* Occupy Education has made a different decision, so this proposal has become moot.
Last month Occupy Education CA asked Occupy Oakland to assist them with their March 1 protests in support of education, and to support the 99 Mile March to Sacramento, which concluded with a March 5 demonstration and occupation at the state capitol in Sacramento. Occupy Oakland approved that proposal, and the March 1 protests, the 99 Mile March, and the March 5 events at the state capitol were all generally successful, with some 10,000 protesters involved in the March 5 Sacramento actions.
The Campaign for the Millionaire’s Tax
An additional activity which a number of Occupy Education members have been working on is the Millionaire’s Tax — a statewide ballot initiative for this November which would significantly increase the tax on those making over a million dollars per year (with a solid majority of the money raised going to education, and a quarter of the funds going to services for children, seniors, and those who are disabled — and which has strong support across the state, according to the opinion polls). However, a little over a week ago, Governor Jerry Brown made a deal with several representatives of some of the unions involved with this issue, in order to kill the Millionaire’s Tax, in favor of a so-called “compromise” which instead taxes the millioniares at a lower rate, adds a sales tax increase, and is temporary (for just 7 years).
Occupy Education is fed up with “business-as-usual.”
Many of the Occupy Education members who had been involved were outraged at this sell-out of the Millionaire’s Tax, and just yesterday, at an Occupy Education meeting in Berkeley, they decided that they were going to go ahead in spite of the so-called compromise and its ending of union financial support, and work to qualify the Millionaire’s Tax regardless. That is, they believe that people are simply fed up with these business-as-usual compromises, and that there is enough grassroots support to qualify the Millionaire’s Tax, despite the interference of Jerry Brown and certain union bureaucrats.
So, members of Occupy Education are now contacting students and teachers across the state to get as many of the two million college students and teachers involved in the campaign as is possible. They calculate that if 25,000 people volunteer an average of just 3 hours each, they can then get the additional 450,000 signatures needed to qualify the initiative before the deadline some 25 days from today. However, they also recognize that many of those who are involved with Occupy groups around the state are similarly fed-up with business-as-usual, and might therefore be interested in being part of this project. So, they are asking for Occupy Oakland to help them out with this as much as we are able to, and to contact other Occupy groups around the state to encourage them to participate as well. Therefore, we are making the following two-part proposal:
1) Occupy Oakland hereby endorses Occupy Education CA’s campaign to qualify the Millionaire’s Tax for the ballot, and we encourage everyone to help out with this campaign as much as they are able to.
2) We hereby create an Occupy Oakland Tax the Millionaires Committee to work with Occupy Education CA on this project, to help people participate on this campaign, and to contact other Occupy groups across California, to encourage them to also get involved. Everyone who is interested in this project is urged to join in with the Tax the Millionaires Committee!