McDonald’s Workers to Strike in Los Angeles, 9 Other Cities

In a couple of years most McDonalds will use kiosks and computers to take orders and payment.  The company is also in the process of using robots to cook the burgers—and other items.  Within five years most of that work will not be done by human hands.  Yet, the unions are making sure that the young, those starting their first jobs will NOT be looking at McDonalds—they will be priced out of the firm.  Instead, McDonalds will make more profit by being pushed by the unions to end cashiers and cooks.

A group of McDonald’s workers in Los Angeles will take part in a 10-city strike Tuesday to confront what they describe as their employer’s failure to respond to complaints of widespread groping, lewd comments and unwanted propositions for sex.

The striking L.A. workers will be cooks and cashiers, according to a statement issued by organizers of the walkout. They will demand the fast-food giant form a committee to address sexual harassment, with the panel including workers, representatives from corporate and franchise stores and leaders of national women’s groups.

“This committee would chart a path forward to make sure nobody who works for McDonald’s faces sexual harassment on the job,” according to strike organizers.

The use of union negotiations to create a crisis in re: sexual harassment is silly.  But, they can do what they want.  The reality a strike can be called—but few if any stores will be affected—since almost no workers belong to a union—this is a publicity stunt.  Looks like I will have to go to a McDonalds during the strike, stopping for a few days my visits to In-N-Out-Burgers.

mcdonalds

McDonald’s Workers to Strike in Los Angeles, 9 Other Cities

Posted by Contributing Editor, MyNewsLA,  9/18/18

 

 

A group of McDonald’s workers in Los Angeles will take part in a 10-city strike Tuesday to confront what they describe as their employer’s failure to respond to complaints of widespread groping, lewd comments and unwanted propositions for sex.

The striking L.A. workers will be cooks and cashiers, according to a statement issued by organizers of the walkout. They will demand the fast-food giant form a committee to address sexual harassment, with the panel including workers, representatives from corporate and franchise stores and leaders of national women’s groups.

“This committee would chart a path forward to make sure nobody who works for McDonald’s faces sexual harassment on the job,” according to strike organizers.

Organizers said the strike will be the first-ever nationwide walkout to protest sexual harassment and the first over the issue since 1912, when garment workers at the Kalamazoo Corset Company walked off their jobs.

Tuesday’s strike will begin at noon, during the lunchtime rush in Los Angeles; Chicago; Durham; Kansas City, Missouri; Miami; Milwaukee; New Orleans; Orlando; San Francisco; and St. Louis. In Los Angeles, strikers will target the McDonald’s at 505 W. Florence Ave.

McDonald’s workers say they have assembled a far-reaching coalition to support their effort, including #MeToo, Affirm LA, several SEIU locals, Bernie Brigade, LA Street Vendor Coalition, LA Tenants Union, California for Progress, Ice out of LA, LA Voice, Military Families Speak Out, Union de Vecinos and others.

The walkout was called by members of local Fight for $15 Women’s Committees, which formed following the filing of EEOC charges in May, and approved in a nationwide strike vote a week ago Tuesday. The EEOC charges filed in May came nearly two years after McDonald’s workers in the Fight for $15 filed 16 sexual harassment charges against the company. They show that despite the spotlight on the issue in Hollywood and the media, little has changed for the burger giant’s frontline workers, according to strike organizers.

Nearly 20 leading national women’s groups joined the Fight for $15 in an open letter to McDonald’s in May, calling on the company to address sexual harassment. In the letter, which ran as a full-page advertisement in Crain’s Chicago, the groups wrote that McDonald’s faces a choice: combat sexual harassment in its stores or face a rejection of its brand by people of conscience.

In addition to demanding the formation of an anti-sexual harassment committee, striking workers will demand McDonald’s strengthen and enforce the zero-tolerance policy against sexual harassment outlined in its manual and in its franchisees’ policies, organizers said. Workers are also calling on the company to hold mandatory training for managers and employees and to create a safe and effective system for receiving and responding to complaints.

Sexual harassment is rampant in the fast-food industry, according to a 2016 survey by Hart Research Associates conducted for the National Partnership for Women and Families, the Ms. Foundation and Futures Without Violence, organizers said. Forty percent of female fast-food workers experience unwanted sexual behavior on the job.

The 2016 Hart Research survey also showed that 42 percent of women in the industry who experience unwanted sexual behavior feel forced to accept it because they can’t afford to lose their jobs. The Hart Survey also reported that more than one in five women who face sexual harassment — 21 percent — report that, after raising the issue, their employer took some negative action, including cutting their hours, changing them to a less desirable schedule, giving them additional duties and being denied a raise.

McDonald’s responded to the strikers’ complaints in general terms, saying it pursues policies meant to forestall sexual harassment.

“There is no place for harassment or discrimination of any kind at McDonald’s,” the company said in a statement. “Since our founding, we’ve been committed to a culture that fosters the respectful treatment of everyone. We have policies, procedures and training in place that are specifically designed to prevent sexual harassment at our company and company-owned restaurants, and we firmly believe that our franchisees share this commitment.”

Eber: Steve Frank Campaign Training Seminar

Yesterday afternoon I gave a training session for local candidates in SLO County.  Monday night I did a training session for Lupe Espinosa for Assembly in AD 31, the Central Valley.  Over the past couple of months I have done several of these events—and have become the advisor to numerous campaign from San Diego to Sacramento.  This has all been done for free and I have charged nothing for the work or expenses.  I am committed, by action, to winning in November, on all levels.

“Frank emphasized that with a strong ground game, it is possible with district elections to win without securing the support of special interest mega donors.

Frank covered everything from lawn sign placements, direct mail, low cost newspaper advertising, press releases, putting together e-mail, lists, and developing a time line in a political campaign to carry out what amounts to a hybrid marketing plan.

New people were pleased with the presentation which mentioned things that had not been previously thought of.  John Crowder, who is running for the County (Contra Costa) Education Board said, “Being brand new running for office it was great to learn about such things as lawn sign placement, slate cards, and finding different ways to engage the community.”

At the same time I am continuing my daily appearances on talk radio around the State, promoting our values and principles.  Instead of promoting them to GOP groups, which I do, I am on a daily basis reaching the general public with our message.  I have been doing this for many years.

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Steve Frank Campaign Training Seminar By Richard Eber

Richard Eber, California Political News and Views,  9/20/18

Its 11:05 on a Saturday morning at the activity center of Rossmoor Senior Living in Walnut Creek California.  Steve Frank patiently waits until the Stamp Collecting Club finishes their meeting; after which room “C” is turned over to a Republican Group who is sponsoring his appearance.

The diminutive Frank, who has been involved with Republican candidates since he worked for Barry Goldwater in 1964, was preparing to give a 4 hour seminar free to all who attended on the different steps, procedures, and strategies in running a political campaign. For this session, there are about 35 individuals present who are thinking about running for office or actually find themselves in the process of doing so.

A half hour later the seminar begins with a prayer, singing the National Anthem and a slightly off tune rendition of God Bless America.   All the feelings were sincere and no one was kneeling as might be seen by those in attendance at NFL games the following day.

Frank’s presentation is intended for those who have not run for office before and a kind of refresher course for those who have had past experience in this area.  He emphasized organizing each district breaking them down by precincts using volunteers within these geographical areas to communicate with voters.  That message is to be obtained by surveying residents of what issues are important to them.

With the advent of district elections in California, Frank advocates breaking down precincts with the goal of getting the required number of votes from each segment needed to win.  The key to all of this is precinct walking by the candidate and volunteers in the campaign.  Along with these town halls, meet and greets, an important part of the campaign is a short stump speech which discusses a short list of topics of local interest.

Frank emphasized that with a strong ground game, it is possible to win district elections without securing the support of special interest mega donors which is often required with at large contests.

He covered everything from lawn sign placements, direct mail, low cost newspaper advertising, press releases, putting together e-mail, lists, to developing a time line in a political campaign.  Frank  urged attendees to begin what amounts to a hybrid marketing plan some 10 months prior to a general election.

New people were pleased with the presentation which mentioned things that had not been previously thought of.  John Crowder, who is running for the Contra Costa County Education Board said, “Being brand new running for office it was great to learn about such things as lawn sign placement, slate cards, and finding different ways to engage the community.”

Jeff Belle, who is an incumbent running for reelection for the same board said, “Indeed, it was great to see so many young and diverse group of conservatives seeking to become a public servant. Steve Frank and Liz Ritchie provided an excellent forum for those who are willing to “play to win.” The fact is, renting an office is less costly than running for an office. Dr. Clyde Lewis, Eva Chao and others offer hope for a new paradigm in an old game of local politics.”

Those present were not high powered politicos who came to hear Steve Frank’s thoughts. Most of the individuals in attendance were ordinary citizens that have been upset the last few years about the poor way their government has operated from local school boards to the bowels of power in Washington D.C

With California in particular there was concern about

  • Low performing schools well below the national average
  • High crime rates and unreported criminal activity of illegal aliens crowding the state
  • The continuing loss of local control in making decisions in local government by the power elite in Sacramento.
  • The eroding middle class in California and a deteriorating quality of life.

Typical of those who attended this seminar is Clyde Lewis who is running for the school board in Antioch.   He said “As a parent in the community it is important for students to have proper support to move them towards their desired goals.”  Lewis wants the school district to judge different educational approaches including charter schools to put achievement before politics. John  Crowder agreed saying “students are so far behind they need better choices.”

Even though Republican registration is down in California to just below 25% of registered voters, those in attendance were not reluctant to proclaim themselves to be conservatives and members of the Republican Party.

Ellen Zhou, who previously ran as independent to become Mayor of San Francisco, decided to re-register as a Republican for the four year term election next year. Zhou, who immigrated from Canton China some 32 years ago said,  “I am tired of the crooks, insiders,  and the democratic machine that do not allow for others to compete against them in seeking elective office.”

Zhou, who came in a surprising 5th in the special election to emplace Ed Lee, who died earlier this year, believes that conservative Republican principles are held by the majority of Chinese voters in San Francisco who believe in strong family values.  We have to find a way to express ourselves and tell them our message that being a Republican is good for them”.

Such an attitude will be necessary from others who are seeking public office in California in the coming years.  This is one of the major reasons Frank has been crisis crossing the state from Tulare, San Jose, and Northern California to Pescadero and San Diego in the South.  His seminars are not only giving a road map for conservative candidates to win elections, but to revitalize the GOP of California to become a viable alternative to the progressive juggernaut that dominates the Golden State.

Frank hopes to turn a large number of declines to state voters who have left the party, disgruntled democrats and first registered folks, to join the ranks of the GOP.

Following the event at Rossmoor, Frank is soon driving down Hwy 5 to his home in Simi Valley where another week of similar meetings awaited him.  Walnut Creek is more to him than “just another town along the road.”  It is one of many key precincts that make up his informal electoral map in California.

Some day he dreams of giving the blue state of California a more purplish hue one candidate at a time.

 

Does a Republican have a chance of winning an SF supervisor race?

San Fran is Moscow, with a pretty skyline.  This is a town where feces on the streets meets free syringes to kill off the population of druggies.  Want to pee?  The city has OUTDOOR urinals.  Need to hate?  This town does not permit free speech at meetings—support Trump and you will be tarred and feathered.  Want to run naked in the streets?  The law allows this, but government schools indoctrinate hate among the students.

Yet, through all of this, John Dennis a Republican that has a libertarian, has a chance to become a County Supervisor.  This could be the second largest earthquake in the history of this radical community.

“About 28 percent of the 678 registered voters surveyed by phone last week said they would likely cast their ballots for Stefani, while 22 percent said Dennis, 19 percent said Josefowitz and 6 percent said candidate Schuyler Hudak. The rest were undecided or refused to answer.

“What it means is that San Francisco has had enough of the theater in City Hall,” said Dennis. “They’ve had of enough of the City Hall bubble and the political machine making promises and doing nothing. They’ve had enough and they want to try something completely different.”

Watch this race—to see if there is any sanity and common sense in a town that wants to monitor the taking of opioids, instead of controlling them.  Survival of the fittest?  It is survival of the crazies.

poop scooper san fran

Does a Republican have a chance of winning an SF supervisor race?

By Michael Barba, SF Examiner,  9/18/18

A Republican candidate for supervisor says a new survey he funded shows he has a shot at winning an election in liberal San Francisco.

District 2 candidate John Dennis said the random survey shows he has more support in the race than Democrat Nick Josefowitz, one of the two presumed frontrunners for the seat on the Board of Supervisors. The survey placed Dennis second behind the incumbent, Supervisor Catherine Stefani.

About 28 percent of the 678 registered voters surveyed by phone last week said they would likely cast their ballots for Stefani, while 22 percent said Dennis, 19 percent said Josefowitz and 6 percent said candidate Schuyler Hudak. The rest were undecided or refused to answer.

“What it means is that San Francisco has had enough of the theater in City Hall,” said Dennis. “They’ve had of enough of the City Hall bubble and the political machine making promises and doing nothing. They’ve had enough and they want to try something completely different.”

But others cast doubt on his chances of winning as well as the methodology of the survey.

“This is a nice attempt for him to get some news coverage, to try and project some relevance into the race, but he has almost no chance of getting elected,” said Jim Ross, a political consultant who is not supporting any candidate for District 2. “This doesn’t mean anything other than there is a group of people who support John Dennis, who has run for office several times.”

Dennis, a real estate developer who has unsuccessfully run against Rep. Nancy Pelosi three times, describes himself as a Libertarian who is socially liberal but fiscally conservative — “a dead-on match for the district.”

District 2, which includes the Marina and Pacific Heights, has the highest number of registered Republicans in The City. Voters there tend to be more politically moderate and among the wealthiest in San Francisco.

Dennis hired a telemarketing firm to conduct the survey through Bill Wilson, a Fairfax-based political consultant who primarily works in data and predictive analytic modeling. Wilson defended the survey as an accurate representation of “the feelings in the district about the race” while acknowledging its shortcomings.

“This is not a scientific poll,” Wilson said. “The only real split that I did on it was that I asked the callers to reach people in terms of their partisan affiliation as close as possible to the percentage that they were in the voter file.”

Of the 678 people reached, 15 percent were Republican and 63 percent were Democrat, according to the survey. The rest had no party preference.

City data shows 13 percent of the roughly 48,000 voters registered in District 2 are Republican.

Wilson said the callers did not attempt to reach enough voters to reflect the race and gender demographics of District 2, which would have cost more money. Also unlike a poll, the survey does not factor in voter turnout.

“I think what you have there is an accurate picture of the race and the relevant candidates, we’re not looking for precision here,” Wilson said. “What we are going to get is a good, highly probable picture of relative positions.”

Wilson said he worked on the survey for free as a courtesy to a mutual friend with Dennis. Wilson said he has contracted with the telemarketing firm for three decades, but declined to provide the company name on the record.

“I don’t know that the poll proves anything because it’s such an unusual methodology,” said Mark Mosher, a campaign spokesperson for Stefani. “I think using that methodology could show anyone could get elected in the district.”

But Mosher said the Stefani campaign also has a poll putting her in first.

“Catherine is in the lead,” Mosher said. “Republicans who are looking for solutions on car break-ins, homelessness and [maintaining neighborhood character] should consider giving her one of their three votes.”

Hudak, the candidate purportedly in last place, according to the survey, also criticized the results in a statement.

“I can’t help but question the reliability of a telemarketing poll, since our team is out there knocking on doors and talking with voters every single day,” Hudak said. “But in a poll with similar reliability, my mom called 600 voters over the weekend, and in that scientific poll our numbers were looking pretty good.”

A spokesperson for Josefowitz declined to comment.

Ross, the political consultant, acknowledged the high number of Republicans in District 2, but said Stefani has a stronger base in the district and support at City Hall. He said Dennis’ party affiliation is likely to cost him votes.

“Calling someone Republican in San Francisco is a curse word,” Ross said. “The national politics, the national atmosphere overwhelm everything.”

By positioning himself as the anti-establishment candidate, Ross said Dennis has a better chance of taking away votes from Josefowitz than beating Stefani under ranked-choice voting. Josefowitz has similarly positioned himself as anti-establishment and defeated the last Republican to hold office in San Francisco for a seat on the BART Board.

“Not only is he the elephant in the race, he is the elephant in the race,” Ross said of Dennis. “Once people find out that he’s a Republican, they’re not going to vote for him.”

 

Del Mar Fair board temporarily halts gun shows

Imagine a “gun show” at a public Fairgrounds, without guns or ammunition for show and for sale.  The fiscal illiterates running the Del Mar Fairgrounds want to get rid of the guns but keep the show.  Guess, they have lost a good paying customer—and maybe caused gun owners to refuse to attend other events at the Fairgrounds.  All because of trying to be politically correct.

“For the first time in three decades, the venue will not schedule a gun show among its events for the coming year.

The 22nd District Agricultural Association Board of Directors, which oversees the state-owned fairgrounds, voted 8-1 Tuesday, Sept. 11, to discontinue holding the shows in 2019.

The year-long hiatus aims to give the board time to research and develop a policy that would allow gun shows to resume while emphasizing education and safety, but without the presence of firearms and ammunition on the premises.

“We’re thrilled because we think the board is taking a careful, measured step in doing the right thing for the community by giving themselves a year to make a decision that is wise and prudent,” said Rose Ann Sharp, founder of the gun-control advocacy group NeverAgainCA.”

Expect lawsuits, boycotts and financial distress for this government agency.  What would happen if few showed up for the annual Fair?  Maybe a private convention center or hotel can be used for the gun show—good for private enterprise and better for the gun owners and supporters.  I do presume that the Fair Board will now fire all security guards—obviously this is a facility that does not need guards with guns.

Gun

Del Mar Fair board temporarily halts gun shows

Michael Williams, Del Mar Times,  9/17/18

 

 

On a date seared forever into the national collective consciousness, the group that oversees the Del Mar Fairgrounds made a little history of its own.

For the first time in three decades, the venue will not schedule a gun show among its events for the coming year.

The 22nd District Agricultural Association Board of Directors, which oversees the state-owned fairgrounds, voted 8-1 Tuesday, Sept. 11, to discontinue holding the shows in 2019.

The year-long hiatus aims to give the board time to research and develop a policy that would allow gun shows to resume while emphasizing education and safety, but without the presence of firearms and ammunition on the premises.

“We’re thrilled because we think the board is taking a careful, measured step in doing the right thing for the community by giving themselves a year to make a decision that is wise and prudent,” said Rose Ann Sharp, founder of the gun-control advocacy group NeverAgainCA.

The organization and other gun show opponents have been appearing at the agricultural board meetings over the last six months to voice their displeasure. The lobbying commenced following a mass shooting in February in a Florida high school that resulted in 17 deaths.

Tuesday’s meeting on the fairgrounds property was the first in which board members publicly addressed the issue, based on a recommendation from its contract committee consisting of board President Stephen Shewmaker and board member Richard Valdez.

Shewmaker said that after his appointment to the board in 2012 by Gov. Jerry Brown, he accepted the perception the gun shows conducted several times a year by the firm Crossroads of the West were trouble-free and generated revenue.

Shewmaker, who admitted to being a victim of gun violence, said he got a different picture after going to such shows at the fairgrounds and elsewhere.

“What I found was quite different than the Kool-Aid I was led to drink,” he said.

He said he was disturbed to find that non-hunting and non-sport related items such as armor-piercing ammunition and hollow-point bullets were being sold, and the events were not free of criminal offenses. Moreover, he said, the shows have not been significant moneymakers for the district.

The board’s decision came nine days after a fairgrounds incident in which a man pulled out a gun and fired a bullet into the air, after which he was shot and wounded by a sheriff’s deputy.

The man, who was arrested, apparently was disgruntled when he learned he was too late to buy a ticket to a sold-out concert by the rapper Ice Cube. The event was staged by the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, which operates the fairgrounds racetrack on a contract with the agriculture district and conducts related entertainment events there during the horse race season.

Fairgrounds General Manager Tim Fennell and board members praised staff and public safety responders for their prompt and efficient handling of the episode. They, however, did not note any connection between it and the gun-show issue. The contract committee’s recommendation to the board was developed prior to the incident.

Board members and speakers also alluded to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon that traumatized the nation on the same date 17 years ago.

Several hundred people attended Tuesday’s meeting, during which about 70 individuals provided public comments over a span of nearly three hours. The session, including the board’s deliberations, took almost five hours interrupted by a 1 1/2 hour recess from the public proceeding.

A slight majority of the speakers supported the committee recommendation, though many of them pleaded for the board to ban gun shows in any form.

Gun show proponents argued the events are family-oriented, promote safety and education, and provide customers with an array of products beyond weapons and ammo.

Those supporting the shows contend that there is no nexus between the shows and gun violence, and that such events would not be viable without guns and ammunition being available on the premises.

“You wouldn’t go to a car show without cars, so why would you go to a gun show without guns?” asked Wendy Hauffen, executive administrator of San Diego County Gun Owners.

Agricultural district board member Russ Penniman cast the dissenting vote against the contract committee’s recommendation.

Penniman expressed concerns about the district’s loss of from $200,000 to $300,000 per year by not holding the gun shows and the potential for litigation.

Possible legal issues could stem from the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment guaranteeing freedom of speech and the Second Amendment guaranteeing the right to bear arms.

Most of the board members, however, stressed that the decision on whether to hold the events is discretionary and they were responding to concerns voiced by many constituents.

“There is a large demographic … that does not want gun shows to continue at the fairgrounds,” Valdez said.

The proposed policy is an attempt to reach a compromise between the two viewpoints, he said.

NeverAgainCA member Latha Sundar, a Del Mar resident, said she was surprised by the margin of votes favoring the committee recommendation.

“What I was impressed by was that they listened carefully to all the different perspectives,” she said. “From what I saw, it was fantastic that the (committee recommendation) got eight votes. I didn’t think it was possible.”

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that Crossroads Vice President Tracy Olcott said they will “fight” the decision.

According to the U-T story, she said none of the company’s shows at other venues have been cancelled, and there’s legal precedent for holding the shows on state property.

“We are not going to just walk away,” she said in the U-T story. “We have invested a lot of years there, and we have a lot of support.”

 

Feds Spend $1,009,762 Training ‘Social Justice’ Math Teachers

I bet you though math was two plus two equals four.  It does, but not in todays indoctrination camps called government schools.

“The National Science Foundation is spending over $1 million to train two-dozen “social justice” math teachers in Philadelphia.

The Drexel University project will promote Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) high school curriculums that are “steeped in the context of social justice.”

The project, which began this summer, is recruiting 24 Drexel students earning a bachelor’s degree in a STEM field, which they will train to teach in school districts in Philadelphia.

“The project will use recent scientific, mathematical, and educational knowledge to prepare and support the twenty-four pre-service teacher candidates with an emphasis on understanding the culture and life experiences of students in high-need schools,” according to the grant for the study.”

Government schools purpose, today, is to get students to become social justice “warriors—instead of making their better—they want to turn our nation into a Socialist Paradise—and harm their future. Looks like a good place for Trump to start cuts in government programs.

Pension money

Feds Spend $1,009,762 Training ‘Social Justice’ Math Teachers

Goal of study is teaching STEM ‘steeped in the context of social justice’

 

BY: Elizabeth Harrington, Washington Free Beacon,  9/18/18

The National Science Foundation is spending over $1 million to train two-dozen “social justice” math teachers in Philadelphia.

The Drexel University project will promote Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) high school curriculums that are “steeped in the context of social justice.”

The project, which began this summer, is recruiting 24 Drexel students earning a bachelor’s degree in a STEM field, which they will train to teach in school districts in Philadelphia.

“The project will use recent scientific, mathematical, and educational knowledge to prepare and support the twenty-four pre-service teacher candidates with an emphasis on understanding the culture and life experiences of students in high-need schools,” according to the grant for the study.

The stated goal of the study is to “promote social justice teaching.”

“The project intends to promote social justice teaching, which emphasizes connecting science, mathematics, and engineering instruction to students’ personal experiences and culture,” the grant explains. “This connection can leverage the funds of knowledge that each student brings to learning.”

The project has received $1,009,762 from taxpayers so far. Research will continue through May 2023.

The study also involves a mentorship program for the teaching candidates and learning mindfulness meditation so the teachers can develop “emotional intelligence.”

“Inquiry-based instruction supports this approach as it opens communication among students by establishing a learning community of shared knowledge and experience,” the grant states. “Seminars related to mindfulness and developing emotional intelligence will augment the Scholars’ coursework. The latter will be scaffolded to develop the following behaviors: professionalism, growth mindset, commitment to serving all students well, and cultural competency.”

The foundation of the math and science courses will be based on “understanding students’ cultural communities as a foundation for classroom culture.”

The program intends that the 24 teachers will stay in the Philadelphia school system teaching middle and high school students for at least five years.

The overall goal of the study is to prepare science and math teachers to be “steeped in the context of social justice.”

“The long-term and far-reaching benefits to society of this project are the potential to document and share sustainable approaches, steeped in the context of social-justice, for recruiting and preparing STEM majors to provide success in learning mathematics and science for all middle-grades students in a high-need school district,” the grant states.

 

Sand: The looming apocalypse in California

Will the looming union strike of 600,000 students in LAUSD bring down government education in California?  This is a district with a massive deficit, a failed education system and a union asking for a 6% wage increase, plus benefit enhancements—while there is no money to pay for this.  At the same time, things have become so dire at the District that both the County of L.A. and the State have put them on notice about an impending take over.

“The good news is that the school board finally appreciates the gravity of the situation. “We can’t bargain ourselves into insolvency,” said George McKenna whose own candidacy was backed by UTLA. Another board member, Richard Vladovic, warned that a teacher strike could deal a fatal blow to the district, which is already losing 16,000 students a year because, “When they go on strike, another 4,000 parents are going to leave this district and go someplace else, and we’re going to lose the money for that.” And losing parents, their kids and the funding they generate will make things even worse for the beleaguered district. The eminently sensible Nick Melvoin cautioned LAUSD “not to make the same mistakes that Sacramento Unified just made – offering unaffordable raises to avert a strike, which led to its budget being rejected by county overseers.” He added, “Nothing is more disrespectful to our employees than to promise something and then take it away months later or to have massive layoffs or furlough days.”

The really good news is that this crisis could cause real education in the District.  A take over would be a wake up call for the people of Los Angeles.  This current situation is deteriorating quickly—now is the time for the parents to speak out at Board meetings.  But, a strike would be the final straw of an independent school district, it will bring down the district—and the union.

larry sand

The looming apocalypse in California

By Larry Sand, California Policy Center,  9/18/18
The “state crisis” threatened by Los Angeles teacher union boss two years ago is upon us.

In two recent posts, I detailed the United Teachers of Los Angeles contract demands on the school district and reported that a strike was likely. And of late, the situation has gone from bad to dire.

Perhaps the biggest issue revolves around the union’s demand for a 6 percent pay hike – retroactive to last year – and the Los Angeles Unified School District’s counter with a 2 percent increase, a one-time 2 percent bonus and a $500 classroom supply stipend. The sticking point is a $1.7 billion reserve that LAUSD says it needs to hold onto just to break even over the next three years. At this point the district is already overspending and needs the cash to pay future bills, which include salary increases to other school employees negotiated by the district earlier this year. The union, however, ignores this reality, insisting that the district is unnecessarily sitting on the money. It claims that LAUSD’s financial officials and the school board are engaging in apocalyptic activity.

But union dismissive talk aside, the district is in deep trouble. At the August 27th LAUSD board meeting, Candi Clark, the Los Angeles County Office of Education’s chief financial officer, showed up…unannounced. This is like when parents come home a day early from a vacation and find the kids have been partying the whole time they were away. Clark told the board in so many words that they were on probation and need to be very careful or the county will take the reins of LAUSD away from them.

And then it got even worse for LAUSD. At the next board meeting two weeks later, not only was Clark back, but she was joined by Nick Schweizer, Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction for the California Department of Education. His presence signaled a possible state takeover of the second largest school district in the country.

The good news is that the school board finally appreciates the gravity of the situation. “We can’t bargain ourselves into insolvency,” said George McKenna whose own candidacy was backed by UTLA. Another board member, Richard Vladovic, warned that a teacher strike could deal a fatal blow to the district, which is already losing 16,000 students a year because, “When they go on strike, another 4,000 parents are going to leave this district and go someplace else, and we’re going to lose the money for that.” And losing parents, their kids and the funding they generate will make things even worse for the beleaguered district. The eminently sensible Nick Melvoin cautioned LAUSD “not to make the same mistakes that Sacramento Unified just made – offering unaffordable raises to avert a strike, which led to its budget being rejected by county overseers.” He added, “Nothing is more disrespectful to our employees than to promise something and then take it away months later or to have massive layoffs or furlough days.”

Unfazed – incredibly – UTLA still contends that the district is hoarding money that could be used to give teachers raises. But whatever the union says, LAUSD knows the jig is up. With Mommy County and Daddy State in the house, the irresponsible kids aren’t calling the shots now.

All this fits right into UTLA President Alex Caputo-Pearl’s game plan. In 2016, he talked about the “unequivocal need for state legislation that addresses inadequate funding … the next year-and-a-half must be founded upon building our capacity to strike, and our capacity to create a state crisis, in early 2018.

As prescribed by California law, a process must be followed before the union can legally strike.  The next scheduled event in the melodrama is mediation, which is set for Sept. 27th, to be followed by a fact-finding process if necessary…and it will be.

When teachers strike, kids are the big losers. At this time California’s school rating system shows that 52 percent of LAUSD’s schools earn a D or F in English language arts, 50 percent earn a D or F in math, and just 40 percent of all students go on to graduate college or are career ready. Having their teachers on picket lines will not improve those devastating statistics one iota.

Alex Caputo-Pearl’s desired crisis is indeed looming and the apocalypse is nigh.

Larry Sand, a former classroom teacher, is the president of the non-profit California Teachers Empowerment Network – a non-partisan, non-political group dedicated to providing teachers and the general public with reliable and balanced information about professional affiliations and positions on educational issues.

 

Pasadena’s plan to give a part of its sales tax to schools is modeled after Santa Monica

School districts may not the public for a sales tax to finance the education system.  It looks like Pasadena is creating a loophole to get tax dollars.  On the November ballot will be a sales tax measure for the City of Pasadena.  Another measure will be, can the schools take one-third of the sales tax for the schools.  This is an end run on the lack of sales tax authority for schools.

“In addition to a measure asking Pasadena voters if the city should raise its sales tax by 0.75 percent, there will be another, perhaps more confusing one on the Nov. 6 ballot: if one-third of the estimated $21 million in extra annual tax proceeds should go to Pasadena Unified schools.

The schools-related question is an advisory one, meaning the measure is meant to gauge residents’ interest in the idea — nothing happens automatically if it passes. It would be up to the City Council to decide whether to send that money to the schools.”

Watch this carefully.  If approved expect more cities to try to keep school districts from collapsing.  The only way to stop this abuse of power—corruption—is to vote NO on sales tax increases.  Or, you can hire a U-Haul and leave the State.

Tax

Pasadena’s plan to give a part of its sales tax to schools is modeled after Santa Monica — here’s how it works

By Chris Lindahl, | Pasadena Star-News, 9/16/18

In addition to a measure asking Pasadena voters if the city should raise its sales tax by 0.75 percent, there will be another, perhaps more confusing one on the Nov. 6 ballot: if one-third of the estimated $21 million in extra annual tax proceeds should go to Pasadena Unified schools.

The schools-related question is an advisory one, meaning the measure is meant to gauge residents’ interest in the idea — nothing happens automatically if it passes. It would be up to the City Council to decide whether to send that money to the schools.

It’s not a political ploy, Mayor Terry Tornek said “I view it as an absolute mandate,” he said. “It’s the voters’ money, and if they tell me they think it’s appropriate to give a third to the school district, there should be a (contract) that would govern the transfer of the funds.” The model is a trailblazing one. Santa Monica in 2010 passed a similar pair of ballot measures and in 2016 approved a second pair that called for revenue sharing with its schools.

It’s unclear whether Pasadena would be the second city in California to pursue such a plan, but the move is definitely rare.

“It makes good business sense to have the city make funds available to the school district,” Tornek said. “It will enhance property values and make the city more attractive to businesses (if the district is financially healthy).”

There’s been at least one tangible benefit for Santa Monica-Malibu Unified, beyond just having more money. Last year, Moody’s cited the sales tax revenue as one reason why it upgraded the district’s credit rating to Aaa — the highest available score, which judges an entity’s credit worthiness and helps determine interest rates for borrowing.

Ballot math

The reasons why a city would raise money for a fiscally independent school system are a little more complicated.

“The school district doesn’t have the ability to do that — they don’t have the ability to levy a sales tax,” Tornek said.

The district can ask voters whether to approve what’s known as a special tax. But that requires approval of two-thirds of voters, often a tall hurdle. Sales taxes require only a simply majority.

About a decade ago, Santa Monica learned the hard way that two-thirds majority can be hard to achieve. That’s when the school district asked voters to approve a special tax on property.

“It failed narrowly,” Santa Monica Mayor Pro Tem Gleam Davis said.

The district needed the extra cash. In response, school leaders had to make cuts, just as Pasadena Unified has been doing. And on the city side, Santa Monica, like Pasadena is now, was also facing some budget woes. The measure passed.

A pair of 2016 tax-hike measures split money between affordable housing at the school system.

Santa Monica councilman Kevin McKeown said some were uneasy about the advisory nature of the schools-related question.

“The first time we did this, in 2010, some questioned whether the council could be trusted to allocate the funding to the separate public school system,” he wrote in an email. “But we have now built a level of trust that has allowed passage of funding for affordable housing as well as for schools.”

There won’t be a second time for Pasadena. If this ¾-cent tax rate is approved, it will bring the total rate in the city to 10.25 percent — the highest allowed by the state and the same rate as Santa Monica.

Some Pasadena officials feel a sense of urgency to pass the sales tax hike because Pasadena is so near that ceiling. They fear if the city doesn’t take the money, another entity, such as Los Angeles County, will put a sales tax ballot question to voters and bring the city to its taxable limits.

Tornek said the city fares better when money is locally controlled because Pasadena would be able to keep all of its sales tax income from the 0.75 percent collected, rather than having it doled out to communities across the county.

Spending the money

Rising pension costs are among the financial weights on Pasadena’s chest. Like other cities statewide, Pasadena’s share of covering employee retirements has grown without a corresponding revenue increase to fill in the gap.

Pasadena has made budget cuts year after year in the wake of the Great Recession, and City Manager Steve Mermell has said it’s becoming difficult to find more “low-hanging fruit” to trim without residents feeling the impact.

On the city’s wish list for its potential future sales tax revenue is maintaining service levels, upgrading fire station, replacing obsolete 911 infrastructure, replacing 17,000 older street lights, repairing 670,000 square feet of damaged sidewalk and bringing 4,000 curb ramps in compliance with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act standards.

Pasadena Unified plans to spend its share of the revenue on academic programs, if the measure passes, spokeswoman Hilda Ramirez Horvath said.

The district’s latest projections have the reserves for the 2020-21 fiscal year $4.1 million below required levels. It’s looking into closing schools as part of an answer to its budget woes.

Like Pasadena, Santa Monica shares a school district with other communities.

The Santa Monica City Council gives the school district its share of the sales tax dollars through a lease allowing the city to use Santa Monica High School facilities, such as its swimming pool and fields.

The amount is equal to the share of revenue approved by voters on the advisory tax question. If Pasadena went this route, the lease payment would be equivalent to one-third of sales tax revenue.

 

Under Guv Brown: Oil production Dropped 56%

Why are local communities losing major sources of tax revenues?  Why are school districts begging for money?  Can we afford CalPERS without major tax increases?  Now we find out that cutting tax revenues has been the POLICY of the State of California.  It has also been the policy of California to make massive cuts in middle class, well paying jobs.

“The environmental battle is “not just about frothy headlines … it’s about policy. It’s really critical to stop drilling in California,” Hopkins said.

California is committed to cutting oil consumption in half, while oil production has dropped 56 percent, said Evan Westrup, a spokesman for the governor.

Of the roughly 20,000 drilling permits granted since 2011, just 1,495 were issued over the past two years, tracking the drop in statewide production and global price of oil, he said in an email.

“There’s a reason the White House and fossil fuel companies fight California on almost.”

Why is the cost of gas so high in California?  The Governor and Democrats want it.  By refusing to issue permits for drilling, not allowing new refineries, we cause gas to go up—on top of that the Democrats added 12 cents a gallon in taxes and on 1/1/20, thanks to Cap and Trade, another 72 cents gas tax increase.  Why is the middle class fleeing?  Sacramento is raising the cost of living and killing good paying jobs for real people.

fracking oil gas

250 local elected officials call on California governor to quit issuing oil-drilling permits

 

GUY KOVNER, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT, 9/17/18

Elected officials from five Northern California counties, including one Sonoma County supervisor and 14 local city council members, have signed a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown urging him — in the name of fighting climate change — to halt approving permits for new oil and gas wells.

They were among 250 elected officials statewide urging the outgoing governor to “walk his talk” on climate issues in the wake of hosting the Global Climate Action Summit last week in San Francisco.

“This is the bold climate leadership we urgently need to protect our public health, communities, economies and our future,” the group, Elected Officials to Protect California, said Monday. Sonoma County Supervisor Lynda Hopkins, one of 20 Northern California officials signing the letter, challenged Brown’s record, which includes issuing more than 20,000 permits for new wells.

“If you’re going to stand up as a climate change champion, you should be doing everything possible to reduce (greenhouse gas) emissions,” she said. “It’s a little hypocritical.”

The environmental battle is “not just about frothy headlines … it’s about policy. It’s really critical to stop drilling in California,” Hopkins said.

California is committed to cutting oil consumption in half, while oil production has dropped 56 percent, said Evan Westrup, a spokesman for the governor.

Of the roughly 20,000 drilling permits granted since 2011, just 1,495 were issued over the past two years, tracking the drop in statewide production and global price of oil, he said in an email.

“There’s a reason the White House and fossil fuel companies fight California on almost a daily basis — no jurisdiction in the Western Hemisphere is doing more on climate,” Westrup said.

Debora Fudge, a Windsor town councilwoman who signed the letter, acknowledged Brown’s record on oil drilling was imperfect.

“He’s not batting a 1.000,” she said. “He’s at .900.”

“I know what a good environmental governor he’s been,” said Fudge, who worked in Brown’s office of planning and research in the early 1980s. “I would never call the governor a hypocrite.”

Fudge noted that Brown, who will be termed out following the November election, recently signed into law a measure mandating 100 percent of the state’s energy must be renewable by 2045. His administration’s approval of thousands of oil wells “seemed contradictory to me,” she said.

“I didn’t realize there was so much oil being extracted in the state,” Fudge said.

California was the nation’s fourth leading oil-producing state last year, behind Texas, North Dakota and Alaska, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

California’s crude oil “is some of the dirtiest and most climate-changing crude in the world,” the elected officials group said, comparing much of it to Canada’s tar sands oil.

Amy Harrington, a Sonoma city council member who also signed the letter, said ending oil drilling and moving toward renewable energy are both important “if we’re committed to saving the planet.”

As a Sonoma Clean Power board member, Harrington said she has seen “how feasible it is to have 100 percent renewable, clean energy.”

Santa Rosa council members Jack Tibbetts and Julie Combs also signed the letter, along with officials from Marin, Napa, Lake and Mendocino counties.

 

Hispanics flourishing in Trump economy

When running for office, Donald Trump told the black community, “what do you have to lose”.  Now we know the black community lost unemployment, lost low wages and job opportunities denied them in the past.  The same can be said of the Hispanic community.

“Last week, the Census Bureau announced new household income numbers, which showed that median income for Hispanic households grew by 3.7 percent, adjusted for inflation, last year. That’s more than double the increase seen by all households. More Hispanics moved into the upper-income brackets, and fewer remained in the lower ones. That’s welcome news as the nation celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month.

Contrast this to the Obama economy. It took until 2015 for Hispanic household incomes to finally get back to their 2006 levels. For the population as a whole, household incomes remained flat between 2010 and 2014, as President Obama rolled out one job-killing policy after the next.”

Fact:  Obama and the Democrat harmed the Hispanic community—Trump has helped them.  Republican need to shout this information, while the Fake News suppresses the news.  Words are nice, but the results are great—isn’t that what counts for all Americans?

Trump state of the union

Hispanics flourishing in Trump economy

By Alfredo Ortiz, The Hill,  9/18/18

President Trump‘s economy is the rising tide that is lifting all boats. This is especially true for Hispanics, who were among the biggest victims of the low-growth, high-regulation economy under President Obama.

Last week, the Census Bureau announced new household income numbers, which showed that median income for Hispanic households grew by 3.7 percent, adjusted for inflation, last year. That’s more than double the increase seen by all households. More Hispanics moved into the upper-income brackets, and fewer remained in the lower ones. That’s welcome news as the nation celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month.

Contrast this to the Obama economy. It took until 2015 for Hispanic household incomes to finally get back to their 2006 levels. For the population as a whole, household incomes remained flat between 2010 and 2014, as President Obama rolled out one job-killing policy after the next.

In addition to rising incomes, there are more job opportunities than ever today for Hispanics. This month, the Labor Department announced that the Hispanic unemployment rate remained at a record low — below 5 percent for the fifth consecutive month. This is less than half the unemployment rate that Hispanics faced as recently as President Obama’s second term. Median weekly earnings for full-time Hispanic employees have grown by 4.3 percent, adjusted for inflation, over the past two years.

So why are Hispanics doing so well under the Trump economy?

President Trump’s pro-growth policies have had a disproportionately positive impact on Hispanics because they are more entrepreneurial than the general population. Hispanics start businesses at a faster rate than any other ethnic group. Since 2007, the number of Latino-owned businesses has grown by nearly 50 percent, nearly double the rate of all other ethnic groups combined. By a far higher margin than the general public, Hispanics believe that you can get ahead by hard work, according to Pew polling.

President Trump’s deregulation and pro-business policies have made it far easier to be entrepreneurial. Exhibit A are the tax cuts that took effect this year. They contain numerous provisions that specifically help entrepreneurs. These include a new 20 percent small business tax deduction that allow entrepreneurs to protect one-fifth of their earnings from taxes, funds that can be used to help their businesses survive and thrive. Most small businesses describe this provision as a “game changer,” according to a recent Bank of America survey.

With Trump unleashing the economy’s animal spirits, entrepreneurs — led by Hispanics — are increasing the long-depressed small business start-up rate. These businesses are more likely to provide good job opportunities to Hispanic job seekers. In fact, one survey shows they plan to hire workers at twice the rate of their non-Hispanic counterparts.

Hispanics also have benefited generally from the growing economy. For example, the number of full-time jobs is rapidly increasing at the expense of part-time jobs. This has helped Hispanics, who also disproportionately work in the service sector, to raise their incomes to a middle-class level because they are able to work more hours.

Given this success, it’s no surprise that Hispanic approval of President Trump is rising. According to a Harvard CAPS/Harris poll this summer, Trump’s approval among Hispanics jumped by 10 percentage points in one month.

President Trump and Republicans can build on this support by continuing to focus on a uniting pro-growth, pro-opportunity message. Like most Americans, Hispanics care about the economy, education and jobs. Republicans shouldn’t get swayed by the siren song of pursuing divisive social issues that may drive up turnout in rural areas but will repel Hispanics and independents in the suburbs where voters will decide control of the House of Representatives.

Electoral success will allow Trump to continue his policy agenda that is delivering historic economic benefits to Hispanics and all Americans.

Alfredo Ortiz is the president and CEO of the Job Creators Network.

 

Why college students don’t vote absentee? They don’t know where to buy a postage stamp

How lacking in knowledge on  how to live are American college students?  They know how to bully others, how to riot, how to hate, how to get alcohol and drugs—but do not know how to get a postage stamp.  No, this is not a joke by “The Onion” or a crazy comedian.  This is real.  The reason college students do not vote by mail is they do not know how to get a postage stamp.

““One thing that came up, which I had heard from my own kids but I thought they were just nerdy, was that the students will go through the process of applying for a mail-in absentee ballot, they will fill out the ballot, and then, they don’t know where to get stamps,” Lisa Connors with the Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs said.

“That seems to be like a hump that they can’t get across.”

The focus group included college interns from across numerous county departments.

“They all agreed that they knew lots of people who did not send in their ballots because it was too much of a hassle or they didn’t know where to get a stamp,” Connors said.”

Maybe they need a class on how to live in the real world?  Maybe they need real classes, not indoctrination in social Justice or how to hate people because of their color?  I wonder if they know how to boil an egg?  Thought you should know how little college kids know about life—they know to use a condom, but can’t buy a stamp?

Voted

Why college students don’t vote absentee? They don’t know where to buy a postage stamp

 

By Max Smith, WTOP,  9/18/18

 

A Fairfax County focus group this summer found many college students who have gotten an absentee ballot simply fail to send it back because a U.S. Postal Service stamp seems to be a foreign concept to them.

FAIRFAX, Va. — “Vote or die.” Unless, it’s too hard to find a stamp.

A Fairfax County focus group this summer found many college students who have gotten an absentee ballot simply fail to send it back because a U.S. Postal Service stamp seems to be a foreign concept to them.

“One thing that came up, which I had heard from my own kids but I thought they were just nerdy, was that the students will go through the process of applying for a mail-in absentee ballot, they will fill out the ballot, and then, they don’t know where to get stamps,” Lisa Connors with the Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs said.

“That seems to be like a hump that they can’t get across.”

The focus group included college interns from across numerous county departments.

“They all agreed that they knew lots of people who did not send in their ballots because it was too much of a hassle or they didn’t know where to get a stamp,” Connors said.

“Across the board, they were all nodding and had a very spirited conversation about ‘Oh yeah, I know so many people who didn’t send theirs in because they didn’t have a stamp.’”

To take on the apparent challenge, the county hopes many students will vote in-person absentee while visiting home during fall breaks. In-person absentee voting begins Friday.

“We’re really working on information to get the college students to be able to actually vote where they’re registered and vote absentee because it’s very confusing and it has a lot of pieces that can sort of go wrong in the middle of it,” said Kate Hanley, Fairfax County Electoral Board secretary.

Students could have changed their voter registration location if they got a new driver’s license or filled out a new voter registration application on campus.

Fairfax County General Registrar Gary Scott also wants to ensure students fill out absentee ballot request forms correctly, listing their home address where they are registered to vote in the area labeled “residence address” and the address where they want the ballot delivered in the separate area that is more clearly marked.

Mixing up the two makes the form invalid.

“And so, we have to deny that application,” Scott said. “Because we have to match to make sure it’s the right person getting a ballot.”

An absentee ballot also can be requested online.