Update: CA Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB1856 but vetoed AB1081 on Sunday, September 30th, 2012.

On May 21st, Transgender Law Center will host Transgender Advocacy Day in Sacramento, CA. Over 70 transgender activists and allies will speak with legislators at the Capitol about their lives and advocate for the passage of AB 1856 (Ammiano) Foster care services: cultural competency, and AB 1081 (Ammiano), Trust Act.

Historically, Transgender Advocacy Day has proven to be a successful effort, educating policymakers about the reality of transgender lives and helping to pass groundbreaking legislation such as the Gender Non-Discrimination Act and the Vital Statistics Modernization Act in 2011. Anna Rivera, a Transgender Advocacy Day Participant said, “I have been doing advocacy work on the ground for over six years and sometimes it gets difficult to see the impacts that policies and budget cuts have on my community. I am going to Advocacy Day to meet the policy makers so I know who to call when my community faces injustice.”

This year advocates will support legislation that is extraordinarily important to the transgender community.

AB1856 will require that existing training programs for foster youth caregivers include information related to cultural competency and best practices for serving lesbian gay bisexual, and transgender youth.

Additionally, participants will be championing AB1080, which will help keep families of immigrants safe and united by rendering counties exempt from participating in the federal Secure Communities (S-Comm) program. S-Comm requires local law enforcement to cross check the identification of anyone they cite to ensure they are documented.

“Transgender people face high rates of police abuse. In fact, recent studies have shown that over 69% of transgender Latinas have experienced harassment from police. Law enforcement shouldn’t be incentivized to target people who they think may be undocumented,” said Maceo Persson, Program Manager.

Masen Davis, Executive Director, added, “We are incredibly proud to be able to advocate for these two bills that will benefit not just the transgender community but protect all youth and families from discrimination and violence.”