San Jose City Council Puts Measure on Ballot that Contains Elements of the Fair Elections Initiative
Last week the San Jose City Council voted to place a measure on the November ballot that includes provisions similar to the community-led Fair Elections Initiative, which would move the mayoral election to presidential years and limit campaign contributions. The Council-approved measure would: 1. Move the mayoral election to presidential years by giving Mayor Sam Liccardo a two year term extension; 2. Institute campaign contribution reforms; and 3. Give the Mayor the ability to hire and fire the City Manager and fire department heads, subject to an overriding vote by the City Council. The City Council will approve the language of the measure during a special meeting July 28.
"The Fair Elections Initiative campaign has been ongoing since last July and could not have been possible without robust community-led organizing efforts. We want to thank everyone who shared the goal of strengthening our democracy and supported the Initiative," said Ben Field, Executive Officer of the South Bay Labor Council.
Our hearts are heavy with grief and rage at the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the many senseless killings we have seen over our lifetime. We always must name and condemn the white supremacy and anti-Black racism that permeates our society, but especially now that we are suffering from a deadly pandemic that disproportionately impacts poor communities of color.
As the labor movement in the South Bay, we stand in solidarity with George Floyd’s family, Black communities and organizers in Minnesota and around the country who demand justice in his name. Locally, we stand in solidarity with San Jose Silicon Valley NAACP in seeking justice for the murder of George Floyd.
These are tumultuous times but we must remember the lessons and values we hold as a labor movement. On January 1962, Martin Luther King’s letter to the Amalgamated Laundry Workers stated:
"As I have said many times, and believe with all my heart, the coalition that can have the greatest impact in the struggle for human dignity here in America is that of the Negro and the forces of labor, because their fortunes are so closely intertwined.”
Our fortunes are intertwined and we must and will continue to fight for reforms in policing. We must address issues of racial and economic inequality in all its forms. We must dismantle the systems of oppression that pit us against each other. We must love each other and support each other.
Now more than ever, our work towards racial and economic justice continues.
Please read the statements of solidarity and support for Black Lives from South Bay Labor Council affiliates:
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