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How Californians Defeated a Corporate Hand-Out

December 15, 2022

Millions of dollars were spent in favor of Proposition 30. It seemed like the perfect framing for famously environmentally minded Californians. The campaign’s slogans played well as sound bites, but poorly as actual policy, leading the effort to fall flat on its face with voters.

What happened? The NCC and other partners, including Governor Gavin Newsom, the NAACP, California teachers and small businesses, unmasked the measure for what it truly was: a special interest giveaway.

The NCC took an early and aggressive stance against Prop 30, a ballot measure that would have raised taxes on Californians and funneled that money to benefit rideshare corporations. Rallying support from communities and our partners across the state, the NCC ran direct digital ads to educate the public on the reality of Prop 30. Far from being a noble approach to tackling climate change, Prop 30 was little more than a Trojan Horse for cynical special interests eager to shift their responsibility for hitting EV targets onto the backs of California taxpayers. 

Climate change is a deadly serious problem, both for our state and for our planet. It’s critical for California to lead the way on meaningful solutions, which means prioritizing smart investments. But that’s where Prop 30 went sideways. 

At best, a law that makes taxpayers subsidize electric cars for private companies was a red herring in our struggle against climate change. At worst, it was a greedy corporate cash-grab. The fight for the planet is too important for such hijinks. Common-sense voters agreed and sent the misguided initiative to a resounding defeat at the ballot box. Chalk one up for serious-minded Californians who were too smart to be hoodwinked by virtue signaling and fakery.

Prop 30 boosters attacked anyone who opposed the initiative as “climate deniers” or other such nonsense. In a way, it’s emblematic of California politics that has come to be dominated by the extremes. .In an environment where every position is an ideological purity test, pragmatism and reason have little space to operate.Whether it is tackling climate change, increasing our housing supply to address rising costs, or supporting small businesses to create jobs and more socio-economic opportunity – the NCC is ready for leadership that cares more about solving problems and expanding opportunity for all Californians than name-calling. 

The effort to defeat Prop 30 in the face of moneyed special interests showed us that we are not alone.. By our estimation, there are likely more than nine million California voters who share our vision for a common sense future, and we are just scratching the surface of what happens when we mobilize them.

From defeating Prop 30 to seeing our NCC champions elected to serve in the state legislature, a new day is dawning for California. The power of the NCC, our voters and this movement is only just beginning and we aren’t stopping here. Follow along with us on Instagram @newdayca, and join us as we continue to organize and build for more victories in the years to come.