Every election is important. But this year, there’s an added urgency. Powerful corporate special interests are funding a ballot measure attack on working people that’s more devastating to California’s middle class than anything we’ve seen in decades. The anti-worker billionaires and corporate executives behind Prop 32 are trying to fool voters by claiming the measure is about “stopping special interests” and would apply to both unions and corporations, when in fact Prop 32 is riddled with exemptions for Wall Street hedge funds, insurance companies, SuperPACs and just about every big-money corporate interest in the state. The real agenda of Prop. 32 is to eliminate the voice of workers in politics so that corporate special interests can gain even more control over government.
This isn’t just about union members – Prop 32 is an attack on our state and would affect every single worker in California. Prop 32 is more than a ballot measure; it’s the first blow of a one-two punch. Once they succeed in taking away our voice, they’ll go after all of the vital rights and protections we’ve fought for, like workplace health and safety laws, the eight-hour day, living wage laws, affordable health care and retirement security – all so they can pad their own bottom line.
Prop 32 is far worse than the attacks on our rights we saw with Prop 226 in 1998 and Prop 75 in 2005. Both times, we succeeded in beating back these attacks through a coordinated and united front, along with an army of union volunteers talking with their friends, family and co-workers about what’s at stake. The fight to stop Prop 32 will be the hardest one we’ve faced, but working people — both union and non-union — are coming together like never before to form the most powerful volunteer army ever assembled.
Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski:
In a time of unprecedented challenges facing working people, this year’s elections are pivotal to the direction of our state. The core of our election program is the dedication and commitment of thousands of volunteers reaching millions of voters with vital information about candidates’ positions and measures impacting workers. In an era of Citizens United, labor’s grassroots program is more critical than ever to counterbalance the unlimited political spending and power of well-heeled corporate interests.
This week, nearly 700 representatives from hundreds of unions around the state will gather in San Francisco for the all-important Biennial Convention, where they will be participating in intensive campaign planning, message training and hands-on workshops to prepare for the fight to stop Prop 32. They will also be voting on Labor’s official endorsements for the November 2012 election, in addition to hearing from special guest speakers including U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis. The convention delegates will also participate in a rally in Union Square in support of the Bring Jobs Home Act and other companion bills aimed at curbing outsourcing and bringing jobs back to the U.S.
The 2012 Biennial Convention will take place Tuesday and Wednesday at the St. Francis Hotel on Union Square. Follow us on Twitter @CaliforniaLabor for updates, news and endorsements as they happen.