Support Workers’ Voices and Vote NO on 32

What is Prop 32?  Here is the official language:

PROP 32:  POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS BY PAYROLL DEDUCTION. CONTRIBUTIONS TO CANDIDATES.

Prohibits unions from using payroll-deducted funds for political purposes. Applies same use prohibition to payroll deductions, if any, by corporations or government contractors. Prohibits union and corporate contributions to candidates and their committees. Prohibits government contractor contributions to elected officers or their committees. Fiscal Impact: Increased costs to state and local government, potentially exceeding $1 million annually, to implement and enforce the measure’s requirements. (http://voterguide.sos.ca.gov/propositions/32/)

It may sound great to some, as both unions and corporations would be prohibited from payroll deductions for political reasons. BUT, do corporations use payroll deductions from employee wages for political campaigns? NO, they don’t. Corporations use their company’s profits. Do unions use payroll deductions, which are employee wages, to advocate for us? Yes. This is the important work that unions up and down our state do for us. With our payroll deductions, unions have the ability to advocate for us, the average folks, in Sacramento when we are busy earning a living in our hometown.

Our voices matter in Sacramento. As teachers, we want what is best for our students. We see our students’ needs every day in the classroom, so who better to advocate for student needs than teachers?

Corporations already outspend unions 15-to-1. And, now they want to take that away, too? As a CTA member, my payroll deduction contribution is only about $20 a year! So, for my $20, a corporation is contributing $300 to some political campaign! Talk about an unfair fight to begin with. Union members already have a way to withdraw our portion of dues from political campaigning; we do not need Prop. 32 to accomplish something for which we already have a procedure in place.

We don’t always agree with our unions. Some of us are happy with our locals, others are indifferent, but regardless of where we are on this spectrum, we ALL must come together to defeat Prop. 32.  At the end of the day, no matter where we are on that spectrum, we all believe that we are the ones who will speak up and advocate for our children and our profession, just as nurses’ unions will speak up for healthcare and their profession, and just as police and firefighters will speak up for public safety. We want to make sure that we can continue to advocate for what is best for the average folks of California. If regular citizens of California want to continue to speak up and advocate for schools and safety, we must defeat Prop. 32 and vote NO.

— by Michelle Sanchez, Garfield HS

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