“More than a Dream”
California Democratic Party Convention 2018
February 24, 2018
Hello Democrats – Saludos a todos!
We’re here today because the California we grew up in was more than a dream. It was a real place where people could work hard, make it into the middle class – and stay there. I’m running for governor because we need to make that dream possible again.
We may not all start with the same opportunities, but we all want the same things: a good paying job, a safe neighborhood to raise our kids, a home we can afford, quality public schools, access to affordable health care and most of all – dignity and respect!
But, too many Californians are living paycheck to paycheck. Millions of immigrants are living in the shadows. And millions of Californians are working harder than ever before, but still falling further and further behind.
We are two Californias: one rich – and getting richer. And another where millions of hardworking families are still struggling to make their California dream come true.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. They call us the “Golden State,” and we can shine again – if we focus on what matters: creating more economic opportunity everywhere. This isn’t an abstract idea to me. It isn’t something I heard about at a panel at Davos. This has been my life’s vocation.
Some call it “income inequality,” but it’s much deeper than that. It’s time with your family inequality because you have to work two or three jobs. It’s opportunity inequality because your kids don’t have the same quality schools. It’s health inequality because you’re not living at the top of the hill, but at the bottom where the air and water are dirty.
Most of all, it’s respect inequality because that’s what a good job brings — pride, dignity and respect. And that’s why my priority as governor will be creating middle-class jobs that make it possible for families to buy homes, send their kids to college and retire with dignity.
We have enough Democrats worrying about Tesla drivers. We need a governor who is thinking every day about how families are going to earn gas money or bus fare to get to work.
As president of the ACLU of Southern California, I never gave up on the idea that every single person deserves equality, opportunity and respect. As speaker, I didn’t give up on the notion that universal healthcare was a right – not a privilege – which is why I authored and passed one of the largest expansions of healthcare in California until the ACA.
As Mayor of Los Angeles, I took over a city on the brink of bankruptcy, and I wasn’t afraid to be honest and make the hard choices it took to get us back on track. And we did get back on track, cutting violent crime by nearly 50 percent, taking on and turning around schools that had failed many of our kids for generations.
I wasn’t afraid to fight for what matters because being a progressive is more than a press release that helps politicians climb up the political ladder. Progressive in California must mean helping millions more climb the economic ladder!
Progress should be measured by how many Californians are: earning a middle-class wage, attending quality public schools, living in affordable homes, able to find quality and affordable healthcare and can retire with dignity.
I grew up in a home rich in love, but limited in opportunity.
I was raised in a neighborhood where we shared food with the families that couldn’t quite make it until payday. I’ve seen the despair of a man who cannot feed his family and the fear of a woman with children being evicted from her home.
I know the “other” California because I grew up in that California.
The great American poet Langston Hughes asked us, “What happens to a dream deferred?”
I’ve seen what happens when our dreams are deferred.
I’ve seen the homeless on our streets grow as fast as the population of our prisons. But I’ve also seen the hope in a child’s face who attends a school that has turned around. I’ve seen redemption swell the heart of a man once incarcerated who has been given a second chance. I’ve witnessed the pride of a working family being handed the keys to their first home.
Our California dream can no longer be deferred.
I’m asking you to believe in it again — to believe in each other again.
Because it’s more than just a dream.
And together – we are going to make our dream come true again.
For Immediate Release: February 24, 2018
Contact: Luis Vizcaino
SAN DIEGO, CA – Today, dozens of United Farm Workers (UFW) labor union traveled to the California Democratic Party Convention in San Diego where they held a rally to endorse Antonio Villaraigosa for governor.
“Over several months, elected farm worker leaders – from companies under UFW contracts across California’s major agricultural regions – discussed the governor’s race, studied the candidates’ words and actions and spent a weekend interviewing the four candidates about their records of supporting farm workers, Antonio Villaraigosa received overwhelming support,” said UFW President Arturo S. Rodriguez. “For decades, during good times and bad, Antonio has consistently stood up for us, the rights of workers and never backed down from a fight for what’s right. Antonio has marched with farm workers, made appeals to legislators, walked picket lines and used his influence to help farm workers win a better life in all of our important struggles.”
The UFW actively participates in campaigns for candidates who support the issues that are key to improving the lives of farm workers, as well as the issues that affect Latinos living in our urban centers: education, worker rights, immigrant rights, health care and the protection of human rights.
“I am honored and humbled to have the support of my UFW brothers and sisters,” said Mayor Villaraigosa. “This is particularly meaningful to me as I started my community activism in the farm worker grape boycott. At the age of 15, I was inspired to see farm workers organize and unite to fight for the dignity and respect they deserved. They taught me that in order to make change, you have to speak up and take action. As governor, I will continue the fight to extend greater economic opportunity and equality to all Californians.”
Prior to being elected to office, Villaraigosa had a 25-year career as a labor organizers and leader. In 1977-1985, Villaraigosa was steward, chief-steward and president of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), representing employees in the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission in five states. He was also an organizer/field representative for SEIU 1000 and United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA), a union of more than 33,000 educators.
Labor union support for Mayor Villaraigosa continues to grow. Recently, Villaraigosa was endorsed by the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters, California Police Chiefs Association and Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association.
For Immediate Release
February 21, 2018
BUENA PARK, CA – Today, the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters endorsed gubernatorial candidate Antonio Villaraigosa at their Carpenters Training Center citing his commitment to strengthening our economy by growing high-wage jobs and supporting the development of a skilled workforce.
“Antonio understands that California needs to be the land of opportunity. He will fight to ensure that our state improves our infrastructure and builds new, modern schools and college facilities that will prepare our young people for tomorrow’s jobs,” said Randy Thornhill, Executive Secretary Treasurer of the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters. “As governor, Antonio will encourage investing in our local communities, enabling working families to work closer to home, allowing them to spend more time with their families and more time volunteering for their community while helping the environment. We know he will do these things because he has not forgotten his roots. We know Antonio will fight for all of us.”
Villaraigosa has made clear that his top priority as governor will be to grow the high-wage jobs that provide a pathway for families to reach – and stay in – the middle class. Villaraigosa has proposed doing that by fulfilling some of California’s most pressing needs – rebuilding the states infrastructure, building more affordable homes and providing life-long learning to ensure a skilled workforce, which are the foundations of a strong economy.
“I’m honored to have the endorsement of the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters. My goal is to lift more Californians into the middle class and know that in order to do that we have to start by investing in our infrastructure and building more homes to meet the growing demand,” Villaraigosa said. “It’s particularly important to be here and tour the Carpenters Training Center because I know that it’s not enough to simply create jobs. We also have to have training programs, like this one, apprenticeship programs and educational opportunities to ensure that we have the skilled workforce we need to fill those jobs.”
The Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters represents 50,000 union carpenters in six states and is dedicated to raising area standards for all carpenters in Southern California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and Colorado. Southwest Regional Council, working in partnership with union signatory employers, spend more than $20 million every year to provide training to their members. This training is provided through the Southwest Carpenters Training Fund and their 17 state-of-the-art training centers.
“California is known for our innovation, but we should be equally innovative in how we grow our economy and make sure that everyone has the training and education opportunities to do the jobs of the future,” added Villaraigosa. “The Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters is investing in workers and training them to build a 21st century California that will continue to be a global competitor.”
For Immediate Release
February 19, 2018
SAN DIEGO, CA — Today, City Councilman David Alvarez (District 8) endorses Antonio Villaraigosa for governor citing his record and plans to increase economic opportunity and equality for all by supporting the growth of small businesses.
“I’m proud to endorse Antonio Villaraigosa for governor because he cares about creating jobs and economic opportunity for all Californians,” said Councilman David Alvarez. “Antonio knows that when you support small businesses you support jobs in our community.”
“I want to thank Councilman Alvarez for his support and endorsement,” said Mayor Villaraigosa. “As governor, I will work with local leaders to make business and job creation a top priority, beginning with helping small business owners navigate through the process and learn about possible credits and incentives available to help them not only establish their business, but to also succeed.”
Villaraigosa’s campaign is focused in growing high-wage jobs so families can reach and stay in the middle class to realize their own California dream. He will tackle the obstacles to doing business in the state so small business owners are able to grow and employ more workers, which will strengthen the local and state economy.
As Mayor of Los Angeles, Villaraigosa championed the adoption of a three-year exemption from the gross receipts tax for new businesses. The city reformed its permitting process for new development, slashing bureaucracy and merged multiple departments into one centralized and streamlined process. The city also specifically focused on growing women-, minority- and disabled veteran-owned businesses.
David Alvarez was elected to the San Diego City Council in 2010. He serves as Chair of the Environment Committee, and a member of the Smart Growth & Land Use Committee. Council Member Alvarez’s achievements includes the creation of Cesar Solis Park, the first park built in decades in the South Bay, development of a new library for San Ysidro, a long awaited safe pathway for San Ysidro students, and has spearheaded the revitalization of Barrio Logan, including the formation of the Barrio Logan Planning Group.
Councilman Alvarez joins other prominent San Diego elected officials, Assembly Member Shirley Weber and State Senator Ben Hueso, in endorsing Villaraigosa for governor.
For Immediate Release
February 12, 2018
Sacramento, CA – Today, the California Police Chiefs Association and the Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC) stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Antonio Villaraigosa to endorse him for governor saying his public safety record tops all other candidates.
As Mayor of Los Angeles, Villaraigosa increased the Police Department to more than 10,000 sworn officers, promoted constitutional community policing and violent crime was reduced by nearly 50 percent. Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck credited Villaraigosa’s public safety strategy, which included expansion of the police force, anti-gang programs for at-risk youth and a successful effort to improve schools in low-income neighborhoods for helping to reduce crime in Los Angeles.
“During the Great Recession, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa stood strong and kept public safety a priority, which resulted in the violent crime rate lowering by nearly 50 percent under his watch,” Chief Edward Medrano, President of the California Police Chiefs Association and Chief of the Gardena Police Department. “He is the only candidate for governor who has earned the trust of law enforcement, and only Antonio Villaraigosa meets the standard that earns our endorsement and wholehearted support.”
In the state legislature, Villaraigosa co-authored some of the nation’s toughest gun control measures. Villaraigosa co-authored SB 23, prohibiting the manufacture or import of assault weapons in California. In addition, he co-authored AB 106, requiring all firearms sold or manufactured in the state to be accompanied by an approved trigger lock safety device and a warning. Villaraigosa also co-authored AB 295, creating the Gun Show Enforcement and Security Act of 2000, changing the laws regulating gun shows, gun-show promoters and vendors, obligating the promoter to notify law enforcement regarding specified details of the gun show.
“PORAC is backing Antonio Villaraigosa because we need leadership that is pragmatic, experienced, respected for its efficiency, and strong enough to inspire all of us that the days ahead will be a time of opportunity and hope for everyone,” said PORAC President Brian Marvel. “In our review process of the candidates, we were impressed that he has a history of creating coalitions and bringing individuals from varying interests together.
“A safe community requires a strong partnership based on trust with the men and women who put their lives on the line to keep our families safe, and I am proud to have their trust,” said Antonio Villaraigosa. “These exemplary law enforcement organizations work to create safer neighborhoods for where our families live and work. I will support efforts to keep our communities safe so that we can foster economic growth in all regions of our state.”
The California Police Chiefs Association (Cal Chiefs) represents the state’s municipal police chiefs whose agencies protect over 26 million Californians. Cal Chiefs advocates for sound policy on public safety issues at the state capitol and has an active government relations program. In addition to its committees that focus on emerging issues and provide resources and sample policies to its members, Cal Chiefs provides professional development and training to police chiefs and seconds in command throughout the state.
The Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC) was incorporated in 1953 as a professional federation of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. PORAC represents over 70,000 public safety members and over 930 associations, making it the largest law enforcement organization in California and the largest statewide association in the nation. PORAC’s duty is to provide Californians with the safety and security they need to feel protected in their homes and on our streets. It is PORAC’s mission to identify the public safety needs in communities and provide programs to adequately meet those changing needs.
We have breaking news tonight – the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) just released their new statewide survey of likely voters, and the race for governor is statistically tied with Newsom at 23%, Villaraigosa at 21% and all of the other candidates in single digits.
Thanks to you Antonio’s message of economic opportunity and economic equality is breaking through. By a very wide margin, Villaraigosa’s base voters are much more satisfied with their choice than the base voters of the other candidates.
These new poll numbers come on the heels of major endorsements from the mayor of the Bay Area’s largest city, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, the state’s largest law enforcement organization, the Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC), and the California Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians.
Antonio is fighting every day for an economy that works for everyone. We can all stand shoulder to shoulder with him in this important cause by joining the campaign as a contributor today.
For Immediate Release
February 5, 2017
LOS ANGELES, CA – Today, Los Angeles City Council Members Curren D. Price Jr. (District 9) and Marqueece Harris-Dawson (District 8) endorsed Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for governor. The leaders made the announcement after touring the Holmes Early Education Center in South Los Angeles where they heard from teachers, parents and administrators about the programs that put students on the path towards success.
“Antonio Villaraigosa has dedicated his career to creating economic opportunity and equality for all communities, and I’m proud to endorse him for Governor,” said Council Member Curren Price. “I know as governor, he will address the economic divide that exists across the state –beginning with early education programs that helps kids from all walks of life have the opportunity to succeed.”
“I throw my full support to the campaign to elect Antonio Villaraigosa Governor of California,” said Council Member Marqueece Harris-Dawson. “More than any candidate, Antonio has lived the California dream, and he fights harder than anyone to keep that dream alive for generations to come.”
As governor, Antonio will provide the leadership to improve opportunity and equality for children in all communities, as well as for the professionals who educate California’s children. He would appoint a cabinet-level Early Childhood Education Coordinator to work across departments, connect with public and private sectors to identify best practices and work with stakeholders to develop improvements to our overall system of early childhood care and education, including improved training and compensation for our workforce and better data collection to monitor our progress.
“I’m honored to have the endorsement of Council Members Price and Harris-Dawson who are committed to strengthening our communities,” said Antonio Villaraigosa. “As governor, I will work the council members and other local leaders to ensure we are creating quality educational opportunities for children of all ages including early education programs.”
The council members join with other Los Angeles leaders who have endorsed Villaraigosa for governor, including City Council President Herb Wesson, Congresswoman Karen Bass, Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, Los Angeles Supervisor Sheila Keuhl, State Senator Steven Bradford and former Los Angeles Supervisor Gloria Molina.
For Immediate Release
January 31, 2018
Liccardo cites Villaraigosa’s pragmatic approach to tackling state’s biggest challenges – lack of affordable housing and economic opportunity for all
SAN JOSE, CA – Today, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo endorsed Antonio Villaraigosa’s bid to become the next governor of California. Liccardo, who leads California’s third largest city, not only gave his endorsement, but also committed to working with Villaraigosa to take-on some of California’s toughest challenges.
“I’m proud to endorse Antonio Villaraigosa for governor of California. I look forward to working with him to narrow California’s economic divide and to build more affordable housing,” said Liccardo. “Antonio’s record of building coalitions and his pragmatic approach are just what we need to broaden economic opportunity to all Californians.”
“Mayor Liccardo understands we need to create more economic equality and opportunity for all California families, and I’m honored to have his endorsement,” said Villaraigosa. “We need a multi-faceted approach to the California housing crisis, and we need innovative and thoughtful leaders like Sam. His 15-point housing plan for San Jose is the kind of proposal that we need to look at as we work to fix our broken housing system across the state.”
The endorsement was made following a tour of The Vermont House, a newly-renovated housing facility for homeless veterans, where the two leaders hosted a roundtable discussion on the issue of housing affordability and homelessness. Mayor Villaraigosa discussed his housing plan that includes building 3.5 million new homes by 2025. To achieve this, Villaraigosa is calling for CEQA reforms, streamlined approvals for affordable housing development, establishing a public/private partnership of matching funds, and encouraging first-time home buyers to invest in a savings home ownership plan. Villaraigosa has also called for giving local governments back the power to fund strategic local investments by capturing the increased tax revenues generated by new projects.
Liccardo joins a long list of elected officials from across the state who are supporting Villaraigosa’s gubernatorial campaign. Recently, Villaraigosa received endorsements from the California Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians and the Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC).
On January 1, 2015, Sam Liccardo became San Jose’s 65th mayor and one of the youngest individuals to serve in San Jose’s highest elected office. As mayor, Sam Liccardo has worked hard to build a safer and stronger San Jose. He led the effort to resolve years of pension disputes and begin to restore the police department. He worked to bring new economic opportunities and jobs to the city of San Jose. And he is committed to using best practices and new innovations to making city government more effective for all residents.
This year, my birthday wish is simple – to realize the dream of “one California.”
I dream of a California that grows together – where everyone has access to a quality education, an affordable home and a high-wage job that brings dignity and respect. I wish for a California that lifts more people into the middle class – a California that gives every family the opportunity to succeed.
I want to celebrate with you and everyone else who has joined me on this campaign to give voice to every Californian.
My birthday wish is for you to come celebrate with me!
I’m having a party on February 11 at Union Station in Los Angeles and want you there. If you’d like to co-host or join me for a VIP reception, please RSVP here or contact Camille Alcala at [email protected]
Mark your calendar:
When: February 11, 12 – 2 p.m.
Where: Union Station, Los Angeles, CA
January 25, 2018
To: Interested Parties
From: Eric Jaye, Villaraigosa for Governor
Re: SB562 and Single Payer Healthcare
At the recent Empowerment Congress debate at the University of Southern California, Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom was finally pinned down on his support for SB562, the $400 billion single-payer healthcare plan.
Newsom’s support of SB562 now clarifies the healthcare debate in the contest for governor. Since all of the Democratic candidates support the concept of single-payer healthcare, the difference is not on the principle of universal healthcare – but on the costs and details of SB562.
Newsom’s plan would dramatically increase both sales taxes and gross receipts taxes, end Medicare as we know it and eliminate effective union and employer-based healthcare plans like Kaiser.
Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa opposes SB562, saying his top priorities as governor will be to protect, then expand, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and grow middle-class jobs so more Californians have decent wages and quality healthcare benefits. According to the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), under the ACA, the percentage of uninsured Californians plummeted to 7 percent in 2016 from 17 percent prior to implementation of the ACA in 2014.
During the legislative hearings on SB562, the state’s legislative analyst concluded the bill would require $400 billion in spending to implement. Of that, the analyst estimated $200 billion in existing federal, state and healthcare spending could be re-directed and that $200 billion in new taxpayer funding would be required.
Villaraigosa has pointed out that redirecting federal funds is both unlikely, and unsound policy. It would require President Donald Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress to grant a waiver to California. It would also strip Medicare patients of their current coverage, automatically enrolling them into a new, state-run plan without any details about the plan’s coverage.
“Seniors have earned the right to Medicare as we know it. We should start the discussion withprotecting this effective single-payer system, not with the Newsomcare plan to demolish it,” said Villaraigosa.
“What is also missing from this debate is the fundamental principle that expanding the middle class expands healthcare coverage because it brings more Californians into jobs with decent benefits and allows more Californians to afford quality care,” said Villaraigosa.
Of all the candidates for governor, Villaraigosa has the strongest track record on extending health care to Californians. He wrote the legislation for The Healthy Families Program, which he passed as Speaker of the California State Assembly and helped extend health care to nearly 750,000 previously uninsured children. The San Francisco healthcare program Newsom cites as a model never enrolled more than 54,348 people and as of 2016, only had 14,404 active participants.
Newsom has not said how he will pay the additional $200 billion cost of SB562. For reference, the total state budget in 2017 was $183 billion, meaning that SB562 would require more than doubling state taxes and making deep cuts to other important state services.
At a debate sponsored by the San Francisco Chronicle at the City Club in San Francisco, Newsom refused to answer the question of how he would pay for single payer – seeming to propose the absurd notion that the plan would pay for itself through healthcare savings. Rather than answer the question, he said at the time he preferred to “reframe” the question.
He cites the example of Healthy San Francisco, which he says, “required no general tax increases.” That carefully worded statement hides the fact that the program required a massive increase in city spending and direct taxes on local businesses. These levies are routinely passed on to consumers in the form of an “SF Mandate” charge of 4% on typical restaurant and other bills.
Villaraigosa has said, “The Republican tax plan is already a massive tax increase for millions of Californians. This is not the time to double our state taxes.”
While the sponsors of SB562 admitted that their proposal was incomplete when passed by the State Senate, the decision of Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon to hold up the bill for hearings in the Assembly caused proponents to accuse the Speaker of “stabbing California in the back.” Rendon was even the subject of death threats after he questioned the missing details of how to finance the bill.
According to the Sacramento Bee, “Absolutely nothing has happened with the bill,” Rendon said last week. “The sponsors of the bill have sat on their hands and done nothing for the past six months. None of the authors have made any significant amendments. We’re looking for all the same things in 562 that we were looking for six months ago.”
“I believe healthcare is a right – not a privilege,” said Villaraigosa. “I’ve supported universal, quality healthcare and single payer my entire life, but we shouldn’t start by dismantling Medicare – and misleading the public with a bill that proposes a massive change in how we provide healthcare without any details of what coverage would look like and without any realistic way to pay for it.”
“Pie in the sky will not put food on our table. SB562 will not give us universal quality healthcare.”