CAN WE MAKE LOS ANGELES NEXT?
Companies who abuse workers or frack or grow genetically-modified food or pollute the climate are trying to undermine Democracy by slipping this through…
By a unanimous vote, today the Seattle City Council approved a resolution opposing Trade Promotion Authority (“Fast-Track”) for the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.
Fast Track legislation would establish a process that allows Congress no amendments and limited debate on pending trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.
“Trade and the massive 12-country TPP will impact every resident in Seattle in when it comes to our future labor rights and environmental sustainability,” said Dave Freiboth, Executive Secretary of the King County Labor Council, AFL-CIO. “We applaud the Seattle City Council for saying ‘no’ to Fast Track and saying ‘yes’ to open debate about a different trade policy that will balance trade, combat income inequality and lift standards around the world.”
The New York Times reports that under the TPP, cities like Seattle [and Los Angeles] are at risk of having local environmental and labor standards challenged by multinational companies who could bring lawsuits outside the U.S. judicial system as a means to seek damages. This approach could give extrajudicial tribunals authority to effectively override local, state and federal regulation. This trade agreement could specifically jeopardize Seattle’s paid sick leave, $15 minimum wage and local hire policies giving foreign companies potential legal standing to sue local jurisdictions over labor and environmental policies.
“Seattle’s deep-rooted values in democracy and environmental sustainability, and its recognition of the urgent need to act on climate change, are inconsistent with fast tracking a massive trade agreement like the TPP,” said Selden Prentice of 350 Seattle, an organization fighting for climate justice which encouraged the city council to pass the resolution.
A diverse coalition of more than 50 Seattle-area organizations representing labor unions, community organizations and faith, immigrant and public health groups joined together in support of the Seattle City Council resolution that opposes “Fast Track” trade authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
WE CAN MAKE LOS ANGELES NEXT, BUT WE HAVE TO MOVE FAST
Last year, Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz held a big press conference with the Sierra Club, Food & Water Watch, the Teamsters, and “Expose the TPP,” then introduced a similar resolution to oppose Fast-Track and received a LOT of push-back inside City Hall. The resolution is still viable, we just need to move it out of the Rules/Inter-Governmental Relations Committee, get it before the City Council for a vote, and then get it signed by the Mayor. All of these will be a challenge and the lobbyists for all the bad-actor corporations will be working against us, including Monsanto, the American Chemistry Council, Exxon, FreePort McMoran, Philip Morris, Halliburton, and their ilk.
FIRST, CALL OR EMAIL MAYOR GARCETTI (yes…) (talking points below):
Mayor Eric Garcetti – (213) 978-0600
NEXT, CALL OR EMAIL THE COUNCILMEMBERS ON THE RULES/INTERGOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE:
Herb Wesson - Council District 10 – (323) 733-8233
Jose Huizar - Council District 14 – (213) 473-7014
Especially if you live in any of their districts, please contact them immediately and tell them you “want them to put Councilmember Koretz’s City Council resolution opposing Fast-Track of the Trans-Pacific Partnership on the Rules Committee agenda for a vote and for them to support it.” Even if you live in another district, since this is a committee, please call and voice your support.
– the Seattle City Council voted on March 30th to oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership, saying that it could compromise Seattle’s strong stance on the environment and on workers’ rights. We also need to prevent Los Angeles from being compromised.
– the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is being negotiated in secret, without any consultation with the Los Angeles City Government, nor through the National League of Cities, nor the U.S. Conference of Mayors;
– reports on the substance of the TPP indicate it would have direct, potentially undesirable consequences for our City’s residents, local businesses, local jobs and the environment;
– the U.S. would agree to waive “Buy American” or “Buy Local” requirements aimed at enhancing our local economy and creating local jobs, which have been previously adopted by the City of Los Angeles;
– U.S., state and local food safety rules could be challenged by foreign corporations as “illegal trade barriers” if found to be more stringent than standards in the TPP, thus threatening the health of our residents and potentially raising health care costs;
– the City of Los Angeles would have no right or ability to represent its interests before the foreign tribunals which would have the authority to hear cases brought by corporations under the TPP;
– two dozen environmental organizations, including the Sierra Club, Food & Water Watch, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Environment America, Oceana, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Earth.Justice and the League of Conservation Voters, have already officially expressed concerns that the TPP must contain a strong, binding, enforceable environment chapter to encourage marine conservation, protect fisheries, prevent illegal logging and associated trade, and protect biodiversity by preventing wildlife trafficking, and yet many TPP countries are opposing such rules;
– “Fast Track” procedures make it impossible for our elected representatives to adequately study and assess the Trans-Pacific Partnership Treaty presented to them in order to determine if this proposed Agreement is in the best interests of the American people, in general, and the people of Los Angeles, specifically;
– using similar rules in other free trade agreements, corporations such as Exxon Mobil and Dow Chemical have launched more than 500 cases against 95 governments — many attacking common-sense environmental laws and regulations, such as regulations to protect communities and the environment from harmful chemicals or mining practices;
-the Los Angeles City Council regularly takes actions to improve the lives, health, well-being and environment of the people of Los Angeles, whether or not those decisions impact Trans-National Corporations and we do not want to lose that ability;
NEXT, CALL THE REST OF THE CITY COUNCIL:
Here’s contact info for all the Councilmembers you need to call or email (you can cut and paste the whole lot of them at the bottom):
If you live in the City of LA, it is much more effective to call.
If you live in LA, please call all of them (email is fine, but calling is better).
If you live outside LA, please ONLY call and email Councilmember Buscaino.
Click here to find out who represents you.
Councilmember Felipe Fuentes
Councilmember Gil Cedillo
Councilmember Nury Martinez
Councilmember Bob Blumenfield
Councilmember Paul Krekorian
Councilmember Bernard Parks
Councilmember Curren Price
Councilmember Mike Bonin
Councilmember Joe Buscaino
Cut and paste the whole batch:
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
We urgently need your help to stop the Fast-Track!
Please pass this along to your interested email lists.