Religious Leaders Denounce Schwarzenegger’s Initiatives in the November 8th California Special Election

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Religious Leaders Denounce Schwarzenegger’s Initiatives in the November 8th California Special Election. Statement on faithbasedleaders.org urges No Vote on Propositions 74, 75, 76, 77, & 78 to protect the poor and working families.

Religious Leaders Denounce Schwarzenegger’s Initiatives in the November 8th California Special Election. Statement on http://www.faithbasedleaders.org urges No Vote on Propositions 74, 75, 76, 77, & 78 to protect the poor and working families.

STATEMENT

People of faith and people of conscience cannot remain silent when government leaders propose to undermine working families and the least among us.

Several of the proposed initiatives would inflict grievous and unnecessary harm on working families, the elderly, the disabled, the very young, and the poor.

Therefore, we commit ourselves to speaking out against propositions 74, 75, 76, 77 and 78 in the California Special Election on November 8, 2005.

The California Special Election is about the core values of tolerance, respect, compassion, and regard for the neighbor that uphold faith.

Here in our state of California, where dedicated public servants have made such a significant contribution to the overall quality of life, we now face a situation where these same public servants—school teachers, school aides, nurses, home health workers, even firefighters and police officers—are being publicly scapegoated for fiscal problems they did not create.

Morally and ethically, California cannot afford such injustice.

No on Proposition 74 - This measure would do nothing to improve public education or deal with the real problems facing our schools. It unfairly attempts to blame teachers for the problems in our public schools, ignoring the realities of underfunding, overcrowding, and the lack of materials and resources needed for effective teaching and learning. If this measure passes, new teachers would serve a 5-year probationary period rather than the current two years, and would lose the right to even have a fair hearing on their dismissal for a full 5 years. Current law already allows for firing teachers who are not performing in the classroom, no matter how long they’ve been on the job.

No on Proposition 75 – This proposition would make it far more difficult—almost impossible—for public employee unions to participate in the political process. Each employee would have to be solicited individually and made to sign a complicated from authorizing a part of his or her dues to be used for issue advocacy. This is an issue of basic fairness. If public employees have their voice taken away, the only voices that count in Sacramento will be the voices of the biggest corporations and trade associations.

No on Proposition 76 – This proposition would create an automatic trigger mechanism to slash state spending whenever current revenues fall short of expenditures, regardless of the circumstances and regardless of legislative appropriations or even previous voter initiatives (such as Proposition 98 that mandates minimum school funding). It would have a grievous harm on the poor, the infirm, the disabled, and the blind by giving the Governor unilateral power to cut these programs.

No on Proposition 77 - This measure would draw political boundaries which under represent the diversity of our state.

No on Proposition 78 - This measure bankrolled by big pharmaceutical companies could leave millions of poor people without access to life saving medications.

Yes on Proposition 79 - This measure would increase access to prescription drugs for an estimated 8 to 10 million seniors, low-income and uninsured Californians.

Yes on Proposition 80 - This measure would prevent Enron-Style manipulation of our electricity supply.

As people of faith, we urge you to vote no on proposition 74, 75, 76, 77, 78 . . . and yes on propositions 79 and 80 in the California Special Election on November 8, 2005.

The statement can be viewed at http://www.faithbasedleaders.org.

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