"I have worked 38 years for the State and served the people with compassion and integrity. I will lose my home without my pay... Please do not use the workers to balance the budget!" Michele in Santa Barbara, writing a comment to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger after signing our "Stop Arnold" petition
The numbers are astounding. But the comments are painful to read.
When we launched our "Stop Arnold" campaign on Thursday morning, we had no idea it would spark a grassroots firestorm, becoming one of the most widely supported Courage Campaign actions ever. We just knew it was the right thing to do.
Over 48 hours later, 22,051 concerned citizens have signed on, including you, thousands of our friends from True Majority and CREDO Action, and the leaders of the California State Legislature -- Assembly Speaker Karen Bass and Senate President Pro-Tem Elect Darrell Steinberg.
But, with 200,000 state workers facing Gov. Schwarzenegger's plan to slash their salaries to the federal minimum wage of $6.55 an hour, we can't stop now.
Thank you for signing on to our letter to the Governor. Now, we need your help to gather as many signatures -- and comments -- as possible to hand-deliver to Arnold. Can you take just a minute to forward this message to your friends before 9 a.m. Monday? Please write a quick personal note at the top of your message, telling your friends why you think it's important to sign on to this letter:
First thing Monday morning, I will be flying from Los Angeles to Sacramento to personally hand-deliver your signatures -- and comments -- to the Governor, along with State Senator Dean Florez and Assemblymember Dave Jones.
Your signatures will add significant momentum to a rapidly growing backlash to the Governor's planned Executive Order. As you may know, State Controller John Chiang -- the man responsible for processing paychecks -- has announced that he will not carry out Arnold's order to slash hourly wages to $6.55, even less than the state minimum wage of $8 per hour. Chiang's courageous acton is backed up by an opinion handed down by the Legislative Counsel, Diane Boyer-Vine.
And, just yesterday, 27 members of the California congressional delegation wrote a letter to Gov. Schwarzenegger, expressing their "strong opposition" to his plan. Led by Rep. Hilda Solis (D-Los Angeles), the House members argued that "the earnings of hardworking state employees should not be leveraged for political gain" as the recession deepens, gas prices skyrocket, stores close, and home foreclosures surge.
Still, Arnold refuses to back down. That's why we need you to personally ask your friends to sign on to our letter -- and add their comments -- to the Governor at the link below. Please forward this message right now and ask your friends to stand up to the Governor before it's too late:
We wouldn't email you on the weekend unless we thought it was important. So, thank you for taking action today. We really appreciate it.
P.S. The personal comments submitted to the Governor are painful to read, from state workers facing the brink of financial disaster to outrage and remorse from folks who voted for Arnold in 2003:
"I consider myself an independent and am completely discouraged by the GOP. I don't see how I can support you if you run again." Kim in Simi Valley
If there's anything we know about Arnold Schwarzenegger, we know he cares about his personal popularity. There's even speculation that he might run for Barbara Boxer's Senate seat in 2010. Let's show Arnold that -- if he continues to play politics with working families struggling to make ends meet -- the personal consequences could be significant:
The Courage Campaign is an online organizing network empowering nearly 100,000 grassroots and netroots activists to make 2008 a new era for progressive politics in California.
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