I came across Prop 22 yesterday when I got a scary-sounding email from Lyft. With the subject “Update: Rideshare at risk of suspension in California,” I became immediately distrustful of the email’s contents.
For starters, I did not recall having received any email on the topic prior to this one. How could it be an update? I did a quick search through my email. There was nothing about a disruption. I had been focused on the slow delivery of regular mail for the past weeks. Now there’s this.
So immediately misleading about this being an update as though there had been a prior email. I also felt like it was a good thing to shut down rideshare for the time being because we need to stop this Covid spread. I’ve also nearly been run over or crashed into a few times by cars that sport Uber and Lyft stickers since the services have reopened. I had forgotten what that was like, and I don’t really care for it.
But I know that when the world opens up again, I’ll want to be able to take Lyft/Uber because it’s nice to be able to go to parties without needing to curtail drinking in order to be able to drive safely afterward. I don’t necessarily want the services to go away completely, but the email subject did say it was a suspension, not a complete cessation.
So, initially, I felt like I was being manipulated, but I read on.
Keep Lyft Available
Recent actions by politicians in California could force Lyft to suspend operations throughout the state as soon as next week. We know millions of Californians depend on Lyft for daily, essential trips, and we want to make sure you have the latest information on what this means, what we’re doing, and how you can help.
Millions of Californians?! During the pandemic?! Shut. It. Down. This should
not be a thing right now.
But overall these statements follow the sales pitch pattern of:
- Say something that sounds like the alternative is unimaginable: Keep Lyft Available.
- Explain who’s doing it to you: Politicians in California. We all know politicians are the worst. Everyone can get behind an attempt to show up the politicians.
3a. Show understanding of the personal impacts: Californians, you rely on these services!
3b. and be part of the solution: We want to fix this by…
3c. while ending with a list of three that goes from informational to solution to a call to action: We explain it to you, we try to make change, you need to be part of it.
Here’s a similar setup:
Stop Bacne During Covid
Recent actions by politicians have led to a reduction in access to laundromats. You may run out of clean clothes as early as Wednesday. I know you would rather do your laundry all at once instead of spreading it out over time, but that means you run the risk of being out of clean clothes entirely before the laundromat near you even lets you in. I want to make sure that you’re aware of what you can do to stay clean, share with you how I’ve made it possible for you to delay going to the laundromat without putting your health at risk, and how you can capitalize on my preparation for you by buying #raabidfun T-shirts on shop.raabidfun.com.
The rest of the email is gross in that same way. So I did some more digging.
It sure looks like Prop 22 is good only for ridesharing companies like Uber and food delivery companies like Uber Eats by classifying the drivers as independent contractors who are not subject to California’s awful Assembly Bill 5 that sought to end abuses by these companies but really ended up hurting people who enjoy the freedoms of side hustles that are real choices like friends of mine who used to contribute to sports shows but can’t anymore because the shows don’t want to have to deal with AB5. It’s insanity.
As it is, Uber and Lyft have just been saying they don’t have to follow it. I mean it’s in clear violation of the law, but that’s what they’re doing. So the effect is that it’s only hurting the little guy, and that it’s illegal for it only to fall on them.
When independent magicians can’t perform, something has gone terribly wrong.
So it’s AB5 that should be repealed. That would solve the problems of Uber, et al. without needing Prop 22. Rising tide lifts all boats.
But AB5 will stick around for an annoying reason: Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez introduced the bill. “It’s her baby,” I was told by someone on the staff of another member of the California State Assembly.
Here’s why that matters: Assemblywoman Sanchez is the chair of the Assembly Appropriations Committee. Nobody on the committee wants to cross her because their own projects won’t get money if they do. They can’t unseat her, either. She won her district with more than 70% of the vote. And she’s not term limited for another half-decade.
So the task of getting rid of AB5 sounds really tough and even more expensive. Prop 22 seems like a good way for these giant companies to dodge the effects of AB5 in a legal manner.
And that’s really bad for everyone else. No one has the combined resources of the backers of Prop 22 who is being hurt by AB5, and that means that Prop 22 would erase the efforts of those companies to continue to fight it. We need them for that.
Let’s band together to get the real issue resolved: Get rid of AB5. And we have a better shot of doing that by voting no on Prop 22.