In earlier editions of "Hess Notes" and at our spring meeting at UCSD we discussed constitutional amendments to change the membership of the UCRS Advisory Board. The initial attempt was Assembly Constitutional Amendment 5 (ACA 5). ACA 5 was never brought up to a vote and AFSCME then proposed a ballot initiative to move control of the UC's retirement program from the Regents to a new board of trustees. On November 10, 2009, the CA Secretary of State authorized AFSCME to begin seeking signatures to qualify the initiative for the June 2010 primary election ballot. The deadline to get the required 694,354 signatures was June 8, 2009. On June 24, 2009 the Secretary of State reported that the initiative had failed to qualify. It is not clear if an attempt was made to get signatures, but reportedly AFSCME chose a new strategy and is supporting Assembly Constitutional Amendment 24 (ACA 24) and Senate Constitutional Amendment 21 (SCA 21) which would strip the Regents of their constitutional autonomy and place the University under the direct control of the Legislature. ACA 24 is authored by Assemblymen Portantino and Nestande and SCA 21 is authored by Senators Yee and Ashburn.
Attached are [links to] two documents. One [click here] includes key points why UC opposes ACA 24 and SCA 21, background information about the measures, the UC record of success while operating with constitutional autonomy, a discussion of compensation reforms and challenges at UC, editorial comments about the proposed amendments, some Q&A, and a sample letter than can be used to contact your senator or assembly member. The second document [click here] is a letter from Mary Croughan, Chair of the Academic Council, and a resolution from the Assembly of the Academic Senate opposing ACA 24 and SCA 21 sent to President Yudof..
Currently the measures are in the Rules Committees of each house and have not been assigned to committees for hearing. It would be very appropriate to write as an individual to your representatives, especially if you know them personally. The names and addresses of your representatives can be found on the following web site: http://www.legislature.ca.gov/ Type in your zip code in the box "Find my district".
I urge that you circulate this message and the attachments to members of your Emeriti Association.
With best regards,
Charles E. Hess