A make-or-break moment
December 14th, 2011
The next 16 days are critical to my chances to win for the Assembly in 2012.
As part of my primary campaign, I’ve been out talking to people across the district for the last year. It’s a humbling, exhilarating ride, but it’s also heartbreaking. The unrelenting global recession and anti-government decimation of public education and job opportunities are crushing the lives of our friends and neighbors. I want to share with you just two of the many stories I’ve heard:
- At a Santa Monica College faculty meeting, a professor named Fran could not stop the tears from rolling down her face as she told me that her four best students from last year couldn’t afford the new tuition costs, which have increased 200% in 2 years! Those are some of California’s best students, unable to continue their education because of budget cuts, more of which are looming next month. Students throughout the three college system are facing the wholesale destruction of their dreams.
- I met a young man who told me his father, Robert, a 60-year-old, hard-working plumber from San Bernardino, had to move in with him because he lost his job two years ago and is one of legions of “discouraged workers” who no longer even count in the unemployment statistics. Robert lost his wife to cancer, and then his home to foreclosure. And now his skills and experience are going to waste.
Having been a nonprofit CEO, a senior policy advisor, and an activist, I’m running to help Robert, Fran, those Santa Monica College students, and all those suffering from a decade of cuts-only budget. We are in a profound crisis after 30 years of “no tax” pledges by Republicans, which has resulted in the destruction of the safety net, massive investment in prisons instead schools, and the outsourcing of good jobs.
This is no time for politics as usual or “circling the wagons” to shut out grassroots energy like ours. This is the time for change.