OC May Day March and Rally in Santa Ana to Happen--When Else?--TOMORROW

Categories: Politics
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The first of May arrives tomorrow and in Santa Ana that has translated over the years into community activists turning out to mark International Workers' Day. With an agenda for social justice, the Orange County May Day Coalition is readying for a march and rally through the city starting at Sasscer Park on the corner of 4th and Ross Street at 2 p.m.

Their demands for this year center on education and immigration with slogans like "Fix the educational crisis!" and "Driver's licenses for all!" Solidarity will also be expressed with Service Employee International Union-United Service Workers West janitors, both local and statewide, whose contract expires today as they seek to maintain fair wages and full family health care benefits.

The multi-pronged approach owes to the diversity of the OC May Day Coalition itself. The umbrella organization is comprised of groups such as Chican@s Unidos, DeColores Queer OC, El Centro Cultural de Mexico, SEIU-USWW, Occupy Santa Ana, and the OC Peace Coalition.

"Last year the coalition worked on the car impound policy change in Santa Ana," says OC May Day Coalition member Yenni Díaz referring to their grassroots victory that provided relief for unlicensed, and often undocumented, drivers at city checkpoints. "This year the coalition asked what could be done to continue helping people in Santa Ana and the community at large. We thought the next logical step to take would be driver's licenses for everyone."

If successful, the effort would not establish a new precedent, but restore an old one. Up until 1993, undocumented immigrants in California were eligible to apply for and receive driver's licenses. The outlook for the coalition is to advocate on the local level while connecting with groups throughout the state working on the same initiative.

Education reform is the other central campaign, with constant budget cuts to all public school systems in California producing what the coalition has deemed a 'state of emergency.' Organizers are honing in on the aftereffects in terms of teacher layoffs, increased class sizes, standardized testing, cuts to summer school and other programs. "With education, we think that is something that can be undertaken locally like with our school boards while identifying it with budget cuts from the state and also with what's going on nationally," Díaz says. "It's multi-tier organizing."

Much has changed since tens of thousands marched through the streets of Santa Ana back in 2006 challenging HR 4437, also known as the notorious anti-immigrant Sensenbrenner bill. The federal DREAM Act hasn't come to pass into law in that time span and the Obama administration has not only failed to deliver promised comprehensive immigration reform, but has actually ratcheted up deportations.

"Although there is a movement nationally to push for immigration reform, we realized in the meantime what we can do locally," Díaz says of the activist focus of OC's march and rally over recent years. "May Day is a time where people can come together, share and collaborate on what they are working on."

With the action falling on a Tuesday afternoon, organizers are expecting a modest turnout numbering in the hundreds. The demonstration will kick off after initial programming slated for 2 p.m. Activists plan to return to Sasscer Park around 5 p.m. for a rally, so those who don't take the day off can still show up and participate.

'May the first' be with you!

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11 comments
Dave
Dave

"Their demands for this year center on education and immigration". Who the fuck are they to "demand" anything? And, do you know who demands things? People who aren't capable of doing what needs to be done.  

cook
cook

Was there some kind of warning?  Even tho it is not a school holiday, the usual crouds this morning of parents dropping off their kids at school are missing.

S.A. Artist
S.A. Artist

Gabriel are you going to embrace the artists today with loving arms or protest them?  See you down there.  

Spokker
Spokker

Thanks for this. I have to warn my girlfriend since she works down there. I'll let her know to take lunch before 2PM. 

mitch young
mitch young

" "Fix the educational crisis!" 

In large measure, the educational crisis is the immigration crisis. After all, think of all those extra resources -- 'free' lunches, bilingual aids, just plain more teachers needed-- going to 'educate' the children of immigrants (legal or illegal). And just like last time the 'Raza' solution -- amnesty -- will only make matters worse.

Leif Christian Larsen
Leif Christian Larsen

Except their parents also pay into property taxes and others that should support education, and "free lunches" aren't even a drop in the bucket compared to all the govt waste and fiscal coddling of the rich we have going on in this state and nationally.

Dave
Dave

Thanks Gus. You are absolutely right, Yenni and her group are completely pathetic. I knew you would agree.

Dave
Dave

Your statement about property taxes makes me laugh. That implies that these illegal immigrants who can't make it in their own country come here and actually own property here. That must be why they pack 15 people into a two bedroom apartment in Santa Ana, so they can all chip in and get that nice place in Newport Coast to rent to someone who can afford it.

mitch young
mitch young

You really think a 'carwashero' and his 'cleaning lady' wife pay enough in property taxes to cover the costs of their three kids in the school system, the kids breakfasts and lunches, the extra fire and police services required for increased population, etc.

Let's say they are brining home $60,000 a year. That's about $15/hr for each for a full years work (unlikely, as around 40% of immigrant women don't work, but we'll be generous). Let's say they paid a third of that in rent -- 20,000 per year. At best 2% of that, or $400, goes to the state. Let's say another third is taxable expenditures, at  8.25% tax (I'm old enough to remember when we had 6% sales tax), that is $1650 to that state and city. The final $20,000 is spent on non-taxable items like food. So a grand total of $2100 goes to the state and city. In contrast, one child in school -- just for school -- costs $10,000.  Net loss to the state for just one kid (typical would be 2 or three), is $7900 per year.

That's why the state is in a fiscal crisis, despite sales taxes being 25% to 45% higher than when I first started working.  And even if you take the long view and work out the figures for a 35-40 year working lifetime, the state is still at a loss.And yes, the rich are gaming the system -- one way is by mass immigration. It drives down wages and enriches 'developers', 'resort magnates', sweat shop owners (many immigrants themselves) and the like. It also benefits upper middle class people who can't be bothered to mow their own lawns.

notbrowninSA
notbrowninSA

 No, they own property.  Crap property in crap parts of the city.  They cram their entire family and extended family into a 3 bedroom house.  It's amazing.  Then those homes go into foreclosure....

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