Press Release

SEIU California Unanimously Endorses Schools and Communities First

Contact: Kevin Perez-Allen

Phone: (714) 499-4481

Email:  [email protected]


SEIU California Unanimously Endorses Schools and Communities First

Largest union in California joins growing and powerful coalition

(February 6, 2019) – The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) California, California’s largest union and the fastest growing in the country, unanimously endorsed the California Local Schools and Communities Funding Act, also known as Schools and Communities First, joining over 300 community organizations, labor unions, business leaders, philanthropic foundations and elected officials.

The measure, which qualified for the November 2020 ballot last year, will reclaim $11 billion annually for schools and local communities across the state by closing the corporate property tax loophole created by Prop 13 in 1978.

“This is an example of the growing momentum behind this effort and the incredible leadership of SEIU CA in supporting this movement,” said Veronica Carrizales, Policy and Campaign Director for California Calls, a leading member of the campaign Executive Committee. “This also represents the strong partnership between labor and community groups fighting for real, equitable change in California”

“SEIU members work every day to support students trying to learn in crowded schools, serve the homeless in our emergency rooms and on street corners, and patch together streets riddled with potholes,”  said Max Arias SEIU Local 99 Executive Director and SEIU California Board Member. “We can’t keep sacrificing our values and our children’s future in order to give billions in tax breaks to millionaires, billionaires and corporations.”

“SEIU members are proud to do our part to restore California’s schools, community colleges, health clinics and vital local services by working to pass The California Local Schools and Communities Funding Act,” said Roxanne Sanchez SEIU Local 1021 President and SEIU California President.

Over the last 40 years, California has lost hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue, leading to chronic underfunding of schools, services, and local communities along with poor local land use decisions, and a spiraling housing crisis. Schools and Communities First is the first structural and equitable tax reform in four decades. It will reclaim over $11 billion for schools and local communities, shaping a new legacy of investment in the people of California.

If passed, the California Schools and Local Communities Funding Act would close the millionaire and billionaire corporate tax loophole in Prop 13 by requiring all commercial and industrial properties to be assessed at fair market value, putting California on par with how the vast majority of the country assesses commercial property. The measure will reclaim $11 billion every year, roughly half allocated for K-12 schools and community colleges, and the remaining allocated to counties and cities according to current property tax guidelines. The measure maintains Prop 13’s current protections for homeowners, renters and agriculture, and includes small business tax relief and oversight and accountability.

Now that the initiative has qualified early, the Schools and Communities First Coalition will spend the next two years expanding the coalition, building public support, and raising the needed resources to counter the opposition’s misinformation campaign, which has already begun.

About Schools and Communities First:

Schools and Communities First is a powerful, growing statewide alliance of 300 community organizations, labor unions, business leaders, philanthropic foundations and elected officials seeking create a California that works for everyone. Members of the coalition include California Calls, League of Women Voters of California, California Alliance for Retired Americans, Tech Equity Collaborative, Housing California, Alliance San Diego, Evolve California, Common Sense Kids Action, Policy Link, the California Federation of Teachers, Advancement Project California, ACLU of Southern California, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of California, Community Economics, Working Partnerships, USA, Oakland Rising, Bend the Arc for Justice, Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, PICO California, ACCE, Asian Pacific Islanders for Civic Empowerment, California Association of Nonprofits, Courage Campaign, California Partnership, the Parent Teacher Association, the San Francisco Foundation, APEN Action, and Power California.