ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Sick Time Initiative Could Fall Short
It appears that the Earned Sick Time initiative in Orange County could fall short of garnering the required number of petitions to earn a spot on the November ballot after all.
Up until yesterday, July 12, some 37,154 petitions had been turned in, but only 21,410 were valid according to the Supervisor of Elections Office. 43,605 valid petitions of Orange County registered voters are needed for the initiative to make it onto the November ballot.
A few months ago, Citizens for a Greater Orange County, a progressive coalition, launched an energetic effort to protect workers’ rights locally through a citizen initiative guaranteeing earned sick days for workers. Dozens of other organizations, such as Jobs with Justice and the NAACP have also jumped in to assist the effort and to help collect the needed petitions to place Earned Days on the November ballot.
Notwithstanding the energy behind the initiative, it seems unlikely to make it on the ballot, in view of the August 7, pending deadline from the Supervisor of Elections Office.
One major problem is that only about 50 percent of the petitions being turned in are judged to be valid. Then, you know that things are bad when groups are now paying for petitions.
Sadly, a breakdown of the data shows some districts are doing very poorly in terms of petitions submitted against what’s needed. For example, in District 4, 10,006 valid petitions are needed. Yet, up until July 12, a mere 2,999 or 30 percent had been turned in.
District 5, didn’t fare much better. Some 6,829 valid petitions are needed, but only 1,982 or 29 percent have been turned in, to date. And in District 1, 9, 313 valid petitions are required, but only 2,123 have been submitted.
District 6, has exceeded the number of valid petitions required by 734.
In a County that relies heavily on tourism, hotels and restaurants, an Earned Sick Time initiative, you would think, ought to be a “no brainer,” making it onto the November ballot with ease.
According to the 2010 census estimates, only about 46 percent of private sector workers in Orange County receive earned sick time.