Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Four weeks Since March 4...

Remember how back on March 4, we all threw down and had a “Day of Action” to protest the impending budget cuts? Well, there’s still no state budget for 2010-2011 yet, and that’s good news. But I’m worried about what the state legislators might be thinking, because it seems as though we protesters have gone away. So, what’s next, CTA?

Yeah, there was March 4, and that felt great. But it’s been four weeks since our grand day of action, and I’m wondering what the next big coordinated effort is going to be. After all, 25,000 more teachers have received their annual RIF letters. Most of us have given up salary, days, benefits, working conditions or all of the above, and the educational tailspin continues. It just seems like we need the next set of marching orders from CTA before another round of cuts get set in stone.

There are several efforts around the state that we can attach our energies to. CFT is still unrolling its “March for California’s Future” through the Central Valley. Between now and April 21, the marchers are holding rallies in critical communities that are jurisdictions of important republican legislators. The marchers are visiting the very communities where voters can pressure their home-town Senators and Assemblymembers into not letting our schools and public services get re-butchered.

California AFSCME continues to push for it’s alternate to the state budget, which identifies up to $40 Billion in new revenue that can be used to re-build our state. Where did the money come from? Mostly fixing loopholes that allow corporations to skate by without paying their fair share.

Or, CTA members could join the efforts of Californians for Democracy, the initiative effort which is seeking to eliminate the state’s dysfunctional two-thirds mandates.

All I’m saying is that any of these coordinated actions is better than doing nothing. And four weeks is long enough for our legislators to forget that anything ever happened.

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