Advocacy organizations, focusing on seniors, children, racial equity, MADD and more, voice their support for ballot measure
SACRAMENTO — With just one day before Election Day, newspaper editorial boards, along with advocacy groups across the state, are championing Proposition 22. From leading civil rights organizations, like the California State National Action Network and Hispanic 100, to seniors’ groups, like LeadingAge California and the National Hispanic Council on Aging, along with countless public safety and small business groups, over 100 organizations have joined more than 120,000 app-based drivers in support of Proposition 22.
In addition to these advocacy groups, editorial boards across California have endorsed Prop 22. They include the San Francisco Chronicle, La Opinión, San Jose Mercury News, East Bay Times, San Diego Union-Tribune, Palm Springs Desert Sun, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Bakersfield Californian, Torrance Daily Breeze, Riverside Press-Enterprise, Los Angeles Daily News, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Redlands Daily Facts, San Bernardino Sun, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star News, Whittier Daily News, Chico Enterprise-Record, and the Orange County Register.
“Mothers Against Drunk Driving supports Proposition 22 because it will save lives. Rideshare services help keep drunk and impaired drivers off of our roads by providing a convenient, reliable, and affordable alternative to driving,” said Helen Witty, the National President of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
The San Diego Union-Tribune Editorial Board wrote: “Shutting down gig jobs that have helped at least 300,000 rideshare drivers in California make ends meet during the recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic would be devastating to the gig economy and the many people who work in it — and who use it. Voters should let these workers be free to decide whether or not their jobs are good enough — not have the decision imposed on them.”
Multiple social justice and civil rights organizations, including the California State NAACP, National Action Network Sacramento Chapter, Si Se Puede Foundation, and more wrote, “With California’s unemployment rate reaching a record high, the very characteristics of working with app-based rideshare and delivery platforms – especially high flexibility and low barriers to entry – have proven to be key forms of work for many lower-income families needing access to income during this current pandemic. For that reason, we have all joined together in strong support Proposition 22 to protect these jobs and improve the nature of independent app-based work. And we know the voters of California will stand with us.”
The San Jose Mercury News Editorial Board argued, “[Prop. 22 is] the right thing for consumers, for the companies and, most importantly, the workers. After all, most gig drivers work part-time and many work only for a short time or only drive occasionally. It’s a flexibility that’s key to the success of the companies and the industry.”
“Families that depend on HopSkipDrive experience daunting challenges finding transportation and childcare,” said Joanna McFarland, co-founder and CEO of HopSkipDrive. “Without Prop 22, our ability to continue providing these services is at risk. We serve students with special needs, students experiencing homelessness, and students in the foster care system, all of whom struggle to access traditional transportation to and from school. We strongly support Prop 22 to keep the successful model that allows us to serve families most in need.”
Organizations and news outlets of all stripes have put their full weight behind this measure—they recognize that Proposition 22 will benefit drivers and save app-based jobs and services.
About Proposition 22
An independent study confirms an employment model would reduce the availability and affordability of rideshare and delivery services in California and eliminate up to 900,000 app-based jobs, a reduction of between 80-90 percent of drivers currently driving today. Without Proposition 22, if an employment model were forced on app-based drivers:
- Rideshare costs would increase for consumers by at least 25.9% and as much as 100% in some markets—meaning that a typical $15 ride across town would cost between $19 and $30;
- Food and grocery delivery costs would increase by at least 35.2% and potentially double in some markets;
- An increase in wait times and a decrease in reliability for customers—meaning an average wait time for rideshare of 7 minutes may double to 14 minutes, and food/grocery delivery of 40 minutes may double to 1 hour and 20 minutes or more; and
- A reduction of the customer base—meaning little or no service to most Californians living in rural or suburban areas of the state.
This will come at the worst possible time, when California is facing high unemployment and when app-based work opportunities will provide a lifeline for people to earn income. In addition, more than 71 percent of app-based drivers want to remain independent contractors, despite efforts by politicians to force them to become employees.
Proposition 22 would ensure driver flexibility, by protecting the ability of California’s one million app-based drivers to choose to work as independent contractors while providing new earning guarantees and benefits. These include:
- Prop 22 improves the quality of app-based work by requiring app-based platforms to provide drivers:
- Guaranteed minimum earnings (120% of California minimum wage), including compensation toward expenses
- Funding for new health benefits for drivers who work at least 15 hours a week
- Occupational accident insurance to cover injuries and illnesses on the job
- Protection against discrimination and sexual harassment
- Prop 22 implements strong new public safety protections:
- Recurring background checks of drivers
- Mandatory new safety courses for drivers
- Zero tolerance for alcohol and drug offenses
- Making it a crime to impersonate a driver