Proposition 33 would return us to an era when discrimination in insurance was commonplace. If billionaire George Joseph gets his way, millions of Californians would pay higher auto insurance premiums. Mr. Joseph owns Mercury Insurance. He has donated $16.4 million to Prop 33.
Back when insurance discrimination was legal in California, the industry redlined lower income minority communities. Auto insurance was mandatory, but good drivers in inner city neighborhoods who wanted coverage were priced out of the market. The excuse was that these drivers were not previously insured, and therefore they needed to pay more to get insured.
campaign with two kickoffs in April and July. The April kickoff, sponsored by Joint Council 42
, drew over 1,400 Teamsters from Southern California. Then in July, Joint Council 7
brought together over 800 members from Bakersfield all the way up to the Oregon border. Members were educated about the dangers of Proposition 32 and armed with voter registration cards.
Business Agents, stewards, and volunteers got to work. Then in September, over 40 members came off the truck statewide to kick our program into high gear. This lost-timer program was supported by our members’ own contributions.
This past June, I walked across the stage in front of thousands of students and family members to receive my bachelor’s degree from UCLA. There was a sea of black robes behind and in front of me, and as I set my feet on the stage and saw the crowd, I felt a rush of excitement. With the diploma in my hand, I felt the weightlessness of unlimited opportunity. Yet I knew that I didn’t get here alone. Two generations before me struggled to give me this chance.
Sitting in the living room at home in Santa Ana, Calif., my grandfather rocks back and forth as he tells me about his life as a Mexican bracero. Braceros were contract seasonal agricultural laborers who were part of a program between Mexico and the United States that lasted from 1944 to 1962 to help meet the U.S. needs for manual labor.
With the latest polls showing a real tightening on the measure, let’s recall what is at stake, and take a harder look at who is financing the campaign against this vital measure. Prop. 30, initiated by Gov. Jerry Brown, is an effort to rebuild a humane society that has been gravely harmed by years of budget cuts under our now infamous ex-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the distortion of public policy in California by those on the right who have made it so difficult to pass needed tax increases to improve public services.
Martin J. Bennett
With the fall elections upon us, Californians are reeling under a weak recovery, enduring both historic levels of income inequality, and the most severe fiscal crisis in recent history. To address the crisis we must have some common sense remedies: raise taxes on the wealthy and build a movement for a fair and more equitable tax system.
Income inequality has exploded over the last two decades in both the nation and California. UC Berkeley economist Emmanuel Saez has documented that the share of national income received by the upper 1 percent more than doubled from 9 percent in 1979 to an astonishing 23 percent in 2007. The richest 1 percent raked in a staggering 60 percent of the national income gains over these three decades, while the bottom 90 percent received just 9 percent.
With California’s unemployment rate still over 10%, we should be using all available resources to strengthen our economy and create jobs. That’s why it’s so frustrating to see a wasteful corporate tax loophole draining resources that ought to be putting people back to work. But Prop 39 aims to change that, and anyone who truly cares about creating jobs in California should sprint to the polls on Nov. 6 to pass this commonsense measure.
Yesterday in San Francisco leaders from California’s labor, business and environmental communities stood together to close the loophole that’s costing tens of thousands of jobs and slowing our economic recovery.
I was born in Guangdong, China and immigrated to the United States in February of 2006. This is the country where my parents now live and it is my home. One year ago, I became a naturalized U.S. citizen, and this November will be the first time that I vote in a U.S. election and I believe the timing could not be more important.
As the fastest growing group in the state, we Asian Pacific Islanders will play a key role in shaping the future of California and local communities throughout our state. In particular, I believe API voters can play a critical role to the passage of Proposition 30, the school-funding measure that would prevent billions in additional cuts to California’s schools and universities.
AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka wasn’t about to let a little airplane mechanical trouble stop him from getting out the vote in California. Despite being delayed in Chicago for several hours, Trumka arrived in Sacramento Thursday afternoon fired up and ready to hit the doors with union volunteers.
Trumka, who is currently barnstorming across the country to get out the vote for President Obama and working family candidates, made stops yesterday and this morning in Sacramento, Modesto, Alameda and San Francisco to participate in California Labor’s largest member mobilization in history to defeat Prop 32, pass Prop 30 and elect candidates who will stand up for working people.
Two weeks before the November 6 election, nearly 50 Asian Pacific Islander (API) labor leaders and activists, including homecare providers represented by the United Domestic Workers (UDW), healthcare workers represented by SEIU and representatives from the local community organization Center for Policy Initiatives (CPI), gathered together at the Laborer’s union hall in San Diego. This diverse group, with heavy representation from San Diego’s Filipino and Vietnamese communities, came together for an API Speakers Bureau Training, hosted by the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) and the Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN) Action, in order to prepare for the role of spokespersons for the “No on Proposition 32” campaign.
would be devastating to all Californians who believe workers need a voice in politics to balance out the corporate greed and excess that’s squeezing the middle class. But Prop 32 would be particularly tough on California’s Latinos, who make up more than one-third of California’s population.
By scamming California voters into giving unfair and dangerous influence to its billionaire backers, Prop 32 would exacerbate the problems that already plague California’s Latino communities (and, in fact, ALL California communities), including ballooning class sizes in our schools, fewer police and firefighters on our streets and dwindling access to health care. The Prop 32 backers also oppose comprehensive immigration reform that would make the American Dream more attainable for immigrant families.