Monday, May 28, 2012

San Diego Queer Groups Fight Proposition B

San Diego Queer Groups Fight Proposition B, the Risky Retirement Initiative

With less than a month until the San Diego primary election, Queer groups in San Diego are mobilizing to speak out against the Risky Retirement Initiative (Proposition. B), which eliminates a guaranteed retirement for city workers and replaces that guarantee with a 401(k) for all new hires (except police officers) and proposes a five-year freeze to the portion of current workers’ salaries used to calculate future pensions. Canvass for a Cause and San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality are working to spread the word about how Proposition B hurts the Queer community.
“San Diego city workers will be left without any safety net for their golden years, they are already locked out of social security and Proposition B will take away the guarantee of an income during their retirement and instead let the fate of our elderly rest in the hands of Wall Street Bankers, a very risky thing to do,” states Rachel Scoma, co-Executive Director of Canvass for a Cause.
“Like many laws that are bad for workers, this law is specifically harmful to Gay couples who are not allowed to marry,” remarked Jersey Deutsch, Director of Programs for Canvass for a Cause. “Because Gay couples can’t get married in the majority of states, including California, they do not get certain protections like federal social security survivorship benefits. So in addition to having no safety net of their own, Gay city workers can’t even rely on the social security of their lifelong partner if and when that partner dies — a problem not faced by heterosexual couples. Proposition B leaves Gay couples more vulnerable than anyone else. This is not the right way to bring about positive pension reform and we can do better for our community”
For Canvass for a Cause and San Diego Alliance for Marriage Equality (S.A.M.E.), this fight against Proposition B is essential. ”Right now San Diegans believe the only opposition to Proposition B comes from ‘big, labor, but that’s just not true,” said Sean Bohac, a member of S.A.M.E. and one of the defendants in the city’s case against the Equality 9. “The LGBT [Queer] community is rallying to defeat this law because it shows how the denial of marriage equality has far reaching implications, leaving our families, once again, in the most vulnerable position.”
Members and organizations from the San Diego Queer community will be holding a rally and press conference to send this message to San Diego voters and ask them to vote No on Proposition B, the Risky Retirement Initiative on June 5, 2012. The press conference will be held May 30, 2012, 11 to 11:30 a.m., at the Joyce Beers Community Center in the Uptown District mall in Hillcrest. For more information, including directions, visit the Canvass for a Cause Web site at