Julia Plascencia

    This Fed Up California Mom Urges Other Moms: Vote Yes on Prop 30

    Posted November 4th, 2012 by

    Over the past few weeks I have seen ad after ad attacking Prop 30. For those of you who don’t know, Prop 30 will prevent $6 billion in trigger cuts this year in California and bring in much needed revenue to cash-strapped schools and other vital public services to our beleaguered state. This initiative would increase taxes on the wealthiest Californians by 1-3%.

    I don’t think it’s too much to ask the wealthy to pay a little bit more. After all, these folks have seen their incomes double from 1995-2006 while during the same time period ordinary Californians have seen their wages stagnate.

    Quick disclaimer: I am a community organizer with California Calls in Los Angeles and I am working to pass Prop 30. But that’s not why these ads make me angry. In fact, if this were like any other campaign I would be mildly annoyed and just keep plugging away at getting our message out.

    The reason these ads infuriate me is because they trigger the same instincts a mother bear would have if you were foolish enough to come between her and her cubs. If Prop 30 doesn’t pass, $6 billion in budget cuts will be triggered. These cuts will fall squarely on the backs of your kids and mine.

    One of the consequences would be three weeks of school getting chopped off next year. By the time my boys, who are in first and third grade, reach their senior year of high school they will have lost at least a whole year of instruction! What will that do to their chances of getting into college and being competitive in the job market? Shouldn’t we be working to make education more accessible, not less?

    Besides all that, can you imagine your kids’ summer vacation starting shortly after Spring Break? In my household both my husband and I have to work. We hope someday to buy a home, send our boys to college, and retire in dignity. But when school is out we have to scramble and find affordable summer programs so that our boys are safe and we can continue to work and earn our place in this world.

    I did the math and this year we paid close to $1,200 for eight weeks of summer daycare for our boys — and that was a bargain! So if Prop 30 does not pass and three weeks are eliminated from the school year my husband and I are looking to pay about $1,000 more in summer daycare. And to think that I’m one of the fortunate ones that can still afford, at least for now, the increase in cost.

    But how about families living day-by-day, barely making rent and keeping food on the table? What about the families who won’t be able to afford this potentially steep increase in childcare?

    I’m angry that a tiny handful of millionaires, like Charles Munger, Jr., are funding ads to defeat Prop 30 because they don’t want to pay just a little bit more in taxes. No, they would prefer that my children sacrifice their education rather than give up the huge tax breaks we Californians have been generously rewarding them for far too long.

    As working class Californians, we have given up enough. We have sacrificed our teachers, our roads and bridges, and the safety of our communities. But now they have the audacity to ask us to sacrifice our children’s future?

    Here’s my call to other angry and fed-up mama bears. If Prop 30 doesn’t pass we should all send Mr. Munger our childcare bills. Why not? It wouldn’t even make a dent in his wallet.

    Like I said, it’s never a good idea to come between a mama bear and her cubs. Protect your children and please vote yes on Prop 30!

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    7 Comments

    November 27, 2012 at 10:08 pm by Lisa

    I am sick that prop 30 passed! California is on crack! It is people like you that will continue to keep California the armpit of the country! You tax them, they can’t hire us, we can’t pay you!

    As you grow older you will realize that they just keep asking for more money without accountability. Where is the lottery money girlfriend????

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    November 7, 2012 at 3:41 am by Jason

    Ok… I am not wealthy so the income portion will not pertain to me, but you conveniently leave out the sales tax portion of the proposition. This will pertain to me and every other Californian.

    So my question is this. Why should I have to pay more for everyday items just to prevent you from paying more in child care? Why should I pay more for your children to go to school?

    I could care less about your child’s education yet as a tax payer have to foot the bill. You may think it is unfair to have to pay more for child care… Well I think it is unfair for me to have to support your child at all. If you can’t afford the costs associated with your child you should have reconsidered having one.

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    November 6, 2012 at 4:01 am by Karla

    A beautiful Call to Action, Mama Bear! Thanks to folks like you, Prop 30 will sail to victory tomorrow and California will set an great example for the nation of how we can pull together and get through crisis by all contributing our fair share.

    Those little boys of your are very lucky that their mom has dedicated her life to ensuring a great future for them and all California’s kids!

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    November 6, 2012 at 3:56 am by Julia P

    Thank you for taking the time to respond to my blog. I’m sorry we disagree. Prop 30 is not about punishing anyone but asking that everyone pay their fair share. It is also for my children who I love and as well as for all children in California.

    [Reply]

    November 5, 2012 at 11:45 am by K

    I am a professional and educated mom of 2 school aged kids (and another on the way). Having a former colleague in the finance organization of one of the largest school districts in CA, I have heard first hand how much waste there is in the budgeting and fiscal management of our school systems. This colleague came out of corporate America where you are held accountable for the management of your organization, and he is disturbed by the waste he sees and how attempts to increase efficiencies are constantly shot down and thwarted by red tape. With this insight, I believe that there needs to be a rehaul of the system, as throwing more money at it will just create more waste in a broken organization.

    Additionally, I find it very frustrating that increasing taxes for higher earners is always the solution. My family is on the edge of “higher earners”, which means if we get promoted or perform better in our already demanding jobs, we will actually end up with less. My husband was an immigrant and his family worked extremely hard to set up home in America and pursue an education. At times there was bankruptcy, no health insurance, no jobs, and not enough money for decent food. There were struggles and hard times, and we both sacrificed tremendously to put ourselves through college and graduate school while working. We are in our 40s and only finally paying off our student loan debt from 10-20 years ago! Doing this meant deferring other luxuries, like starting a family or buying a home. It is difficult to stomach the concept of taxing us more, when we have already endured plenty of sacrifice and hard work to get where we are today. I currently have taken a couple years off work to raise my small children, but returning to work is almost pointless, as we would be taxed more and after paying for childcare, it would be a wash. Since when do we live in a socialist system where everyone is entitled to the same standard of living?

    I am appalled at our local schools. We have great elementary schools, largely due to the fact that we live in an affluent community in which all families write at least a $900 check per year per student to cover unfunded “extras”, such as Computer labs, library and arts, as well as TAs and other admin support. But at the middle school and high school levels, our API scores are considered failing schools. This is because the larger geographical span for the schools includes areas in which families cannot contribute, so the family contributions from the affluent neighborhoods are diluted, and basically not moving the needle. I cannot afford private school at $100k min per year for 3 kids, so my likely only option will be to move to a more expensive community where residents are willing and able to contribute individually to improve their local schools. To do this, my family will need to sacrifice and do with less in regards to housing and other nice-to-have’s while also paying more. So why would I want my taxes to increase to go into a black hole of CA education where the budget is being mismanaged anyway? I will have more taxes deducted, while I will still have problems with my schools and have to find my own solution … Either paying more to move to a more expensive area with better schools … Or taking out loans to pay for private school.

    Passing prop 30 seems like an immediate win for schools and families, but not every family. We need to demand reform to the school system, not simply more budget to be wasted.

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    November 4, 2012 at 11:04 pm by Ana Beatriz Cholo

    With your incredible passion and strong convictions, I knew you’d be able to convey why Prop 30 is so important for our kids. Felicidades!

    [Reply]

    November 4, 2012 at 8:08 pm by LaShawn White

    I love it Julia, GOOD JOB!!! I second that emotion!!

    LD

    [Reply]

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