Update on Cesar Chavez, farmworker organizing, and immigration reform

by Duane Campbell

Cesar Chavez at the Delano UFW rally.

Cesar Chavez at the Delano UFW rally. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Monday, as Californians celebrated Cesar Chavez Day the Real News Network has recorded an excellent two interviews with persons presently engaged in farmworker organizing. Both had worked with Chavez-
Marc Grossman and Rosalinda Guillen. They give current testimony to conditions in the fields, the role of the California Agricultural Labor Relations Act, and two different views of the issues of immigration reform. Guillen describes the current largely indigenous labor force in the fields

I encourage all friends of labor to inform themselves and these important struggles.

http://antiracismdsa.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-current-status-of-farmworkers-and.html

 

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Columnists seek to shape opinion in discussing school reform

Duane Campbell

Duane Campbell

The Paucity of Dan Walters’ Commentary on School Issues

The column by Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee entitled “California’s School Wars Heat Up” in the print edition for Dec.20, and entitled  “Powerful Factions Go to War Over Direction of California Schools,” http://www.sacbee.com/2013/12/20/6015661/dan-walters-powerful-factions.html  in the on line version  seriously and deliberatively misinforms.  Walters’s columns are reprinted in newspapers throughout the state.

He frames the conflict between the School Establishment ( school administrators, elected officials, teachers’ unions]  vs. the “School Reformers”.   These are indeed two of the powerful factions competing in the California State Capitol, but not at all the complete story.

To understand the distortion lets see who these “reformers “  see the Democracy and Education Institute  https://sites.google.com/site/democracyandeducationorg

Continue reading

This immigration bill is not good enough- PICO

Sacramento meeting This immigration reform is not good enough – Pico of California.

by Duane Campbell

At a mass meeting and send-off of pilgrims, hosted by Pico of California, with Sacramento Bishop Jaime Soto ,  Pico youth leaders  Cecilia Munoz and Noemi Hernandez declared, “this Immigration reform is not good enough “ at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Sacramento on Aug.11, 2013.

The meeting in the packed church hall was a send off event for eleven pilgrims to begin a 285 mile walk through California’s Central Valley, the vegetable heart land of U.S. agriculture. – a pilgrimage toward citizenship.  The walk begins on Monday Aug. 11.  Religious and human rights activists are also  preparing to go to Modesto to  join with the pilgrims as they walk neighborhoods to bring pressure on Central Valley Congressmen who have not yet supported comprehensive immigration reform.  The 285 mile walk will conclude in 22 days  at the  Bakersfield office of  Cong. Kevin McCarthy, Majority Whip in the House.   McCarthy is not usually counted among the Tea Party Congress persons.  The Bakersfield area district has a 35% Latino population and 22.8 %  of the voters in the 2010 election were Latino. Continue reading

California Is Taxing the Rich… and So Can You

Yes on 30 Steve Rhoades

The Yes on 30 campaign won higher taxes for rich Californians, winning 55 percent to 45 percent. Even though polling showed that people were willing to vote for higher taxes on the rich, the governor kept talking about “shared sacrifice.” Photo: Steve Rhodes.

“There is no alternative to austerity,” insist the rich, along with their politicians, foundations, think tanks, and media.

They’ve been saying it for decades. “Taxes are bad,” they also claim. “Government doesn’t work. And public employees are greedy.”

Consequently, common wisdom had it that “you can’t raise taxes.” Even people who should have known better believed this—while the public sector slid down the tubes.

So how did Proposition 30 succeed? This measure, passed by voters last November, raises $6 billion a year for schools and services—in California, a supposedly “anti-tax” state. The money comes mostly through an income tax hike on rich people, along with a tiny sales tax increase of ¼ percent.

The story should be better known, because with the right preparation, you could make it happen in your state, too.

Continue reading

California’s Prop 32 a Sneak Attack on Unions

When Californians go to the polls on November 6, they’ll be asked to vote yes or no on Proposition 32, also known as the “Stop Special Interest Money Now Act.” Sounds like democracy in action, right? But The Nation’s Peter Dreier says the name belies the true intent of this bill.

“It’s a fraud,” Dreier says to Laura Flanders in a digital-only conversation on BillMoyers.com. “It’s really a corporate power grab being called campaign finance reform…. And it’s an attempt to put labor unions in a straightjacket.”

“They did this very purposefully to allow billionaire right wingers and insurance companies and hedge funds to continue to fund their causes in California. And if this wins in California, this will have ripple effects throughout the whole country.”

Why is the vote on California Prop. 30 so close ?

 And, what can we do about it

by Duane Campbell

A new Field  Poll says that if the election were held today 48 % would vote Yes on Prop. 30 to fund California  schools, colleges and public services, 38 % would vote no, and 14 % are undecided. That is too close.  This vote is our best opportunity to reverse the austerity cycle of budgeting used in California for the last 4 years since the economic crisis.

My experience in tabling for Proposition 30 in  on the Sac State campus  for the last 6 weeks  has reminded me of a major problem – we are not communicating  with and educating the vast majority of people of the need to support public education and other public services.

In one recent experience a beyond middle age African American woman stopped by the table to discuss California Prop. 30, an effort to fund schools, universities, and public services.  I will use her case as an example.   Her experience as a college student was that her fees went up over $2,400   over the last 4 years.  These fee increases  were pushing her out of the university.   But to her their was not a direct connection between these fee increases and the election ballot propositions.  Her question was  why do my fees go up ?  Doesn’t the federal government pay for our education ?   Why should I have to vote on this ? Continue reading

Koch Brothers provide $ to pass California Proposition 32

By Duane Campbell

Many in labor believe that California Proposition 32 would be a near fatal blow to the California labor movement.

On the grounds that “special interests have too much power over government,”  conservative attorneys  wrote   California Proposition 32 to   ban direct contributions to California candidates by corporations and labor unions. It prohibits the collection of “political funds” from corporate employees and union members via payroll deduction, even if the employee or member voluntarily approves. Political funds include money spent for or against a candidate or ballot measure or for a party or political action committee, or PAC.

The proposition prohibits corporations and unions from using payroll deductions for political purposes, but of course corporations don’t use payroll deductions; they use their profits.  So, corporate donations would not be banned. Only unions would be affected by this ban.  It is a political bait and switch.  The proposition pretends to ban political contributions from both corporations and labor, and then they exempted the corporations.

If Proposition 32 passes, unions would lose much of their ability to organize and to fight back in politics. Learn more at http://www.stopspecialexemptions.org Continue reading

President Obama establishes Cesar Chavez National Monument

The historic visit of Barack Obama to La Paz and the dedication of the Cesar Chavez Monument as a national historic site is important.

The video is here. http://choosingdemocracy.blogspot.com/2012/10/president-obama-creates-monument-to.html

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President Obama to establish César E. Chávez National Monument

 

Duncan West speaking with Cesar Chavez. The De...

On October 8th, 2012, President Obama will travel to Keene, California to announce the establishment of the César E. Chávez National Monument. Years in the making, the monument – which will be designated under the Antiquities Act – will be established on the property known as Nuestra Señora Reina de la Paz (Our Lady Queen of Peace), or La Paz.  The La Paz property is recognized worldwide for its historic link to civil rights icon César Estrada Chávez and the farm worker movement. The site served as the national headquarters of the United Farm Workers (UFW) as well as the home and workplace of César Chávez and his family from the early 1970’s until Chávez’ death in 1993, and includes his grave site which will also be part of the monument.

“César Chávez gave a voice to poor and disenfranchised workers everywhere,” said President Obama. “La Paz was at the center of some of the most significant civil rights moments in our nation’s history, and by designating it a national monument, Chávez’ legacy will be preserved and shared to inspire generations to come.” Continue reading

California Prop. 32: A Billionaires’ Bill of Rights

MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 25:  Republican presidenti...

MIAMI, FL – JANUARY 25: (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

By Dick Meister
August 22, 2012

Billionaire corporate interests and other well
financed anti-labor forces are waging a major drive
to stifle the political voice of workers and their
unions in California that is certain to spread
nationwide if not stopped – and stopped now.

At issue is a highly deceptive measure, Proposition
32, on the November election ballot, that its anti-
labor sponsors label as an even-handed attempt to
limit campaign spending. But actually, it would limit
- and severely – only the spending of unions while
leaving corporations and other moneyed special
interests free to spend as much as they like.

Unions would be prohibited from making political
contributions with money collected from voluntary
paycheck deductions authorized by their members,
which is the main source of union political funds.

But there would be no limits on corporations,
whose political funds come from their profits, their
customers or suppliers and the contributions of
corporate executives. Nor would there be any limit
on the political spending of the executives or any
other wealthy individuals. What’s more, corporate
special interests and billionaires could still give
unlimited millions to secretive “Super PACs” that
can raise unlimited amounts of money
anonymously to finance their political campaigns. Continue reading

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