Originally published to Raising Wilshire, and updated to reflect the passage of SB 276 in the California State Senate. The bill is now heading to the Assembly for a vote.

We had a delightful time on a group bike ride led by our city manager to check out these newly painted green bike lanes. We were with about 40 people. It is not lost on me that I would’ve stayed home with Wilshire if he were not fully vaccinated. These kinds of outbreaks have the unintended effect of isolating the very young, the old, and their caretakers.

I recently sent this letter to support SB 276, a bill circulating through the California State Senate that would close the loophole that has been exploited by doctors who willingly sign off on unnecessary medical exemptions related to vaccines. The bill is presently with the Senate Appropriations Committee, which needs to receive our letters of support. (UPDATE: The bill is with the Assembly.) And, frankly, if you live in a senate district like ours which lacks community immunity, you need to write to your State Senator too. He / she needs us our support as ‘cover’ for supporting a bill with very vocal opponents.

Dear Honorable Members of the California State Senate Appropriations Committee:

We are full-time working parents from Santa Monica who support Senate Bill 276, which would strengthen California’s existing vaccination law by allowing the state health department to vet medical exemptions filed by physicians to avoid vaccinating children.

SB 276 would further instruct the state health department to create a database of medical exemption requests. This would allow the state’s medical board to identify and investigate physicians who likely improperly granting medical exemptions.

Vaccines are critical to maintaining health and wellbeing. Vaccines prevent diseases that cause real harm.

From the American Academy of Pediatrics
Next Sponsor

We wish to register our support for SB 276.

SB 276 passed its first hurdle in late April and is now under review in the Senate Appropriations Committee. But we know that the voices of Californians opposed to SB 276 – can be deafening – even if they do not reflect the views of the majority.

My husband and I are seeing this first hand in our otherwise beautiful beachside community. Consider these geocoded maps of preschools (top) and kindergartners (bottom), distinguished by their vaccination percentages.

The worst offender west of the 405 freeway is Citizens of the World Charter School. In 2017, just 66% of their kindergartners had submitted documentation proving they had all of their vaccinations.  

The second worst offender is the Santa Monica Alternative School House (SMASH), a SMMUSD public school.