Why should Jerry Brown be California’s Next Governor?
Latino’s let’s use our power wisely!
By John R. Banuelos
Publisher’s Note: Mr. Banuelos was an appointee under former Governor Jerry Brown, including being the Director for the Department of Boating and and member of the Youth and Adult Offender Parole Board.
The Latino community cannot afford to sit back and let Meg Whitman rewrite California history with her money. Her paid lies about Jerry Brown are poisoning the minds of voters. She has no roots or no ties to our community. She ran a company that had no Latinos in high positions. Brown marched with Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers and as Governor he brought hundreds of Latinos into positions of great responsibility in state government.
I’ll admit that I only know Whitman from her ads and news accounts. I don’t think running EBay is enough to justify her candidacy. In private business you pick your constituencies, but not in government where public service means you serve all.
I do know Jerry from the days I worked for California Conservation Corps (CCC) Director Leroy Chatfield and Deputy Director Richard Ybarra during the infancy of the CCC in the 1970’s and later when it became a full agency in 1982. This idealistic program – Jerry’s dream – brought young people of all backgrounds together in the name of hard work for minimum wages. The benefactors were the public lands where trails were built and streams cleared. While this youth corps is a small footnote in today’s gubernatorial battle, it also documents that Brown was on the job over 30 years ago in the spirit of making California a better place to live. The CCC was a springboard for many Latinos seeking to enter state public service. The CC formula was echoed through the state government that Brown oversaw during his first years as Governor.
But, my point is not to labor on identifying all the things that Brown has done for this state over the past 38 years. His record has been made. He’s broken bread with the Latino community for a half-century while Whitman has only recently begun to court Latino voters. We don’t need to recreate Jerry Brown, but we do need to stand up to a billionaire who is targeting those who don’t know him; voters under 40. She has locked up TV time through selection day in her campaign to prove that money can buy the corner office. She is running ads in Spanish. She’s opened a campaign office in East LA and she’s hired a Latino to be her new outreach director. But, regardless of what does, she is still Meg Whitman, a high-tech executive with no experience as governor who hasn’t bothered to vote in the majority of elections and who only recently has found the importance of knowing Latinos.
Whitman is free to spend her money as she wants. The Firs Amendment and the rule of campaigning allow her to practice deceit. Those rights require Latinos to stand up for a man who was with us from the beginning, when it was unpopular for Whites to associate with Mexicans and when farm workers were someone else’s problem.
One of Brown’s most noted appointments was Mario Obledo, a Mexican-American who ran California’s Health and Welfare Agency from 1975 to 1982. Mr. Obledo ran for Governor in 1982 with few news predictions that his candidacy would awaken a sleeping giant, i.e., the Latino voters. But the surge didn’t happen. That sleeping giant has really awoken for sure this time, now we are a voting force to be reckoned with and it behooves us to use wisely our power.
One candidate has been our friend for over 40 years and another, who is trying to buy it. I know whom to trust, Jerry Brown for Governor 2010.