California Educator

September 2012

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CAMPAIGN 2012 facturing, retail, construction, health care and other industries. These Californians are workers, parents and community leaders who support adequate school fund- ing, fair wages and benefits, work- place safety, and smaller class sizes in our public schools. They stand for better health care for children and senior citizens, and safe communities with ade- quate police and fire protection. They're people like Trudy Scha- American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Firefighters are turning up the heat The 30,000 members of California Profes- sional Firefighters in 180 local, state and county affiliates are mobilizing. Their abil- ity to fight for better response times and against budget cutbacks and fire station closures is at stake, among other public safety issues. "We're all in," says Carroll Wills, the fer, senior program director for the League of Women Voters of California and former chairperson of the state's Fair Political Prac- tices Commission. Exposing Prop. 32 is a top prior- ity for the nonpartisan league's 65 local and regional offices, Schafer says. "It tries to look like reform, but in fact it's unfair and unbal- anced. It's not fair to shut down the voice of any segment of society. She spoke out at the No on 32 " Morgan Smith, Little Lake Education Association in Norwalk, wants people to see his opposition to Prop 32. campaign kickoff news conference July 23 in Sacramento, along with communications director for the union. "We are able to bring our bodies — our boots on the ground. President Lou Paulson says, "This is a fight we can't afford to lose. California Professional Firefighters " " stakes have never been so high. If we give up our right to speak up and speak out, everything we've earned is at risk," Paulson adds. "Worse, millions of everyday Califor- nians will be subject to the whims of the super-rich special interests that are exempt from Prop. 32." Also in CTA's corner is the California "We've fought this fight before, but the THE GROWING NO ON PROP. 32 COALITION Story and photos by Mike Myslinski "WE ARE NOT ALONE." That's one key message that CTA President Dean Vogel shared this summer as CTA mobilized to defeat Proposition 32 — the latest ballot measure that threatens to silence our political voice. CTA members are part of a growing coalition fighting the Special Exemptions Act, and the ground- swell is about defending our communities, our classrooms and the middle class. The 325,000 members of CTA are in good company in this fight. The coalition includes 90 labor, social justice, govern- ment reform, public safety and other groups (see the full list at The campaign to defeat Prop. 32 rep- resents more than 2 million teachers, firefighters, police officers, nurses, school support employees, and workers in manu- 30 California Educator September 2012 + 50 words overset a Davis fire captain and Auburn teacher Lysa Sassman, among others. The next day, the president of the Monterey Peninsula League of Women Voters, Beverly Bean, joined a CTA news conference with Presi- dent Vogel and local teachers in Pacific Grove to denounce the measure during the CTA Presidents Conference. Bean said Prop. 32 is "really designed by special interests to help themselves and harm their opponents." Joining CTA in opposing Prop. 32 are State Building and Construction Trades Council, which represents about 350,000 workers in 186 local unions and regional councils in pri- vate-sector building trades. Council President Bob Balgenorth blogged recently that the wealthy interests have learned from their mistakes in 1998 and 2005, when their similar ballot measures to silence workers were rejected by California voters. "So now in 2012, they've gotten education groups such as the California Federation of Teachers, the California School Employees Association, the Associ- ation of California School Administrators, the California Faculty Association, and the Community College League of California, along with other labor organizations such as the California Labor Federation, the Ser- vice Employees International Union, Com- munication Workers of America, and the sneakier," Balgenorth wrote. "They claim that Proposition 32 bans contributions from both unions and corporations. Sound fair? It isn't, because it exempts their secret super PACs, which can raise unlimited amounts of money from corpo- rate interests." Another driving force in the coalition is the California Labor Federation (CLF), the umbrella group for all organized AFL-CIO labor in the state. The CLF is mobilizing more than 40,000 volunteers to contact vot- ers at worksites, on the phone, at the door and online about the dangers of Prop. 32. "Prop. 32 isn't at all what it seems. It's nothing more than a deceptive attack on

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