Progressive Tax Initiative Filed/Sharon Hendricks Elected to STRS Board

Inside CFT
December 7, 2011

  • CFT files for state ballot measure with Attorney General’s office
  • CFT’s Sharon Hendricks is elected by peers to CalSTRS Board
  • Give the gift of labor history this holiday season

CFT files state ballot measure with Attorney General’s office
The CFT, together with its coalition partners in Restoring California, took the giant step of filing the “The Millionaires’ Tax to Restore Funding for Education and Essential Services Act” with the Attorney General’s office earlier this week.  By filing, the CFT, the Courage Campaign, and California Calls sets in motion a ballot measure for the November 2012 election that would ask the richest Californians to pay their fair share in taxes to restore schools and services devastated by years of budget cuts due to recession and regressive state tax policies.  The Millionaires’ Tax would raise $6 billion annually, of which 60% would be devoted to public education (K-12 and higher education), 25% to senior, child, and disabled services, 10% to public safety, 4.9% to roads and bridges, and .1% for administrative costs associated with implementing the ballot measure.  It would also impose strict accounting and transparency measures to track how the revenues are spent.

In the press release accompanying the filing, CFT president Joshua Pechthalt noted, “As a teacher and parent, I have seen the terrible impact of state budget cuts on our schools through teacher layoffs and larger class sizes.  It is time for the wealthiest Californians to pay their fair share to restore funding for education and essential services.”

For more information, including the press release, news stories, and to download the Act’s title and summary, click here.

CFT’s Sharon Hendricks is elected by peers to CalSTRS Board 
The ballots have been counted and we are happy to report that CFT-endorsed candidate and AFT 1521 member Sharon Hendricks has been elected by her fellow community college faculty to the CalSTRS Teacher Retirement Board. Sharon received 4778 votes and Phyllis Hall, the other candidate, received 1759 votes, a 73%-27% margin for Sharon. Sharon will become a board member on January 1, 2012.

CFT Secretary Treasurer Jeff Freitas commented, “We are excited to have Sharon on the board to ensure we maintain fair pension benefits for our members and secure the health of the system.”  In the same election, incumbents Dana Dillon and Harry Keiley were re-elected.  Both have been strong advocates and sound fiduciaries of the system.

Give the gift of labor history this holiday season
In the wake of the Occupy Wall Street movement there has been a wave of interest in labor history by educators and the media.  When Occupy Oakland called for a “General Strike” on November 2, reporters wanted to know if this has ever happened before, including MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.  How did they find out?  By turning to CFT’s ten part documentary video series, Golden Lands, Working Hands, two minutes of which played on Maddow’s segment on the 1946 Oakland General Strike.  The three hour video is the only retrospective look at one hundred fifty years of California’s labor history.  On DVD, with a CD of lesson plans and readings, it is available for $20, the perfect gift for that hard-to-please CFT activist.  Click here for more information or to order.

If you have items to be considered for inclusion in Inside CFT, send them to Fred Glass.  Feel free to forward Inside CFT to any CFT member you believe would be interested.