Racial Justice Leaders United Against Corporate Attacks


October 2, 2020

Media Contacts:

Bilen Mesfin, Change Consulting, 510–681–5978, bilen@change-llc.com
Rebecca Farmer, Change Consulting, 415–269–6275, RFStrategies@gmail.com

Community Leaders United Against Racially Divisive Tactics by Corporate Interests; Demand that Corporate Opponents of Prop 15 Stop Pitting Black Communities and Communities of Color Against Each Other

Prominent Black, Latinx, AAPI Community Leaders Assert Passage of Proposition 15 as a Critical Racial Justice Issue for California

Prominent community leaders in California are coming together to demand that corporate interests looking to avoid paying their fair share stop sowing division in Black communities and communities of color. Corporate interests like Blackstone Property Partners, Chevron and California Business Roundtable are paying for spokespeople to spread lies and misinformation about the Schools & Communities First initiative, Proposition 15 on the November ballot. The measure was specifically crafted to help reverse decades of systemic disinvestment that has particularly hurt communities of color.

Anthony Thigpenn, President of California Calls: “Make no mistake: With Proposition 15, racial justice is on the ballot in California. Powerful corporations are trying to hide their greed behind a false concern for small businesses and communities of color who have been devastated by decades of disinvestment and the recent COVID crisis. They are using their financial power to buy mercenary support from a handful of so-called leaders, who are being paid to peddle misleading corporate talking points, while selling out the communities they claim to stand for. Prop 15 restores balance and fairness in local taxes and protects homeowners and renters by closing loopholes so that big corporations do their part supporting our local schools, health care and essential services.”

Christina Livingston, Executive Director of ACCE and the ACCE Institute: “We expect big corporations to spend whatever it takes to keep their tax loopholes, but it’s especially shameful to see people who claim to represent the interests and rights of Black communities taking money to harm Black people by trying to defeat Proposition 15. Out of deference and respect, we have held our tongues and not spoken out when, over the past several years, people have gotten paid to stand with corporate interests over the needs of Black communities. But we can be silent no longer. Prop 15, or Schools and Communities First, will address income inequality and racial disparities that have exacerbated the pandemic, economic crisis and racial injustice.”

Timmy Lu, Executive Director of AAPI FORCE-EF: “We must champion legislative solutions that will bring about a just recovery for communities devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic and related crises. Prop 15 makes critical investments in California’s health system and is essential for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who face vastly disproportionate rates of infection and death due to COVID-19. The frontline workers in our communities need the support that Prop 15 offers to keep our families safe.”

Angelica Salas, Executive Director of CHIRLA: “We need to pass Schools and Communities First in order to address the stark racial gap in education and other vital local services. Prop 15 will allow our communities to access significant, long-term and stable funding that we need for our state to make a comeback after a devastating year. The disinvestment in schools that are predominantly Black and Brown is a root cause of racial inequalities in our state. Prop 15 ensures every school district in the state receives additional funding, and provides greater resources to students who need them most. This is an important step forward toward promoting equity and racial justice.”

The Million Voters Project is an alliance of 7 community-driven state and regional networks working to strengthen and expand democracy: Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), Asian Pacific Islanders for Civic Empowerment, California Calls, the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of California (CHIRLA), Power California, PICO California and the Orange County Civic Engagement Table.

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