October Legislative Advocacy Newsletter Article
Election season is upon us. As the November 8 election quickly approaches, PTA wants to remind you that your vote matters. Please be sure that you are registered to vote. You can register to vote anytime, but to be eligible for an election, you must be registered 15 days prior to election day, which for the November 8th election is October 24, 2016. In Contra Costa County, you can register online. For information about the upcoming election, please visit the Contra Costa County Elections Division.
Contra Costa County is actively seeking poll workers to help with the November 8 election. It takes more than 1,500 poll workers to conduct a countywide election in Contra Costa County. Poll Workers say how much they enjoy seeing and assisting their neighbors and community members on Election Day. They consider it part of their civic duty to assist with the election. Poll workers are paid and training is provided. If you would like to apply, please complete the poll worker application. Students may also apply (subject to meeting eligibility criteria).
The November 8 ballot will be crowded. There will be 17 ballot measures for you to consider. One of the purposes of PTA is to secure adequate laws for children and youth. This entails law making at all levels, including ballot measures. PTA wants you to know that they have carefully researched the ballot measures. On the November, 2016 election ballot, there are five propositions on which the California State PTA has taken a “SUPPORT” position;
PROPOSITION 51 — SUPPORT. School Bonds. Funding for K-12 School and Community College Facilities. Initiative Statutory Amendment. PTA supports safe and up to-date schools. The $9 billion in bond money will go for new construction and modernization of K-12 public schools, charter schools, vocational-education facilities and California community colleges. More information.
PROPOSITION 55 — SUPPORT. Tax Extension to Fund Education and Healthcare. Initiative Constitutional Amendment. This initiative extends the temporary personal-income tax increases on high-income earners. Money will go to schools and community colleges, budget reserves/debt payments and health programs. About half of the estimated tax money would go to schools (about $4 billion). If these taxes disappear, it would hurt our already underfunded education system. More information.
PROPOSITION 56 — SUPPORT. Cigarette Tax to Fund Healthcare, Tobacco Use Prevention, Research, and Law Enforcement. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute. We know that education and smoking cessation programs work to save lives by preventing teens –who have been shown to be sensitive to the price of tobacco products — from choosing to smoke in the first place. This initiative increases the cigarette tax by $2 per pack, with an equivalent increase on other tobacco products and electronic cigarettes containing nicotine. The money would go to increase funding for existing health-care programs, tobacco-use prevention/control programs, tobacco-related disease research and law enforcement, physician training, dental-disease prevention programs and administration. More information.
PROPOSITION 58 — SUPPORT. SB 1174 (Chapter 753, Statutes of 2014), Lara. The California Education for a Global Economy Initiative (California EdGE). In 1998, voters approved Proposition 227 requiring that all students be taught in English, and that English learners be taught in sheltered English courses. PTA opposed Proposition 227 because it forced English Language Learners (ELLs) to take English-only classes regardless of students’ individual needs. In addition, it took away parents’ right to choose what is best for their children. This initiative deletes the sheltered English provisions. It requires students be taught in programs with access to core academic standards, and that school districts provide effective and appropriate methods for language acquisition. Parents and guardians may choose language-acquisition programs that best meet the needs of their children. More information.
PROPOSITION 63 — SUPPORT. Firearms. Ammunition Sales. Initiative Statute. PTA believes that limiting access to the kinds of guns and ammunition that can kill large numbers of people in a short amount of time is common sense. We must fight gun violence by limiting the types and number of guns and ammunition available to those who would use them to do harm to others. Reasonable, common-sense gun laws reduce gun deaths and injuries, keep guns away from criminals and fight illegal gun trafficking. More information.
As a PTA member you speak up for your children every day. Now, with the Click My Cause app, you have the power to speak up for all children with the click of a button. Here's how it works: when a PTA supported bill needs public support in Sacramento, we'll send you a mobile alert. As soon as you receive the alert:
1. From your iPhone, download the Click My Cause app from the App Store
a. Select your organization (PTA)
b. Select "ok" to allow notifications. You must allow notifications to receive our alerts
c. Take the quick tour and get started
2. Click the red "Act Now" button to send postcard
a. On your organization home screen, you will see the list of bills we are tracking.
b. When there is a red "Act Now" button below a bill, it's time for you to take action and use the app to email Sacramento:
Click 1: "Act Now" button
Click 2: "Send Postcard"
3. We'll send you more alerts. When you see the alerts, there are 2 ways to act:
a. From the Alert on your iPhone screen:
Click 1: open the alert
Click 2: "send postcard" (Email)
b. From the Icon on your iPhone screen:
When you have an alert pending, the Click My Cause app will display a red badge with the number "1" in it. When you see this number, open your app.
By clicking "Send Postcard," an email will be delivered from you to your CA State Assembly Member, your CA State Senator, the committee or floor where the bill is pending, and the Governor.
4. Your First "Postcard"
5. Repeated Alerts
Look for alerts in June, August and September of this year. You may receive repeated alerts on the same bill as it progresses through the legislature. When you have a pending alert, the app icon will display a red badge with the number "1" on it.
Thank you for downloading the app and making a difference for our children. If you have more questions, there is an FAQ on the Click My Cause website - www.clickmycause.com or email info@ClickMyCause.com.
California State PTA’s position on Nov 2016 Ballot Propositions
Proposition 51 - Support
School bond initiative titled: School Bonds. Funding for K-12 School and Community College Facilities. Initiative Statutory Amendment. CA PTA President Justine Fischer has signed the ballot argument in favor. Prop 51 Ballotpedia Link Prop 51 Mercury News Article
Proposition 55 - Support
Tax Extension to Fund Education and Healthcare. Initiative Constitutional Amendment. CA PTA President Justine Fischer has signed the ballot argument in favor. Prop 55 Ballotpedia Link
Proposition 56 - Support
A $2 a pack cigarette tax for various healthcare and law enforcement programs. California State PTA is committed to advocating for the needs of our most vulnerable children and youth, and to supporting children’s health by promoting healthy lifestyles. We know that education and smoking cessation programs work to save lives by preventing teens, who have been shown to be sensitive to the price of tobacco products, from choosing to smoke in the first place. California’s cigarette taxes are currently 35th highest in the country. Proposition 56 would put California in the top 10 among the fifty states. Prop 56 Ballotpedia Link
Proposition 58 - Support
Placed on the ballot by the Legislature through SB 1174(Lara) titled: LEARN which stands for Language Education Acquisition Readiness Now. CAPTA President Justine Fischer will sign the ballot argument in rebuttal of the argument against. Prop 56 Ballotpedia Link
Proposition 63 - Support
Firearms initiative. Background Checks for Ammunition Purchases and Large-Capacity Ammunition Magazine Ban. While two of the provisions in this initiative (background checks to purchase ammunition and making it illegal to possess high capacity magazines) are now covered by bills that the Governor signed into law, the remaining provisions are important enough for CAPTA to take a support position on this initiative that protects our communities from gun violence. Prop 63 Ballotpedia Link
About the Legislative Advocacy Committee
Recipient of the 2008 National PTA Outstanding Advocacy Award
Our goal is to influence, within PTA guidelines, federal, state and local policy makers to pass laws and grant funding which will provide for the improvement and betterment of our public schools in both curriculum and facilities. In order to accomplish this goal, we will clarify legislative issues affecting our schools to the parent population and community at large, and encourage them to move to action.
Who We Are
We are the legislative advocacy committee of the San Ramon Valley Council of PTAs. The committee consists of representatives from elementary, middle and high school PTAs in the San Ramon Valley Council area, Council board members, the SRVUSD Superintendent, a teacher representative and a school board representative. A core committee consists of approximately 10 members of the whole legislative committee. The core committee receives, analyzes, and disseminates information from our federal and state legislature, and advises the legislative representative from each school on PTA positions taken. The legislative representative then informs their PTA and parent population.
- Lead letter-writing campaigns to federal, state and local policy makers
- Meet with legislative decision-makers in business and in government offices
- Coordinate with other PTA councils on legislative action
- Include media and business community in legislative issues that affect our schools
- Sponsor informational seminars with persons such as State PTA lobbyists to help us become more effective advocates
- Inform parent population and community as to how school financing operates and how current legislative proposals affect the schools within the San Ramon Valley Council
- Monitor and distribute information regarding legislation which affects our schools
- Provide parent population and community with accurate information and action strategy as it pertains to key issues
- Write letters to legislature regarding our position on key issues
- Meet with our legislators to discuss legislative issues affecting children, including annual legislative trips to Sacramento