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art by Favianna Rodriguez

Art by Favianna Rodriguez

“ Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral. ” – Paulo Freire, Educator

Corruption and cowardice in Sacramento

Here's the message we sent to our members. After you've read it, please add your voice.

Dear Friend,

Do your elected leaders advocate for you and your community or do they serve greedy corporations and industry lobbyists?

Today we’ve launched a massive statewide political accountability project with our friends at Courage Campaign, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment Action, Progressive Kick, and ColorofChange — a diverse coalition representing more than 3 million activists — to make California a state that works for EVERYONE, not just the wealthy and well-connected.

The first part of this campaign is the People’s Report Card of California, that clearly shows which California state representatives are working for their constituents, and which are working for corporate interests. It also includes a Hall of Shame with specific targets who are the worst offenders.

You can check out your representatives' grades at CourageScore.org to find out if they are really representing you.

For far too long, big industries with their wealthy lobbyists and accomplices in government have profited from the suffering of our people and the destruction of our neighborhoods, environment, and communities. It’s outrageous how our elected officials endanger the public by leasing their votes to corporate interests.

The People’s Report Card of California is a shockwave to the establishment in Sacramento. Why? Because we’re naming names. We’ve built a “Hall of Shame” to feature the worst of the worst — legislators who represent progressive districts, but are throwing their constituents under the bus. They kill vital legislation that supports clean air and water, economic opportunity for all, and racial justice; while gobbling up contributions from corporate lobbyists.

If you’re not sure who your representatives are, CourageScore.org makes it easy to find out. And even if you do know your legislator, you might not follow them closely. You might assume they are doing what’s right, especially if they have “Democrat” next to their name. Not so fast.

Find your state representatives' Courage Scores and tour the Hall of Shame. Then please share it with your friends and family.

Despite a growing economy, California still has the highest poverty rates in the country and one of the widest gaps between the rich and the poor.1 Our most vulnerable communities still face a lack of opportunity, and continue to be exploited by corporate interests and the legislators who pander to them.

Last fall, a group of Democratic legislators teamed up with Republicans and worked to defeat one landmark environmental justice bill, which would have reduced California’s climate pollution by 50% by 2050. They also severely weakened a second bill, which would have reduced the state’s reliance on oil and gas by 50% by 2030.2 And there’s more. Because of a group of Democratic legislators, bills to reform the War on Drugs failed.3 A bill to help ensure equal pay for women failed.4 But imagine what would be possible if our elected leaders served we the people, and not the corporations. We need you to hold your representatives accountable to make this happen.

Find out who’s courageous in the legislature and who’s a coward.

Thanks for all you do and ¡adelante!

– Matt, Favianna, Oscar, Erick, and the Presente.org team.

P.S. Can you donate $5 to support our work? We rely on contributions from people like you to see campaigns like this through.

1. "The California Chasm: A Look At Income Inequality In The Golden State.The Huffington Post. February 12, 2015.
2. "SB-32 California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006." California Legislative Information. December 21, 2014.
3. "SB-443 Forfeiture: controlled substances." California Legislative Information. February 25, 2015.
4. "AB-1017 Employers." California Legislative Information. February 26, 2015.