FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday, 16 August 2012
Brett Abrams : 516-841-1105 : [email protected]
Courage Campaign Mobilizes Members Against Chamber of Commerce for Retirement Savings
Group Stands in Support of the California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program (SB 1234)
State Bill Provides Low-Wage Workers State-Run Retirement Investment Accounts, Faces Bitter Opposition from Chamber of Commerce
SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA – The Courage Campaign, a national progressive online organizing and activism network, has called on its vast California membership today to tell the California legislature to support The California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program (SB 1234), introduced by State Senator Kevin de Léon. The proposed bill aims to establish a state network of retirement savings and investment accounts for the seven million low-wage workers in California who presently lack access to a retirement plan through their job.
As it stands now, nearly half of middle-class workers will have to look forward to a daily food budget of $5 a day upon retirement. Senator de Léon recognized the impending crisis of elderly poverty in California and has offered a solution with SB 1234 that is now facing steep opposition from the banking lobby and the Chamber of Commerce.
“Millions of Californians are currently deprived of retirement investment opportunities and face abject poverty when – or IF – they can finally retire,” said Courage Campaign Chair and Founder Rick Jacobs. “Courage Campaign recognizes the urgent need for real solutions and thereby enthusiastically supports SB 1234 and Senator de Léon’s courage to stand up for the middle class.”
State Senator Kevin de Léon wrote and proposed SB 1234 in honor of his 74 year-old aunt Francesca, a housecleaner who has cleaned homes six days a week since immigrating to this US many years ago. As a self-employed domestic worker, Francesca was ineligible for an employer sponsored retirement plan and wasn’t a viable candidate to open a private investment account. She faces retirement with little to rely on outside of her limited Social Security benefits.
Because millions find themselves in a similar position, Senator de Léon introduced SB 1234 which would provide these workers a solution by giving them access to a modest state-facilitated retirement program with no cost to the taxpayer and no risk to small employers. The Chamber of Commerce, however, has launched a vigorous opposition to the bill on behalf of its members in the banking industry in the face of competition in the retirement marketplace. Courage Campaign has therefore called upon its more than 750,000 members to become directly involved with their state representatives and urge review and quick passage of this important bill.
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CourageCampaign.org is an online organizing network that empowers more than 750,000 grassroots and netroots activists to push for progressive change and full equality in California and across the country. As a leading multi-issue advocacy organization, Courage Campaign’s work is supported by thousands of small donations from our diverse community.