As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

SEIU Addresses Schwarzenegger, Obama In New Ads

Barack Obama visits California for a couple DNC fundraisers today. I doubt he'll have time to turn on the teevee. But if he does, he will be greeted with a new ad featuring Pauline Beck, the woman who Obama worked with in the SEIU's "Walk A Day In My Shoes" campaign during the Presidential primaries.

The ad is aimed mostly at Arnold Schwarzenegger, who mandated cuts to home health care worker pay, and got the federal government to sign off on them without impacting the flow of stimulus dollars. Basically, Schwarzenegger used the technicality that counties would not be responsible for backfilling worker pay, and therefore burdened with dealing with state cuts, because they always have the option of just cutting the workers completely. It's just another example of the Governor thinking that the message of "the people" is to place the entire burden of the budget deficit on the backs of the most vulnerable members of society.

But a new print ad running in today's LA Times actually addresses Obama directly over the issue.

Dear Mr. President,

I am Pauline Beck — the California home care worker you spent a day on the job with in August 2007. You helped me provide care to Mr. John Thornton, an 86-year old man in a wheelchair who is able to stay in his home because of the care I provide.

I know you are very busy, but Mr. John and I, and my fellow home care workers and their clients, need your help.

You see, Governor Schwarzenegger wants to cut my pay back to $8 an hour. These are tough times, but if my pay gets cut to minimum wage I won’t be able to support my family. It’s just wrong to pay us so little for taking care of people who have given our communities and our country so much…

I know you are a good man and I am proud of the job you are doing. I hope you and the Governor can work together to help Mr. John, me and the 750,000 of Californians just like us. It would make such a difference in our lives. Thank you.


Pauline Beck

SEIU is right to personalize this crisis and take on the Governor and the political leadership. The President ought to know about how California is seeking to reverse his stimulus package by slashing the salaries and services of those most able to contribute quickly to the economy, forestalling recovery.

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