Monday, November 24, 2014

Victory for Flexible Work Time Initiative

Measure Q, the Berkeley Flexible Work Time Initiative, won overwhelmingly, with 78.79% voting Yes - a margin of more than three to one.

Because this was an advisory initiative, we still have a lot of work ahead of us, getting a law passed in Berkeley and getting a bill introduced in the state legislature.

This is the first time that flexible work time has ever been on the ballot, and the overwhelming victory shows that this is an issue whose time has come. Earlier this year, President Obama issued an executive order giving this sort of flexibility to federal employees. I expect the issue to keep becoming more prominent.

This is an issue that will change people's lives. There are lots of working couples who have trouble balancing work and family, and this sort of law will make their lives dramatically better.

We have made progress on our goal of getting people to see that work time is not only a family issue; it is also an environmental issue. If people choose to work less and consume less, they will also pollute less. Bill McKibben was one of the early endorsers of the initiative, and the Sierra Club and Green Party also endorsed it - as did the Democratic Party of Alameda County, showing that it is a mainstream issue.