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Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected governor of California last Fall when he inspired millions of Californians with his anti-government message and the appeal of his glamorous Hollywood persona. He received a significant number of votes from members of SEIU Local 1000, the state workers.

Gov. Schwarzenegger's budget proposals have not rewarded state workers for their votes. The governor's proposals focus on decreasing state services, reducing state government, and cutbacks for state employees. If enacted, these measures would negatively impact the most vulnerable in California, as well as decrease the availability of the state services citizens have come to expect.

SEIU wants to work with the governor and legislature to find smart solutions to California's budgetary woes -- smart solutions that will trim the fat, find new revenue, and maintain vital state services.

It was not that many years ago that California's infrastructure, our schools, highways, and our social programs were among the best in the nation. Now in many categories, we compete for lowest ranking with a handful of southern states. Perhaps by working together with this popular governor we can reverse this race to the bottom.

To start the process, SEIU Locals are organizing their members to bring concerns about proposed service cuts to California legislators. On April 21st, about fifty members of SEIU Local 1000 visited their legislators at the state Capitol to stand up for state services

  Early Wednesday morning, April 21st, several Local 1000 activists (including myself) wandered about the K St Mall looking for the SEIU Lobby Day meeting site. The correct address turned out to be 1020 12th Street, 3rd. Floor.

  Marangu Marete (Chair DLC 764) and SEIU staff organized material for the day's lobbying.

  "Everyone who relies on public services gets hurt!" Bill Steck, SEIU Field Director, State Council, addressed the Local 1000 group, enumerating the state services in danger of budget cuts and the public sector that will be hurt as a result. It turns out that almost everyone will be negatively affected if cuts are made.

  Before setting off for the Capitol Chris Bender, SEIU Local 1000 manager, informed the Local 1000 lobby day group about another important upcoming event: On June 19th, SEIU is sponsoring a "Health Care for All" march across the Golden Gate Bridge. The event is being staged in San Francisco and 11 other major U.S. cities to draw nationwide attention to the millions of people in this country who don't have access to health care. Even if you currently have health insurance, health care benefits have been an employer-proposed "take-away" or cut-back in most recent Union contract negotiations. With both employers and employees in revolt, it's time for a new health care system!
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