California legislators form Jewish caucus

Eleven members of the California State Senate and Assembly have come together to form the state’s first legislative caucus that will focus on issues of importance to the Jewish community.

The Legislative Jewish Caucus also will form a political action committee to raise money to support Israel-friendly candidates, Sen. Marty Block, the San Diego Democrat who chairs the group, told the Sacramento Bee.

The caucus is composed of five senators and four assembly members who are Jewish, plus three other members who aren’t Jewish but want to participate.

The Northern California members, all Jewish, are Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) and Assemblyman Marc Levine (D-San Rafael). Levine is heading the caucus in the Assembly.

The caucus, which will hire a staff person, will meet once a month, organizers said. The state Legislature has 15 caucuses organized around various identities, including race, sexuality and geography, the Bee reported. — j. staff