By Andrew Sheeler – Reporter, Sacramento Bee

The group behind a ballot measure intended to undo the changes of Assembly Bill 5 announced Friday that it has begun to submit petition signatures to qualify for the November ballot.

The group Protect App-Based Drivers & Services, funded by corporations including Uber, Lyft and DoorDash, seeks to preserve rideshare and delivery drivers as independent contractors, after AB 5 classified them as regular employees.

“The recent pandemic has highlighted just how important app-based services and drivers are – delivering food, medicine and supplies to those who are stuck at home, driving seniors and others to medical appointments, and helping workers who perform essential services get to their jobs,” said rideshare driver Pam McClammy in a statement put out by the group. “But recent legislation threatens the very availability of these services for hundreds of thousands of app-based drivers who rely on them during this economic slowdown, and millions of Californians who increasingly depend on them to get through the pandemic. This ballot measure will protect app-based drivers and services by ensuring what’s enabled their model to be so essential remains intact.”

According to the group, 80 percent of app-based drivers use platforms like Uber or DoorDash to supplement their regular income.

“This is an especially vital lifeline for those who have been laid off, furloughed without pay or seen their hours cut at their primary job. An overwhelming majority of app-based drivers want to maintain their independence and flexibility and do not want to become employees,” the group said.

The group must collect 623,212 signatures in order to qualify for the ballot, according to the California Secretary of State’s Office. The group previously announced that it has collected 1 million signatures.

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