May 15, 2009

Commentary:

Poor People and California’s Propositions

By Herman Baca, President
Committee on Chicano Right

With Tuesday’s special election, California voters will vote whether or not to raise taxes to supposedly address the state’s $42 billion dollar hemorrhaging deficit. With California being the most heavily taxed state in the U.S. with one of the highest unemployment rate (over 10%), the question for voters and especially poor people is: how should we vote?

Our organization that has dealt with issues affecting poor people for over 40 years, has taken the position that voters cast an unequivocal NO VOTE on all of the propositions on Tuesday’s special election.

In urging a NO VOTE the issue to our organization is the lack of accountability from political elected representatives, and the need for them to begin meeting the needs of residents, small businesses, poor people, instead of the vested interests in Sacramento.

The strongest politic argument for a NO VOTE is that voters take note as to what has happened in National City (NC) after a similar proposition was railroaded by vested interest politicians and supporters that saddled the city with one of the highest sales tax rate (9 3/4%) in California.

NC a blue color worker community comprised of so-called minority residents; 65% of Mexican ancestry, 16% Filipinos, 7% others and 12% Anglo with 19% of its residents living under the poverty line is the poorest city in San Diego County, and the 3rd poorest in California. For voters who want to know what will happen to California communities and especially poor people if Governor Schwarzenegger and state politicians succeed in convincing voters to vote yes, then NC is the perfect political case study.

Before California had a deficit, NC politicians created (from a surplus) a $6 million dollar deficit. The reasons for the deficit was that like drunken teenagers with dad’s credit card NC politicians over spent during the worst economic crisis since the 1930 depression on non-essentials such as:

· Bonuses for top management, salary increase for public employees, and a golden parachute pension fund employees that allows police, firemen, and city employees (political contributors) to retire after 30 years of service with 90% of their pay while contributing zero into the fund!

· $70,000 statues, 2.5 million dollar loans to out of the country developers, $25,000 for a Charger survey, etc.

· A number of raises to the Mayor’s “personal” secretary,

· Contracting a lobbyist for Sacramento.

With unemployment increasing, car dealer-ships closing, house foreclosures, etc. NC’s Mayor and City Council have added insult to financial injury just two short weeks after Chula Vista voters defeated a similar tax proposition (A), and right before Tuesday’s special election by arrogantly voted again to dole out raises and “bonuses” to NC executives and managers.

· The above is aside from the mayor and council granting $145,00.00 in 2008 to the same city’s executives and managers as a “one-time” retention incentive and bonuses of 5% to 6% and,

· In 2007, $20,000 bonuses, also to the highest paid city administrators and $22,000 and a $750 car allowance to NC do nothing City Attorney George Eiser III.

The above bonuses and raises were granted to bureaucrats, most who earn over $100,000 while NC residents, the poorest in SD County struggle daily to put food on their tables, clothes on their children’s backs, pay rent, and pay for the basic essentials of life.

Governor Schwarzenegger’s and his vested interested groupies will spend millions up until election day using “scare tactics,” that police, fire will be cut back, gangs will take over, houses will burn down etc. to frighten and convince voters to vote yes, like NC politicians did.

As NC politicians have proven, after levying the highest tax on the poorest people in California; politicians will never, ever be accountable to residents, taxpayers or voters, once they get your money.

Don’t be mislead, send a message to all politicians, VOTE NO on Tuesday on all the State propositions.

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