(MODESTO, CA) — Concerned that deeper state budget cuts will compromise their children’s education, seniors’ health, and their communities’ safety, over 150 Modesto area residents gathered on Thursday in front of Senator Cannella’s office to deliver a message of courage, “Doing the right thing isn’t always easy, but we are counting on you. No more cuts!”
“California is in a crisis, and we can’t afford even deeper cuts to our schools and public safety,” said John Sarraille, a local professor at CSU Stanislaus. “We know it’s hard for politicians to buck the party line, but we’re here to tell Cannella to stand with the majority of his constituents, who don’t want deeper cuts.”
Under strong pressure from extremists not to support a compromise, Senator Cannella heard directly from constituents about the things that matter the most to them: schools, safe communities, and caring for seniors and children. More specifically, constituents urged Cannella to vote in favor of maintaining existing revenues which are set to expire on June 30th. If these revenues are not maintained, $9.6 billion more in cuts will be made, which will severely affect students, seniors, and families in the Modesto area:
- Local schools, which have already lost an average of $1000 per student, will be cut by another $77 million.
- Deeper cuts will threaten local public safety. Stanislaus county is already slashing effective law enforcement programs such as Police Activity Leagues and the Methamphetamine Enforcement Task Force.
- 21,000 Stanislaus county seniors struggling to survive have had their basic income support cut by a total of $76 million dollars since 2008/09.
- Deeper cuts will reduce access to parks and outdoor spaces. Two parks in Senator Cannella’s district are already slated to be closed, and Stanislaus County is struggling to maintain fishing access points and rural roads.
“Things are already deteriorating here in Stanislaus County,” said Karlyn Echols, a local senior. “Our seniors are struggling. Our schools are getting more crowded. And our police and firefighters are being undermined by budget cuts. We can’t take any more cuts, and we’re counting on Senator Cannella to stand up and do what’s right.”