Grassroots Lobby Effort led by Save Our Seniors Network Pays Off Again! Onward to “Assembly Concurrence” and the Governor’s Desk to be Signed Into Law
During the afternoon of Monday, August 23, 2021, by a “sledgehammer-like” margin of 32-3, a victory was won by the people of California who stood up for the interests of seniors throughout the state against the profiteering interests of Pacifica Companies, the corporate operators’ lobby, California Association of Health Facilities (CAHF) and the CAHF-controlled CA Department of Public Health which supported the mass evictions at the Sakura Intermediate Care Facility.
The decisive and bipartisan majority vote was won due to community AB 279 letter-signing tabling efforts, and other persistent lobbying efforts by the hard-working, all-volunteer members of Save Our Seniors Network and its many supporters from multiple organizations. The letters and emails sent, the phone calls and direct meetings with Senate staffers all made the difference to push the bill one step closer towards becoming California law.
From here, the bill goes back to the “Assembly Concurrence” to vote on the amendments that came out of the Senate process and then it must be signed by Governor Gavin Newsom before it because law. This vote is now scheduled to take place on Monday, August 30.
AB 279 will make improper discharges from, and reductions of services at licensed senior care facilities ILLEGAL to July 2022! For the residents remaining at facilities such as Kei-Ai Los Angeles and Kei-Ai South Bay, the families now have legal arsenal to defend against cutbacks in bilingual/bi-cultural services and evictions up until July 2022. For seniors evicted from the Sakura Intermediate Care Facility (ICF), this is justice against the wrongdoings of Pacifica Companies. In effect, it will reinstate the original conditions of sale of the former Keiro Nursing and Retirement Homes to Pacifica Companies.
Even better yet, there is room for optimism that the CA Attorney General Rob Bonta, will assist with enforcement of the law as he is much more open to dialogue with the Japanese American community than the two predecessors of the office.
Finally, Save Our Seniors Network wishes to give another round of thanks to the leadership from Assemblymembers Al Muratsuchi and staff, Assemblymember Miguel Santiago, and for her impassioned work on the Senate Floor, CA Senator Maria Elena Durazo, for carrying the ball for this big win!
Stay tuned and re-visit the Save Our Seniors Network website and follow us on Instagram (PublicHealthEquality) for further updates.