Monday, November 06, 2006

California Low Turnout Predicted - Grassroots Forces in San Francisco Communities Build for the Future

If CA's Courage Campaign is correct and a low turnout in the California elections is a reality on Election Day Tuesday - it will mean not only 4 more years of the Terminator in Sacramento, but more years of defunding of schools and our communities and a pro-corporate, conservative agenda in Sacramento:
From Saladay, The Secretary of State's office is predicting 55% turnout in California tomorrow. That would be the second lowest general election turnout for a governor's race ever, worse only than 2002's turnout when Davis won re-election. Considering the record low turnout in the June primary of
34%, one wonders if 55% is perhaps optimistic. Not to mention the low
return rate
of absentee ballots.
The big question of course is who will
be the ones to stay home: dispirited Dems or complacent Republicans? ....
On the positive side - the grassroots Chinese Progressive Association [CPA] in SF's Chinatown is working with others like PODER in SF's Mission District, the Young Workers United, POWER and May 1st Alliance in the long term to build a stronger progressive electoral base in low income communities of color for the future.
We are anticipating a very strong turnout and vote [perhaps over 75%] for Proposition F - SF's Paid Sick Days Intiative - on Tuesday.
CPA, PODER and others are targeting voter precincts with historically low voter turnout in Chinatown, the Mission, Visitacion Valley, Portolla, the Tenderloin, SOMA, and South East Areas to change the electoral map of our City. Using techniques from Anthony Thigpenn's AGENDA/SCOPE in LA and other SF grassroots strategies, these grassroots groups are building a voter base, progressive policy reforms, and a stronger social justice movement in San Francisco.
After passing Prop F in SF, we will also be working with other grassroots base-building groups in other cities to support economic justice initiatives at the local level.

The Coalition for Paid Sick Days - Prop F in SF - consists of:
Young Workers United
A multi-racial membership organization of young and immigrant workers dedicated to raising standards and improving working conditions in the low-wage service sector through organizing, grassroots policy, and education.
Chinese Progressive Association
The Chinese Progressive Association(CPA) is a grassroots membership-based organization that empowers the Chinese community in the San Francisco Bay Area and promotes justice and equality for all people. CPA's campaigns and programs improve the living and working conditions of low-income immigrants and give ordinary community members a stronger voice in the decision-making processes that affect them.
Committee of Interns and Residents, SEIU
The Committee of Interns and Residents(CIR) is the largest union in the country for resident physicians at public hospitals, representing more than 12,000 residents in California, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. CIR contracts improve salaries and working conditions for interns and resident physicians as well as enhance the quality of patient care.
St. Peter's Housing Committee
St. Peter's Housing Committee is a twenty-year old tenants organization that serves Spanish-speaking tenants in the Mission. It helps them battle illegal evictions and rent increases or for home repairs in case a landlord illegally refuses. The housing committee is a part of Deporten La Migra (Deport the INS Coalition) that protests landlords' use of the INS as a tool to evict tenants.
Service Employees International Union(SEIU), Local 790
SEIU Local 790 represents San Francisco City workers, non-profit workers, dancers, and service workers. It is one of the largest unions in San Francisco and is committed to public service and social justice.
Parent Voices
Parent Voices is a parent-led grassroots organization fighting to make quality child care affordable and accessible to all families. They are a rapidly growing chapter organization of parents in California.

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