If you watched last night’s Presidential Debate in the Bay Area, you might have seen a television ad from the California Business and Industrial Alliance (CABIA) criticizing the state’s AB 5 law. The same ad aired on national television earlier in the day.
The ad features stories from real freelancers, told in their own voices, who have been harmed by California’s misguided AB 5 law — a law that made it illegal for many freelancers to earn a living. Joe Biden promises to expand this approach nationwide.
Since AB 5’s passage, countless California freelancers have watched their incomes plummet. Freelancers Against AB 5, a Facebook group started by Southern California freelancer Karen Anderson, has grown to more than 19,000 members — many of whom have lost their livelihoods as a consequence of the law.
I felt an obligation to help these freelancers tell their stories because our state has left them behind. CABIA has been called the “blue-collar” trade association and I take that as a compliment; we’re not interested in playing access games at the state capitol, we want to force legislators to confront the consequences of their bad policies.
Below is just a small sampling of what freelancers had to say about AB 5: “AB 5 destroyed my life;” “It [AB 5] killed half of my income.”“It [AB 5] basically upended my entire business model.” (You can see these stories and more at FreelancersFightBack.com)
Laws like AB 5 and the Private Attorneys General Act are a disgrace to our great state. Everyone involved in sustaining these awful laws — the trial lawyers, the unions, the bought politicians — should be ashamed. California’s disastrous experience should be a warning to any politician who wants to expand these ideas nationwide.