This has been a whirlwind of a week for the Military Spouse JD Network, and it’s not over yet! It all started when our ongoing rule change efforts in California were derailed by a piece of legislation, AB 296, which has the effect of heightening career barriers for military spouse attorneys, thereby hurting military families. This bill is getting in the way of our continuing efforts to work with the California State Bar Staff and Board of Trustees to come up with a real solution for military spouse attorneys. MSJDN snapped into action, and we called on our members and our entire community to help us #Nix296.
Monday we called on you to spread the word far and wide, and to call Assemblyman Wagner, AB 296’s author, to ask him to consider pulling the bill. Tuesday, we asked you to call the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and let them know that the military community, especially military spouse attorneys, do not support AB 296. Wednesday, we asked you to divide and conquer. We asked members to write their stories to be included in a written submission. We asked everyone to continue calling the Chair of the SJC, Senator Evans, and to invite friends and family to do so. And we asked partner organizations to continue writing letters supporting us.
Our efforts so far this week have been nothing short of monumental, and so is the support that we have received! There is MUCH more to be done, as discussed below, but MSJDN wants to take a moment to be grateful. Hundreds of phone calls have been made. Our message has been shared far and wide across social media, whether it be Facebook, Twitter, or sharing of our blog posts and emails. Numerous people contributed to what was an excellent AB 296 opposition brief submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which included a number of your personal stories.
And we quickly learned that we have lots of support in the military community, friends and colleagues who are working hard with us on this campaign. This week we have rallied the support of a number of organizations who oppose AB 296, including the National Military Family Association, the Military Officers Association of America, Blue Star Families, InGear Career, and the Association of the United States Army Family Programs.
SO WHAT’S NEXT?
(1) Keep calling! Senators want to hear from us. First, call Senator Noreen Evans, Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and tell her “I would like to state my official opposition to AB 296.” Then, call the other members of the Senate Judiciary Committee — their contact info is below.
Senator Noreen Evans (916) 651-4002, email@example.com
Senator Mimi Walters (916) 651-4037, firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Joel Anderson (916) 651-4036, email@example.com
Senator Ellen Corbett (916) 651-4010, firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (916) 651-4019, email@example.com
Senator Mark Leno (916) 651-4011, firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Monning (916) 651-4017, email@example.com
(2) MSJDN members, we want your video testimonials for a media project we’re putting together! Record a 20-30 second video explaining your name, branch, and how many bar exams you’ve taken, bar dues you pay, jurisdictions you’ve lived in. We want to show supporters of AB 296 the reality of our movable military lifestyle. Send them to nix296 [at] msjdn.org.
(3) Let us know if you’re near Sacramento. We’re putting together a group to go to the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing next Tuesday, July 2. Email nix296 [at] msjdn.org to let us know you can attend!
(4) Keep spreading the word. Share this blog post on Facebook, forward it by email to your friends and family, and keep educating our supporters on why AB 296 is a problem magnifier for military families.