Posted on September 9, 2011 by the San Francisco County Central Committee

The following statement was adopted by the San Francisco Peace and Freedom Party on September 1, 2011. It can be downloaded as a flyer to print and distribute here.

The San Francisco Peace and Freedom Party opposes both pension "Reform" initiatives - the Adachi pension "deform" initiative (Prop. D) as well as the Ed Lee "Consensus" pension initiative (Prop. C.) The Adachi initiative was funded largely by California billionaire Michael Mortiz paying $5.00 a signature to get it on the ballot. The Mayor's initiative was supported in large part by billionaire Warren Hellman, another San Francisco billionaire. Prop. C also appears in the Voters Handbook with a paid argument in favor by the San Francisco Labor Council Executive Committee. The text of that argument was then presented to the general membership, after the fact, as a "fait accompli."

Both of these initiatives would harm San Francisco public employees and retirees by raising retirement ages, taking more pay from public workers and taking away a Cost of Living Adjustment for retired San Francisco employees. Both of these plans ask city employees to put more of their paychecks into the pension fund - they'll be taking home less money for the same benefits they currently receive. The mayor's so-called "consensus" initiative, supported by millionaire Warren Hellman, as well as the leadership of some San Francisco City public workers unions would also effectively remove veto power by the elected San Francisco City employees on the Health Service Board. This would permit city officials to make massive increases on the cost of healthcare for retirees without a check by San Francisco city employee representatives to balance the votes of the city government appointees.

The Peace and Freedom Party County Central Committee is outraged that in San Francisco, one of the wealthiest cities in the world, home to 16 billionaires (per Forbes List 2010), public workers are being scapegoated and targeted to alleviate the problems of the economic downturn which they played no part in creating. If the city is going to ask its employees to do more to balance the budget, then the City should be willing to ask its wealthiest residents and business to share the pain. Tax the rich and their corporations!

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