SACRAMENTO — In a final weekend of campaigning, Gov. Jerry Brown is asking everyone from students to venture capitalists to lend a hand in pushing his struggling $6 billion tax increase across the finish line.
The Democratic governor made several appearances in Los Angeles Saturday afternoon to cheer on some of the thousands of phone bankers and precinct walkers who are part of his final statewide effort to sway undecided voters and boost turnout for Tuesday's election.
Recent public opinion polls show a narrow path to victory for Proposition 30, which would help close California's budget deficit by raising the state sales tax a quarter cent for four years and hiking income taxes for seven years on those making more than $250,000 annually.
At a Silicon Valley lunch on Friday, Brown said the initiative had a "very good chance" of success if supporters do not get complacent.
The fate of the measure will have a deep impact on Brown's legacy, and failure could mean less funding for California's public universities and grade schools, which have already suffered from cycles of cuts.
On Saturday, Brown greeted Service Employees International Union precinct walkers, spoke to people phone banking with a grassroots community group and was expected to close the day with a stop at the 2012 Breeders' Cup Classic.
Courtni Pugh, Executive Director of SEIU local 99, said Brown's visit was inspiring for her members, many of whom drive buses, clean floors and serve lunches in Los Angeles public schools.
"This is really the culmination of weeks of contacting voters," Pugh said. "We had members who took six buses here today to knock on doors for hours, and to see the governor say he's doing this for them and for the kids was great fuel for the next few days."
Teachers and labor unions joint rallies in Sacramento on Saturday to launch a final get out the vote effort in support of Proposition 30. In the Central Valley, the umbrella voter participation organization California Calls was kicking off a similar four-day effort.