Statement by California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski
Today, Gov. Newsom charted a bold path to addressing one of the most stubborn crises facing California’s future. No one should face the uncertainty and hardship of homelessness. Yet, for far too many Californians, the basic human right of having a roof over our heads at night is out of reach. It’s the devastating end result of runaway income inequality and an economy that’s designed to benefit those with the most while discarding those with the least.
The California labor movement stands with Gov. Newsom in tackling this crisis with vigor. We fully support the Governor’s call for immediate funding to help address homelessness in communities across our state, including building low-income housing that addresses this crisis while creating good, family supporting jobs. We also recognize that far too many families are an injury, accident or job loss away from ending up on the streets. The alarming trend of precarious work coupled with increasing health care costs leave millions living on the edge. Racial discrimination, redlining, and systemic poverty have contributed to the disparities in housing and wealth among communities of color. Good middle-class jobs have been replaced by low-wage dead ends that, in many cases, don’t even offer the basic protections and employee rights we’ve fought so hard as labor movement to enact over many years. That’s why laws like AB 5, which create structural economic reform to a sustainable future for workers, are so critically important.
We commend Gov. Newsom for his progressive leadership in tackling a defining crisis of our time. California’s unions commit to working hand in glove with the Governor and legislature to address the homelessness crisis head on and provide the economic security that so many Californians desperately need to strengthen our communities, build the middle class and give workers the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty.