Take Action to Oppose CA Senate Bill 649 (SB.649)

SB.649 This Week

SB.649 has been referred to three Assembly Committees, so far:

  1. Referred to Local Government Committee
  2. Referred to Communications and Conveyance Committee — without proper public notice ( read below).
  3. On 7/12/17, SB.649 was referred to Appropriations Committee
  4. Read the latest edit of SB.649, reflecting the 7/12/17 vote and posted to the public on 7/18/17

SB.649 will be heard at the Assembly Appropriation Committee Hearing on Wed Aug, 23 2017 starting at 9:00 am in State Capitol Room 4202. Scientists for Wired Technology is still trying to correct the improper handling of the Committee Referrals for SB.649, as you can read below. Assembly members generally make their voting decisions prior to a scheduled hearing, so your efforts from Mon July 14 through Tue Aug 22 are critically important.

ADA Accommodations for EMS and Disabled Californians at The 8/23/17 Appropriations Committee Hearing Have Been Severely Limited by the CA Legislature

At an 8/15/17 meeting with the Assembly ADA coordinator, we reviewed key language selected from the ADA Title II Technical Assistance Manual and the rationale for why Electromagnetically Sensitive (EMS) and Disabled Californians need testimony access and time consistent with what we already received at the CA Legislature: at the Senate Appropriations Committee on 5/15/17, at the Assembly Local Government Committee on 6/28/17 and at the Assembly Communications and Conveyance Committee on 7/12/17. More specifically:

  • The Senate Appropriations Committee allowed 17 minutes of Opposition testimony shared 50% by three people speaking on behalf of EMS Californians and the fiscal impacts of SB.649 and 50% by three people speaking on behalf of California cities and counties and the fiscal impacts.
  • The Assembly Local Government Committee allowed 30 minutes of Opposition testimony, 40% by six people speaking on behalf of EMS Californians and 60% by 12 people speaking on behalf of California cities and counties.
  • The Assembly Communications and Conveyance Committee allowed 40 minutes of Opposition testimony, 50% by 14 people speaking on behalf of EMS Californians and 50% by 15 people on behalf of California cities and counties.

At present, the Assembly Appropriations Committee has reduced EMS Californians’ testimony to one call-in speaker for two minutes on 8/23/17. This discrimination is being addressed with the CA Legislature and the Department of Justice right now.

Sign this petition

7/2/17 Message from Kevin Mottus

Everyone needs to go to Sacramento and lobby face to face with these legislators. This is what the industry does and this is what we need to do. The legislators know what it takes to get up there in person and they are very receptive and listening. I do not believe the emails or calls get through to them.

There is a general session Monday at 1:00 pm this week and 9:00 am on Thursday. You can wait outside the session where ALL THE LOBBYISTS WAIT and catch legislators as they enter from the hall or ask them for a minute when they come off the elevators to enter the assembly area to vote. I believe this is on the third floor but again the lobbyists will be waiting there so you will know and you can ask them for confirmation where the general session is being held. BE EARLY not late. Some enter very early and some enter close to the start you want to get both. You should be able to talk to most of the committee members in person doing this but if not you can talk to them as they attend other committees they sit on.

The Assembly clerk’s office on the third floor of the new side is very helpful and there job is to inform the public so they can participate in the democratic process. Clerk’s office 916-319-2856, I spoke to Dotson Wilson, the Chief Clerk, but you can talk to anyone with logistical questions.

All the assembly members offices are spread over five floors in one building. It is very easy to run into legislators. It is very easy to access their offices quickly. Also stop into the Governors office and ask to speak to someone. This bill is likely to end up on his desk and we need him to veto it. You can get a meeting with someone in his office just stop into request a meeting early in the day but after the general session or email their office in advance. You can call and email meetings in advance but stopping in also works. Just go. The Governor’s office is on the first floor-do not be scared people request meetings all the time.

The airport in Sacramento is practically empty and Southwest has regular flights. It is 10 minutes from airport to the Capitol building. Stay over a night and hit all the members. Be sure to be there for one of the general sessions where you easily can talk to many assembly members. I plan to go Wed and Thurs of this week. Try to meet with these offices separately representing different groups so it looks like a lot of people are upset not just one group of people.

If you are really upset about SB.649 then go to Sacramento and tell these committee members face to face. There is no substitute for this. This bill is awful-it is time for every one to go. If you are as pissed as i am. No more excuses. Take a day or two off and go. Go talk to the people doing this to you face to face.

Go get’um.

In unity,

— Kevin Mottus

You Can Help Oppose SB.649 by Doing Three Things:

  1. Visit Assembly Member offices in person from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, no appointments needed. Making calls is a distant Plan B, often reduced to a tick mark on a page, but if that is all you can do, the phone numbers are here and here).
  2. Complete and Submit our form, below, to enter your comments opposing SB.649 into the public record at the 8/23/17 Appropriations Committee Hearing. We will print the comments and hand them to the Sergeant-At-Arms during the hearing to ensure your name and comment is entered into the public record. This is better than sending emails.
  3. Help Pass Out Books. We are lending 50 copies of Arthur Firstenberg’s 2017 book The Invisible Rainbow, A History of Electricity and Life to Assembly members over the next four weeks — highlighting the 20 pages which are a must-read.

SB.649 Committee Referrals

As originally intended by the Rules Committee Chair, Ken Cooley, SB.649 should still be referred to the Natural Resources Committee. Cooley’s original intention to do so is fully-documented in the only agenda-of-record for the 7/15/17 Rules Committee Hearing on the official CA Assembly Web Site.

Assembly Committees Relevant to SB.649

  • Local Government Committee Jurisdiction : Primary jurisdictions are General Plan, land use, housing element, local agency formation commissions, city and county organization and powers, special district governance and finance, eminent domain and others.
  • Natural Resources Committee Jurisdiction: Primary jurisdiction includes air quality, climate change, energy efficiency, renewable energy, California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), coastal protection, forestry, land conservation, oil spills, solid waste and recycling.
  • Health Committee Jurisdiction: Primary jurisdictions are health care, health insurance, Medi-Cal and other public health care programs, mental health licensing of health and health-related professionals, and long-term health care facilities.
  • Communications and Conveyance Committee Jurisdiction: Primary jurisdictions are not listed. As this is a new committee in 2017, there is no precedent for bills being assigned to this committee.

As the 7/15/17 Rules ComCmittee Agenda-of-record intended that SB.649 be referred to the Natural Resources Committee, the question remains: what happened? This is what we have been asking every day since 7/15/17 from Chairman Cooley, Cooley’s Chief of Staff, Jillena Hernandez and Cooley’s Senior Committee Consultant, Michael Erke — with no adequate explanation provided as of 6/26/17.

The Committee assignment changed at the Rules committee on 7/15/17 for no apparent reason. The Rules Committee deviated from well-established procedures, as evidenced by the Assembly Rules Committee agendas listed here and the rather short Assembly Rules Committee Hearings, videos, which are listed here. Public access to the rationale for this last-minute, darkroom deal have, unfortunately, been systematically hidden from the public, despite great effort made by Scientists For Wired Technology to shine some light on this significant and unwarranted last-minute change:

  1. Despite repeated voicemail messages and in-person requests at Cooley’s office on 6/15, 6/16, 6/19, 6/20, 6/21 and 6/22 for Ms. Jillena Hernandez to please discuss the rationale for this improperly-noticed, last-minute change in Committee assignment for SB.649, Ms. Hernandez has not responded with any adequate explanation or even with a date/time to meet. This turned out to be a 23-day stonewall — we finally received some explanation from Chairman Cooley himself on Sat 7/8/12, at his District 8 meet and greets at Insight Coffee in Carmichael and at Starbucks in East Sacramento.
  2. Cooley’s explanation was that six of the 13 members of the Communications and Conveyance Committee also served on the Assembly Health Committee, and these members would complete the due diligence on the negative biological effects of Radio-Frequency Microwave Radiation (RF/MW radiation) on humans and other organisms. Unfortunately, both the Communications and Conveyance Committee Bill Analysis, completed by Chief Consultant, Edmond Cheung, and these six members (Miguel Santiago, Rob Bonta, Brian Manschein, Jim Patterson, Freddie Rodriguez and Jim Wood) utterly ignored this critically important issue and showed no evidence of completing the necessary due diligence. In short, they punted — again!
  3. Despite repeated voicemail messages, emails and in-person requests from Ken Cooley’s District 8 Constituents (which include a public health professional and three Medical Doctors) to Cooley’s office on 6/15, 6/16, 6/19, 6/20, 6/21 and 6/22 the office has refused to respond with a date/time to meet with Cooley so they can discuss this time-critical issue.

6/15/17 Rules Committee Transcript

  • 10:05: Start of Rules Committee
  • 10:47: Chairman Cooley to Secretary: "Do I need to do any more beyond announcing that?"
  • 10:49: Rules Committee Secretary: "Just mention the change".
  • 10:52: Chairman Cooley: "With respect to SB.649 — Hueso, the recommendation has been changed to Local Government and Communications & Conveyance. So we will take that up today." [No discussion among any Assembly members.]
  • 11:17: "So, with those changes noted, we have a consent agenda. Is there a motion? A second? Madame Secretary please call the votes."
  • 11:45: Chairman Cooley: "The motion is passed and Rules Committee is adjourned." [the meeting lasted all of 2 minutes, 40 seconds]

Overview: Visiting Assembly Member Offices

You don’t need to be an expert or even be the smartest person in the room to make a large impact in opposing SB.649. You just need to show up. Support or opposition to any Bill is measured by how many people make the effort to tell their story succinctly and with calm and measured conviction to Assembly staffers who will then decide to either filter out or take your information to their boss. What drives that decision? The number of people that show up and whether or not you are polite enough or likeable enough.

Showing up at the Capitol in Sacramento is the one thing you can do to ensure that your message will be heard by someone. Calls are reduced to tick marks on a sheet, emails are routinely ignored, letters and handouts are often filed in the circular filing cabinet (and taken out with the recycling). This is politics. What is important is measured by how many people show up — and how often. Your one chance to be memorable is to show up in Sacramento. The good news is that it is very easy to do.

  • The Capitol is open Mon through Friday from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm, but most legislative staffers prefer to see people from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.
  • There is discounted early bird parking (in by 9:00 am) at the lot on 12th and L Streets, just behind the Hyatt Regency and Starbucks.
  • Legislative staffers’ jobs are to welcome you. You can just drop into an office — without an appointment — and ask to speak to someone who handles SB.649 for the Assembly Member or Senator. Sometimes you leave with a card, but other times they may have ten minutes for you on the spot. Always ask for a short meeting.
  • Legislative staffers have a lot of other work to do; taking time to talk to you makes their days longer — so please be succinct and to the point.
  • If you are a Constituent of an Assembly Member or Senator, you have a better chance of calling/emailing ahead to get an actual appointment with your elected official, but there is no guarantee. Often, you will have better luck studying their photos and introducing yourself when they are walking to meetings in the hallway.
  • A couple of hundred people showing up for just one day each in June and July to say that you will not stand for a cell tower being as close as 10 to 15 feet to your home will change some votes. The forced 24/7 exposure to Radio-Frequency Microwave Radiation (RF/MW radiation) closer than 2500 feet is hazardous, as proven by many substantial scientific studies.

What We Are Up Against

In the case of SB.649, to date, we have been seriously outmanned and outgunned by the highly-paid team of lobbyists from AT&T, Verizon and the Cellular Telephone and Internet Association (CTIA) – the sponsors and actual author of this Bill. That’s right SB.649 is just one of many similar state bills that originated at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), was edited by the CTIA, approved by AT&T and Verizon and then handed to Senator Ben Hueso and Assembly Member Bill Quirk, along with their marching orders. The votes from our legislators are not just purchased with generous campaign contributions form the Wireless Industry, but purchased with the generous community grants to the Districts of the so-called Bill-authors of SB.649: at least $25,000 for Senator Ben Hueso’s District and $500,000 for Assembly Member Bill Quirk’s District, as detailed here.

The only way we can combat this level of influence is to markedly increase the numbers of people willing to show up and speak out against SB.649. Your reasons may differ from the talking points that we offer, below, but just a little bit of research on your part will uncover many, many reasons to oppose SB.649 and Small Cells in California residential neighborhoods.

Information about CA Senate Bill 649 can be found at the following links:

  • CA SB.649 – Wireless Telecommunications Bill
  • Post for Oppose CA SB.649: Wireless Telecommunications Bill
  • Post for Palo Alto 4G Small Cells: An Extreme Health Hazard
  • Post for CA Senate SB-649 April 4 Testimony
  • Post for CA Senate SB-649 April 26 Testimony
  • Post for CA Senate SB-649 May 15 Testimony
  • Post for Press Advisory: CA SB 649 Passed by Senate
  • Post for June 11 East Bay Times Op-Ed on SB.649

Three Things You Can Do to Oppose SB.649

I. Come to Sacramento for one or more days to talk to the Assembly Member Offices

Visit and Call as Many Assembly Member Offices As You Can. Start with the person who will be writing SB.649’s Second Assembly Analysis:

Jennifer Galehouse
Deputy Chief Consultant
Assembly Appropriations Committee
State Capitol Room 2114
Sacramento, California 95814
tel 916-319-2081

Key Dates Confirmed
  • Thu 6/22/17 — @ 5:00 pm, deadline to submit letter to Oppose SB.649 and be listed as Opposition in the Local Goverment Committee Bill Analysis; will only list organizations, not individuals
  • Wed 6/28/17 — @ 1:30 pm, in Room 447 Local Government Committee Hearing/Vote on SB.649
  • Mon 7/03/17 — SB.649 edit released to public, reflecting amendments voted through on 6/28/17 (5 day delay)
  • Thu 7/06/17 — @ 5:00 pm, deadline to submit letter to Oppose SB.649 and be listed as Opposition in the Bill Analysis; will only list organizations, not individuals
  • Wed 7/12/17 — @ 1:30 pm, in Room 437 Communications and Conveyance Committee Hearing/Vote on SB.649
  • Wed 7/18/17 — SB.649 Edit released to public, reflecting amendments voted through on 7/12/17 (6 day delay)
  • Fri 7/21/17START of Assembly Recess, Assembly members go to their Districts
  • Mon 8/21/17END of Assembly Recess, Assembly members return from theirDistricts
  • Wed 8/23/17 — @ 9:00 am, in Room 4202, Appropriations Committee Hearing on SB.649: Testimony, but no vote; according to the Appropriations Committee staff, SB.649 will be placed in suspense.
  • Fri 9/1/17 — @ 9:00 am, in Room 4202, Final Appropriations Committee Hearing/Vote on SB.649
  • Tue 9/5/17 — Assembly Floor Vote on SB.649
District Maps and Staff handling SB.649 for Assembly Appropriations Committee
  1. Room 319 2511.5Ian C. Calderon (D-57)/Denneile Ritter, Legislative Director; denneile.ritter@asm.ca.gov: 916-319-2057
  2. Room 2003 2709Richard Bloom (D-50)/Annie Chou, Senior Legislative Aide; annie.chou@asm.ca.gov: 916-319-2050
  3. Room 2114 2611.5Lorena S. Gonzalez Fletcher (Chair D-80)/Jennifer Galehouse, Deputy Chief Consultant, Assembly Appropriations Committee; jennifer.galehouse@asm.ca.gov: 916-319-2081
  4. Room 2117 2604.5Reginald Jones-Sawyer (D-59)/Cori Ayala, Legislative Director; cori.ayala@asm.ca.gov: 916-319-2059
  5. Room 2137 2702Laura Friedman (D-43)/Allison Ruff, Chief of Staff; allison.ruff@asm.ca.gov: 916-319-2043
  6. Room 2148 2610Rob Bonta (D-18)/Viviana Becerra, Legislative Director; viviana.becerra@asm.ca.gov: 916-319-2018
  7. Room 2158 2709.5James Gallagher (R-03)/Joe Zanze, Legislative Aide; joe.zanze@asm.ca.gov: 916-319-2003
  8. Room 2175 tt-14Raul Bocanegra (D-39)/Brayden Borcherding, Legislative Aide; braden.borcherding@asm.ca.gov: 916-319-2039
  9. Room 3141 2502William P. Brough (R-73)/Kawika Nunenkamp, Legislative Aide; kawika.nunenkamp@asm.ca.gov: 916-319-2073
  10. Room 3152 2603.5Adam C. Gray (D-21)/Harrison Pardini, Legislative Aide; harrison.pardini@asm.ca.gov: 916-319-2021
  11. Room 4015 2711.5Eloise Gómez Reyes (D-47)/Matthew Hamlett, Legislative Director; matthew.hamlett@asm.ca.gov: 916-319-2047
  12. Room 4116 emJay Obernolte (R-33)/Michael Chen, Legislative Director; michael.chen@asm.ca.gov: 916-319-2033
  13. Room 4117 2501Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-13)/Maria Ramos, Legislative Assistant; maria.ramos@asm.ca.gov: 916-319-2013
  14. Room 4140 2710.5Eduardo Garcia (D-56)/Vanessa Gonzalez, Legislative Assistant; vanessa.gonzalez@asm.ca.gov: 916-319-2056
  15. Room 4144 2510Vince Fong (R-34)/Elias Garcia, Legislative Director; elias.garcia@asm.ca.gov: 916-319-2034
  16. Room 4158 0103.5Frank Bigelow (Vice Chair, R-05)/Katie Masingale, Chief of Staff; katie.masingale@asm.ca.gov: 916-319-2005
  17. Room 5016 2511Ed Chau (D-49)/Edmundo Cuevas, Chief of Staff; edmundo.cuevas@asm.ca.gov: 916-319-2049

    1. Additional Assembly member contact information is here.

      II. Enter Your Statements About SB.649 to the Assembly Appropriations Committee into the Public Record


      Complete and Submit our form, below, to enter your comments opposing SB.649 into the public record at the 8/23/17 Appropriations Committee Hearing. We will print the comments and hand them to the Sergeant-At-Arms during the hearing to ensure your name and comment is entered into the public record. This is better than sending emails.

      Form starts here


      Form ends here

      III. Prepare and Hand out Books to Assembly Members

      We are lending 50 copies of Arthur Firstenberg’s 2017 book The Invisible Rainbow, A History of Electricity and Life to Assembly members — highlighting the 20 pages which are a must-read.

      We currently have the following copies out “checked out” for reading, review and analysis.

      • SFWT-01/50: checked out to 2176 — Holden/Elle Hoxworth
      • SFWT-02/50: checked out to 9999 — Assemblymember/staffer
      • SFWT-03/50: 6/27 checked out to 2176 — Ridley-Thomas/Ryan Peesah
      • SFWT-04/50: checked out to 5158 — Caballero/Enedine Garcia
      • SFWT-05/50: 6/27 returned by 2003 — Bloom /Nardos Girma (returned)
      • SFWT-05/50: 7/26 checked out to 2114 — Gonzales Fletcher/Jennifer Galehouse
      • SFWT-06/50: checked out to 5144 — Aguiar-Curry/Angela Mapp
      • SFWT-07/50: checked out to 9999 — Assemblymember/staffer
      • SFWT-08/50: 6/27 checked out to 2114 — Gonzales Fletcher/Laurel Brodzinsky
      • SFWT-09/50: checked out to to 6005 — Wood/Carol Mudge
      • SFWT-10/50: 6/27 checked out to 4116 — Obernolte/Michael Chen
      • SFWT-11/50: 6/27 checked out to 2174 — Lackey/Cody Storm
      • SFWT-12/50: 6/27 returned by 4130 — Waldron/Lilia Stone (returned)
      • SFWT-12/50: 6/27 checked out to 4130 — Assemblymember/MODEL
      • SFWT-13/50: 6/27 checked out to 4130 — Acosta/tbd-male
      • SFWT-14/50: 6/27 returned by 4164 — Grayson/Steven Stenzler (returned)
      • SFWT-14/50: 7/08 checked out to 3013 — Cooley/Ken Cooley
      • SFWT-15/50: 6/27 checked out to 2176 — Ridley-Thomas/Javon Agee
      • SFWT-16/50: 6/27 checked out to 4009 — Voepel/Lily Movsisyan
      • SFWT-17/50: checked out to 6027 — Santiago/Edmund Cheung
      • SFWT-18/50: checked out to 9999 — Assemblymember/person
      • SFWT-19/50: checked out to 9999 — Assemblymember/person
      • SFWT-20/50: checked out to 9999 — Assemblymember/????
      • SFWT-21/50: checked out to 5016 — Chou/Edmundo Cuevas
      • SFWT-22/50: checked out to 9999 — Assemblymember/????
      • SFWT-23/50: checked out to 9999 — Assemblymember/????
      • SFWT-24/50: checked out to 9999 — Assemblymember/person
      • SFWT-25/50: checked out to 9999 — Assemblymember/person
      • SFWT-26/50: checked out to 9999 — Assemblymember/person
      • SFWT-27/50: checked out to 9999 — Assemblymember/????
      • SFWT-28/50: checked out to 9999 — Assemblymember/person
      • SFWT-29/50: checked out to 9999 — Assemblymember/person
      • SFWT-30/50: checked out to 9999 — Assemblymember/person
      • SFWT-31/50: checked out to 9999 — Assemblymember/person
      • SFWT-32/50: checked out to 9999 — Assemblymember/person
      • SFWT-33/50: checked out to 9999 — Assemblymember/person
      • SFWT-34/50: checked out to 9999 — Assemblymember/person
      • SFWT-35/50: checked out to 9999 — Assemblymember/person
      • SFWT-36/50: checked out to 9999 — Assemblymember/person
      • SFWT-37/50: checked out to 9999 — Assemblymember/person
      • SFWT-38/50: checked out to 9999 — Assemblymember/person
      • SFWT-39/50: checked out to 9999 — Assemblymember/person
      • SFWT-40/50: checked out to 9999 — Assemblymember/person
      Tagged Pages: A List
      1. 28 — 29
      2. 62 — 65
      3. 80 — 81
      4. 104 — 107
      5. 146 — 147
      6. 222 — 225
      7. 256 — 257
      8. 318 — 321
      9. 344 — 347
      10. 354 — 355
      Tagged Pages: B List
      1. 96 — 99
      2. 134 — 137
      3. 156 — 157
      4. 246 — 247
      5. Distro List
        • 0000 — Adrian, Governor’s Office
        • 2013 — Cristina Garcia (D), District 58, Downey; 916-319-2058
        • 2136 — Kevin McCarty (D), District 07, Sacramento; 916-319-2007
        • 3098 — Melissa A. Melendez (R), District 67, Murrieta; 916-319-2067
        • 3123 — Shirley N. Weber (D), District 79, San Diego; 916-319-2079
        • 4098 — Brian Dahle (R), District 01, Grass Valley; 916-319-2001
        • 4112 — David Chiu (D), District 17, San Francisco; 916-319-2017
        • 5119 — Jacqui Irwin (D), District 44, Oxnard; 916-319-2044
        • 5150 — Autumn R. Burke (D), District 62, Inglewood; 916-319-2062
        • 5175 — Blanca E. Rubio (D), District 48, West Covina; 916-319-2048