholic and Protestant parishes and are planning a meeting with Monterey’s Bishop Garcia, on June 20. Researching this group online brought me to a Maryland based site called CASA de Maryland, located in the Washington, D.C. suburbs, which lists COPA as one of its action item committees. CASA is an affiliate of La Raza which also works with Planned Parenthood. So an organization headquartered in the nation’s capitol masquerades as a local, social justice type ministry on the California shores.


SB 438 by Sen. Leland Yee, (SF-Dem) is entitled Charter Schools: Freedom of Speech and of the Press. It has sailed right through 6 Senate Committee hearings obtaining the votes of Republicans and is now passed out of its second Assembly committee hearing. It is on its way to the floor and then to the Governor.

This bill has nothing to do with freedom of speech or anything else. It has to do with clamping controls just a little tighter on Charter Schools. The Charter School Assn has opposed it. Another bill, by Assemblywoman Brownley placing restrictions on Charter Schools has been withdrawn due to lack of votes. I suspect that the reason for its withdrawal is that SB 438 is moving ahead and will eventually obtain the same results.

Our office received a phone call from recently elected Assemblyman Chris Norby regarding our position of opposition on SB 438. He said that since pro life people fight so strongly for our free speech rights we shouldn’t be opposing this bill. What he doesn’t understand is that this bill has been cleverly devised to make it appear that it is a freedom of speech issue when, in fact, it is not.

Charter Schools have been created by state legislation as an alternative schooling for parents who are dissatisfied with the public school system. They are referred to as voluntarily chartered by like minded groups with their own local official and parental controls. Even many private schools and Catholic schools have applied to become Charter schools in order to obtain the tax funds needed to survive.

It has never been the intention of the legislature to leave these schools alone to prosper in competition with the regular public schools. The legislature has been slowly writing legislation that is drawing these schools into an ever tighter state control from which, because of the funding, they will never leave. Even President Obama is now suggesting that Charter Schools are an answer to the educational dilemma.

Legislators like Asm Norby do not look beyond the nice words on the page. He sees Freedom of speech and

thinks, okay that’s a Republican Principle, I should vote for that. He fails to understand that wiser and craftier legislators than he have learned how to use language to dissemble. He can tell his constituents that he voted for freedom of speech when, in fact, he has voted for restriction of conservative speech on Charter School campuses.

You can still stop this bill by contacting your assembly member and urging a “NO” vote on SB 438. Most likely we will ultimately have to direct our urgings to the Governor because of the Democrat majority in the legislature.


President Obama has, during a Congressional recess, appointed Donald Berwick, MD, as Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The National Partnership for Women and Families’ Campaign for Better Care is just delighted that Obama has snubbed the proper political process of Congressional approval in order to install someone who believes in rationing health care as a means of re-distributing the wealth. He seems to also be enamored of the British Health System.

Didn’t the President promise that there would be no rationing in health care?

© 2010 Camille Giglio. All rights reserved.