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A volunteer with the Recall Gavin Newsom campaign, who did not want to be identified, walks back to a signature-collection table set up in the parking lot of Rivergate Shopping Center after holding a sign at the intersection Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021, in Rancho Cordova.

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Good morning and welcome to the A.M. Alert!

RECALL PETITION BILL GETS ANOTHER HEARING

Via Lara Korte…

Senate Bill 663 will be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee today, after passing the elections committee last week in spite of spirited opposition from members of the effort to recall Gavin Newsom.

To recap: SB 663 wouldn’t affect the Newsom recall, per se, but would make it so the targets of future recalls have a chance to see the names of those who signed. The purpose of such a bill, according to State Sen. Josh Newman, is to make sure people know what they’re signing. Newman, who was recalled himself in 2018, says signers could be misled about what they’re signing, and recall targets should get a chance to communicate their message to the signer.

Recall leader Orrin Heatlie is expected to speak in opposition to the bill, just as he did in the elections committee last week.

“[Newman] is calling the general voting public stupid and ignorant, as if they don’t know what they’re doing, and he’s the only one who has the expertise and knowledge to provide them what they need to sign,” Heatlie told me ahead of the hearing. “He is degrading the intelligence of the populace.”

The hearing starts at 1:30 p.m. You can follow @CapitolAlert for updates, or watch it yourself.

ACTIVIST LAUNCHES NEW INTERVIEW SERIES TO PROMOTE SINGLE PAYER

Activist Ady Barkan, his organization Be A Hero and media group Now/This are launching a new video interview series to promote the passage of single payer health care legislation in California.

The interviews will drop every Thursday, beginning this week with Assemblyman Ash Kalra, D-San Jose. Other interview subjects will include U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla, U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee, Golden State Warriors Coach Steve Kerr, actor and activist Rosario Dawson, State Sen. Sydney Kamlager and Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks.

The interviews will be “emotional and personal,” said spokesman Nick Day, “digging into the life experiences that have brought all of the interviewees (Asm. Kalra, Asm. Wicks, Rosario Dawson and others) to support single payer healthcare writ large. The interviews will certainly add to the national conversation on the issue, spearheaded by one of its most passionate advocates.”

You can watch a trailer for the first interview by visiting here.

Visit Be A Hero’s site to view all the videos as they are posted.

COULD MARIJUANA BE ON THE BALLOT AGAIN SOON?

A new coalition of marijuana advocates wants to put cannabis back on the California ballot aiming to expand access for consumers just five years after voters legalized recreational use.

Marijuana advocates argue that high taxes and recalcitrant local governments have led to legalization falling far short of what voters were promised with Proposition 64 in 2016. They’re working on a proposal that they argue would fix the problems created by the law.

Most notably, the proposed ballot measure would strip local governments of their power to approve or deny cannabis licenses.

“The big issue with local control is it’s just bad policy,” said Sean Kiernan, executive director of veterans advocacy group Weed for Warriors and the California Cannabis Reform Project, which is working on the proposed ballot initiative.

What has resulted, Kiernan said, is that the illicit cannabis market continues to thrive while people, including the disabled veterans he represents, are unable to access lawful, regulated cannabis in huge portions of the state.

According to The New York Times, 80% of California’s roughly 500 local governments have prohibited the sale of marijuana, creating cannabis retail deserts.

“They have no control and the gigantic illicit cannabis market is the only proof we need,” Kiernan said.

Read the full story here.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“As I prepare to send law enforcement today’s mail – a hate letter scrawled on the back of a photo of naked genitalia – let me say that some of you haters disgust me but none of you will ever silence me.”

– Democratic activist Christine Pelosi, via Twitter.

Best of the Bee:

Andrew Sheeler covers California’s unique political climate for the Sacramento Bee. He has covered crime and politics from Interior Alaska to North Dakota’s oil patch to the rugged coast of southern Oregon. He attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

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