AFTER NARROW LOSS IN TRANSFORMING CA’S CORPORATE PROPERTY TAX SYSTEM, SEIU MEMBERS VOW TO CONTINUE EFFORT TO REBALANCE ECONOMY, PUTTING PEOPLE, KIDS, & WORKING FAMILIES ABOVE CORPORATE PROFIT & BILLIONAIRES’ WEALTH
Sacramento, CA (November 11, 2020) — The 700,000 members of the Service Employees’ International Union (SEIU) in California acknowledged disappointment with the narrow defeat of Prop. 15, which would have required corporations to pay property taxes on the fair market value of their property, but vowed to continue efforts to better fund our communities and schools and fight the pandemic and inequality so that California can come back stronger and better.
“They told us it was impossible to change property taxes in California,” said Bob Schoonover, President of SEIU California and SEIU 721. “But rethinking corporate taxes is no longer a third rail; in fact, it is a very competitive idea with substantial support. In the middle of a pandemic and an economic crisis, difficult conditions for voters, we changed the conversation. Californians support investing in our schools and communities and want every kid and every family to have a fair shot. The only way for California to come back better than ever is to rebalance our rigged economy and make sure that corporations and the wealthy are paying their fair share.”
SEIU members helped place the initiative on the ballot, gathering over 150,000 volunteer signatures, and members’ contributions and outreach to millions were a cornerstone of the coalition campaign effort.
“In close elections like this, the personal connections we usually make in our neighborhoods through knocking on doors and talking to voters can be decisive,” said Oscar Lopez, Political Director of SEIU California. “The pandemic limited our forms of contact with our neighbors, and I do think that may have made the difference. At the same time, SEIU members know that when we take on fundamental change, we have to keep at it, sometimes for many years, before we succeed.”
“Millions of Californians are living on the edge and desperately need help,” Schoonover added. “The threats the COVID-19 pandemic, historic unemployment, and enduring racial inequity pose to our children’s future, our health and Californians’ ability to stay in their homes are not going away on their own. The 700,000 members of SEIU in California are committed to a fundamental rebalancing of our economy to create opportunity for all by taxing corporations and the ultra wealthy. California’s working families and our communities of color in particular have already endured too much. At the same time, SEIU members recognize that our federal government must lead us out of this economic and public health crisis by investing in our communities and in public health, and we plan to redouble our efforts to secure those resources.”