Tax Amazon Burbank Hosting “Action Conference” On March 13

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Tax Amazon Burbank, a grassroots coalition of workers, students, and activists, is hosting its first online Action Conference on Saturday, March 13 to allow community members, workers, and residents to debate the shape and use of a tax on Amazon and other big businesses in Burbank. The campaign seeks to use a tax on Amazon to fund Burbank schools, to build affordable social housing using union labor, and provide services to the homeless, among other needs.

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Tax Amazon Burbank is modeled after a similar tax recently passed in Seattle, which will bring in $240 million a year for environmentally sustainable social housing, union jobs, and other vital needs. That effort was led by Councilwoman Kshama Sawant, who has gained notoriety for her uncompromising class-struggle approach to politics.

The movement to tax Amazon in Burbank seeks to fulfill a central promise from Councilman Konstantine Anthony’s election campaign last November. The effort, led by grassroots organizations including Socialist Alternative, members of local unions, and other activist organizations, intends to fight for a tax on big businesses in Burbank while keeping small businesses untouched.

“When big businesses decide to open shop in our small town, we must take stock of the ramifications those businesses create in our local economy,” Councilman Konstantine Anthony wrote in a letter to My Burbank News in August 2020. “It’s time for Burbank to hold these large corporations accountable and force them to invest in the community they find so desirable…let’s tax Amazon and the other power players in Burbank, like Wal-Mart, to create a fair and sustainable community for all residents.”

The Action Conference is on Saturday, March 13 at 2:00 PM. It is open to all workers, residents, and students in Burbank.

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For more information about Tax Amazon Burbank, visit https://burbank.taxamazon.net/. To RSVP for the Action Conference, visit the Facebook event page at https://fb.me/e/46gf133Sf.

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12 COMMENTS

  1. As a concerned Burbank resident I’m as so shock how you are promoting Mr. Anthony (Democratic Socialists) agenda here and on your Twitter feed. He already promoted himself with *Letter To The Editor* on this website yesterday.

    We do not want to be another Seattle in Burbank. Noted in my comments regarding Mr. Anthony post from yesterday (let’s try to save the charm of Burbank).

    Please save Burbank and not destroy it. Hope this will be posted Craig Sherwood.

    I believe some of the voters in Burbank where not aware of all the Candidates views when the 2 city council positions where on the ballot in Nov 2020.

    Thank you!

      • Mr. Sherwood, I’m not sure which is worse, the divisiveness of these comments or the need to demean others in the course of stating their opinions.

        If your intention is to replace the now defunct Burbank Leader, you’re failing in this respect: Letters like Mr. Spencer’s should be edited for content and length. Letters should state the facts and the pertinent opinions relevant to the facts. Blatant attacks on others should be disallowed.

        We must be kind and respectful of others, no matter what their opinion may be. If we fail in this, we can no longer call ourselves a civilized society.

        • Editor’s Note: We DO NOT edit Letters or comments. If they contain personal attacks or profanity (about 35 so far) they are trashed. BTW – this is the internet, we do not need to edit for length. Maybe, instead, you could choose not to read it. All we are trying to do is provide a forum for people to express their views. If it becomes too much, we mat insist on using real names. It is amazing how people will not write things when they have to actually have to be responsible for their comments.

    • Seattle has the highest rate of economic growth in the nation. Seattle’s small businesses are flush with wealth. It’s insane. Seattle is the greatest capitalist engine in this nation behind the Bay Area. The irony of capitalism is that it produces wealth and it creates innovation while at the same time producing wealth inequality and economic and cultural disruption. Without the distribution of wealth you create homelessness and desperation and then you get social upheaval – ie riots. It may seem counterintuitive but high minimum wages and redistributive taxation actually benefit markets and economic growth and therefore freedom. This is not even to mention societal cohesion and lower crime rates. The narrative you’ve been sold since the 1980s is the exact opposite of the truth. We should be lucky to have the economic growth of Seattle and the commitment to making sure the wealth produced through white-hot market capitalism benefits our entire society and not just a few meta-national families.

  2. Mr. Anthony:

    Burbank conservatives are ripping off the handbills as fast as the roller skate team can put them up.

    We hope you like wasting time and money because we have hundreds of conservatives ripping down the handbills just as quick as they go up. We have the women on video and their faces are nice and clear. Should we ask Burbank PD to issue a citation? We are percipient witnesses and would gladly testify. Your work is a blight on our city. You are a city councilman and you’re having people post these flyers on city property?

    No company should pay a different tax than any other company. That is Un-American.

    In case you didn’t understand the Wayfair decision, Burbank is doing very well because of Amazon’s customers in Burbank. Consumers pay higher prices when taxes go up. Didn’t you take an accounting course?

    Do you actually pay any tax? As an elected official, will you share your tax returns? “Tax the rich!!!!” I would bet you didn’t pay any income tax yet you seem to have the ability to hold a job…even if you aren’t doing a good job for us. Did you even read the BWP report on Jeff Worthe’s project? I doubt it. Yet you voted for corporate welfare and you claim to be for the people. Wow! I did speak with BWP workers about the 4kV to 12kV upgrade. Interesting what you learn from actual workers.

    The socialist agenda will FAIL. PEOPLE OWE YOU NOTHING.

    We will keep ripping off the handbills. The City is thanking us, we are saving them time and taxpayer money.

    Get to work and clean up this town. Pick up trash like I do every day. Start by taking these trashy handbills off our beautiful city’s property.

    Your garbage is going right into the trash.

    And get on the phone to the governor and demand reopening. We are tired of listening to mooches asking for free stuff. Get to work and get us back to work.

    BURBANK CONSERVATIVES HATE MOOCHES. It’s a thing. Your ideas have been tried and failed over and over again. Read some history books and learn something. I do.

    Study Thomas Sowell. He USED TO BE a Marxist. You might learn something.

    • “Burbank is doing very well because of Amazon’s customers in Burbank”

      No. Burbank’s small businesses are hurting because of Amazon’s customers in Burbank. The wealth of Burbank is being transferred to Seattle. Amazon’s executives are bathing in Burbank’s wealth. They are buying $3000 bottles of Pappy Van Winkle with Burbank’s wealth. They are smoking Cuban cigars and tipping Seattle servers 50% on $1500 dinner expenses with Burbank’s wealth and then writing it off on their taxes.

      “your ideas have been tried…”

      Yes, and they were very successful in the United States from 1935 until 1980. They are still very successful in Finland, Norway, Sweden and Germany.

      “Study Thomas Sowell.”

      Thomas Sowell is 100% wrong. He is a ridiculous caricature of a dogmatic priest.

  3. This is not how Burbank became the great city it is and everyone who has worked hard to own a little piece of property should be concerned. I hope everyone reads the (FAQ) from Mr. Anthony link (see below).

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    Frequently Asked Questions
    Why should we build a movement to tax Amazon and other big businesses in Burbank?
    Burbank, like many cities across the country, faces an ongoing affordable housing crisis and an epidemic where access to a safe home with the ability to shelter in place is crucial for community health. With workplaces shutting down, people are already wondering how they’re going to afford the rents—which were already sky high even before the pandemic.

    Like most cities in California, Burbank has suffered from a chronic lack of affordable housing. The majority of people who work in our city can’t afford to live here; we have a jobs-to-housing ratio of 3 to 1, meaning 80,000 people have to commute into the city everyday! Now with the coronavirus and unprecedented economic crisis, the situation is only getting worse.

    Burbank needs over 8,700 new units of affordable housing to address the housing crisis, according to the California Regional Housing Needs Assessment Goal. But the housing crisis is nothing new. The private, for-profit market has failed, and will continue to fail, to meet human needs because corporate developers and large property management corporations—who are driven by their own profits—are exploiting their tenants. That’s why rents are still going up, even during the pandemic!

    We need a major expansion of social housing: publicly-owned, permanently-affordable, energy-efficient homes. These needs have to be funded by taxing the largest corporations, not working people or small businesses.

    This kind of expansion of housing will also serve as a major jobs program, creating thousands of living wage, union jobs, which are more needed than ever in the context of this economic recession.

    While working people are wondering how they’ll pay rent, Jeff Bezos and a handful of corporate elites have been raking in record profits during the course of the pandemic. We think Amazon and wealthy businesses should pay their fair share to address Burbank’s affordable housing crisis.

    Won’t a tax on business end up costing workers their jobs?
    This is a common falsehood spread by big business and the corporate media. This is NOT A TAX ON JOBS, WORKERS, OR SMALL BUSINESS. We are fighting for a tax only on big corporations, meaning on the multi-millionaires and billionaires. In fact, our Amazon Tax will be a major jobs program, creating thousands of desperately needed living wage union jobs in Burbank!

    During the coronavirus crisis, Congress has allocated trillions to bail out Wall Street and big business while giving working people crumbs.

    You say the tax is going to fund social housing? What is social housing?
    Social housing is housing that is outside of the private, profit-driven market that has failed us.

    Social housing is high quality, publicly owned and controlled, permanently affordable housing available to working-class individuals and families. Social housing can mean city-owned rental apartments and homes; city-owned homes maintained and operated using union labor, either by the City of Burbank or a non-profit organization; or through co-op housing or community land trust housing.

    What is our strategy to win a movement to tax Amazon and Big Business in Burbank?
    In 2020, Socialist Alternative, DSA, unions and other progressive organizations came together and built a movement which successfully passed a tax on Amazon and other big businesses. The campaign built a democratically organized movement and brought together hundreds of community members to rally, march, and participate in a series of grassroots action conferences to discuss and vote on key aspects of strategy for the movement, including what type of tax to fight for, the outlines of the eventual ballot initiative, and what it would fund.

    Due to the strength and persistence of their organizing efforts, working people in Seattle were able to win a tax on big business, redistributing 240 million dollars per year to fund COVID-19 relief, social housing, and Green New Deal programs!

    We’re going to take the lessons learned in Seattle to Burbank.

    • This is such a half-baked, utopian view of the world that I’m completely unsurprised you felt the need to post it anonymously.

      Do you want cheaper housing? Let people build on their land. It’s so simple, yet all we ever see from you heroes is incessant demands for rent control and government housing.

      If you want to live in a slum, North Hollywood is right next door. Stops trying to destroy our city and maybe even do something to help for a change.

  4. Kshama Sawant celebrated an autonomous zone in Seattle that resulted in multiple BIPOC deaths and a city left in shambles. Konstantine Anthony has denied science, pushed to shut down local businesses and applauded the authorities who arrested Rosa Parks during Black History Month.

    These are not people to be celebrated, and certainly should not be proposing any new policies. We will all be better off the sooner they are removed from their offices.

  5. Pay attention to your council candidates. Anthony is not fit for office. He was the absolute worst in a bad bunch. Every time he speaks (Rosa Parks, really ?) he shows just how unfit for office he really is. Just remember what these council people did when the elections come and vote accordingly.

  6. Craig Sherwood: Editor’s Note: We welcome all points of view as long as they are kept professional. All we are trying to do is provide a forum for people to express their views.

    Really, so why was my point of view removed ?

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