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Opposition to "Bag Ban Bill" (AB 1998) Increasing

Tim Shestek, (916) 448-2581
August 2, 2010

Jobs, Schools, Safety Need Attention, Not Bags

Sacramento, CA (August 2, 2010) – Opposition to AB 1998, the so-called “bag ban” bill, is increasing every day across California. As several recent op eds show, Californians want their legislators to start addressing the real problems California is facing – high unemployment, staggering debt, and rapidly vanishing social programs.

Rev. Amos Brown, Senior Pastor of the Third Baptist Church of San Francisco, penned an op-ed in the July 21st edition of the Oakland Post, summing up the impact of AB 1998: “a tax on working class families who can least afford it, destroying jobs when we need more jobs, and no environmental benefit.  In this hour of crisis, let our lawmakers focus on the needs of the people. Stop wasting time on nonsense. Get back to work creating jobs and providing help for people who are desperate for a helping hand.”

Hardy Brown, publisher of the Black Voice News, in Riverside, California, argued in his July 21st op ed, “I'm an advocate for reusable bags, however…they just aren't for everyone and it's ridiculous that our legislators are trying to mandate it. In my opinion they have more important business to attend to, like focusing on the state's budget crisis, the poor rankings of our schools, the high unemployment rate in our state, and the list goes on....”

Gloria Allen of the Stockton chapter of the NAACP, Stockton Unified School District trustee and California Coalition of Black School Board Members pointed out in the July 23rd issue of the Tracy Press, “We can all solve the ’paper vs. plastic‘ questions by just taking the time to recycle our bags. We don’t need a new law or a new state bureaucracy to do what is right. Now, maybe our elected officials can get on with solving the major issues facing our state.”

On July 27th, Peter Foy of Capitol Weekly noted, “Instead of introducing 5,000 new laws and debating inane policies like banning certain grocery bags, legislators should demonstrate their commitment to making California the Golden State once again. That means setting aside frivolous distractions that don’t directly address the state’s budget, bringing businesses and jobs back to the state, and easing the tax burden on hardworking taxpayers.”

In the July 29th edition of the San Diego Voice & Viewpoint, San Diego’s top African-American weekly paper, the publication ran an editorial arguing that AB 1998 “will harm communities all across California, Including African-American communities… Simply put, this [legislation levies] a tax that will most impact those who can least afford it.  And who will benefit from this tax?  Major stores.  They will pocket the extra revenue from charging the bag fee.  So the working people of our community will be funding the profits of these stores.  That’s not right, not fair and not what our community needs.”

The Sacramento Bee agreed that taxing Californians takes the wrong approach in an editorial published Sunday, August 1st, saying: “But as much as we applaud the intent of AB 1998 and its supporters, this bill is the wrong way to encourage consumers to shift toward a more ecological way of carrying home their groceries.”

AB 1998 has been placed in suspense following a Senate Appropriations Committee evaluation on Monday, August 2nd, 2010.

The growing list of those opposing AB 1998 includes:

• California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce • Regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, (Long Beach)
• California Manufacturers & Technology Association • Downey Chamber of Commerce
• Redondo Beach Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau • San Diego Urban Economic Corporation
• Hispanic Chambers of Commerce Silicon Valley • Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Alameda County
• Black Business Association • Central California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Fresno
• Carson Black Chamber of Commerce • Los Angeles Metro Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
• California Film Extruders & Converters Association • South Bay Latino Chamber of Commerce, Los Angeles
• Californians for Extended Producer Responsibility • Cambodian Chamber of Commerce, Long Beach
• Silicon Valley Black Chamber of Commerce • Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Orange County
• Long Beach Black Chamber of Commerce • Inland Empire Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
• Moreno Valley Black Chamber of Commerce • California Coalition of Filipino American Chambers of Commerce, Los Angeles
• Sacramento Black Chamber of Commerce • American Chemistry Council

For a full list of those opposed to AB 1998 and more information about the fight against AB 1998, visit www.stopthebagpolice.com. Visitors are also invited to sign up to receive updates.

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