By Sheri Williams
Two Sacramento lawmakers were among those given top honors by the Labor Federation for their dedication to advocating for workers’ rights in 2022.
Assemblymember Kevin McCarty and State Senator Richard Pan, who has since termed out of office, were both awarded a 100 percent labor-vote ranking in the latest “Force for Progress Scorecard on the Labor Movement’s 2022 legislative priorities.”
“Kevin McCarty and Richard Pan have both proven themselves time and again to be champions of working people,” said Sacramento Central Labor Council executive director Fabrizio Sasso. “Labor has worked hard to elect leaders that share our values, and these representatives have shown us the power of our votes and our hard work.”
Sasso added that the Labor Council now looks forward to working with State Sen. Angelique Ashby, who recently won the seat Pan held.
The Legislative Scorecard is a tool to hold legislators accountable to working Californians. McCarty and Pan were among only 15 legislators that scored 100 percent voting on legislation that mattered to labor. Governor Gavin Newsom scored 88 percent on signing and vetoing bills.
“Working Californians will never be able to outspend big corporations when it comes to politics. Our strength comes from workers joining together for collective power to take on the bosses and billionaires and winning meaningful change at work,” said Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, leader of the California Labor Federation. “Legislation is a key tool to win critical fights on the ground and at the bargaining table. This scorecard calls out those legislators who stuck by their labor values and stood with working people each and every time, no matter what big business interests were opposed.”
The Scorecard reflects votes taken and recorded, but legislative labor champions go beyond just good votes to take action. They join picket lines, write letters in support of organizing and contract campaigns, author priority labor bills, and stand in solidarity with workers on strike.
Most recently, McCarty has been advocating for streamlined processes for community college students to transfer to UC’s. That pathway is a critical one for working families, both as they struggle with the cost of tuition and the limited enrollment at universities.
“We have a way to simplify it for everybody. Why would we not do that?” McCarthy said during a recent legislative hearing.
McCarthy has also advocated for free preschool for all California 4-year-olds.
Pan was a champion of health care reform, including pushing for better vaccination rules for school children during the pandemic.