Friday, May 28, 2010

Assembly district 9 - Chris Garland and Kevin McCarty

                         Sacramento Progressive Alliance
There is an important election on  June 8, and it is important that you vote.
Assembly District 9. Endorsed:  Chris Garland and Kevin Mc Carty. Sacramento Progressive Alliance
Kevin McCarty
            Both Chris Garland and Kevin McCarty received the endorsement of the Sacramento Progressive Alliance.
Kevin Mc Carty presently serves on the Sacramento City Council. Like most of the candidates he has worked with the legislature. We regard  significant legislative experience as valuable.  In this era of term limits, electing a person with prior experience in the legislature allows that person to lead rather than spend the first two years in on-the-job training.
 The issues of the budget crisis in higher education  and K-14 education are urgent.  We need a candidate who can deal with them this year.  Kevin’s policy positions on budget agree with our own.   In the interview he was clear and consistent about the areas where taxes could be increased to respond to our current crisis, the VLF, tax on oil extraction, extending sales taxes to services, and increasing  the tax rate for upper income tax payers. and others. Mc Carty is particularly  well-versed on budget issues after five years as a consultant to the Assembly's budget committee.
To their credit, each of the candidates were willing to face the issues of the 2/3 vote requirement for taxes and the budget.   The current  anti tax strangle hold on legislative  budgets makes the state budget crisis worse.  We don’t have 2-4 years to wait while a new Assembly person learns the inner workings of the budget.
In addition to his service on the City Council, Kevin Mc Carty works as an advocate for a Pre School California.  In his interview he made the argument that increased  pre school preparation was an important response to the need for school reform.  In his role as City Councilman he has been active in developing mentoring programs at two Sacramento area schools.
Kevin Mc Carty has significant labor endorsements and the endorsements of former Senator Deborah Ortiz  and Arturo Rodriguez, President of the United Farm Workers Union.  In his role as a City Councilman, Mc Carty has been independent on some issues such as funding the proposed purchase of the downtown rail yards.  And, he has been a leader in advocating gun control.
It is particularly heartening that if Mc Carty or Garland, or one of the other candidates wins, we should have an effective legislator for the 9th.  Assembly district.
To volunteer for the McCarty campaign,

Why vote for Chris Garland?  Its time to shake up the Capitol.
The Sacramento Progressive Alliance and others interviewed each of the major candidates for Assembly District 9 on May 19.  Most of the district lies within Sacramento.  This is the seat currently held by Dave Jones.  District 9 has a 55.9 % Democrat, 19.8 Republican, 19.4 % decline to state voter registration.  ( Plus American Independent 2.5%, Green 1%, Libertarian 0.5%, and Peace and Freedom 0.8%).
After considering the major candidates on the issues most important to the Progressive Alliance,  on May 22 we voted to  recommend that you vote for either Chris Garland or Kevin Mc Carty.  All four of the major candidates on the Democratic side were impressive.  We will be able to support anyone of them who wins the primary.
Garland explains his advocacy this way.  “ California’s in trouble.
 Our state budget is in a constant state of crisis, our policy-makers are gridlocked, and vital services are at-risk. Teachers are being laid off, and the promise of quality higher education for all may be a thing of the past.”

Chris Garland is currently the political director of the California Faculty Association. His responses were clearly closest to the perspective of the Progressive Alliance.  Like most of the candidates, he has served in positions as staff within the legislature.  He was deputy director of member services  for the Assembly Speaker’s office from 2005-2007.  We regard this significant legislative experience as valuable.  In this era of term limits, electing a person with prior experience in the legislature allows that person to lead rather than spend the first two years in on-the-job training.
 We regard dealing with the higher education budget crisis (along with that of k-12) as critical.  Of all of the candidates, Chris Garland best understood the crisis of  budgets and higher education in California.
In the last two years California’s  k-12 schools have taken  over a  $16 Billion  cut . California presently ranks  47th  of the states in per pupil spending and last among the states in class size.  Now, the Governor proposes to reduce  k-12 spending by another  $2.4 Billion.  Last year alone, the U.C’s and the CSU campuses have taken over a  $2 billion cut while tuition and fees were increased over 30%.  Classes have been cut, graduation delayed, and  over 2000 faculty dismissed.   CSU tuition has increased by 182%  under Schwarzenegger .  Next year some 40,000 eligible students will be denied access to California universities.  The crisis in k-12 is equally severe as described in Robles-Wong et al. V. State of California (May 2010).  We need an Assemblyperson who will work with communities and labor to save pubic education in California.
The nation  including California is suffering a severe recession.  Twenty Six million  are unemployed and under employed. This crisis was created by finance capital and banking, mostly on Wall Street , ie. Chase Banks, Bank of America, AIG, and others.  It was not caused by teachers, students, or college students.   Fifteen million people are out of work.  Rather, finance capital stole the future of many young people. What caused this crisis?   Economist Dean Baker says, “The reality is that we got into this mess because of an overwhelming excess of greed and stupidity on the part of the Wall Street bankers and the people deciding economic policy. “
In response to the  declining revenues caused by the economic crisis, for 2010, the Governor proposes  further draconian cuts in Cal Works, IHSS, Medi Cal and Children’s nutrition  among others-  each of which hurts the  poor in our state.   State  budget cuts make the economic  crisis worse. They create more unemployment.
        The legislature must hear from us.  And, we want an Assembly person who will listen to our concerns.  Chris Garland demonstrated his willingness to listen, to share, and to  seek solutions to the crises.
To respond to the economic crisis , California needs majority rule.  We must eliminate the 2/3requirement to pass  budgets and revenue in the legislature.   This requirement allows anti-tax radicals in the Republican Party to cut corporate taxes even in the face of declining revenue.  And, they prevent passing new taxes.   It would cost less than $32 each from the average tax payer to restore state funding the higher education, but we can not get these proposals through the legislature nor past the governor.
 Chris Garland, of all the candidates interviewed, had  the clearest view of the budget and  a realistic comprehension of the role of public budgets  in responding to the fiscal crises in the states.  He, as well as the  other candidates, were committed to the repeal of the 2/3 rules for both budgets and taxes.   Each of the candidates had support from one or more sectors of unions.
In this election we must stop the Mississippification of California education. To do that we must take power away from the anti tax radicals in the legislature.  Chris Garland has the organization and the skills to support such substantive change.  To assist in the campaign,  contact.
Duane Campbell. Electoral Chair.  Sacramento Progressive Alliance.

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