Tim Paulson’s Blog: 4/29/11

Posted by on April 29, 2011

A budget proposed by the Republicans that would gut Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security… Hmmm.

A budget crisis in Sacramento where Democrats have already voted for painful cuts to offset half of the deficit… OK. Kinda.

A move in Costa Mesa, Orange County, to give pink slips to local union firefighters and contract-out local fire stations to a multinational corporation like Hachenhut…

Now our legislators are following Governor Brown’s lead to propose that the rest of the short-term deficit be covered by continuing the current tax rate, and putting it to a vote of the people.

But Republicans refuse to let us vote.

Democrats have a huge majority in both the Assembly and Senate in Sacramento. We are finally rid of Governor Schwarzenegger (thanks to the union members who worked so hard for Jerry Brown and other candidates who care about jobs, healthcare and retirement). Yet, in California, we need a 2/3 majority of legislators in both the Assembly and Senate to put measures on the ballot – just to allow voters to decide if they want to fund schools, firehouses and basic services.

As of now, every Republican has refused to allow us this vote.

Californians spoke loudly when they elected Jerry Brown and all the other constitutional officers. Californians voted to return all Democratic Congressmen and Congresswomen to Washington, DC.  Californians in Sacramento voted to take an Assembly seat from a Republican, the first time since our late Congressman Tom Lantos defeated a Republican during the Reagan onslaught on worker rights.

Here in California union members and voters are in sync. What’s wrong with the new Republicans?

In other news, the San Francisco Labor Council’s Public Employee Committee’s (PEC) negotiations over pension protection continue in the most intelligent, productive, and collaborative forum of any major metropolitan city that I’ve witnessed. The negotiations are being conducted under the leadership of our chair, Bob Muscat from IFPTE Local 21, along with the leadership of all of the public employee union leaders who have been deliberating these many weeks.

We are also keeping pressure on the streets to fight back against right wing corporate legislation attacking civil rights and worker rights and trying to eliminate workers’ voice at work and collective bargaining rights. We hope to see you at the bank action at Wells Fargo on May 3rd and gear up for Friday, May 13th at 4 PM when we will gather at Civic Center Plaza to protest the budget cuts in Sacramento which will devastate schools and state services.

And, if you have time after fulfilling your union duties, stop by the Democratic Convention in Sacramento this weekend, where we’ll be strategizing how to stop the Republican attack on worker rights and stem the tide to give the corporations control of how we do our jobs. Also, I am running for re-election to be the labor chair for the Democratic Party. The labor caucus convenes at 4:30 this Friday in Room 313 at the Convention Center in Sacramento. We will have a strong and open agenda. Speaker Perez will give us an update on the state and we will get updates from our colleagues at the California Federation of Labor on the attacks in Wisconsin, Ohio, and the California crisis that the Republicans are permeating. Superintendent Tom Torlakson and Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones will also stop by. And, as only labor and workers can guarantee, there will not be a silent moment in our labor caucus, the largest constituency of the Democratic Party.

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