Introduction by Workers Action
Below is the message from by Joshua Pechthalt, President of the California Federation of Teachers (CFT), that was read at the Defense of Public Education and Social Services Rally in San Francisco, California, March 1, 2012.
For more information about the Millionaires Tax, please visit the campaign website, http://www.millionairestaxca.com/
The Millionaires Tax will raise taxes only on the wealthiest Californians, people who make more than a million dollars a year. The Millionaires Tax will permanently generate around $6 billion per year to begin to restore funding to schools and services.
This modest tax increase on people who can well afford it is the most popular tax proposal and most likely to pass, according to extensive polling. Voters recognize that there is growing economic inequality, and that it’s time for the rich to pay their fair share for education and services. The Millionaires Tax builds on the efforts of the Occupy Movement and is energizing our members, community partners, students, and activists.
The Millionaires Tax recognizes that working and middle class families have already paid their fair share. Across the state educators have lost jobs and suffered salary and benefit cuts. The communities in which we live and work have seen vital human services cut. When our political leaders talk of shared sacrifice, we have already done our share. It’s time for the people who have benefited the most to give back to the children and the people of California.
CFT is working with a progressive coalition that is expanding daily. California Calls, the Courage Campaign, and the California Nurses Association, are only a few of our partners ready to build on popular sentiment for real change. Yesterday MoveOn.org endorsed the campaign.
When California votes for the Millionaires Tax in November, we won’t stop there. Real change only comes by building the kind of political movement that does not have to rely on politicians. A powerful grass roots campaign around the Millionaires Tax will strengthen the labor movement and deepen our relations with the community. Together we can restore funding for our schools and communities and create a California that works not just for the one percent, but for all its people.