Berman Celebrates Census Victory

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Marc Berman (D-Palo Alto) released the following statement in response to the Trump Administration’s decision to abandon its effort to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census:

Bill to Fight ‘Deepfake’ Videos Advances in California, Despite Free-Speech Fears - Courthouse News Service

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CN) – With the 2020 election cycle picking up steam, a California lawmaker is seeking to protect candidates from fake social media videos he believes have the potential to change election outcomes.

Known as deepfakes, the videos and images are edited to pass fictitious events or scenes on as real ones. The deceptive technology came to the forefront during the 2016 presidential election and more recently a doctored video that made House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appear drunk during a speech was shared millions of times on social media.

State leaders hail decision to drop census citizenship question - Palo Alto Weekly

President Donald Trump's administration on Tuesday dropped its plan to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census, a decision a local state assemblyman lauded as a "huge victory."

The action came in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last week in which the panel by a 5-4 vote said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross's stated reason for including the question — allegedly to aid voting rights enforcement — "seems to have been contrived."

The high court said the agency could not include the question unless it was supported by a reasoned explanation.

Can California crack down on deepfakes without violating the First Amendment? - CALmatters

A California lawmaker says he knew something had to be done after watching a video of Barack Obama calling President Trump “a total and complete dipshit.”

Set in what appears to be the Oval Office, the video also depicts the former president speaking fondly of the militant anti-colonial villain of the “Black Panther” comic franchise and claiming that Housing Secretary Ben Carson is brainwashed.

California lawmaker targets fake candidate videos after doctored Pelosi footage - San Francisco Chronicle

Citing fears that doctored videos of political candidates could be used to manipulate voters in 2020, a California lawmaker has proposed legislation to ban the release of so-called deepfake images before an election.

Assemblyman Marc Berman, D-Palo Alto, introduced AB730, which would prohibit a person from knowingly distributing a video or photo 60 days before an election with the intent of misleading voters with an image that has been deceptively edited to make it look like a true depiction of the candidate’s words or behavior.

Sacramento News and Review: University of the streets

Many California college students are struggling to find a stable home.

Within the past year, one in 20 UC students, one in 10 CSU students and one in five community college students have reported some form of homelessness, said California Homeless Youth Project Director Shahera Hyatt. Hyatt blamed this in part on the lack of affordable housing in the state, including Sacramento. The capital city has also seen some of the country’s highest rent increases in recent years, Hyatt added.

Government Watch - San Mateo Daily Journal

 

• State Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, withdrew his bill to combat the epidemic use of flavored tobacco products by youth, following what he called hostile amendments that carved out exceptions for tobacco used in hookahs and for tobacco products patented before 2000.