Significant Federal Investment and Bold State Leadership Needed to Prevent Widening Inequality Crisis
Sacramento, CA — After the release of Governor Newsom’s revised budget proposal for 2020-21, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) California released the following statement from Bob Schoonover, President of SEIU California and SEIU Local 721:
“In two short months the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us a lifetime worth of lessons: unabated inequality and structural racism have deadly consequences. An estimated one-fourth of our state’s workers have been forced out of a job, and that number leaves uncounted millions of undocumented Californians who’ve too long been undervalued and ignored. Even before the virus began to take lives and wreak havoc on our economy, millions of families were barely hanging on. An austerity budget will cut the last lifelines for people and families who are hungry and on the brink of homelessness. Entrenched racism in our economy and public policy means the majority of them will be Black and brown.
“Making cuts to schools, home care for our most vulnerable, child care, and vital safety net and public services at the state and county levels is a recipe for widening inequality.
“The federal government must take responsibility to support the essential frontline work that has saved lives and provided desperately needed support for millions of Californians. We are united and clear in our support for Governor Newsom’s request for $1 trillion in funding to states, cities and counties.
“Our demand for federal support, however, does not relieve California’s leaders – and all of us – of our responsibility to combat inequality, build up our communities, protect the most vulnerable and support the frontline workers who are essential to our recovery. That means demanding that the wealthiest individuals and corporations invest in our recovery and contribute more to the people and the state that have given them such golden opportunities.
“SEIU workers’ vision and determination to create an inclusive and just California is now more important than ever; our values are California’s values and they must guide California’s immediate response and our commitment to a Recovery for All.”