Morning Brief: California IDs For The Undocumented, Back-to-School Inflation, Climate Bill
Good morning, L.A. It’s Aug. 8
I remember when I first got my California ID. I was 21 and I had just received my DACA work permit, which granted me eligibility to obtain a driver’s license.
Using that piece of plastic (my ID) made me feel a little more official. I was living here without legal papers before getting my ID, and I would use my Mexican passport to go to the bar or the bank and sometimes I’d get stares. I always said a little prayer in my head, hoping they’d accept my form of ID since it wasn’t California or U.S. issued.
There’s a bill moving through the California Senate that proposes every state resident be eligible to receive an ID card, regardless of immigration status. Currently, people living in California without legal documents can apply and receive a modified driver’s license. The thing is, not everyone can drive.
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Yanet Martinez, has lived here for a decade and is a pupusa vendor from El Salvador. She doesn’t drive and would qualify for this new ID being proposed.
“I believe we deserve to be able to be part of our communities, to contribute our full hearts to our communities, to be seen,” said Martinez, a 56-year-old mother of five.
Think about it: for a lot of the official things we do — open a bank account, sign a lease, enroll in school — a government issued ID is needed.
Immigrant rights groups are supporting the effort, with leaders saying sometimes undocumented immigrants don’t get the help they need or deserve because of proper documentation.
The DMV, which would issue the ID's, estimates that staffing costs would top $12.8 million between 2023 and 2028. My colleague Josie Huang reports that those costs would likely be offset by application fees for the cards.
Read more about this bill that could be a game changer for some immigrants.
As always, stay happy and healthy, folks. There’s more news below the fold.
What Else You Need To Know
- The National Weather Service declared a heat advisory in L.A. yesterday. It won’t likely be the last of the season so take care out there under the sun. Children are particularly vulnerable to hotter temperatures. Here’s why.
- ICYMI: The proposal to declare the city of San Clemente an abortion-free zone was defeated over the weekend after heated debate.
- California voters will get the chance in November to decide whether to make abortion access a constitutional right — AND also access to birth control. If the majority vote “yes” on Proposition 1, that’ll make California one of the first — if not the first — to make these two things explicit rights under the state constitution.
- In some rural California counties, there’s battle lines being drawn over renewable energy; residents are pushing back on the state usurping local control.
- Kids are headed back to school this month, but inflation is making it harder to stock up on all the needed supplies. Here’s how retailers and families are navigating the high prices.
- It took most of the weekend, but Senate Democrats’ passed a big bill on climate, healthcare and taxes early Sunday. Vice President Kamala Harris cast the tie-breaker vote. Here’s what’s in the legislation.
- Ten years ago, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory landed the rover Curiosity on Mars. Here’s what we’ve learned so far about life on the red planet.
Before You Go... Head Into House Targaryen Via Los Angeles County’s Natural History Museum
For the true Game of Throne fans, this pop up exhibit at the Natural History Museum might muster the same enthusiasm as the series finale. In other words, meh.
But my colleague Mike Roe tells us that, for the museum, the exhibit isn’t just about the upcoming HBO GOT prequel House of the Dragon. It’s to remind patrons that NHM is not only a place to document prehistoric L.A. but that it's also a collector of old Hollywood memorabilia — with several objects going back to the silent film era.
The House of the Dragon exhibit includes costumes, props and set decor from the show. There’s even a giant dragon skull on display. You can check it all out through September 7. The costumes do look pretty fabulous but, sadly, Jon Snow does not make an appearance.