Press Releases

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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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.
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.

Monday, July 29, 2019

2019 Backpack Giveaway Events in Assembly District 19

Hard to believe it’s almost time for back-to-school. To make sure every kid is ready to start school, here are events where free backpacks filled with school supplies are available. Each location requires proof of residency and/or ID.

  • San Francisco: August 6 at Minnie & Lovie Ward Rec Center. In-person pre-registration suggested. Call 415-406-1370 to make an appointment to register. Open to residents of ZIP Codes 94112 or 94132
  • South San Francisco: August 8th, YMCA Community Resource Center at 1486 Huntington Ave. Suite 100, South San Francisco, CA 94080. Prior in-person pre-registration required at the YMCA. Proof of residency and proof of enrollment required.
  • Daly City/Broadmoor/Colma: Drop by during business hours at the Daly City Partnership at 725 Prince Street or contact them at 650-301-3300. While supplies last.
Thursday, July 18, 2019

Ting Announced Availability of Refrigeration Grants in FebruaryThe California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) announced more than $2.8 million in funding is being made available to 28 small businesses, community-based organizations and local governments throughout California in the first round of the Healthy Stores Refrigeration Grant Program. Nine recipients are in the Bay Area, including two in San Francisco.

The Healthy Stores Refrigeration Grant Program funds energy-efficient refrigeration units in corner stores and small businesses in low-income areas with little access to full-service grocery stores. New refrigerators will stock California-grown fresh produce, nuts and minimally processed foods – improving access to healthy food choices in the small retail environment for underserved communities, while promoting California-grown agriculture. These grants were championed, and was created in 2018 through the State Budget, by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D–San Francisco), Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee. The Assemblymember has been instrumental in establishing programs – including the California Nutrition Incentive Program (CNIP) – that encourage the purchase and consumption of healthy, California-grown fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts at certified farmers markets and mobile markets throughout the state.

“Your address should not determine your diet, but in reality, it often does,” said Assemblymember Ting. “I’m excited to see the grants I secured moving ahead to fix this inequity and help California’s underserved communities access healthy and nutritious food.”