The Davis Vanguard, a nonprofit news organization based in Davis, has named California Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) its "Elected Official of the Year" in its annual Vanguard Awards, for his social justice work.
Each year, the Vanguard Awards honor the work of individuals and organizations in the realm of social justice. Yee has authored several bills regarding juvenile justice, civil rights, and open government.
“Senator Yee was honored as the Vanguard Elected Official of the Year for his outstanding advocacy for transparency and accountability of government, and his strong record of support for the little people in our society,” said David Greenwald, executive director of the Davis Vanguard.
“I am honored by this recognition and proud of the work we have done for the most vulnerable in our society,” said Yee. “The Davis Vanguard has done a tremendous job of highlighting injustice within our community while also acknowledging the tremendous positive work that is being done in the Davis area and beyond.”
Currently, one of Yee's biggest efforts is to ban the "bullet button." Though assault rifles with removable magazines are banned in California, Yee says the "bullet button" acts as a legal loophole to still allow assault weapons such as AR-15s and AK-47s to be reloaded easily and quickly.
The bullet button circumvents the law because all a shooter needs to do is stick the tip of a bullet in a small hole to remove the magazine quickly. Yet, because the magazine cannot be removed by a finger alone, it is considered a "fixed" magazine, which is legal.
Particularly in light of the Aurora, Colo. movie theater shootings, Yee is pushing even harder to get his bill, SB 249, passed by the State Legislature.
"These events are shocking to all of us, and sadly remind us of the carnage that is possible when assault weapons get into the wrong hands," Yee said in a statement released July 20, the morning of the shooting. "It is imperative that we take every step possible to eliminate the types of senseless killings witnessed in Aurora, Colorado."
"We must limit access to weapons that can carry massive rounds of bullets or that can be easily reloaded. SB 249 is a step in that direction and should be approved by the Legislature as soon as possible.”
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