MINIMUM WAGE RESOLUTION OF THE CULVER CITY DEMOCRATIC CLUB Passed at General Membership Meeting of the Culver City Democratic Club, 9/9/2015 Whereas, The City of Los Angeles has adopted a $15.00 per hour minimum wage ordinance, effective 2020; Whereas, the California state minimum wage will increase to $10.00 per hour effective January 1, 2016; and Whereas, if no changes are made, Culver City workers will be paid $10.00 per hour in 2020 while Los Angeles workers will be paid $15.00 per hour for comparable work; Resolved, That the Culver City Democratic Club supports the establishment of a $15.00 phased in minimum wage for Culver City, effective 2020; Resolved, That the position of the Club shall be communicated to the members of the City Council and to the local media.
So Jeb Bush thinks Americans just aren’t working hard enough. In a recent newspaper interview, the GOP presidential candidate, former Florida governor, and silver-spoon holder, criticized President Obama’s proposal to expand overtime protection to 5 million American workers, saying that “People are going to have to work longer hours and, through their productivity, gain more income for their families.” Seriously, Jeb?
To the contrary, Americans work plenty. According to the Organization (OECD), Americans worked an average of 1,789 hours last year, higher than the OECD average of all countries surveyed. And still, our wages have been stagnant for the past 40 years even though our productivity has actually increased. Speaking of wages, Donald Trump, noted trust fund recipient and current (for the time-being) GOP front-runner, believes that the federal minimum wage of $7.25 is just fine at that level and “not a bad thing for this country.” So says a guy who has never had to, and likely never will have to, survive on $7.25.
And then, there’s Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, who gets handsomely rewarded with campaign cash as chief lackey to the billionaire Koch Brothers, all the while bashing unions as “special interests” and comparing them to ISIS. I could probably go on - there are more than a dozen Republicans vying for the White House at this point - but it would take more room than I have in our newsletter to outline all the ways these candidates disrespect the value of most people who have to work for a living (and downright disparage people who can’t find jobs).
The sad thing is that these people even have an audience for their retrograde attitudes toward the working class. A lot of that audience includes members of the working class. Some are even in unions. America’s confused relationship with laborers and the idea of whose work is valued goes a long way toward explaining why our nation’s workers are so ill-treated compared with the rest of the developed world. America was built on the exploited labor of African people. Then, came the exploited labor of the poor - black and white - and of immigrants. Post- New Deal and post-World War II, the value of workers rose and they gained new rights that resulted in the middle class boom that lasted until the 1980s.
Today, we are in a new era of exploitation: of unpaid internships that look a lot like full-time jobs; of uncompensated overtime; of contract workers and temps; of outright wage theft. We’re a society where workers are expected to be on- call during what little vacation time they get, and a society where many don’t get vacation at all. We stand out as the only country in the industrialized world that doesn’t mandate paid vacation or maternity leave. At the same time, Americans identify themselves through their work; the first question one is always asked at a social gathering is not “What are your favorite hobbies,” but “What do you do?” And the idea of “working hard” as much as one can to achieve success, is seen as a badge of honor - no matter the consequences to one’s health and family life. The idea of working in our country is valued, but the act of laboring - outside that of the corporate executive - isn’t so much valued. So every September, we mark Labor Day with barbecues and shopping and beach-going, while the original reason for the holiday - a celebration of the achievements of the labor movement - lies mostly forgotten.
Approved by the Culver City Democratic Club:
RESOLUTION CALLING FOR THE RELEASE OF COUNTY INCARCERATION DIVERSION FUNDS
Whereas, California is reducing its prison and jail populations as a result of the implementation of AB 109 and Proposition 47. This has increased the need for services for those returning home from incarceration;
Whereas, in March 2015 Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors (BOS) approved a $30 million program to divert the mentally ill from incarceration and into community based treatment programs. This amount has recently been increased to $30 million;
Whereas, the diversion funding allocation has been tied to the release of the DA Jackie Lacey Crime Justice Mental Health Task Force report on mental health diversion from incarceration, which has no funding timetable;
Therefore be it resolved that the Culver City Democratic Club urges the LA County Democratic Party lobby the BOS to expedite the process for releasing these funds to community and faith based organizations that deliver services to the formerly incarcerated;
Be it further resolved that the Culver City Democratic Club urges the LA County Democratic Party lobby city, county, state and federal officials to develop an interagency approach in partnership with community and faith based organizations to streamline the service delivery process for incarceration diversion.
The Culver City Democratic Club supports SCA 5, Reforming Inequities in Commercial Property Tax Annual Reassessment of Commercial Properties sponsored by State Senators Holly Mitchell and Loni Hancock, and its efforts to eliminate inequalities, loopholes and negative economic impacts of the current acquisition-value assessment system for commercial and industrial properties. Known as the Property Tax Fairness amendment, it would finally make California’s property tax code fair by assessing commercial and industrial properties at their market value, after a phase-in period. It would also provide significant tax relief for businesses, protect homeowners and renters from any changes to their property tax status, and create strict new accountability measures for new revenues.
SCA 5 would assess commercial properties at their fair market value, provide tax relief for businesses and protect homeowners and renters
“This legislation will address structural flaws in the commercial property side of Prop. 13 that have allowed a minority group of wealthy corporations and commercial property owners to dramatically lower their tax bills and shift that responsibility onto homeowners and renters,” said Senator Hancock. “Our homeowners are now being asked to pay the vast majority – 72% – of property taxes, while the commercial side pays only 28%. In 1978 when Prop. 13 passed, each paid about 50%. That’s not fair, and it has strained the community services our residents rely on.”