Pro-Small Biz-California Fights Legislature

 

By Richard Eber, California Political News and Views  

When things do not add up and seem to defy logic, the expression “Something is wrong with this picture” comes to mind. Such a predicament is the state of affairs in California for small business owners who struggle under the Progressive government of Gavin Newsom

With the highest tax base in the country, crippling environmental regulations, expensive workers compensation laws, housing, medical, and cost of living, this group is taking the wrath of “Big Government”.

Where do the owners of small business go to be represented with the powers that be in the Legislature where laws are passed those effects their survival in the competitive world of retail and manufacturing?

It certainly is not with the Democratic Party. How can this group which supports Cap and Trade, free medical care for undocumented residents, rent control, out of control pensions for government employees and now a split role property tax for business owners, ever be on their side?

Unfortunately, the Republican Party in California offers little relief from the Progressive onslaught.  With no state office holders and about one quarter of the legislative seats, they stand idly by while Rome burns.  Even worse, with their dismal record of winning elections, donations to the GOP cause in California are a pittance.  There is no indication that the current Anti-Trump Republican leadership is going to do much of anything to turn things around in 2220.

With opening political doors so problematical, small businesses have been left to pushing their cause with local, regional, and statewide Chamber of Commerce groups.  Sadly, in recent years, these traditional champions of small business have seen their mission co-opted by large corporate sponsors who pay their bills and fill board of director’s slots with non-local resume builder types.

Rather than taking on the big issues that the State Chamber has often tackled in the past, local chambers have concentrated on networking, promoting charitable activities, and pushing environmental initiatives.  Many tend to be more like the Masonic Order, Elks, or Rotary Club, than an advocate for entrepreneurs.  Such an ice cream social mentality is not what many small business owners are looking for in representing their interests.

This has resulted in dwindling membership for local chambers especially since the recession hit ten years ago.

Enter Jack Frost and his Pro-Small Biz California Group.  [email protected]    They are a band of activist citizens who are doing their best to represent California’s “silent majority “of entrepreneurs    who have been forgotten by both political parties and professional organizations. These are people of action who are not content to sit around participating in rigged town hall meetings.  They are too busy operating businesses that employ millions of workers.

A couple weeks ago, Frost held a meeting in Sacramento at 4pm on a Monday afternoon at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.  Surprisingly, over 200 people showed up despite having to pay $75.00 per person to attend.  These disenfranchised folks complained that they don’t believe anyone currently in power is protecting their interests.

Given the Hopson’s choice alternatives given small business, they have little choice but to raise prices, reduce their payroll, and cut back expenses trying to keep their enterprises afloat. Unwilling to give up yet, they were receptive to Frost’s ideas of appealing directly to legislators making the decisions

His grass roots efforts are centered on limited government; lower taxes a balanced budget, controlling pension cost and people taking responsibility rather than big government controlling their lives.  Frost wants members of the legislature to consider the consequences of bills they are passing on the operations of small business.

Frost also points out that if the mission of Pro-Small Biz California fails jobs will be lost with companies either going under or moving out of state.  He believes this appeal will be stronger if his organization is not affiliated with either of the two major political parties.

He intends on building an army of pro small business advocates that will put pressure directly on legislators.  Using such tactics “is the only way these people will ever understand that we are a force to be reckoned with. Frost concluded “It must be considered that small business owners are a diverse group with over half of their ranks filled with Asian, Indian, Hispanic, and Black ownership. Our voices need to be heard.”

It will be interesting to see how Pro-Small Biz California progresses in the coming months.  Their grass roots efforts are far from hopeless as evidenced by the success of Livable California’s under Susan Kirsch in effectively opposing SB-827, SB-50, and SB-330 the last few months.

There is definitely a void in power that is not being filled with the absence of meaningful opposition provided by the California Republican Party trying to keep the Democratic Machine in check.  For whatever reason, they are just not reaching enough conservatives, decline to state, and middle of the road Democrats to repel the progressive agenda.

In attending Frost’s  meeting included  such notable heavy weights as Barry Broome – CEO Greater Sacramento Area Economic Council Jon Coupal, President of Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, John Kabateck, National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) James Burling, Vice President of the Pacific Legal Foundation, and Dan Dunmoyer, CEO of California Building Industry Association.

Such individuals are not known to waste their time or risk their reputations on frivolous endeavors with no hope for success. As a group they are stunned by the Left’s intentions raising property taxes of small business with split roll increased assessments and destroying any hope of affordable housing by the State government further meddling in the process.

Business leaders are clinging to Jack Frost’s words, “if you want a better result, we need to change our methodology.”  Hopefully, Pro-Small Biz-California and other organizations will be able to successfully step in. The “something is wrong with this picture” puzzle with California politics needs to be solved pronto


Richard Eber studied journalism at the University of Oregon. He writes about politics, culture, education restaurants, and was former city and sports editor of UCSB Daily. Richard is president of Amerasa Rapid Transit, a specialized freight forwarder.


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal.


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