• Because of furlough days for local government workers, the deadline in many counties is actually September 29 rather than September 30. Check with the Registrar of Voters in your county.
  • Please stay in touch with the petition coordinator for your region or county. Click here for contact information.

By Maureen Smitih

Posted on September 2, 2011 by the State Executive Committee

For more on the oil extraction tax initiative, see Solution to UC Tuition Hikes: Oil Extraction Tax to Fund Education Initiative and Tax Oil Extraction to Fund Schools.

CALIFORNIA SCHOOLS NEED YOUR HELP NOW! We have less than one month to gather enough signatures to place the Oil Extraction Tax to fund education in California on the ballot. We need 504,760 signatures, county by county, throughout California, by September 30, 2011 to qualify this initiative for the ballot. This Oil Extraction Tax Initiative comes at a time to address some of the major financial needs of California Education, Kindergarten through College and University. Hundreds of volunteer activists statewide are currently circulating 154,000 petitions (containing 770,000 signature slots) on college campuses, grocery stores, farmers markets, shopping centers and community meetings.

Peace and Freedom Party is pledged to do our part in this historic effort. While we have already gathered thousands of signatures, we urge all our members who are able to concentrate their efforts especially at community colleges in their area. Those of you who attend a community college can be very helpful in this campaign by spending some time gathering signatures from your fellow students and professors. The first week of classes (check with your local community college) is when the maximum number of students will be on campus.

We also need people to call CTA and CFT to demand that they help finance the signature gathering efforts to ensure the Oil Tax is placed on the ballot at the next election. Time lost is opportunity for jobs and education lost. Contact information for CTA and CFT, the main teachers unions, is at the end of this posting.

In the next two weeks, the Oil Tax campaign will be distributing an additional 42,350 petitions containing 211,750 signature slots to be signed statewide. This initiative will place a 15% fee on oil extracted in California, onshore and offshore which will bring $3 billion or more for K-12, Community Colleges, CSU and UC Education to reduce college tuition, restore cut class sections, rehire teachers and professors, and reduce K-12 class sizes. This will make California's economy competitive by creating new technologies and preserving and adding thousands of jobs. CALIFORNIA IS THE ONLY MAJOR OIL PRODUCING STATE WITHOUT AN OIL EXTRACTION FEE. Alaska's fee was raised to 25% by Governor Sarah Palin. Texas' fee brings in $2 billion a year for education.

Let's win this fight for education by getting this on the ballot and making sure it passes.

California Teachers Association (CTA) contacts:
President Dean E. Vogel
Vice President Eric C. Heins
Secretary-Treasurer Mikki Cichocki
P.O. Box 921
1705 Murchison Drive
Burlingame, CA 94011-0921
Phone: (650) 552-5307
FAX: (650) 552-5007

Maureen Smith is a member of the State Executive Committee.

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