Many of you know that this past Sunday, Gov. Jerry Brown unconscionably vetoed AB889, a bill that would have provided overtime protection and guaranteed a rest period of 8 hours for live-in domestic workers in California.
It wasn't much, but he vetoed it anyway.
I know that I've been flooding my social media feeds with news about this - and to those of you who aren't interested in this issue, I apologize.
To those of you who haven't turned my posts off in your news feeds, I hope you'll take the time to let Governor Brown know how inconceivable it is that he thinks it proper to deny a worker overtime protection and a minimum rest period of eight hours per day. Eight hours. For a live-in worker.
Let me say that again: eight hours. Out of 24.
(He also vetoed a bill that would help ensure that farm workers would get appropriate shade and water to prevent heat-related injury and death.)
The National Domestic Workers Alliance has set up a page to make it easy to send Gov. Brown a message to clean up his act. For $5 - about the cost of a fancy Starbucks drink - you can send him a message and sponge with your name on it. I'd like to flood his office with this symbol of the work that he so casually devalued with the stroke of a pen on Sunday.
If you don't live in California, your message (and sponge) is still very much welcome. He needs to know that all those that care about justice are watching.
Here's what I wrote in my message:
I grew up in California. I've lived in New York for the last 13 years, but I've always proudly identified as a Californian. Your veto of AB889 made me ashamed of my home state for the first time since Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected. Unsurprisingly, he also vetoed the Domestic Workers' Bill of Rights.
The history of exclusion of domestic workers and farm workers from the most basic of labor protections is rooted in the legacy of slavery and racism. The history of the labor laws of the New Deal era, which protected millions of working people from exploitation by unscrupulous employers, is marred by the exclusion of domestic workers and farm workers, who were excluded because they were predominantly African American.
You had a chance with AB889 to stand on the side of justice and right this historical blemish. I really hope that when that chance comes again - and it will - you will choose to do the right thing and bring California out of the shadows of racism and sexism.
Please click the link below and send a message to Governor Brown that justice will be served.