The Crush July - 4

by Michael Miiller
This month, as we celebrate the birth of this great nation,
we are all proud to place tremendous value on our
rights. Rights that are foundational in our Declaration of
Independence. Additionally, the first set of amendments
to the U.S. Constitution was the Bill of Rights. Every state
constitution in the nation contains both rights that were
given to us at birth and additional rights enshrined in state
This year, in the California legislature, rights are a big
topic of conversation. Specifically, the rights of workers
to organize, rights to housing, and water rights.
Worker Rights - SCA 7 (Umberg, R-Santa Ana) would
amend the California Constitution to do the following:
* Grant all Californians the right to join a union and to
negotiate with their employers, through their legally
chosen representative;
* Grant all Californians the right to protect their
economic well-being and safety at work;
* Prohibit state and local government, on or after
January 1, 2023, from passing, enacting, or adopting
any law that interferes with, negates, or diminishes
the right of employees to organize and bargain
collectively over their wages, hours, and other terms
and conditions of employment and workplace safety.
On its face, this proposal has several problems:
* There are large groups of people who cannot join a
union, such as people who are not working and those
who sign the front of a paycheck.
* Protection of economic well-being and safety is
incredibly broad and almost impossible to interpret.
* Legislation that " interferes with, negates, or
diminishes the right of employees, " could include
almost anything such as any reducing funding for the
Agricultural Labor
Relations Board or
other labor agencies.
Housing Rights -
ACA 10 (Haney,
D-San Francisco)
would amend
the California
Constitution to
recognize the
" fundamental human
right to adequate
housing for everyone
in California. "
Page 4 | July 2023
According to ACA 10, this right is a shared obligation of
state and local jurisdictions to respect, protect, and fulfill
this right, on a non-discriminatory and equitable basis,
to progressively achieve the full realization of the right,
by all appropriate means, including the adoption and
amendment of legislative measures, to the maximum of
available resources.
In 2020, Governor Newsom vetoed AB 2405 (Burke,
D-Los Angeles) which would have placed the right
to housing into the Welfare and Institutions Code.
In his veto, Newsom stated, " I cannot support this
bill considering the cost implications of such a policy,
estimated at over $10 billion annually. "
The bottom line is that with homelessness being the big
problem it is, and the lack of available agricultural worker
housing, a constitutional right to housing will not solve the
Water Rights - Several bills are moving through the
legislature that touch on water rights. But the legislature
is struggling to recognize that they don't need to threaten
water rights to meet California's water supply needs for
the environment, agriculture, and our communities.
On one hand, SB 659 (Ashby, D-Sacramento) which is
sponsored by CAWG, and SB 266 (Caballero, D-Merced)
both propose a long-term focus on water supply that
acknowledges our need to capture and store more
water. Conversely, SB 389 (Allen, D-Santa Monica), AB
460 (Bauer-Kahan, D- Orinda), and AB 1337 (Wicks,
D-Oakland) propose to expand the authority of the State
Water Resources Control Board to potentially eliminate
existing water rights, even when those water rights have
been in place for more than 100 years.
In the Chamber of the State Assembly, above the dais, is a
Latin quotation reminding lawmakers of their responsibility
to govern in consideration of the rights of all Californians:
legislatorum est justas leges condere ( " It is the duty of
legislators to pass just laws " ).
When trying to address the economic issues facing
working-class Californians, the housing challenges facing
California communities, and the need for water for all of
California, solutions, i.e. just laws, do not involve creating
or changing rights. Instead, finding the solutions to these
huge problems requires collaboration, funding, and
planning. http://SCA7(Umberg,R-SantaAna http://HousingRights

The Crush July

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Crush July

The Crush July - 1
The Crush July - 2
The Crush July - 3
The Crush July - 4
The Crush July - 5
The Crush July - 6
The Crush July - 7
The Crush July - 8
The Crush July - 9
The Crush July - 10