A Brighter Future for Our Families By Supporting ‘Schools & Communities First’
Deadline for 'Schools & Communities First' Petitions is March 13
For months, SEIU 1021 members have been collecting signatures to put Schools & Communities First on the ballot in November. The March 13 deadline to turn in signatures is approaching fast, so make sure you turn yours in as soon as possible.
When enough signatures are collected to qualify for the ballot, it will be critical for SEIU 1021 members to talk to co-workers, friends, and family members about the importance of supporting this initiative. If passed, Schools & Communities First will be a monumental boost for members of our union and the communities we live in.
“I’m a mother, Alameda County worker, active member of my community, and leader in my union. I know how working people, often from immigrant backgrounds living in neighborhoods that have experienced severe cuts in funding for community programs and schools, fight to build the future we all want for our families and children. We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make that future brighter by supporting Schools & Communities First.
Schools and Communities First would reclaim over $12 billion a year from ultra-wealthy corporations benefit by closing corporate property tax loopholes. By voting for Schools and Communities First this November, our communities would reclaim much-needed funding for our schools and libraries, emergency services, public health programs and clinics, mental health access, support programs for the elderly, and more.
In every area of my life, I see how increased investment in our communities would be life-changing for families.
As a mother, I know the importance of education for our children. Having a union job allowed me to send my kids to great schools and colleges, but not everyone has that opportunity. Many parents, especially those who are new to this country, work 2-3 low-paying jobs to be able to afford sending their children to the best schools. This means long hours and late nights working in restaurants, small shops and businesses. Schools and Communities First would make it possible for all children–no matter their background or race–to have the educational opportunities they all deserve in our public schools: from quality early childhood education to making college more affordable.
As a volunteer working with children living in low-income housing, I see children fall behind because they go without access to computers at school or at home. Art and music classes have been gutted, preventing kids from learning about their culture and the world around them. It’s heartbreaking knowing that California ranks 39th in the nation in per pupil spending despite the vast wealth that exists in our state.
As a behavioral health clinician in Alameda County, I know we must invest in solutions to increasing homelessness and gaps in mental health services. We must expand public health programs so that everyone has a fair shot at getting ahead and offer services in the primary languages of the people we serve.
Schools & Communities First begins to fix these problems by closing a shady commercial property tax loophole exploited by giant corporations like McDonald’s, Shell Oil, and Chevron, while protecting renters, homeowners, and small businesses. Working families pay towards services and public education that benefits everyone, but corporations in California have reaped the benefits of these services and our roads and bridges without paying their fair share.
It’s every family’s dream to have a happy home in a healthy community. Together, we can begin to make this dream a reality with Schools and Communities First.”
There’s still time if you’d like to volunteer to collect signatures or need to start turning in your petition signature sheets, but don’t wait much longer. Contact the SEIU 1021 Political Organizer in your region with any questions:
- San Francisco: Chema Hernández Gil (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- East Bay: Gabriel Haaland (email@example.com)
- San Joaquin/Calaveras/Sacramento area: John Shaban (John.Shaban@seiu1021.org)
- Napa/Solano/Sonoma/Mendocino area: Michael Weinberg (firstname.lastname@example.org)