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Julia Plascencia's picture

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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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