This is NOT what Orange County democracy looks like!
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Unbelievable! Orange County Commissioners are continuing to thwart voters and we can’t let this stand. This past Tuesday night the Commission failed to vote to place the Earned Sick Time measure on the ballot for November, and voted instead to delay consideration – a move that could keep the petition-driven measure off the November 6 ballot.  Tell the Orange County Commission: Let the voters decide! Put Earned Sick Time on the ballot! http://action.momsrising.org/letter/psd_oc_letvotersdecide/?source=taf Over the summer, more than 50,000 petition signatures were gathered from Orange County voters to put Earned Sick Time on the November 6 ballot. The Earned Sick Time ordinance – which would require employers to allow workers to earn sick time when they are ill or need to care for a sick family member – was the first citizen-led petition to qualify for the ballot in Orange County history. Historic! Inspiring! But then the Orlando County Commission did something historically bad. In accordance with the Orlando County Charter, once those petitions were certified last month, commissioners had to either adopt the plan as an ordinance or it would automatically be placed on the November 6 ballot for voters to decide. Tuesday night the Orange County Commission voted to delay consideration of Earned Sick Time – a move that could keep the petition-driven measure off the November 6 ballot – even though more than 50,000 VOTERS in Orange County submitted petitions to place Earned Sick Time on the ballot. The Orange County Commission's refusal to put the Earned Sick Time measure on the November ballot is voter suppression in its purest form. 50,000 Orange County voters signed petitions asking that the question be placed on the November ballot; the advocates who helped gather the necessary signatures played by the rules for citizen-led initiatives under the Orange County Charter. Even the Orlando Sentinel, which has opposed the substance of the initiative, editorialized in favor of placing it on the ballot, saying the measure deserved a “fair shot in the arena of public opinion.”  Tell the Orange County Commission: Play fair! Put Earned Sick Time on the ballot and let the voters decide! http://action.momsrising.org/letter/psd_oc_letvotersdecide/?source=taf Why is Earned Sick Time so important? Aside from the obvious public health benefits, Earned Sick Time helps keep people in the jobs they desperately need. Research shows that Earned Sick Time saves employers money too, because allowing employees to take sick time when they need it is far less expensive than the costs of replacing workers including advertising for, interviewing, and training new employees.  Additionally, "presenteeism", when workers come to work sick, costs the national economy about $160 billion a year in lost productivity.  Washington, DC, Seattle, San Francisco, and Connecticut have all successfully enacted sick time policies. And in San Francisco, a recent survey found that paid sick days have NOT had the negative consequences opponents feared, the policy was easier to implement than anticipated, and employees are not abusing the system – as it turns out, employees are actually taking less than half of the paid sick days they earned.  The Orange County Commissioners themselves get Earned Sick Time paid for by the taxpayers, and yet Commissioners are working hard to make sure others don't get the same benefit by denying voters a chance to decide. This is NOT what democracy looks like. Orange County voters deserve better from their elected officials. Tell Orange County Commissioners: Play fair! Put Earned Sick Time on the ballot and let the voters decide! http://action.momsrising.org/letter/psd_oc_letvotersdecide/?source=taf *And please don’t forget to forward this email to friends and family so they can take action too! With your help, we will make history in November when Orange County becomes the first municipality in the southeast to provide this important protection for us all.  Sun Sentinel: Orange leaders vote to delay sick-time ballot measure http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-09-12/news/os-orange-commissioners-sick-time-20120911_1_sick-time-commissioners-measure  Orlando Sentinel: Let voters make the call on mandatory sick leave http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-09-13/opinion/os-ed-paid-sick-leave-091312-20120912_1_sick-trick-county-charter-election-day  Christine Siegwarth Meyer, et al, “Work-Family Benefits: Which Ones Maximize Profits?” Journal of Managerial Issues, vol. 13, no. 1, Spring 2001.  Stewart, W. et al. (2003, December). Lost Productive Health Time Costs from Health Conditions in the United States: Results from the American Productivity Audit. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 45. Retrieved 22 April 2011  San Francisco’s Paid Sick Leave Ordinance: Outcomes for Employers and Employees, by Robert Drago, Ph.D. and Vicky Lovell, Ph.D. (February 2011)
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