Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Next Steps after the victory

We won the election with hard work and appeals to the voters. That is excellent.
Now we have won this election and we deserve to be proud of our win. See CFA statement.
What is next?
We earned the right to define a more positive future. Here are some elements.
The cities voted No (with us and labor). The suburbs voted Yes ( with Arnold).
Sacramento County and Yolo voted No; Placer and El Dorado voted Yes.
There was a strong Yes vote on Prop. 75 in Sacramento as well as Placer, Nevada, and El Dorado. These areas are residents of 100,000 state workers.
There is a clear problem within CSEA. Many workers do not support their union. Some of these folks would vote for no union. They will not be changed. However the CSEA needs an internal education system to educate its members about the advantages of union contracts. Dissent within unions is fine. It is democratic. But a group associated with the National Right to Work movement are trying to defeat union gains. They must be opposed.
A number of CTA members expressed their dissent with Props 74 & 75. As within CSEA, some of this is bedrock Republican viewpoints. Both CSEA and CTA have significant number of Republican members. They are an organized opposition. This must be recognized.
A second question is, What should we do about poor teachers? As we know there are some weak teachers. The first response should be additional preparation and support. They need expert coaches. They need quality administrators.
However, at the end of the day, there are some teachers who need to be removed. What should be a progressive union position on this? Should we work toward a Toledo Plan where teachers are involved in mentoring and dismissal?
And, what should be done with state workers who abuse the system. We know of abuses of workman’s comp and other problems. What should progressives do in response? If we do nothing at all, we open ourselves up to the kind of political attacks seen in Propositions 74, 75 & 76.
What should we expect of a Democratic majority in the legislature? Their record has been less than stellar. And, safe districts do protect legislators from competition. Perhaps we need a new system of drawing districts, and we certainly need public financing of elections such as that passed in Arizona.
A couple of more post election thoughts.
Dan Weintraub tried and tried to promote Republican pollsters as legitimate.
They were wrong.
What did work? An aggressive anti Arnold campaign by the Nurses, teachers, and firefighters worked well. They moved outside of the political campaign managers and paid advertising. Boldness organizes!
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