The Purple Buzz – June 18, 2012

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Quick Quiz:

The Top 400 taxpayers in 2009 made at least $77 million that year. How many paid federal income taxes at a rate of 15 percent or less?

a) 0
b) 5
c) 116
d) All 400 of them

Scroll down to see answer.

Members rally with the 99% for social change

99 percent rally in San JoseWorkers from San Mateo and Santa Clara counties connected with community allies to kick off an enthusiastic 99% rally on the steps of San Jose State University on June 13, the eve of the state adopting a budget with horrific cuts to public services and programs.

Read more and see photos:

Take action: Join the 99% committee!
Sign up now at
Our next scheduled meeting is on Wednesday, July 11 at 6 p.m. at the SEIU 521 office in San Jose, at 2302 Zanker Rd.

Take Back Our CaliforniaDemocrats pass state budget, More work ahead

On June 15, the Senate passed a $92 billion state budget 23-16. The Assembly also passed the measure, 50-25. In both houses, the votes were along party lines, with Democrats supporting the budget.

But more negotiations are ahead. Lawmakers only passed the main budget and did not send Governor Brown most of the bills that include proposals on cutting services and raising revenues. Gov. Brown has 12 days to veto or approve the budget.

Take action: Vote in November to support Gov. Brown’s revenue proposal. It requires the very wealthy to step up and pay their fair share to protect our services from constant cuts.

Read more:

Senate bill goal is retirement security for all

Too few Americans have any retirement security. Pensions are constantly under attack and private sector pensions have been replaced by risky and unsecure 401K plans. Many fear retiring in poverty. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Senate Bill 1234 will create a retirement savings plan for California’s private sector workers who do not have access to retirement plans in their jobs.

The “California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Plan” would be affordable, voluntary, and portable–so you can take it from job to job.

Read more:

Share your story: Will you be able to retire with dignity?

Come to the next 521 Pension Committee meeting
Wednesday, June 27, 6-8 p.m.
Location: SEIU 521 offices in Bakersfield, Fresno, Salinas, San Jose and Visalia via video conference

Take Back Our California: Stop the corporate deception

A bogus initiative with a deceptive name (“Stop Special Interest Money Now” Act) is designed to tip the balance of political power in favor of big corporations. Backers of this initiative say it is comprehensive campaign finance reform, but don’t be fooled. It virtually eliminates the use of workers’ contributions while creating a giant loophole for big corporations.

Read the following Sacramento Bee news article and watch the video at
Unions fire Internet blast at California ballot measure, June 11, 2012
“The measure does nothing to limit independent expenditure spending. Since unions raise political money through payroll deductions of their members and corporations spend money donated by executives or taken from company funds, the proposition would hit organized labor harder.”

Read more:

Tell Gov. Brown: Cut bureaucracy, not courts!

Take Back Our Courts

Court workers in SEIU 521 and around the state are fighting to keep courtrooms open. We’re working to fight off continued cuts that fall too hard on court services while leaving too much of the statewide bureaucracy untouched.

And while the main budget has passed, we are still fighting for protection for our courts in the trailer bill.

Find out more on our Take Back Our Courts blog:

Eligibility Workers heading to Sacramento to protect services

521 Eligibility Workers from Fresno, Kern, Monterey, and Santa Clara counties are heading to Sacramento on June 19 to speak in support of protecting our eligibility services. Under healthcare reform, an estimated 3 million more people will become eligible for Medi-Cal by 2014. Eligibility Workers across 521 are banding together to have a voice in the changes and shape how eligibility services will be provided.

Read more:

Join the Eligibility Workers Industry Council:

Read a letter to the San Jose Mercury News from an Eligibility Worker:

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Quick Quiz:

The Top 400 taxpayers in 2009 made at least $77 million that year. How many paid federal income taxes at a rate of 15 percent or less?

a) 0
b) 5
c) 116
d) All 400 of them

The answer: c) 116.

Of those, the top six paid no federal income taxes at all. The average tax rate for the richest 400 taxpayers was just under 20 percent. Their average income was $544,000 a day.

Learn more about the Top 400 at tax reporter David Cay Johnston’s site:

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