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LA-Area Lawmakers Recognized As 'Civil Liberties Champions'

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FILE: The state capitol is shown on Jan. 5, 2006 in Sacramento, California. (Photo by David Paul Morris/Getty Images)
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Three state lawmakers from the L.A. area have been dubbed "Civil Liberties Champions" by the American Civil Liberties Union of California. The legislators got top marks from the nonprofit based on their voting records in 2019.

The ACLU of California tracks how all state legislators vote on bills related to civil rights issues, including criminal justice reform, education equity, economic justice, immigrants’ rights, LGBTQ+ rights, reproductive justice, data privacy and voting rights.

The local "champions" are senators Steven Bradford of Gardena and Holly Mitchell of Los Angeles and Assemblymember Sydney Kamlager of Los Angeles. In total, nine state legislators got perfect voting scores and were dubbed champions.

Kevin Baker, legislative director for the ACLU of California, says the idea is to help educate voters.

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"We encourage folks to review the scores about how legislators vote on various issues to see whether their legislators are supporting their values, and we hope that people will use this scorecard to give legislators feedback," Baker says.

Nearly 200 bills that the ACLU took a stance on factored into the 2019 scorecards, including landmark police use of force legislation.

"We also did other legislation in the area of voting rights to make it easier for people to register to vote. We were involved in efforts to make the criminal justice system more fair and make the jury process more fair," Baker said. "A lot of issues, as well, with reproductive rights and access to medical care, so there's a wide range of issues that we cover."

The ACLU's full list of state legislator scorecards will be released next week.

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