Thursday, May 26, 2005
Labor takes it to Arnold's doorstep
On May 25, over 10,000 nurses, teachers, firefighters, other state workers, families and friends rallied at the Capitol in Sacramento to let the Governator know that he can't balance the budget out of their earnings. In the interests of his Wall Street contributors, Arnold wants to "reform" state government in ways that undercut the working people whose work makes the state a good place to live. He threatens to call a $70 million special election this fall to push initiatives that would change legislative districting in mid-decade, weaken teacher tenure and empower the Governor to override the Legislature on budget matters.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that protesters charged "Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's policy agenda shortchanges schoolchildren and undermines the fabric of California's poor and middle class. . . At the Capitol on Wednesday, firefighters, teachers, nurses and others -- many wearing the insignias of their professions -- stood under a sweltering late- afternoon sun and, in the most charged and personal rhetoric yet, fired back."
I was privileged to work with the California Nurses Association on building the rally and captured some of the spirit of the event in pictures.
This California Highway Patrol medic seemed to enjoy being with other workers speaking up for his pension rights!
One of Arnold's proposals would give bonus to some teachers, opening the way for favoritism and cronyism.
Last year the Governor "borrowed" $2 billion from mandated education funds and promised to pay it back this year. Now he has broken his promise!
The Capitol Police and their horses enjoyed the day as well.