BREAKING: Earned Sick Days Fails to Gather Petitions by Jacobs’ Deadline
The Earned Sick Days campaign in Orange County has fallen short of the needed petitions and time may be up. In a turn for the worse, Citizens for a Greater Orange County and their coalition are in for a very bad week. The coalition was certain they would be successful in making the November ballot just weeks ago. As of 5pm Monday, the group had only 40,977 valid petitions, according to the Orange County Supervisor of Elections office. The group did drop another batch off today that has not been checked – but is there time?
Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs said earlier she would need the initiative in her hands by August 7th County Commission meeting in order to be able to send the issue to the ballot. The Supervisor of Elections office has said it needs that directive this month in order to put this item on the ballots before they are sent to print in late August. That means tomorrow’s meeting could be the group’s only chance – and they don’t currently have enough petitions.
The coalition, led by Organize Now, hired an onslaught of paid canvassers and launched round-the-clock petition gathering efforts to get 43,605 petitions needed to make the November ballot. The law requires petitions be collected from at least 7% of registered voters in each County Commission district and the coalition is short in at least two of those districts as well. The campaign is advised by Scott Randolph, local Democratic Party chair and state representative not seeking re-election, and the coalition includes several local organizations including Jobs with Justice, CWA, the NAACP and others.
On top of that bad news, the Chamber of Commerce announced they were filing suit against the Earned Sick Time initiative led by Citizens for a Greater Orange County and Organize Now. So even if they make the ballot, they will have to handle a lawsuit and a multi-million dollar opposition campaign waged by big business. The Chamber of Commerce also released an “internal” memo about members of the coalition leadership as part of their opposition research and initial PR campaign.
Sick days in Orange County may be dead under this coalition. The ultimate losers are working families without options when they are sick or when a loved one is sick.