“(Proposition 22) would maintain access to flexible work opportunities for low income individuals by protecting their right to work as independent contractors”

SACRAMENTO – The National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) has endorsed Proposition 22 on California’s November 3 ballot. NBCC is dedicated to economically empowering and sustaining African American communities.

NBCC joins a broad coalition of more than 75,000 California drivers plus social justice advocates, business and community leaders, and public safety organizations in support of Prop 22. This includes the California-Hawaii State Conference of the NAACP, the California National Action Network and the California Urban Partnership.

In their joint letter dated July 14, co-founders Harry Alford, President and CEO, and Kay DeBow, Executive Vice President, write:

“There is more than just convenience when it comes to rideshare. Rideshare operators are true entrepreneurs.”

“We are being threatened with Assembly Bill 5 (AB5). This threatens to take away the right of Californians to work as independent contractors with flexible schedules with app-based platforms and would force them to become employees with flat wages and set schedules. An employee model would also greatly limit the availability of these services, resulting in lost work opportunities and reduced access to rideshare and delivery services that many minority communities have grown to rely on.

“The solution would be Proposition 22. It would maintain access to flexible work opportunities for low income individuals by protecting their right to work as independent contractors with flexible schedules with app-based rideshare and delivery platforms.”

“By promoting worker flexibility, this ballot measure will protect the availability of rideshare and food and package delivery services that millions of Californians rely on every day.”

“Entrepreneurship is the key to wealth and the above is a shining example of how it can work in today’s economy.”

People of color and disadvantaged communities have been disproportionately ravaged by the double blow of the coronavirus pandemic and resulting economic meltdown. App-based driving has provided opportunities for all Californians, and particularly low-income and minority Californians, to work and earn income quickly and easily. It has been especially important during these troubling times when millions have been furloughed or lost their jobs.

Furthermore, app-based driving provides opportunities to work for thousands of individuals who have trouble finding traditional employment, especially now.

Prop 22 will protect access to this very important work and provide new wage and benefit guarantees.

A study by the Berkeley Research Group confirms an employment model would further eliminate up to 900,000 app-based jobs, a reduction of between 80-90 percent of drivers currently driving today. These job losses 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, by a 4:1 margin app-based drivers want  to remain independent contractors, despite efforts by politicians to force them to become employees.

Working with app-based rideshare and delivery platforms, with their high flexibility and low barrier to entry, has proven to be a key form of work for many lower-income families needing access to income during this current pandemic.


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