Monday, August 19, 2019

California’s Red Flag Law is known as the Gun Violence Restraining Order (GVRO) Law

Ting's Statement On New Report Suggesting CA's “Red Flag” Law Plays a Role in Preventing Mass Shootings

“Based on the new findings, there’s no question in my mind that California’s Gun Violence Restraining Order law is an effective tool that helps save lives. I’m more committed than ever before to expanding the pool of Californians who have access to GVROs and will fight to get my bill, AB 61, to the Governor as soon as possible. With school and workplace shootings on the rise, it’s common sense to give the people we see every day a way to prevent tragedies,” said Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco).

Ting is the author of AB 61, which adds educators, employers and co-workers to the list of people who can petition a court to temporarily take someone’s firearms away if they pose a danger to themselves or others. Currently, only law enforcement and immediate family can file for a GVRO.

Ting also serves as Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee and helped secure $5 million in the 2016-17 state budget for the University of California Firearm Violence Prevention Research Center. Read the Center’s new study about “red flag” laws here.

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Monday, August 19, 2019

Publication: Los Angeles Times

Four years after California became one of the first states to expedite the removal of guns from people seen as a public danger by family members or law enforcement, its “red flag” law appears to be helping to reduce the chance of mass shootings, according to a study released Monday by the UC Davis School of Medicine.

The initial findings by the school’s Violence Prevention Research Program were made public just hours after Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday that he is interested in receiving a group of pending bills that would significantly expand the use of so-called “extreme risk protection” orders.


Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) has written one of nearly 10 bills pending that would enlarge California’s red flag law. His legislation would expand the number of people who can petition the court for orders to include co-workers, employers and school employees who believe individuals are a public risk of gun violence.

“It proves that strong gun control measures work,” Ting said Monday of the study. “You have potentially 21 people who could have carried out violent acts who aren’t able to because their guns were taken away.”

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Publication: Los Angeles Times

California Assemblyman Phil Ting has never been arrested, but he was recently mistaken for a criminal.

He’s not surprised.

Ting (D-San Francisco), who authored a bill to ban facial recognition software from being used on police body cameras, was one of 26 California legislators who was incorrectly matched with a mug shot in a recent test of a common face-scanning program by the American Civil Liberties Union.

About 1 in 5 legislators was erroneously matched to a person who had been arrested when the ACLU used the software to screen their pictures against a database of 25,000 publicly available booking photos. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Facial Recognition Technology Falsely Identifies 26 California Legislators with Mugshots

SACRAMENTO - After putting facial recognition technology to the test using photos of all 120 members of the State Legislature, the American Civil Liberties Union of California released results that further support the need for AB 1215 by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), which bans facial recognition in police body cameras. The analysis shows that facial recognition software marketed to law enforcement agencies mistakenly matched the faces of one out of five lawmakers, 26 lawmakers total, with images in an arrest photo database, including Ting’s. More than half of those falsely identified are lawmakers of color, illustrating the risks associated with the technology’s dangerous inaccuracies and the certain erosion of civil liberties should California police departments add the technology to officer body cameras.

“This experiment reinforces the fact that facial recognition software is not ready for prime time - let alone for use in body cameras worn by law enforcement,” said Ting. “I could see innocent Californians subjected to perpetual police line ups because of false matches. We must not allow this to happen.”

In the real world, such mistakes could have falsely implicated those legislators in a number of alleged crimes. Modeling the test after law enforcement’s current known uses of facial recognition technology, the ACLU compared every California state legislator with 25,000 public arrest photos. An independent expert from UC Berkeley verified the results.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Ting's Statement On New Air Resources Board Report On Greenhouse Gas Emissions

“I’m glad to see California is ahead of schedule in meeting its overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction goals. But I continue to be concerned about increases from the transportation sector where passenger vehicles account for most of California’s GHG emissions. We must step up our game to move drivers toward zero-emission vehicles. That’s why I’m pushing for bigger clean car rebates through AB 1046.  We’ve mandated businesses and industries to change their ways. You and I must do our part too.”

Read ARB’s new report here.

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Tuesday, August 6, 2019
 National Night Out Celebrations in Assembly District 19
San Francisco Police – Richmond District Station
4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
461 6th Avenue (on Mini Park on 7th Avenue)
San Francisco Police – Taraval Station
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Minnie & Lovie Ward Rec Center
650 Capitol Avenue
San Francisco Police – Ingleside Station
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Crocker Amazon Clubhouse
799 Moscow Avenue
San Francisco Police – Northern Station
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Ella Hill Hutch Center
1050 McAllister Street
Daly City Police
5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Serramonte Shopping Center
3 Serramonte Center (in Macy’s Parking Lot)
Colma/Broadmoor Police
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Serra Shopping Center
Near Colma Target store at 5001 Junipero Serra Blvd.
Monday, August 5, 2019

Publication: San Diego Union Tribune

While the number of electric vehicles on California’s roads is growing, the state is going to have to hustle to reach the goal established by former Gov. Jerry Brown to have 5 million zero-emission vehicles, or ZEVs, on the state’s roads by 2030.

With that in mind, Assembly member Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, wants to overhaul the state’s rebate program for zero-emission vehicles by increasing the size of the check to as much as $7,500 and then gradually reducing the amount over time in an effort to encourage potential customers to buy the cars sooner rather than later.

“If you want to boost the adoption (of ZEVs) here in California, we’re going to have to restructure our incentive program,” Ting said.

Currently, the state’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Project gives $2,500 to drivers who buy or lease battery-electric vehicles. Ting says the keeping the rebate constant does not provide enough of an incentive for drivers to go electric right away.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Publication: San Francisco Chronicle

Kent Williams’ friends and family thought he would probably die in prison.

He didn’t hurt anybody — he broke into two houses and stole a car in 2003. Still, under California’s previous “three strikes” law, Williams was sentenced to 50 years to life in prison due to his prior felonies.

His life sentence for property crimes, fueled by addiction to crack cocaine, was equivalent to the prison time a murderer might typically receive today.

But after 16 years behind bars, Williams walked out of prison on June 4. He’s believed to be the first California inmate released under a new law that allows prosecutors to review sentences they consider unjustly harsh.


Williams was freed under a law that took effect Jan. 1. AB2942, by Assemblyman Phil Ting, allows district attorneys to review old cases and recommend lesser sentences to a judge.

Ting, D-San Francisco, said he sponsored the bill because California prisons are filled with thousands of people who were given overly harsh sentences under three strikes and old sentencing guidelines the state has since reversed.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Kent Williams is freed under new law allowing re-sentencing

(San Diego, CA) – 57-year-old Kent Williams of San Diego is believed to be the first Californian to benefit from AB 2942, a new state law by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) which allows local prosecutors to review old cases for which the prison terms were unjustly harsh. If warranted, they can recommend a new reduced sentence to the sentencing judge who has the final say. This two-step process resulted in the release of Williams this summer after being incarcerated for nearly two decades.

“I’m grateful for the second chance,” said Williams. “I appreciate all the people who kept fighting for me. I’m ready to get a job, reconnect with family and friends, and watch my grandchildren grow up.”

Under California’s previous Three Strikes law, which has since been changed by voters, Williams received a 50 year-to-life sentence in 2003 for residential burglaries and car theft. He would not have been eligible to petition for parole until 2052. Williams would not have received the same sentence under today’s guidelines.

“I authored AB 2942 because there are many people like Mr. Williams who have been rehabilitated and paid their debt to society for their crimes, but are languishing in our prison system. Keeping them behind bars is no longer in the interest of justice,” said Ting. “I’m heartened to see how impactful criminal justice reform can be.”

After AB 2942 took effect January 1, 2019, San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan agreed to review the Williams case, which led to his release in June. Prior to Ting’s bill, only the Board of Parole Hearings and the Secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation could initiate and re-sentence a defendant.