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Supervisor, Former Latino Caucus Chair Luis Alejo Endorses Antonio Villaraigosa for Governor

Supervisor, Former Latino Caucus Chair Luis Alejo Endorses Antonio Villaraigosa for Governor

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For Immediate Release
June 23, 2017 

SUPERVISOR AND FORMER LATINO CAUCUS CHAIR LUIS ALEJO ENDORSES ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA FOR GOVERNOR

Villaraigosa receives support from top Latino leaders across the State

luis alejo endorses antonio villaraigosa for governor of californiaLOS ANGELES — Today, Monterey County Supervisor Luis Alejo announced he is supporting Antonio Villaraigosa in his bid to become the next Governor of California. Alejo previously served in the California State Assembly from 2011 to 2016, where he also served as chair of the California Latino Legislative Caucus. He leads a list of Salinas elected officials endorsing Villaraigosa for Governor, including:

  • Councilmember Gloria De La Rosa
  • Former Councilmember Sergio Sanchez
  • Former Councilmember Maria BonillaGiuriato
  • Former Councilmember Ernesto Gonzalez
  • Hartnell Community College District Trustee David Serena
  • Former Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital Trustee Victor Rey
  • Former Alisal Union School Board Member Francisca Salinas Gonzalez

Supervisor Alejo Statement:

Antonio Villaraigosa is the leader we need to unite all of California, help our state thrive economically and preserve our environment for future generations. No one in this race matches his track record on jobs, the environment, economic development and civil rights. California is at a critical juncture, and Antonio Villaraigosa is the champion that our state needs.

Antonio Villaraigosa Statement:

“It is truly humbling to have the support of Supervisor Luis Alejo,” said Villaraigosa. “With his experience at all levels of government, Luis understands the importance of having a Governor that will work with local and state level leaders that will keep improving California.”


As a public servant, Villaraigosa served as Mayor of Los Angeles (2005-2013), Los Angeles City Council Member (2003-2005), Speaker of the California Assembly (1998-2000), California State Assembly Member (1994-2000). Should Villaraigosa become elected, he would be California’s first Latino governor since 1875.

Join Antonio Villaraigosa’s campaign for Governor of California, giving voice to every Californian to make our state work for everyone. Visit antonioforcalifornia.com.

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Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia, Coachella Valley Leaders Endorse Antonio Villaraigosa For Governor

Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia, Coachella Valley Leaders Endorse Antonio Villaraigosa For Governor

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For Immediate Release
June 21, 2017

ASSEMBLYMAN EDUARDO GARCIA LEADS PROMINENT COACHELLA VALLEY LEADERS ENDORSING
ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA FOR GOVERNOR

Supporters continue to pour in from different regions across the state

LOS ANGELES — Today, Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia, D-Coachella, announced his endorsement of Antonio Villaraigosa as California’s next Governor. Garcia is joined by Riverside County Supervisor and former Assemblyman V. Manuel Perez, as well as Coachella Mayor Steven Hernandez and Coachella Valley Water District Board Vice President Cástulo Estrada in announcing their support of Villaraigosa.

Assemblyman Garcia Statement:

No one has a proven record of improving the environment like Antonio Villaraigosa. As Mayor of Los Angeles, he helped reduce carbon emissions by 28 percent in one of the world’s biggest metropolitan areas while growing green jobs. He signed agreements to get completely off coal by 2025. He reduced water consumption by 23 percent. I am confident Antonio will continue the focus on these issues and ensure environmental and economic relief across California.

Supervisor Perez Statement:

Antonio Villaraigosa will fight for good jobs for all Californians. As mayor he had a proven record of growing the economy for youth and both low and middle income workers. I strongly support him to be our next Governor and bring prosperity and jobs to our communities.

Antonio Villaraigosa Statement:

“I am honored to have the support of these distinguished Coachella Valley Leaders,” said Villaraigosa. “We must continue to work together to create a more prosperous California for everyone and make sure that no voice goes unheard.”


As a public servant, Villaraigosa served as Mayor of Los Angeles (2005-2013), Los Angeles City Council Member (2003-2005), Speaker of the California Assembly (1998-2000), California State Assembly Member (1994-2000). Should Villaraigosa become elected, he would be California’s first Latino governor since 1875.

Join Antonio Villaraigosa’s campaign for Governor of California, giving voice to every Californian to make our state work for everyone. Visit antonioforcalifornia.com.

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Assemblymember Blanca Rubio, Mayor Lozano, Three Baldwin Park Councilmembers Endorse Antonio Villaraigosa

Assemblymember Blanca Rubio, Mayor Lozano, Three Baldwin Park Councilmembers Endorse Antonio Villaraigosa

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 16, 2017

ASSEMBLYMEMBER BLANCA RUBIO JOINS MAYOR LOZANO AND THREE ADDITIONAL BALDWIN PARK COUNCILMEMBERS SUPPORTING ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA FOR GOVERNOR

Villaraigosa gains additional endorsements from elected officials in Los Angeles County

Los Angeles – Today, Assemblymember Blanca E. Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) announced her support for Antonio Villaraigosa for Governor of California. Assemblymember Rubio leads a list of leaders from Baldwin Park who are endorsing Villaraigosa in his bid for Governor, including Mayor Manuel Lozano, Mayor Pro Tem Susan Rubio and Councilmembers Monica Garcia and Cruz Baca.

Assemblymember Rubio Statement:

As the Mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa fought to improve opportunities in education for some of our most vulnerable students. As Governor, I know he will continue to fight for equal and fair education for all of our children in California.

Mayor Lozano Statement:

As a former Mayor himself, Antonio knows the importance of having a Governor who will work with local elected officials. I am proud to endorse Antonio Villaraigosa as our next Governor, working to improve the lives of the residents of Baldwin Park and all of California.

Antonio Villaraigosa Statement:

I am honored to have the support of Assemblymember Rubio and these Baldwin Park officials as we work together to help the state continue to lead the nation in providing educational and economic opportunities for every Californian.


As a public servant, Villaraigosa served as Mayor of Los Angeles (2005-2013), Los Angeles City Council Member (2003-2005), Speaker of the California Assembly (1998-2000), California State Assembly Member (1994-2000). Should Villaraigosa become elected, he would be California’s first Latino Governor since 1875.

Learn more about Antonio Villaraigosa’s campaign for Governor of California, giving voice to every Californian to make our state work for everyone. Visit antonioforcalifornia.com.

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Former CA Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso Endorses Antonio Villaraigosa for Governor

Former CA Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso Endorses Antonio Villaraigosa for Governor

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 14, 2017

FORMER CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT JUSTICE CRUZ REYNOSO ENDORSES
ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA FOR GOVERNOR

Villaraigosa announces support of Civil Rights legend Cruz Reynoso

cruz reynoso endorses antonio villaraigosa for governor of californiaFormer California Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso today announced his support for Antonio Villaraigosa for Governor of California. Justice Reynoso was the first Latino appointed to the California Supreme Court and is a professor emeritus at University of California at Davis Law School. He has also served as vice chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. In 2000, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Reynoso is recognized for his leadership in civil rights, immigration and refugee policy, government reform, the administration of justice, education and legal services for the indigent.

Cruz Reynoso Statement:

Antonio Villaraigosa has been fighting for justice and equality his entire career, from volunteering with the farm workers’ movement as a young man to his work as President of the Southern California chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. As a legislator and mayor he fought for education and opportunities for all Californians, and I am proud to support him in his campaign to take this work to the Governor’s office.

Antonio Villaraigosa Statement:

In the annals of California jurisprudence, there are few who stood as tall with the courage of his convictions in speaking out for justice and equality. I am so proud to have the endorsement of Cruz Reynoso, a true civil rights champion, in my campaign for Governor.

As a public servant, Villaraigosa served as Mayor of Los Angeles (2005-2013), Los Angeles City Council Member (2003-2005), Speaker of the California Assembly (1998-2000), California State Assembly Member (1994-2000). Should Villaraigosa become elected, he would be California’s first Latino governor since 1875.

Join Antonio Villaraigosa’s campaign for Governor of California, giving voice to every Californian to make our state work for everyone. Visit antonioforcalifornia.com.

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RELEASE: Villaraigosa Calls for Democratic Candidates to Debate in 2017

RELEASE: Villaraigosa Calls for Democratic Candidates to Debate in 2017

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 12, 2017


Villaraigosa Calls for Democratic Candidates to Debate in 2017

“We should have the courage to define and defend our views in public as we shape the future of our party and our state,” Villaraigosa said.

Los Angeles, CA – Today, Democratic candidate for Governor of California Antonio Villaraigosa asked his fellow Democratic candidates to agree to a series of substantive debates on issues that will define the future of the state and, given the size and importance of California, potentially the future of the national political landscape as well.

“All the Democratic candidates for governor call themselves progressive. But we owe it to the people of this state to show how we will make actual progress on creating high-wage jobs, improving our schools, creating affordable housing, protecting immigrants and bringing the state together,” Villaraigosa said.

Villaraigosa suggested setting up separate debates for public pre-kindergarten to 12th grade education, college affordability and accessibility, affordable housing, closing the wealth gap, health care and coverage, the environment, immigration and public infrastructure. He said he was also open to other topics suggested by his fellow Democratic candidates.

“Voters deserve an honest and substantive debate about how we are going to lift up more Californians and close the gap between the rich and poor. We should have the courage to define and defend our views in public as we shape the future of our state,” Villaraigosa said.

Villaraigosa suggested the debates could be co-hosted by community groups or simply by the candidates working together to set up guidelines for respectful and insightful debates on issues. He said he would simulcast all the debates on his website and social media properties, inviting the other candidates, debate partners and hosts to do the same.

“There are already big issues emerging. For example, Gavin Newsom says we should embrace a $400 billion dollar single-payer healthcare proposal, and I believe our first goal should be to protect the millions in danger of losing coverage if the Affordable Care Act is repealed. Let’s hear each other out and let the public hear from us directly,” Villaraigosa said.

The former Mayor of Los Angeles said debates with all the candidates, including the Republican candidates, would be equally important and suggested there would be time for those debates next year.

“Californians need more than just talk to tackle the tough issues ahead – we need leaders who can embrace the truth and deliver real solutions. Debating together will only make this party stronger,” Villaraigosa said.

He acknowledges that early debates are unusual. “Business as usual isn’t working in campaigns. Creating a forum for honest and civil debate empowers our rank and file to engage with us, and it helps diminish the power of special interests,” he said.

Villaraigosa said he emailed his fellow candidates and will phone them directly, asking them to debate. He is committed to reporting back on their replies.

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Hon. Fabian Núñez: I support Antonio for Governor

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At this crucial moment, California needs leaders who can do more than just talk about problems. We need leaders with the courage and compassion to solve them.

That’s why I strongly support Antonio Villaraigosa for Governor – and I hope you will join me by giving him your personal support.

As a candidate for Governor, he is reaching out to every corner and every community of this state – giving voice to everyone, particularly those who have been left out of our political discourse and, frankly, left behind by our economy.

Antonio has the courage to stand up for the most effective policies, not the politically expedient ones. During his days leading the ACLU of Southern California, he fought to break the school to prison pipeline. As Speaker of the California State Assembly, he pioneered the Healthy Families program, which provides health insurance to hundreds of thousands of children. And as Mayor of Los Angeles, he made improving public schools his highest priority.

The results and his record speak for itself:

  • As Mayor, he closed a budget gap and dramatically lowered crime rates while investing in hundreds of miles of new transit, new affordable housing and better public schools.
  • As Speaker, he stood up for immigrants and fought against attacks on our friends and neighbors – well before it was popular politics.
  • More than a decade before progressive ideas like marriage equality or sensible gun control won the support of most politicians, Antonio was a leader – introducing a comprehensive assault weapons ban and clearly standing up early for marriage equality.

As a former Speaker of the Assembly myself, I know just how hard it can be to stand up to both political friends and foes to put the interests of the people first. It takes guts, and Antonio has what it takes to consistently fight for, and win, progressive policies to move our state forward and bring our state together. Antonio tells it like it is. He stands up for what matters – whatever the political consequences.

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John A. Pérez: Antonio Is More Than My Cousin – He’s My Champion

John A. Pérez: Antonio Is More Than My Cousin – He’s My Champion

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I believe Antonio is the right choice to lead our state and build on these last eight years of progress.

There are many practical reasons to support Antonio. He knows the levers and choke points of government. He knows how to turn policy goals into policy achievements. He knows how to keep budgets balanced and stable.

There are many progressive reasons to support Antonio. He launched unprecedented efforts to reduce carbon emissions in Los Angeles. He built a world class public transit system in a city where there are more cars than people. And as a labor organizer and director of the ACLU of Southern California, he has never ceased to be a champion for working people, immigrants and communities of color.

 

But I have a very personal reason for supporting Antonio, and I’d like to share it with you.

In 1994, Antonio was running for the State Assembly for the first time, and he appeared before Stonewall Democrats to ask for our endorsement. I was a young labor organizer, becoming more active in community and political life. Now, the fact that Antonio even asked for our endorsement was significant. This was 1994, where public support for LGBT rights was a fraction of where it stands today. Ideas like domestic partnerships were still years away and many Democrats saw LGBT rights as a third-rail issue.

Not Antonio. He came to our meeting and asked for our support.

And during the question and answer portion, he very matter-of-factly answered “yes” when he was asked if he supported same sex marriage. That was such a meaningful moment for me. I felt chills down my spine. Antonio is my cousin, so of course I was going to vote for him. But in that moment, he made it clear that he was something more than my cousin: he was my champion.

Just like he’s always been a champion for immigrants. And working people. And the poorest, sickest and most vulnerable Californians.

And more importantly, Antonio fought for us in the Assembly. The first employment protections for LGBT Californians were introduced and passed by Antonio. It would be another decade before most politicians had the courage to embrace a position that came to Antonio as naturally and quickly as any other issue of justice.

And that’s because justice is the through-line of Antonio’s career. He’s fought for minimum wage increases time and again because he believes in worker justice. He believes that environmental justice means clean air, clean water and clean power for every Californian.

And he believes in opportunity.

Antonio and I grew up in a California where the government was unflinching in taking bold action to create opportunity – but those opportunities weren’t always accessible to folks who grew up in places like Boyle Heights and El Sereno, like Antonio and I did. But we had those opportunities because an earlier generation of Latino leaders fought hard to earn a seat at the table in the Legislature. They made sure that visionary policies like the Master Plan for Higher Education were available to folks like Antonio and I. That inclusive vision, paired with prudent stewardship of our finances, resulted in unprecedented prosperity and growth for California.

Antonio believes that’s the spirit we need to recapture – a bold, transformative effort to create more opportunity for the middle class and low-income Californians.

I know we have a lot of good candidates for Governor. I have served with many of Antonio’s competitors, and I have great respect for them. I support Antonio because he alone has the right level of compassion, experience and conviction.

I’m proud of Antonio and of what he’s accomplished. I often think back to that Stonewall Democrats meeting. He was willing to risk his entire political career because he believed in what was then an unpopular truth – that LGBT Californians were deserving of equal rights.

I thought about that evening when he was sworn in as Mayor. I had the same chills and for the same reason. Antonio had just taken his oath of office, and I knew, absolutely knew, that there were kids who would find out their new mayor’s name was Antonio and possibilities that had never occurred to them before would suddenly occur to them. Some of those kids were thinking “maybe I can be mayor” – just like some of my peers in 1994 were thinking, “I never thought I’d hear a straight candidate support same sex marriage.”

Progress is achieved when our politics and our government are aspirational. And progress is maintained when our leaders are prudent, focused and decisive. Antonio Villaraigosa has been fighting for justice and progress his entire life. He’s dreamed big, and he’s balanced budgets. He has the talent and tenacity to run our state, and he has the compassion and conviction to create the environment where our progressive values can thrive.

For these reasons, I hope you will join me in supporting Antonio Villaraigosa for Governor.

Sincerely,

John A. Pérez, Speaker Emeritus

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Californians Deserve a Fair Shake

Californians Deserve a Fair Shake

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A new report from prominent and respected economic and policy experts, as well as labor, political and business leaders, was just released – and everyone who cares about closing the gap between the rich and poor should take notice.

It comes from the Fair Shake Commission on Inequality in California, which is chaired by environmentalist and investor Tom Steyer. The panel includes a “who’s who” list of respected leaders from Provisional President of SEIU Local 2015 Laphonza Butler to former Member of Congress George Miller to former State Senator Darrell Steinberg.

The bottom line – the report shows that the problem of income inequality might be even worse than we imagined.

The new report highlights that wages for California workers have stagnated despite the fact that they are more productive than ever. Between 1979 and 2013, according to statistics quoted by the report from the UC Berkeley Labor Center, worker productivity was up 89 percent but median hourly compensation grew by just 3 percent during that same period. That’s a long way of saying – the rich got richer, but the workers didn’t.

Sadly, there are enduring regional and racial divides when it comes to income and family wealth. The report shows that in California, in 2014, 24.8 percent of African Americans, 23.3 percent of Latinos and 23.1 percent of Native Americans were living in poverty, compared to 10.2 percent of whites. As we know, here in California, many places on our coast are thriving, but travel just a few dozen miles inland, and you will find pockets of crushing poverty.

My campaign to give voice to every Californian starts with a clear vision – we need to lift more families up with better schools, affordable job training programs, college degrees, affordable homes, modern infrastructure and, most of all, access to meaningful work that gives people both a living wage AND provides job satisfaction with dignity.

To create high-wage jobs and attract and retain high-wage industries, we need to make sure we have the best trained workers, not just in America, but in the world. That takes investment in ourselves – from universal pre-kindergarten to affordable and accessible college and job training. Just about every industry of the future will be a knowledge-based industry. It just about takes the skill of a 1950’s auto designer to be an auto mechanic in the new century. Almost all of the manufacturing of the future will be based on high-technology. These jobs don’t all require college degrees, but they do require job training and, usually, life-long job training.

The industries of the future will be located in the states and communities where they can find the best-trained workers. And that will take not just a continued investment in our students and work force, but new investments in roads, rail and water infrastructure to grow our economy and in affordable housing that attracts and retains high-skilled workers.

To me, the campaign for Governor must be a fact-based and vigorous debate on how we can close the gap between rich and poor and help millions of Californians who have been left out or left behind earn the respect, dignity and meaningful work they seek.

This report is an outstanding addition to this vital discussion.

You can read the report here.

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A Failing Grade on College Access

A Failing Grade on College Access

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The dedicated folks at the Campaign for College Opportunity have released a detailed report card this morning on access to college for Californians – and the results are sobering.

On key metrics like access to higher education and completion of college, California gets a failing grade. Only on one key metric – college preparation – do we earn an acceptable grade. And even on this important issue, there is much room for improvement.

To close the still growing gap between the rich and poor we need to dramatically increase access to college and lifelong learning and make sure students can earn degrees and certificates without crushing debt.

The foundation of attracting and retaining high-wage jobs is making sure we have highly trained workers ready for these jobs. According to this report, we must produce 1.7 million more degrees over the next decade.

That’s a big goal, but with the help of great advocates like the folks at the Campaign for College Opportunity, we can get there.

Find out more and read the full report at http://collegecampaign.org/RaisetheGrades.

California summary of grades a failing grade on college access california college antonio villaraigosa for governor

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Neglecting Children’s Nutritional Needs Will Negatively Impact Their Ability to Learn

Neglecting Children’s Nutritional Needs Will Negatively Impact Their Ability to Learn

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I have the honor of calling former First Lady Michelle Obama my friend. Our friendship developed while I chaired the Democratic National Convention in 2012 and through our work with the California FreshWorks Fund, a program that brings healthy food options to under-served communities.

Recently, Mrs. Obama criticized an announcement that the Trump Administration made regarding school lunches. The current Administration stated that it would delay the implementation of regulations issued under the Obama Administration, which required reducing the sodium content of school lunches and delivering healthier meals to our children. Like Mrs. Obama, I too believe neglecting children’s nutritional needs will have a negative impact on their ability to learn.

While I was the Mayor of Los Angeles, my number one passion was public education. I recognized that our children will not be able to focus on learning if they live in communities where they do not feel safe walking to school. The same holds true of ensuring that all children have access to healthy food. If our children are not well nourished, their brains cannot be nourished either.

If the current Administration is not going to take responsibility for our children’s health or education, then as Californians, we have to lead by example. Unfortunately, we are falling short of this obligation. According to the California Association of Food Banks, almost one in four children in California may go to bed hungry every night. National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) statistics place California in the bottom half of states in terms of K-12 educational achievement. These statistics suggest that we are not meeting the needs of our most vulnerable population, children. In order to help them succeed, we need to consider the whole child, not just their test scores.

Investing in our schools means investing in our children’s health, safety and education. As governor, I will work with communities — local leaders, families, healthcare providers, principals, and teachers — to distribute our resources properly, ensuring the success of our children who are the future leaders of our State and Nation.

You can check out Michelle Obama’s interview here and our work with the California FreshWorks Fund here.

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