Former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan is pushing a ballot initiative that would decimate city workers’ pensions and replace them with risky 401(k) plans.
Riordan is aiming more at voters’ emotions than he is at solving a budget issue. It won’t solve the city’s budget problems. If Riordan’s initiative gets on the ballot, it will only make things worse.
I’ve worked as a tree trimmer for the City of L.A. for 15 years. When thinking about Riordan’s plan, I want people in L.A. to ask themselves
these questions: How is the pension I earn during my years with the city
going to take food off your table or take money out of your pocket? How
is my pension going to keep you from finding work or paying your rent
The answer is simple: My pension does not hurt your quality of life.
So, what’s the motivation for Riordan’s attack on retirement?
Big business simply
doesn’t want to pay their fair share of taxes. It’s no wonder that
Riordan, one of the city’s wealthiest businessmen, wants to paint city
workers as the cause of the city’s financial woes.
Villaraigosa hasn’t helped by offering numerous tax holidays for Los
Angeles businesses during his terms in office. He just pushed another
tax holiday through this year. That’s $50 million dollars that the city
won’t collect in taxes.
We need to tell big business that they
must do their part. It’s time to stop singing the same old song–that
taxes drive business away. That’s simply not true. Los Angeles is a
great city to run a profitable business in. People flock to the city
everyday and spend money at local businesses. The opportunities are
We can’t let Richard Riordan fool people with an
emotional ballot initiative that won’t put money back into their
pockets. All it would do is let him and his rich friends keep more of
their profits for themselves by avoiding the taxes they owe the city.
We need to make sure his plan doesn’t make it to the ballot. Don’t sign Riordan’s petition!
City of Los Angeles Tree Surgeon