The sole initial sponsor of SB 1081 is state Senator Bob Archuleta (D-Pico Rivera), who represents Senate District 30 in Los Angeles and Orange Counties.
With no legislation on Selective Service under active consideration in Congress, this California bill is the most significant legislative proposal related to Selective Service currently under consideration anywhere in the U.S. It will be the highest lobbying priority this year for the Selective Service System nationally and for its state director John A. Arbogast, local and state draft board members, and military reservists assigned to Selective Service support duty in California.
California is overwhelmingly the most populous state that doesn’t already require (or provide as a default) Selective Service registration for driver’s licenses for draft-age men. (Other such states include New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Oregon, and several other less populous states.) Since the repeal in 2020 of the former Federal requirement to register for the draft to receive Federal aid for higher education, the Selective Service System has relied almost entirely on state driver’s license laws to drive (pun intended) any limited compliance it is able to obtain with draft registration.
"California does not share driver’s license [information with the Selective service System] — so, hey, move to California and you’re basically exempted from being drafted."
[Testimony of Dr. Bernard Rostker, Director of the Selective Service System 1979-1981, to the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service, 24 April 2019.]
Like similar laws in some (but by no means all) other states, SB 1081 would allow applicants for driver’s licenses to “opt out” of being registered with the Selective Service System. But opting out would be incriminating official written evidence of knowledge of the registration requirement, which would otherwise be the hardest element for the government to prove in a criminal prosecution for “knowing and willful” failure or refusal to register for the draft. That makes the putative “opt out” option largely meaningless.
The National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth (NNOMY)
February 1, 2024 / Janie Ekere / The Daily Yonder - Center for Rural Strategies - Activists remain concerned about the costs and ethics of school military recruitment, despite the potential educational and career opportunities it can offer, said Scott Harding and Seth Kershner, co-authors of “Contested Terrain: School Militarism and the Battle for Hearts and Minds.”
But in response to funding challenges, some rural schools have allowed military recruiters to assist with coaching sports or classroom instruction, said Kershner, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Department of History.
According to a 2023 article from TIME Magazine, the military has had varying degrees of difficulty recruiting since the abolition of the draft in 1973. The story attributed the most recent recruitment slump to several factors like low unemployment, lack of eligible recruits, and a growing cultural divide between civilians and the military.
A 2017 report from The RAND Corporation proposed extending military recruitment efforts to more rural schools to reach more eligible young people. The RAND Corporation report primarily focused on the JROTC program, which is the military’s most common method of youth recruitment.
January-March 2024 / Seth Kershner / Draft NOtices - Beginning in 2022 the New York Times began publishing an astonishing series of investigative articles on Junior ROTC -- the most sustained and critical coverage of high school militarism in recent memory. As this issue of Draft NOtices points out, the articles led to congressional action to ensure much needed oversight of high school military training. Since Junior ROTC is the crown jewel of the Pentagon’s school militarism apparatus, it’s understandable that counter-recruiters concentrate their limited resources on combating it. But a narrow focus on JROTC overlooks the many other ways the Dept. of Defense plants its flag in schools. Draft NOtices last reported on DoD STARBASE in 2015, and this article attempts to reacquaint readers with the program that annually brings militarism to nearly 80,000 elementary school students.
November 11, 2023 / David Hollar - John Hoff was a reporter for the Minneapolis Daily Newspaper. He joined the army in September 1989 which was several months before anyone would know how the First Gulf War would turn out. There were estimates of massive American casualties in the first few days of the anticipated ground war, worries that Saddam would use nerve gas.
Soldiers are put at risk of dying in combat, but did not really volunteer for the job they are doing.
December 11, 2006 / John Hoff / Minneapolis Daily Newspaper - Along a short stretch of Washington Avenue Southeast, you can join the army, the navy, and the Minnesota Army National Guard. It is amazing to walk into a recruiter's office with thoughts of joining the military. It is like bravely stepping through a portal in time and space, not knowing where you might end up. The recruiters are near campus because we are their logical market, just as we are a target demographic for goods and services like affordably priced Chinese meals and free pregnancy tests.
I am regular, full-time army to my bones. Still, I will not speak ill of other military branches, or part-time "weekend warriors" who, quite often these days, are called up to become full-time soldiers. But, for me, there was never any real choice except being regular army like my father. Cut me open with a bayonet, in just the right spot over my gall bladder, and I will bleed green. During a time of war, serving in the military can lay a foundation for a life in politics, public service or even be the beginning of bohemian world adventures. If I would criticize the army, it would be out of love.
Though the National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth cannot speak for the network in its entirety, some of the organizations that are listed in our National Directory of Youth Demilitarization Groups have called for a ceasefire in the conflict in Israel and Palestine.
American Friends Service Committee: https://afsc.org/action/call-cease-fire-and-humanitarian-access-gaza-now?ms=WEB24LP001PI
Call for a cease-fire and humanitarian access for Gaza now!
Gaza has been under attack since Oct. 7. Since then, more than 18,787 Palestinians have been killed, over 40% of them children. Another 10,000 are estimated to be buried under the rubble. Over 1.9 million people have been displaced from their homes, and over 60% of homes in Gaza have been damaged or destroyed. Read More
CODEPINK San Pedro: https://www.codepink.org/sanpedro1216
Rep. Barragan: Ceasefire NOW! San Pedro, CA
Join CODEPINK San Pedro 11:30am-12:30pm to rally at Rep. Barragan's end of year legislative briefing to demand she sign on to the Ceasefire in Gaza! There should be NO Business As Usual! Congress MUST act on the will of the American People, whose majority supports an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. Read More
July 12 2015 / Interview by Ryan Leach / Bored Out Magazine -
Ryan Leach: I’d like to talk with you about the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). It was an Act pushed through Congress by the Bush Administration. The Act forces States to administer tests to students to check for educational growth. At best NCLB seems misguided. Teacher preparation courses advocate for a higher level of learning. For example, Bloom’s Taxonomy of learning—which was a bedrock of the teaching program I attended—places rote knowledge at the bottom of the cognitive domain; and rote knowledge is exactly what these tests gauge. Why was this Act implemented? What effects has it had on Public Education?
Noam Chomsky: I haven’t done a careful study. Others have though. It should have been anticipated that NCLB would have a negative effect on teaching—if the purpose of teaching is to help children develop their sense of curiosity and independence of mind; and help them explore topics of interest to them and so on. If the goal is to create automatons, then it’s an effective program. I’ve heard plenty of horror stories from teachers, students and parents about it. Just a couple of days ago a woman told me about her sixth-grade daughter. Her child was interested in a topic brought up in class. She asked the teacher if they could discuss it further; the teacher told her that they couldn’t do it because they had to prepare for a test.
Leach: I worked as a teacher in a public elementary school. To me and many of the pedagogues I taught with NCLB was the bane of our existence. Quite often we would have to rifle through subjects and quickly address facts that students needed to know for tests.