When I ran to represent our community in the California State Senate last year, I knew we'd have our work cut out for us in terms of our state's critical needs for more housing, better public transportation, more school funding, a push for more clean energy, and expanded access to healthcare.
Little did I - or any of us - know that we'd also have to play defense against a megalomaniac in the White House. A man who demeans women, demonizes immigrants, degrades democratic institutions, and attacks the press.
Well, that's what we have on our hands, and that's what we're dealing with. As your State Senator, I'm working every day to meet California's needs while protecting us from the toxicity emanating from Washington.
Scott at protests against the Muslim Ban at San Francisco International Airport
Despite the nastiness, I'm heartened by the response we've seen from so many, including those who are not your everyday activists. Whether the Women’s March – a truly inspiring event and example of the power of organized mass mobilization – or the spontaneous protests at San Francisco International Airport in response to the Muslim Ban, we saw people taking time out of their busy lives to take part in peaceful democratic action with a focus on resistance and resolve to stop the horrific acts coming out of the White House.
Scott joined thousands at the Women's March in San Francisco
Protecting California values
We must continue to be vigilant to defend California's values and to push forward a progressive, forward-looking agenda. If Trump wants to move us backwards, we must work to move forward. That’s the motivation behind Senate Bill 726, a ballot measure I’m authoring to replace the endangered federal estate tax - a highly progressive tax that only applies to estates worth more than $5.5 million - with an identical California estate tax, to go into effect only if Trump and Congressional Republicans repeal the federal estate tax. Californians paid $4.5 billion in 2015 in federal estate taxes, and if the federal tax is repealed, why not enact an identical tax here in California and keep the funds for our own needs, particularly those threatened by Trump, like healthcare, education, and transportation?
Protecting our immigrant neighbors
In the State Senate, we're also taking swift and decisive action to protect our immigrant communities and resist any attempt by the federal government to strong-arm our state or local governments to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement. I voted for Senate President Kevin De Leon’s Senate Bill 54, which will prevent the use of state and local resources for federal immigration enforcement actions, and Senate Bill 6 by Senator Ben Hueso, to provide counsel for immigrants threatened with deportation.
Scott joined fellow legislators from the State Legislature to denounce Trump's Executive Order against Sanctuary Cities
San Francisco is also taking a strong stand against the attacks on our sanctuary city. I’m proud of my old boss, City Attorney Dennis Herrera, who filed a lawsuit against Donald Trump and the federal government for threatening to cut funding based on our status as a sanctuary city. I support San Francisco’s status as a sanctuary city, and will fight to protect the people who live and work here under those protections.
After the President threatened to punish Sanctuary Cities, Scott issued this statement standing up for San Francisco and its immigrant communities
Attacking transgender children. Really?
Most recently, Trump eliminated federal protections for transgender children, some of the most marginalized members of our community. I joined fellow members of the LGBT Legislative Caucus to state our clear opposition to these discriminatory actions. I’m also proud to co-author SB 179 with Senator Toni Atkins, which allows a third gender option on state identification for those who don’t identify as male or female, and provides more support for transgender children.
Scott introducing SB 179 along with Senator Toni Atkins on the Senate floor
California needs to continue on its course of moving forward, not backwards. I’ve introduced a number of bills around housing, transportation, healthcare, the environment, and other needs, to keep us on track regardless of what comes out of Washington D.C. You can find these bills on my website.
Yours in resistance,
Senator Scott Wiener