Thursday, September 30, 2010

Former Brown appointee says Latino minds being poisoned

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.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Latino haters destroying America

“Goose-stepping” Latino haters destroying America
By John Neri

It is frustrating to see grown, educated men take extreme efforts to devour this great country for the sake of spreading their hatred of Latinos in America.  From Arizona’s SB 1070 to Delaware’s move to adopt similar legislation (as if Latinos really want to live there) are direct efforts to undermine federal authority, pushing for the regionalization of the country, and essentially undermining what the U.S. Constitution says.

More recently, a so called constitutional instructor, Kris Kobach of Kansas and a candidate for that state’s Secretary of State post, has decided to partner with America’s number one hater of Latinos, Arizona Senator Russell Pearce (SB 1070 author), to write a new law banning births from illegal immigrants.  These so called God fearing men use the term “anchor babies” to derogatorily describe God’s gift to humans.

The U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment says that most babies born in this country are citizens automatically.  What these two public figures want to do is create state laws requiring that at least one parent be a U.S. citizen or legal resident.  They are modeling the law after what some European countries have already done.  These same two guys go around waving the American Flag and telling all of us how they love America, Praise Jesus, and yet they would rather see the U.S. function like another country and desecrate the Bible. 

Undocumented immigrants come here for the opportunity America offers, including employment and entrepreneurialism.  They take the jobs America does not want to do, but is willing to pay for them being done.  They stand at street corners selling fruit to make a living and not begging for change to buy alcohol or drugs.  More importantly, they come here seeking refuge from the oppression and poverty experienced in their country.

The French were not wrong when they gave us the Statue of Liberty to greet the oppressed, the sick, the poor.  We continuously offer a helping hand to peoples across the face of the Earth, including those who are interested in killing us like some Afghanis, Iranians, and radical Muslims.  So why are some so called American leaders interested in denying opportunities for Latino immigrants, specifically?

If Mr. Kobach and Mr. Pearce don’t like America, they are welcome to leave.  Many Latinos, if not all, are tired of being the tale end of their hate and mind polluting rhetoric.  There are much bigger issues that need immediate attention, including addressing this stubborn recession, which was not caused by undocumented immigrants.  We need leaders that will make America great again and not try to dismantle the country piece by piece.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Hispanic business group supports Prop 20, opposes Prop 27

Yes on Prop. 20/No on Prop. 27 Will Give Latinos a Stronger Voice
By María Luisa Vela (Special to The Perez Factor)

Publisher’s Note:  Maria Luisa Vela is President of the Los Angeles Metro Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

On November 2, Latinos in California will have a clear choice:  Protect and extend voter-approved redistricting reforms that ensure their fair and effective representation in election districts, or return to the days when Sacramento politicians drew districts behind closed doors, sometimes splitting Latino communities apart to dilute their voices.

A yes vote on Proposition 20 will extend voter-approved redistricting reforms to include members of Congress, so that the independent Citizens Redistricting Commission, not legislators, will draw California’s congressional districts in addition to drawing the state’s legislative districts.  

Proposition 20 will allow Latinos to hold politicians accountable, and to vote politicians out of office when they don’t address the needs and interests of the community they were elected to represent.

Unfortunately, politicians who don’t want to be held accountable have sponsored Proposition 27, a measure that will thwart congressional redistricting reform, gut the Citizens Redistricting Commission that voters approved just two years ago, and return California to the days when politicians drew their own safe districts, virtually guaranteeing reelection for themselves and their friends even when they didn’t do their jobs.

Historically, Latinos and other minorities have had very little say in how election districts are drawn.  As a result, their communities have often been divided up and fractured, and their vote diluted.  After the 2001 California statewide redistricting, at least two California districts were challenged for purposely shutting out Latino voters in order to limit their influence, but that does not have to be the case any longer.  Under Proposition 20, the Citizens Redistricting Commission must comply with the Voting Rights Act, which expressly protects minorities against unfair voting and election schemes, and protects communities of interest by ensuring they remain intact so politicians can no longer carve out Latinos to diminish their voice and their power.

Proposition 20 will ensure an open and transparent congressional redistricting process.  It will put an end to the days when politicians met behind closed doors and entered into backroom deals like the one in which a southern California congressman and his brother, a redistricting consultant, carved a reported 170,000 Latinos out of his district so he could ensure his reelection.  In contrast, the Citizens Redistricting must hold public meetings, all information brought before the commission is part of the public record and district maps must be posted for public inspection before they are approved.

Yes on 20 and no on 27 will return power to all California voters and hold politicians accountable.  For Latinos, it is also an opportunity to protect the integrity of their communities and ensure their interests are equally represented.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Latino businesses mostly ignored by gubernatorial candidates

Latino businesses mostly ignored by gubernatorial candidates
By Adrian Perez, Publisher

SACRAMENTO, CA - There are two distinct individuals running for governor of California and as their campaigns begin to gear up, it seems their message to voters sounds the same. Both are talking about getting people back to work, cutting government spending, and not increasing taxes. Yet, neither is detailing how they will get a stubborn state legislature to work with them in resolving the state’s $19 billion budget deficit, improving education, and getting the state’s economy rolling again. Worst still is that neither of them is talking directly to California’s growing new economic engine, Latino small business owners.

After being absent for the last three months, Democratic candidate Jerry Brown, a career politician, finally launched his gubernatorial campaign on Labor Day, meeting with a few hundred labor union members in different parts of the state. But over the summer, he had several chances to meet with several Latino groups, including the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce (CHCC), which represents nearly 430 thousand Latino small business owners. Instead, he only appeared in two press conferences after polls showed him losing Latino votes.

Since Brown was governor, back in 1981, the state’s Latino population has dramatically changed, creating a higher need for political leaders to address the growing economic development and educational needs of this population segment. This includes acknowledging a large shift within the Latino community going from a unionized labor force to that of small business owners. However, it appears as if Brown is unaware of that shift, opting not to meet or even acknowledge this growing political force.

More recently, Brown did not respond to requests by the powerful Latin Business Association (LBA), which represents nearly 200 thousand small business owners, to participate in their Political Action Committee’s (PAC) candidate endorsement interview process. At least Senator Barbara Boxer, whose anti-business positions are well documented, had the courtesy of letting the LBA PAC know she was unavailable for the interview.

Brown’s opponent, political newcomer and billionaire Meg Whitman has also avoided meeting with some Latino business owners. This past August, after signaling to the CHCC that she would appear at their annual conference, she failed to appear, generating strong words of disappointment from CHCC Chairman Ken Macias. However, she is scheduled to meet with the LBA’s PAC this month to seek their endorsement.

Whitman’s relentless campaigning since the June primary has been continuously targeted at the Latino voter through a series of Spanish language ads and appearances at some Latino sponsored events. Her efforts have garnered 39 percent of Latino likely voters, according to a Field Poll released two months ago. Although she and Brown are in an overall statistical tie, the number of Latino voters she is now carrying could put her over the top, allowing her to become the state’s next governor in November.

To win, Brown will need at least 60 percent of the Latino vote. According to the latest Field Poll he only has 50 percent. So, why is Brown avoiding meeting with especially Latino business groups?

In the 1970’s, it was clear that Brown was the answer for many Latinos who were seeking social justice and a chance at being at the table. He worked with the late labor leader Cesar Chavez and appointed the largest number of Latinos to cabinet and directorial positions ever. But in the last two decades, he has rarely worked with or appointed Latinos to positions of authority as Mayor of Oakland or as the state’s current Attorney General.

Conversely, Whitman has no track record with the Latino community other than creating an outreach campaign committee with prominent Latino business and political leaders. Her biggest obstacle to gain more Latino support is having former governor Pete Wilson as her campaign chair. Although they have a different perspective on the issue of illegal immigration, many Latinos do not trust or like Wilson.

Brown and Whitman will hold their first, and perhaps only, public debate on September 28th at the University of California, Davis campus. It will be televised in English and Spanish. What many Latino voters will be listening for are specifics of how each will work with the legislature on resolving the state’s economic troubles and ensure the inclusion of Latinos in economic development and education strategies.