We are at a critical time for our state.
As mentioned in a March 4 San Francisco Chronicle article, “Dems OK big cuts to state's safety net," over the coming days, legislators will have the opportunity to vote on a balanced budget based on an even mix of cuts and revenue. A critical piece of the budget package is Gov. Jerry Brown’s for a special election on tax extensions. The leaders of Congregations Organizing for Renewal, which represents 25,000 south Alameda County families, believe this proposal must move forward.
We are very concerned with the current bleak budget picture, but the picture will be even gloomier if a special election is not approved. According to a February report by the Legislative Analyst’s Office, if the tax extensions are not approved, there will be $4.5 billion less for K-12 schools than Brown originally proposed, along with a $1.7 billion reduction to universities and community colleges and $1.8 billion in cuts to general state and local government.
Now, more than ever, California needs thoughtful and courageous leaders. We need leaders with the courage to be open to bipartisan solutions to get the state back on track; leaders willing to move beyond partisanship towards a brighter future; leaders with faith in their constituents and in Democracy.
We are heartened by recent news of legislators coming together to forge a compromise that puts California first. We applaud these efforts and encourage others to take the high road. The alternative – devastating cuts to education and health and human services are not an option.
For our communities and for our state: Have courage. Have faith. Let us vote.
- Mary Schlarb
Congregations Organizing for Renewal (COR) Leader