Civic Engagement

By Erick Huerta on

CIVIC ENGAGEMENT

For more than 20 years, SCOPE has fought for new job creation models in Los Angeles. However, there’s a critical need for everyone to pay their fair share of taxes so that those programs can become a reality, and government can do its job to meet our community’s needs. Providing quality education, public transportation and mobility options, building parks and libraries, protecting the environment, creating jobs that pay a living wage, and offering affordable housing are just some of the investments our communities need.

Campaigns like these require SCOPE members and allies to build power both at the ballot box and through advocating with decision-makers about the solutions we deserve. SCOPE has a long history of combining community organizing and civic engagement to win local and state legislation and policies. In 2014, SCOPE launched a multi-year campaign to change current tax policies in California by putting the conversation of progressive taxes into the forefront of political debate and redirecting resources out of the prison system, while challenging and debunking misleading rhetoric around “spending cuts.”

As the flagship anchor organization for California Calls, SCOPE laid the groundwork in 2012 for the campaign supporting Proposition 30. Under Prop 30, individuals making more than $250,000 would be taxed by an additional 3 percent for 7 years, along with establishing a quarter-cent sales tax for 4 years, both of which fund public education directly. However, this was only a temporary solution to a long-standing problem. Unless we get to the core of these systemic issues as a state, we will continue stumbling to fund public services. Everyone deserves to have access to a better quality of life, not just the wealthy. Now we have another opportunity to fund schools, colleges, health care, and other services needed in our communities.

Through redirecting resources out of the prison system and closing loopholes found in current commercial property taxes, billions of dollars a year can be generated to fund vital public resources. SCOPE, along with more than 40 community groups, labor unions, and faith based organizations are joining California Calls to take a stand and fight for our states future. As a coalition, we are recruiting 1 million Californians who are ready to rebuild our communities, make California a better and stronger state and secure local funding for our local needs. By continuing to grow our base of informed voters, we will build the power needed to improve the quality of life for South LA and communities like it across California. Join We Are California and sign up.