Rename California's SB 43 to "Mark's Law"

We, the undersigned, propose renaming California's Senate Bill 43 (SB 43) to "Mark's Law" in honor of James 'Mark' Rippee. Mark, a blind and disabled individual who struggled with schizophrenia, did not receive the essential care needed for his severe mental illness and medical conditions. Tragically, he died before the enactment of SB 43, legislation that could have potentially saved his life.  

Background information about Mark's story and links can be found pinned to the top of his sisters' Facebook page: 

or here at the Facebook group: "Renaming SB43: Mark's Law"

James 'Mark' Rippee spent 16 years living on the streets of Vacaville, California. We advocated relentlessly for him, imploring politicians, bureaucrats, and medical professionals to provide the necessary assistance. Mark, blind and with limited mobility, battled schizophrenia and anosognosia. Our advocacy made him "California's most famous homeless man," according to the L.A. Times. His story was well-known among state and local legislators, often highlighted in media coverage, including legislative hearings for SB 43.

One November night, Mark, was anonymously dropped off at a hospital, gasping for breath and incapacitated by severe mental illness. He died a few days later at 59. Pneumonia and Sepsis were cited as the official causes of death. However, we argue that the real cause was the persistent dispute over when to intervene in the lives of those with untreated serious mental illnesses—a conflict between civil libertarians and families like ours.

Mark's story critically influenced SB 43, which redefines "gravely disabled," highlighting the urgent need for such legislation. It was frequently cited during legislative hearings in support of SB 43. "Mark's Law" would serve as a meaningful homage to his life and legacy, encouraging recognition of the importance of comprehensive care for those with severe mental illness.

Renaming SB 43 "Mark's Law" would embody the spirit of the law. Mark represented the many invisible individuals suffering from untreated severe mental illness on our streets. His personal plight was publicized to aid him and others in similar situations. His courage motivated many to advocate for improved mental health care.

We greatly appreciate your support and signature.

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