March 4th Actions Begun in California Have Spread Across Nation
Rally and march in San Diego today at 3pm precedes teachers’ march to Sacramento
by Center on Policy Initiatives
As a teacher and a dad, Jim Miller is setting off Friday to walk 260 miles up California’s spine for the future of his state, his San Diego City College students and his 6-year-old son.
Short of making Miller’s grueling seven-week commitment, everyone can take steps this week to support the March for California’s Future, led by the California Federation of Teachers.
With our state government paralyzed and public services as fundamental as education and roads cash-starved and crumbling, it’s easy to forget that California is still the world’s 8th-largest economy. We have riches — and they can be directed toward our common good.
The once-great state of California is self-destructing through irresponsible tax policies stretching back 32 years to Proposition 13, which made it so hard to raise taxes — requiring a two-thirds vote of the Legislature — that the state can’t generate the revenue for its basic needs.
Attempts at fair, progressive taxes are routinely and falsely attacked as anti-business, while the Legislature continues to hand out billions in corporate giveaways. And ballot initiatives like the Three Strikes law have locked in costs. Instead of responsible budgeting, the governor is considering foolhardy privatization schemes that might bring quick cash but at great long-term cost.
But our neighbors to the north have found a better way. Oregon voters in January overwhelmingly approved tax increases on corporations and the wealthy to save their public schools and other state services.
Besides Oregon, Progressive States Network reports a wave of support elsewhere for progressive taxation and rejection of anti-tax measures. PSN also debunks the myths that taxes kill jobs and economic growth.
The marchers trekking from Bakersfield to Sacramento between Friday and April 21 have a clear request for lawmakers: Restore fair and equitable taxes to rescue quality public education and services.
Miller, a City College professor, is one of eight core marchers walking the entire route, with thousands more faculty, students, other state workers and voters expected to join in for segments of the march. Along the way, they will conduct teach-ins and town hall meetings, visit local legislative offices, register voters and collect signatures to put a ballot initiative, the Majority Budget Act, that would allow the state to pass budgets with a majority vote.
The march kicks off with a rally in Los Angeles on Friday morning. Check the AFT Local 1931 website for information on joining the march over spring break (March 27-April 3), or to help greet the marchers with a huge rally in Sacramento on April 21.
Throughout the march, blogs, photos, progress reports, tweets and more will be posted at Fight4CAfuture.com.
Today, the 4th, is a day of local actions throughout the state.
In San Diego, a rally is scheduled for 3 p.m. at the Centro Cultural de la Raza in Balboa Park, on Park Blvd north of President’s Way, followed by a march to the Governor’s San Diego office on Front St.
It’s time to restore the promise of California: high quality public education and a state government that works for everyone.