Yes on 15: Schools and Communities First

Proposition 15, Schools and Communities First, is on the ballot this November with the goal of ending a tax loophole that gives billions of dollars a year to large commercial property owners and wealthy investors and reallocates those funds to K-12 public schools, community colleges, and local public services such as parks, libraries, homeless services, health clinics, and public transit. Prop 15 will reclaim $10-12 billion annually by requiring wealthy owners of commercial properties with assessed value over $3 million to pay taxes based on market value, rather than purchase price. The current and foreseeable economic distress triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic and the calls for racial justice makes Prop 15 urgent. Prop 15 will direct much needed resources to working-class communities of color that for far too long have been underserved and underfunded. The capitalist class continues to hoard absurd levels of profit while California schools, services and the community suffer, but we can begin to put a stop to that with a Yes on Prop 15. Now is the time to tax the rich to fund our schools and services.

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Prop 15 in the news

Jacobin Magazine published an article on the connection between California’s regressive, corporate-friendly tax schemes and growing social inequality in the Golden State. The article makes a compelling case for the campaign to roll back neoliberalism in California by passing Prop 15.

“For decades, California has been robbed of billions of dollars a year from schools and social services by a state tax system on commercial property that favors wealthy corporations. Proposition 15, on the ballot this November in the Golden State, would change that.”

Read the article here.

Virtual teach-in series

Democratic Socialists from up and down California came together recently for a 3-part virtual teach-in series that takes a deep dive on why we need to vote Yes on 15 this November and put our schools and communities first. If you missed any of these sessions, or just want a refresher, check out the recordings below.

Part 1: Prop. 13 and California Austerity

Part 2: Public Sector Unions Organizing to Win

Part 3: Putting Schools and Communities First in November

Member Statements in Support

Michelle Charime, San Fernando Valley Branch

I support Prop 15 because the individuals, children, and families that make up our community are important. I believe the stability and well being of our communities come first. As a mental health professional and advocate working with the low economic status individuals and those experiencing homelessness, I see how crucial services to these populations are for the safety, well-being, and resilience of our community members. The rich should not be able to get richer through misleading loopholes, while people sleep on the streets, struggle with mental illness, and the working class struggle to survive. We need Prop 15 for the betterment of our people and therefore our community.

Diego Rubalcava-Alvarez, Eastside/SGV Branch; Civil Engineering Technician

When residents call to complain about potholes and failing streets, I wish I could give them better news. Instead, more often than not, I have to tell them we don’t have the budget or have fallen behind schedule because of understaffing. I support Prop 15 because working class neighborhoods deserve safe streets.

Johnny Echavarria, Eastside/SGV Branch

As a teacher working in LAUSD, I have experienced firsthand the massive toll placed on communities where resources are scarce. Many students are forced to struggle to learn in oversized classrooms, students are forced to adapt to high teacher turnover rates, and students are often soundly aware of the incredibly unfair hand that they have been dealt. I support Prop 15 because we desperately need resources in underfunded schools and communities. This is our chance to provide equitable education across the state.

Michael Stenovec, YDSA Coordinator of DSA-Los Angeles

I’m a union member and a socialist, and I think it’s essential for DSA to go all-in on Prop 15. As a member of UAW 2865—the union that represents TAs, tutors, and graders at the University of California—I know firsthand the catastrophic effects of austerity on our public institutions. And as the YDSA coordinator for DSA-Los Angeles, I see our Prop 15 campaign as a critical opportunity to bring us closer to a socialist LA. This campaign has the potential to bring our organization better in sync with the multiracial working class of Los Angeles through connections with militant unions like UTLA, and through building new YDSA chapters at high schools and community colleges across the city. As we stand on the precipice of economic catastrophe, it’s essential that we put our schools and our communities first.