Community slams Governor Brown’s vetoes
Immigrant groups from San Francisco responded with outrage to Gov. Jerry Brown’s Sept. 30 vetoes of several bills supported by Latinos during a rally in front of the state building on Oct. 4.
Brown vetoed three initiatives including the Farm Workers’ Heat Protection Bill, the Trust Act and the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights. Protests followed soon after as anger about the vetoes continued the simmer across the state.
“We are fighting for basic rights, like less exposure to the sun and access to daily water, things given to those in the offices behind us,” said a lead spokesperson, protesting the rejection of the Farm Workers’ Heat Protection bill, which would have benefited farm workers across California.
“Governor Brown did not just veto the Trust Act, he vetoed the trust,” said State Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, speaking to a diverse crowd of protestors from across the Bay Area. Satirically referencing the live chicken in a cage being carried by a protestor, he continued, “He has laid an egg on social justice and human rights.”
The Trust Act, also vetoed by Brown, would have limited how local law enforcement implements Secure Communities, a controversial federal program through which almost 80,000 deportations have been conducted in the state.
Supporters of the bill insist that the rejection will undermine public safety and fail to heal the impact of unfair detention and deportation programs.
The third bill vetoed by Brown is the Domestic Worker’s Bill of Rights—an initiative geared toward ending the exclusion of domestic workers from basic labor protections. The bill would have provided workers overtime pay, as well as meal and rest breaks to childcare providers, housecleaners and caregivers, who work for Californian family and homes.
Domestic worker Silvia Lopez emphasized the importance of the legislation and the refusal of the community to give up.
“Governor Brown is out of touch with our reality—the reality of domestic workers, farm workers and immigrant communities,” she said. “We are united.”
Rejection of AB 889, the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights, ended a three-year grassroots campaign that mobilized more than 8,000 workers and sent groups to the state capital 15 separate times to end exclusion from labor protection laws.
The rally of domestic workers, farm workers, students and labor and community groups included a life-size Rosie the Robot to demonstrate the contrast with domestic workers and their need for human rights, alongside farm animals, which they contend, are given more protections than farm workers.
Brown did however approve the California Dream Act, declaring the need to expand educational opportunity in California for all students by easing access to privately funded financial aid for undocumented college students.
“Going to college is a dream that promises intellectual excitement and creative thinking,’’ Brown said in a statement.”The Dream Act benefits us all by giving top students a chance to improve their lives and the lives of all of us.’’
The bill will allow undocumented students to receive institutional grants while attending the University of California and California State University systems, and to get fee waivers in the California community college system.