No on Prop 74 To the editor: At first glance, Proposition 74 on the November Special Election ballot might seem like a good idea. The initiative’s supporters claim that making teachers work for five years on probation instead of two before earning permanent status will make sure our kids have the best teachers possible. But under closer scrutiny, Prop 74 reveals itself to be unfair, ineffective, and punitive. It would take away some of the due process rights that currently protect our children’s teachers. In California, probationary teachers have no protection and can simply be fired without recourse. By increasing probation to five years, Proposition 74 would give school districts five years – instead of the current two – to dismiss teachers without having to defend their decisions or even offer reasons. And the measure is retroactive. Employees hired in 2003-04 have just completed the two year probation required by contracts they signed just two years ago. If Prop 74 passes in November, it would deprive these employees of their newly acquired permanent status. They would have to work another three consecutive years to again successfully complete probation. It would change the terms of the contract under which they were originally hired. How can that be fair? It can’t! The writers should pay closer attention to the Constitution. Join the League of Women Voters, the PTA, the California School Boards Association, teachers’ associations and many others across the state and vote NO on Proposition 74. Our children deserve better. We deserve better. Barbara Inatsugu, Past President, League of Women Voters of Santa Monica Reject Proposition 75 Editor: California voters should reject Proposition 75 because it would increase the power of the big business interests who are funding it at the expense of public employees Prop. 75 is unfair because it forces political restrictions on public employees like teachers, nurses, firefighters, and police – and no one else. It would mute their voices on health care, schools, public safety, and other issues of importance to working people. Prop. 75 would require members of public employee unions each year to authorize using part of their dues for political activities. Unlike business stockholders, union members are informed about which candidates and measures their unions are supporting and can question union activity at membership meetings. Employees have an existing procedure for requesting that their dues or fees not be used for political purposes. Business interests can use corporate funds for political campaign activities without permission from individual stockholders to do so. This measure unfairly creates two sets of rules for contributors by targeting the customary fund raising methods of only one group of contributors. Vote NO on Prop. 75. It would curtail a wide range of political activity by public employees unions while allowing corporations to engage in the very same activities unchecked. Sheila Field, League of Women Voters of Santa Monica, board member 310-395-0835 firstname.lastname@example.orgVote No on Props 73 – 78 To the editor: There are only a few weeks to go until the so-called “special” election. And the big worry is that only reactionary people will vote! I can tell you for a fact, that this may be one of the more important California elections in recent years. You see, the corporate take-over of California is what is being proposed. Several of the Governor’s measures, all sponsored and paid for by members of the corporate elite of California and the United States have several goals. First and foremost they do NOT want to be bothered having to work with the pesky legislature. So, they propose something they call “live within your means.” This measure makes the Governor a King where matters of money are concerned. It also trashes the Prop. 98 guarantee for Public Education. What that means is that the Governor can unilaterally determine how to cut the budget if the legislature cannot get a 2/3 vote to do so. And that means that the Republicans will NEVER vote for a budget if there is a Republican Governor who will be able to cut anything he wants, however he wants, without the approval of the legislature. It means that the legislature is irrelevant to the budget process. Regardless of what you feel about the current Governor, it is not hard to believe that at some time, some Governor will slash health care, human services, and public education because he/she needs no one to approve. Checks and balances were set into the California constitution to prevent one-man rule. This election could overturn this. Then, of course there is the redrawing of district election lines. No state uses retired judges. In fact almost all of them do it the way we in California currently do it. That is the legislature, with the signature of the Governor, writes a plan every ten years. Both sides have to agree. When they cannot agree, a lawsuit puts it into court, and then an active judge will make the changes necessary to make it fair. Think about retired judges. Currently, almost all of them are Anglo males, largely drawn from the men appointed by Governors Wilson and Deukmejian. This does not sound “non-partisan” to me. All in all, it is just a power grab. Even the so-called Prop. 78 “drug savings” measure is paid for by the biggest pharmaceutical companies and would be entirely voluntary on their part. The real savings to consumers would come from Prop. 79 and the drug companies are spending millions to stop this good measure. This ballot has something to hate for everyone. One proposition tries to kill off the voice of public employee unions by making it harder to get an OK from members to use money collected to lobby or support candidates. Another tells a young person ho wants to teach that they will have absolutely NO job protection for five years! No other job in the state is treated like that. Talented young people with about $100,000 in debt from five years training at a University will not likely choose teaching because of this uncertainty. And of course, no assault on our rights would be complete without an attempt to limit a woman’s right to choose. So here is how I am going to vote: Prop. 73? NO. Prop. 75? NO. Prop. 77? NO. Prop. 74? NO. Prop. 76? NO. Prop. 78? NO. That is six big NOs on the November 8 ballot. There are actually two good measures and they are, of course, at the very end. They are Prop. 79 and Prop. 80. I am voting YES on Prop. 79 because it would require the drug companies to negotiate a real deal with the state of California that would cover Medi-Cal recipients, and the savings would also be passed on to all Californians in lowering the drug costs for them as well. And Prop. 80, I am voting YES because it would re-regulate electricity in California so we don’t end up with blackouts and with the gaming of our system by Texas Oil, Gas, and Electric company traders like Enron, etc. So, be sure to vote on Tuesday Novebmer 8! Vote absentee, or go to the polls. But VOTE! If we fail to show up, those who want corporate rule will win by default. This is why they wanted a $50 million special election. They knew there was no urgency. They want this vote because they believe we won’t go to the polls and a very small minority of reactionary voters will be able to carry the vote on these draconian measures. If you want more detail on these measures, go to the website: www.speakoutca.org. There you will find background info, and a printable voting guide to send to your family and friends, and co-workers. Remember, friends don’t let friends neglect their civic duty. Especially when so much is at stake. If you want to help defeat these measures, call SEIU Local 347, at (323) 712-1779 to join me in walking precincts. Or you can phone voters by calling (213) 381-5611 ext. 40 and ask for Norma Lopez. Jackie Goldberg, Member, California State Assembly Wants aware, sensitive city manager To the City Council: It’s probably not in the job description, but I would like a city manager who is aware of and sensitive to the needs of the common citizen over the needs of developers and commercial interests and who will ensure that the city staff conform to this ideal. I would like a city manager who is really into sustainability and adaptive reuse, not more growth and development; one who really wants to preserve what’s left of our small city ambience. Lastly, I want a manager who will insist that city staff and their consultants collect data from the residents in a simple and straight forward way,( not via guided viased expensive instruments( eg. Shape the Future Booklet) and community meetings in which staff shape the discussion to arrive at conclusions which exclude what residents really want. Lorraine Sanchez, Santa MonicaP.S. I would like a City Council who will also meet the above criteria
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