“Hey, Sempra, pay your taxes!” rang out as dozens of union and community members marched into the downtown Los Angeles headquarters of the Southern California Gas Company, a Sempra Energy subsidiary, on Thursday, Aug. 9.
Protesters took action to support AB 2439, a California bill that would require the state to publish a list of the 1,500 largest corporate taxpayers and disclose how much they pay in state taxes. AB 2439, sponsored by Democratic Assemblyman Mike Eng, passed handily in the State Assembly in May 2012. The State Senate will soon vote on the measure.
Here’s a slideshow of photos from the action.
SEIU 721 member Yolanda Touré spoke at the opening rally in Pershing Square and then again inside the Gas Company headquarters as workers looked on:
“We don’t know how much Sempra or these other mega-corporations pay in taxes each year. Most of them probably pay nothing. Meanwhile, working people are paying taxes and vital state services are being cut. AB 2439 would show us just how much the corporations pay. We demand corporations pay their fair share. We demand transparency.”
Phoury Chhun, SEIU 721 member and LA County Department of Public Social Services employee, said:
“Passing this bill is the first step. Then, once we know the truth, we can make the corporations pay their taxes. We need money for our communities, for social services and for education.”
As the rally closed, union and community members delivered a letter to a top Sempra executive asking Sempra to disclose its California tax liability. Protesters promised to return in even bigger numbers if Sempra fails to respond. The action was organized by a coalition of organizations including SEIU 721, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, the California Partnership, the Community Coalition and the Alliance of Raza Educators.
TAKE ACTION! Call you state senator and tell him/her to support AB 2439! Find your senator here.