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Stop Automatic Draft Registration in California . . . AGAIN!!

The proposal to automatically register young men for the draft when they apply for a driver's license or DMV ID card FAILED to get enough votes in the Calif. Senate Transportation Committee. However, the committee agreed to reconsider and will have another hearing on April 25. If it fails to pass then, the bill will be dead for the year. Faxes to the committee are needed no later than April 18.

On April 2 the committee vote was 5 for and 4 against, with several not voting or abstaining--8 votes were needed to pass the committee. Strong objections to the proposal were raised by several members, including the Republican vice-chair, Sen. Tom McClintock. Some factors in the background that influenced the vote included objections to the Pentagon's policy on gays in the military and concern that the DMV/SSS collaboration would be used to harass immigrants (non-citizens are also required to register with SSS).

At the April 25 hearing, Sen. Jackie Speier (D) plans to introduce an amended version of the bill that would still allow DMV records to be used to register people with SSS, but a person would have to request this by checking a box on the license/ID application form. Selective Service has allegedly agreed to pay for the cost of modifying the forms.

URGENT: Fax letters to the committee urging rejection of any use of the DMV to register people with SSS. People and groups are also needed to give in-person testimony when the hearing is held in Sacramento (contact FCL below to coordinate).

Below is basic background information, phone numbers and addresses.
ACTION ALERT: Stop SSS from Using the California DMV for Draft Registration!

The Selective Service System has returned to the California State Legislature for the third year in a row with a proposal to link Selective Service registration with California driver's license applications. As originally written, SB 1276 would automatically register California males between ages 18 and 26 and have a disproportionate impact on low-income youths and immigrants. The bill was rejected by the Sen. Transportation Committee on April 2. An amended version of the bill will be considered by the committee on April 25.

This bill is part of a national campaign to coerce young men into registering for a possible future draft. According to Selective Service, as of February 5, 2002, thirteen states, one territory, and the District of Columbia had enacted draft registration/driver's license laws. Two previous attempts to enact such laws in California have failed.

To make sure your letter is included in the official hearing record of the Transportation Committee, it should be faxed by April 18:

Senate Transportation Committee
State Capitol, Room 2209
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 445-3182 Fax: (916) 445-2209

Send/fax a copy to your state senator, especially if he or she is a member of the committee (see list below). (Mailing address: State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814.) Ask TEN people to join you in sending letters. If you need more information about hearings and deadlines, contact one of the groups at the bottom of this alert for the current status of SB 1276.

Some suggested points to make (these are just to get you started; personal and original arguments are the most persuasive):

* Failure to register is a federal offense that is already addressed by a mechanism for determining guilt and punishment under federal law. The federal government, however, has given up on active enforcement of the law (no prosecutions since the mid-1980s) and is, instead, attempting to place the burden on the states with proposals like SB 1276.

* This bill is aimed primarily at low-income people and immigrants: Selective Service spokesperson Lewis Brodsky told AP in 1999 that "we suspect, based on the demographics we've seen, that it's high school dropouts and immigrants" who are not registering.

* The language of SB 1276 does not guarantee that the federal government will reimburse California for the cost of implementation. Motorist fees and taxes are mandated by the Constitution to support motorist and transportation-related programs. SB 1276 would provide no benefit to motorists or traffic safety and, therefore, should not be funded by motorists.

* This bill requires the state to assist a federal agency that has failed to demonstrate its value and has been under bipartisan attack in Congress. In 1999, Republican members of the California House delegation joined Democrats to sponsor a bill in the 106th Congress to abolish Selective Service, and legislation to de-fund the agency actually passed the House (the Senate did not concur). Another bill to abolish Selective Service has been introduced in the current congress.

* The Selective Service System already has easy access to young men through its taxpayer-funded media, Internet and high-school campus registration campaigns.

* The purpose of Selective Service registration is to identify people for a possible military draft. Selective Service refuses to allow conscientious objectors to indicate their beliefs at the time that they register, and the Pentagon continues to discriminate against people based on sexual orientation. With this proposed law, therefore, California would be supporting a violation of conscience and the military's antigay policies.


All numbers are for capitol offices in area code (916); the second number is a fax number.


Senator Kevin Murray (Chair), Culver City, 445-8800, 445-8899
Senator Tom McClintock (Vice Chair), Thousand Oaks, 445-8873, 324-7544
Senator James Brulte, Rancho Cucamonga, 445-3688, 327-2272
Senator Jim Costa, Bakersfield, 445-4641, 327-5989
Senator Joseph Dunn, Garden Grove, 445-5831, 323-2323
Senator Liz Figueroa, Fremont, 445-6671, 327-2433
Senator Betty Karnette, Long Beach, 445-6447, 327-9113
Senator Dick Monteith, Modesto, 445-1392
Senator Bill Morrow, San Juan Capistrano, 445-3731
Senator Don Perata, Oakland, 445-6577, 327-1997
Senator Gloria Romero, Monterey Park, 445-1418, 445-0485
Senator Jack Scott, Pasadena, 445-5976, 324-7543
Senator Nell Soto, Ontario, 445-6868
Senator Jackie Speier, San Mateo, 445-0503, 327-2186
Senator Tom Torlakson, Walnut Creek, 445-6083, 445-2527


The bill's text can be found at:

For more information and updates, contact: Friends Committee on Legislation of California, 916-443-3734,, or Committee Opposed to Militarism and the Draft, 619-265-1369,

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