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California Budget Crisis

by David Theo Goldberg Monday, Jun. 29, 2009 at 3:25 AM
goldberg@uci.edu

A petition to Governor Schwarzenegger and State Legislature regarding the California budget crisis

An Open Letter to Governor Schwarzenegger and California State Legislators:

We are fed up, frustrated, furious.

We elected you to lead. To provide solutions. Instead you have brought us to the brink.

We live in California for its natural beauty, the culture of caring for each other, the spirit of innovation. You are devastating California, decimating why we live here, depressing the present and terminating hope for the future of our home state. You are reducing us from the perennial leader of states in the Union, to the last in line.

Politics requires leadership, and compromise. Democracy is rule by majority voice, not minority intransigence. You represent all 34 million Californians, not just those that voted you into office. We expect you to find ways to support Californians’ health, employability, education, cultural heritage and natural resources. Not waste away our future while waiting for the other party to blink.

We understand fully the difficult choices we face together in living within our combined means. But we feel that the best way of achieving our common ends is a measured mix of spending reductions, reasonable revenue streams, and borrowing at modestly affordable rates, not pushing one of these components at the expense of the others and of our collective wellbeing.

So we call on you to reach agreement across party lines and representing our united interest that:

• Saves jobs and livelihoods rather than suggesting that the poor and unemployed migrate to states with better prospects;

• Keeps us safe and healthy individually and as a whole;

• Sustains K-20 education as a national and global leader, not drops us to the bottom of the heap;

• Maintains infrastructure consistent with affordability, sustainability, and decent standards of living for all;

• Keeps our natural resources open to be enjoyed by all at affordable rates.

Each day without an agreement costs us more—in jobs lost, in lives devastated, in wasteful credit costs.

We are willing to pay a bit more if it would secure these conditions. We are not willing to witness programs cut in order to cover the wasteful increase in soaring credit rates as a consequence of each day you fail to reach an accord.

If you can’t stand the heat better not to be a firefighter. If you are incapable of rising above your narrow-minded, failing partisanship and representing all Californians, better that you step aside in favor of those able to reach the vast common middle ground. Instead of leading the way in state self-destruction, innovate for the sake of collective wellbeing. This is California’s true legacy and leading spirit.

The hour is late, the stakes are very large. We urge you to reach a reasonable agreement that keeps California working, that inspires hope, that reinstates what draws us to the premise and promise of the Golden State.

Residents of the State of California

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