Placing Proposition 23 on the ballot was meant to assist in easing some of the jobless burden here in California. The purpose of this measure is to suspend the already existing motion AB 32, also known as the Global Warming Act, which was passed in 2006. Its main provision was to lessen restrictions on companies that are unable to comply with the restrictions of AB 32.
According to Ballotpedia.org, should Proposition 23 pass, the unemployment rate must fall to and hold steady at 5.5 percent for a minimum of four quarters in order for AB 32 to be followed. This measure is insured to allow for the return of companies that are not in complete compliance, which would bring jobs. As a job-seeker here in San Francisco, there are a few items that do not resonate well with me as a voter.
For one, the need for AB 32 to be suspended for four consecutive quarters before it can be placed into activity again is a bet that California should not play on. As stated in Ballotpedia.org, there have been three periods where unemployment rates have held consecutively for four quarters, the last being from October 2005 through June 2007. Prior to these years, since 2001, California had lost 34 percent of their manufacturing jobs. There is no guarantee that these jobs will return upon the suspension of AB 32, as it has been shown even prior to its passage in 2006, California had been losing jobs.
Another point that comes to mind is the money that is supporting this proposition. Close to $7 million dollars has been infused into this movement, much of it coming from Texas oil interests, with the pack leaders of Valero Energy Corporation and Tesoro Corporation donating the most. Are their interests in line with our interests here in California? And what is the San Francisco connection? It was in San Francisco where AB 32 was signed into law by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The main push being toward green energy and green industry, which brings me to the final point.
Green jobs have been on the incline here in California. As shown in Ballotpedia.org, clean energy businesses and jobs have shown an increase 10 times faster than state average. According to California Green Building Blog, the project in Hunter’s Point Shipyards is being overseen by Lennar, a group experienced in green development. Also on the forefront is a possibility of the passage of Proposition 19, which can increase the flow of more green jobs and industries.
The need to roll backward to jobs that do not comply with improving air quality as a whole for California or San Francisco is a major disconnect. The technology and the desire to move forward has taken root, therefore a no vote on Proposition 23 should be explored.