Why AFT Opposes Proposition C

Dear Colleagues,

At a time when we are asking the citizens of San Diego to support
Proposition N which would strengthen and enhance the fine work we do as
public sector employees, we should take a moment to recognize the work of
our fellow public sector workers in the city of San Diego and oppose efforts
to outsource their jobs.  Despite the disingenuous claims of the mayor and
the business interests and their allies who would benefit if this initiative
passes, the language of Proposition C does indeed allow for the outsourcing
of public safety work by the police and firefighters.  It is also a cowardly
way of trying to solve the pension and budget crisis on the backs on rank
and file city workers who were not responsible for the decisions that
created the whole mess.

While the advertisements in favor of Proposition C feature the popular,
moderate-seeming mayor Sanders, it is important to note that this initiative
as well as other such efforts around the country come straight from the
intellectual blueprint laid out out by the network of right-wing think tanks
that brought you Grover Norquist and Jack Abramoff.  Indeed, standing
directly behind the mayor at his recent press conference was Carl DeMaio of
the Performance Institute, San Diego’s local manifestation of the national
movement that brought us the K Street strategy and the national push for
privatization of public services (For more on this see the Center on Policy
Initiatives report “Target San Diego: The Right Wing Assault on Urban
Democracy and Smart Government in San Diego” and/or my article “Indy by the
Sea” in the 2/1/06 issue of the City Beat).

For examples of how this kind of “foxes running the henhouse” strategy has
worked at the national level, look no further than the multi-million dollar
bilking of the Pentagon budget by private contractors such as Halliburton,
or the stellar job done by the same crew in the clean up of New Orleans
after Hurricane Katrina.  Rather than accountability and savings, this kind
of contracting out frequently results in the loss of accountability and
encourages corruption and political paybacks.

It is important to note that it is yet another right-wing, anti-tax zealot
who is running the campaign against Proposition N and campaigning to unseat
Trustee Rich Grosch because he is wasting money on your pay raise and is too
friendly with your union. You won’t ever read about any of this in the Union
Tribune, because the UT editorial board is entirely in line with the
interests of the local right when in comes to public sector and union
issues.  Before you vote, we encourage you to follow the money and ask why
the local business interests and other wealthy individuals who are
bankrolling Proposition C have an interest in the matter. Your AFT will be
sending you a series of pieces put out by the opposition to proposition C
that go over a series of specific issues from public safety to corruption.
We encourage you to research the matter and vote, in solidarity with your
fellow union workers, against proposition C.

In Solidarity, Jim Miller, AFT Political Action VP