In This Issue:
- Policy Updates
- Leadership Development
- Special Election Aug 15
- Job Opportunities
Worker Justice Fund
On Tuesday, May 23, 2023, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted to create a Workplace Justice Fund. San Diego County is one of the first places to create this type of fund in California.
The Worker Justice Fund will provide financial assistance to workers who experienced wage theft or retaliation and file complaints with OLSE.
Many victims of wage theft do not file complaints even when they know their rights because they fear that their employer will fire them. The Workplace Justice Fund will provide workers with up to $4,000 if their employer fires them as retaliation for filing a wage theft complaint. This one-time payment is designed to help workers make ends meet while they search for a new job.
Even when workers file complaints and investigations prove the employer engaged in wage theft, often the employers simply ignore the judgment and refuse to pay the workers the wages they are owed. In this case, the Workplace Justice fund will pay up to $3000 of the judgment. Then, the County will work to recover all funds owed to the employee from the business that committed wage theft and/or retaliation.
Since 2021, when CPI and our partners won the creation of an Office of Labor Standards and Enforcement (OLSE) at the County of San Diego, we have been working with OLSE to win stronger pro-worker policies at the County, including the Worker Justice Fund. We are part of a fight across the state and the nation to stop employers from stealing from and intimidating working people.
On May 16th, CPI joined in solidarity with hundreds of union educators, staff, and community members at a rally to improve conditions for workers and students. SDEA teachers and other educators in San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) have been working for a year without a contract. Their demands include fair pay, smaller class sizes, more counselors, nurses, and more after school programs.
One of the demands this year, which came from the Community Schools Coalition, would allow parents and students to help decide what after school programs their school site will offer. Thanks to the powerful display of people power and solidarity by union educators, staff, and community members that came together, the district has felt the pressure to bargain with educators and respond to demands. On May 25th, SDEA and SDUSD reached a tentative agreement!
Advanced Clean Fleets Regulation
On April 28th, 2023, California Air Resources Board (CARB) voted unanimously to adopt the Advanced Clean Fleets (ACF) Regulation which will require all medium and heavy-duty truck fleets (50 or more trucks) to be zero emission (electric) trucks by 2045. Heavy-duty trucks used specifically in areas like the port will need to be zero emission vehicles by 2035, ten years earlier.
Examples of medium-duty trucks (top row) and heavy-duty trucks (bottom row).
Toxic emissions from trucks disproportionately affect low-income neighborhoods and communities of color. Ports and warehouses, who are some of the largest producers of toxic emissions, often locate their operations where land is cheapest. These tend to be neighborhoods where low-wage workers and workers of color live because of historical redlining.
The new regulation will ensure that medium and heavy-duty fleet owners and companies are the ones financially responsible for the transition. It prevents employers with large fleets from putting the financial burden onto contracted drivers who own their trucks, but don’t control the operations of their trucks or what products the trucks carry. There is still a lot of work to do to end this business model that allows corporations to exploit drivers. But it is a significant step towards protecting vulnerable communities from harmful diesel emissions.
LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS
Students for Economic Justice
SEJ 2023 Interns (left to right): Lana Al Any, Julie Nguyen, Brianna Carignan, Narly Ramirez, Kelly Ports, Aida Arredondo. Not pictured: Tristin Beery, Satori Jelden
After many years apart, we were happy to hold the Students for Economic Justice (SEJ) Mixer & Fundraiser last month. A big thank you to everyone who attended and donated to support SEJ. We raised over $7100 for the 2023 SEJ program! 🎉
We will be introducing the 8 Summer 2023 SEJ interns over the next few weeks. Keep an eye out for an email and follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to get to know the SEJ Class of 2023 and learn about the sites where they will work this summer.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
San Diego County will hold a special election period beginning July 16 when ballots are mailed out through Aug 15 to fill the County Board of Supervisors District 4 seat. If you are registered to vote and live in San Diego County District 4, you will be receiving a ballot to vote the week of July 16 in the upcoming special election. If you are eligible to vote but not registered, you can register now and through election day on August 15.
Because of redistricting, you may now live in a different district than during the last election. Find your County District here.
Why is this special election important? The County Board of Supervisors oversees a budget of more than $6 billion and they make policy decisions that affect the lives of over 3.3 million people. The Board of Supervisors has power over worker protections, benefits for immigrants, mental health services, housing, and more. If you live in District 4, the special election is your chance to make sure someone who shares your values is elected to the County Board of Supervisors.
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As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, CPI relies on the generous support of our community to operate. If you would like to support our fight for economic and social justice, please consider becoming a monthly donor or making a one-time donation. Thank you so much!