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Brown calls for help in final push for tax hike

  • Jude Kamlan, 4, who has autism and participates in a pre-kindergarten special education program, holds a poster showing the Sesame Street character Big Bird at a rally in support of California ballot Proposition 30, on the campus of Los Angeles Cty College Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012. California Gov. Jerry Brown is trying to persuade voters to pass Prop. 30, a $6 billion tax increase on the November ballot, which would boost the statewide sales tax by a quarter-cent and income taxes for those earning $250,000. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

SAN FRANCISCO — Gov. Jerry Brown called on teachers Saturday to protect their classrooms by helping him pass a tax increase on the November ballot with a final three-week push.

The Democratic governor told about 100 union members that he needed their help for what he called the "difficult campaign" to stave off $6 billion in automatic spending cuts to schools by passing Proposition 30.

"We don't have too many days left and we need everyone," he said at a morning news conference at the San Francisco headquarters of Local 1021 of the Service Employees International Union, which was adorned with "Tax the Rich" signs.

The event kicks off a weekend of canvassing and phone banking by the 325,000-member California Teachers Association in 25 cities from San Diego to Chico.

Brown spoke principally about the tax measure, which would boost the state sales tax by a quarter cent for four years and raise income taxes for seven years on those who make more than $250,000 annually. But the semicircle of teachers standing behind him cheered loudest when he mentioned the importance of defeating Proposition 32, which would prohibit the way unions raise money for political activity.

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