BREAKING NEWS: San Diego Assemblywoman Shirley Weber Endorses Antonio Villaraigosa for Governor

BREAKING NEWS: San Diego Assemblywoman Shirley Weber Endorses Antonio Villaraigosa for Governor

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For Immediate Release
December 2, 2017


Assemblywoman Weber Commends Villaraigosa’s Commitment to Education Equality

SAN DIEGO, CA – Today, California Assemblywoman Shirley N. Weber (D-79) endorsed Antonio Villaraigosa for Governor citing his record of fighting for students and good schools. The endorsement comes on the heels of a PPIC poll that shows Villaraigosa’s campaign gaining momentum and is in a strong position to advance to the general election.

“Too many children in California are being left behind and I know that Antonio will fight against the education inequality that is leaving low-income children in underperforming schools behind,” said Assemblywoman Weber. “I’m endorsing Antonio because he has the courage to do what’s right for our kids.”

“I’m honored to have the support of Assemblywoman Weber whom I’ve long admired for her commitment to education and student achievement,” said Villarigosa. “As Governor, I will work with the legislature and local leaders to ensure teachers, schools and students have the tools and support they need to succeed. If California is going to compete in a global economy, we need an educated workforce and I plan to invest in our schools to address the education inequality that currently exist.”

Assembly Member Shirley Nash Weber was elected in November of 2012 to represent California’s 79th Assembly District, which includes the cities of Bonita, Chula Vista, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, National City and San Diego. She chairs the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Public Safety and serves as a member of the Assembly Standing Committees on Education, Higher Education, Elections, Budget, and Banking and Finance.

Antonio Villaraigosa recently released “Life Stories” video that chronicles his upbringing in a poor, high-crime neighborhood just east of downtown Los Angeles. He discusses the challenges kids face in disadvantaged communities that don’t have resources because he was one of those kids. As Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa worked to improve schools, increase after-school programs and reduce crime. The video can be seen here. 

Earlier this week, Villaraigosa was endorsed by California State Majority Leader, Ian Calderon, Ventura County Supervisor John Zaragoza, as well as local elected officials from the San Gabriel Valley in Los Angeles County.


BREAKING NEWS: New Poll Shows a Huge Boost For Antonio

BREAKING NEWS: New Poll Shows a Huge Boost For Antonio

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California’s most experienced public pollsters just released new numbers in the race for governor – and they are now calling this a two person race.

Antonio’s campaign is about giving voice to every Californian – especially the millions of families across our state, who are working harder and harder, but are still falling behind. Antonio is out there every day – and his message is breaking through. We are now within just five points of the multimillionaire candidate, and in a strong position to advance to the run-off.

But Antonio can’t do it alone. We are coming up on a crucial deadline for our campaign, and your contribution will help us keep up this incredible momentum. Can you help us by chipping in right now, with the most generous contribution you can make today?

The poll of 1,704 adult California residents showed Newsom at just 23%, and Antonio surging to 18%, with other candidates trailing in the single digits. The poll also shows that nearly half of Latino likely voters – 42% – would choose Antonio.

This is great news for our campaign – and it shows that our message is resonating with hard-working families across our state. Help us keep up this incredible momentum by chipping in the most generous contribution you can make today.


WEEKLY UPDATE: Under the Bed

WEEKLY UPDATE: Under the Bed

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Today, we’re launching the emotionally wrenching Chapter 2 of our “Life Stories” video series. In “Under the Bed,” Antonio talks about growing up in City Terrace, in a home of alcoholism and domestic violence. He describes a heartbreaking moment, hiding from his father under the bed, and how his childhood motivates him to stand up and speak out today. Watch Chapter 2 here.

33 Days

We are just 33 days from our fundraising deadline, and we need your help! When we got into this race, we knew it would be hard catching up to opponents who have been running for years, but we’ve been so heartened by the overwhelming support we’ve received. We need to keep this momentum going, and one way to do that is to have a strong showing in this fundraising period.

Please consider making a contribution today. Any amount helps. Whether it’s $5 or $5,000—every dollar goes toward our mission to give voice to all Californians.

In the News

Los Angeles Times: “L.A. City Council President Herb Wesson endorses Antonio Villaraigosa for governor”

“Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson endorsed Antonio Villaraigosa for governor on Monday, telling a group of underprivileged and minority youths that it was critical to elect a man who understood their struggles and would take their values to Sacramento. ‘Rarely do we have an opportunity to get behind somebody that’s walked the streets that we walked, that has faced the challenges we have faced, somebody that can relate to us, somebody that understands us,’ Wesson said, speaking at Homeboy Industries in downtown Los Angeles. ‘And that’s my dear friend, my dear buddy for almost 30 years – Antonio Villaraigosa.’” [Los Angeles Times11/20/17]

Los Angeles Sentinel:
 “Wesson joins with three former California Assembly Speakers: Karen Bass, Fabian Nuñez and John Perez in backing Villaraigosa.”

“Former California Assembly Speaker and current Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson recently announced his support for Antonio Villaraigosa for Governor.  Wesson joins with three former California Assembly Speakers: Karen Bass, Fabian Nuñez and John Perez in backing Villaraigosa. ‘Antonio is a man who leads with conviction,’ Wesson said. ‘He says what he means and means what he says and will be a champion for Californians in the fight against destructive Trump-era policies.’ Throughout their careers, the two leaders have worked to increase education and career opportunities in disadvantaged communities to help working families and at-risk youth find a path to economic equality.” [Los Angeles Sentinel11/23/17]

EdSource: “Villaraigosa Said Preschool Is a Right Every Child Should Have and Not Just a Privilege for Some.”

“Villaraigosa said preschool is a right every child should have and not just a privilege for some. Children who are often left out are ‘disproportionately poor and disproportionately people of color,’ he said. ‘We need to make sure those kids have the resources they need to compete with those who grew up in more affluent homes,’ he said.” [EdSource, 11/20/17]

BREAKING NEWS: California Assembly Majority Leader Ian Calderon Endorses Antonio Villaraigosa for Governor

BREAKING NEWS: California Assembly Majority Leader Ian Calderon Endorses Antonio Villaraigosa for Governor

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For Immediate Release
November 27, 2017


Los Angeles – Today, California Assembly Majority Leader Ian Calderon (D-Whittier) announced he is endorsing Antonio Villaraigosa for Governor.  The Majority Leader cited Villaraigosa’s record of job creation and career opportunities that invests in California’s youth as reasons for his backing.

“Antonio Villaraigosa has always been a jobs creator, as Mayor of Los Angeles his business-friendly initiatives streamlined the development process, helped place 200,000 Angelenos into living wage jobs and connected L.A.’s youth to more than 76,000 summer jobs,” said Majority Leader Calderon. “I know that as Governor, Antonio will work to replicate this across the state, fighting to provide economic opportunities for all Californians especially our youth.”

“Ian is a rising star who represents California’s future leaders, and I’m proud to have his support,” said Villaraigosa. “As governor, I will focus on ensuring our youth have the education, training and career opportunities to keep California a leader in a global economy.”

Majority Leader Ian Calderon was elected in November 2012 to represent California’s 57th Assembly District, becoming the first millennial elected to the State Legislature, and in March 2016, Ian became the youngest Majority Leader in the history of the state of California.

As Majority Leader, Ian has led the Assembly to pass landmark legislation, such as raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2022 and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. He currently serves as the Chair of the Select Committee on Youth and California’s Future, Co-Chair of the Legislative Technology and Innovation Caucus and Co-Chair of the Legislative Millennial Caucus.

Antonio recently released a video entitled:“Life Stories,” that chronicles his upbringing in a poor, high-crime neighborhood just east of downtown Los Angeles. He discusses the challenges kids face in disadvantaged communities, who don’t have resources, because he was one of those kids. As mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa worked to improve schools, increase after-school programs and reduce crime.

Life Stories Video: https://antonioforcalifornia.com/life-stories/


Thankful for Our Supporters, Friends, Family and Everyone Helping Us Give Voice to All Californians

Thankful for Our Supporters, Friends, Family and Everyone Helping Us Give Voice to All Californians

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We are thankful to Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson, who lent his powerful voice to our campaign this week.

Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson, left, toured Homeboy Industries in downtown Los Angeles with Antonio Villaraigosa, center. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Thankful to all who have responded to our call for one California economy that grows together with new investment and tools to build economic opportunity and equality.

Thankful to the more than 275,000 Californians who have viewed, liked our shared the first “Chapter” of our campaign story.

Thankful to our gracious hosts in the Central Valley who helped us spread the word of bringing our state together.

Thankful to the Californians working so hard to organize disenfranchised communities to help bring millions more voters to the polls.

We are thankful to all those who continue to lend their voices and their personal stories to our campaign for a stronger California.

And we are thankful to all who help us keep this campaign growing with your generous contributions!

Have a happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Op-Ed: California Has Two Economies, and One Isn’t Progressing. Here’s a Plan that Might Work

Op-Ed: California Has Two Economies, and One Isn’t Progressing. Here’s a Plan that Might Work

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By Antonio Villaraigosa
Special to the Bee

California regional economies graph antonio villaraigosa for governor of california

It is a frequently repeated fact: If California were a nation, our gross domestic product would rank us as the sixth largest economy in the world. Sounds impressive, doesn’t it?

But recent numbers confirm that not every area of the state is doing quite that well.

Compare two regions, the Bay Area and the San Joaquin Valley.

According to recent numbers, the Bay Area (with a population of about 5.7 million) has a larger economy than the Netherlands and ranks in the top 20 worldwide. However, the San Joaquin Valley (population 4.1 million) keeps much less prestigious company – according to a recent article in the Central Valley Business Times, the Central Valley would fall between Iraq and Algeria and not even make the top 50.

John Westberg Sacramento Bee

A farm worker picks vegetables for a produce stand in 2016 in Modesto. Per capita income in the Central Valley is 30 percent below the statewide average. John Westberg [email protected]


No one would mistake the economy of the Netherlands for that of Algeria, and no one should mistake the wide economic opportunity gap that exists in our state.

It’s a tale of two Californias, one coastal and thriving, one inland and still suffering the effects of the Great Recession. That’s why we need to rethink our one-size-fits-all approach to economic policy and regulation.

A policy that might make sense in Silicon Valley doesn’t necessarily make a difference in Fresno. A regulation that is a small annoyance for a thriving business on the west side of Los Angeles could be a job killer for an industry in the Inland Empire.

We certainly need to set big economic goals, but then give each of our economic regions the tools and autonomy they need to grow our economy fairly. We once enabled “enterprise zones,” which were largely county based. These zones were swept away in the last recession when Sacramento took the funds that were dedicated to local economic development to help close a statewide budget gap.

While we have taken the limited step of restoring some local infrastructure financing, we need to be bolder. We need to fully restore those local economic development funds because when it comes to local economic growth, Sacramento doesn’t always know best. And we need to establish broad regional economic opportunity zones and cooperation, so economically challenged areas can work together to attract high-wage jobs.

The facts show the stark disparities in our economic progress. In recent years, the Bay Area accounted for 62 percent of the growth in high-wage jobs in areas like information technology and professional and business services. The Central Valley lost jobs in these high-wage sectors.

Per capita income in the Central Valley is now 30 percent below the statewide average. And families in the Inland Empire fare even worse, with incomes 34 percent below the California average.

When I served as speaker of the state Assembly, I was not shy about passing bold new laws and new mandates. But as mayor of Los Angeles, I learned that statewide mandates, regulations and interventions didn’t always make sense from a local perspective. What seemed easy from the Capitol building is a whole lot more complicated up close.

I recently proposed restoring the ability of local governments to keep local funds to invest in the creation of housing for teachers, nurses, firefighters and others. Such a power will most likely be used in the Bay Area and along the coast, where red-hot economic growth has caused housing costs to soar to astronomical levels.

Now, it is time to give a similar power to those parts of our state facing another challenge – slow economic growth and a lack of high-wage jobs.

These new Prosperity Zones need the power to keep local funds local. They need the ability to adapt regulations to local realities while continuing to meet statewide goals. Most of all, they need the authority to act together as regional economies to help lift up every family in every part of California.

Franklin Roosevelt once said, “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

The challenge facing California in the years ahead is making sure that abundance extends to every part of our great state so that we are making economic progress for everyone.


WEEKLY UPDATE: Chapter One – Angels

WEEKLY UPDATE: Chapter One – Angels

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Donald Trump launched his campaign for president by calling Mexicans criminals and rapists.

When Antonio launched his media campaign a few weeks ago, he did so with a video that captures the moment he leaves life-saving water along the California-Mexico border.

There couldn’t be a clearer contrast between these two world views. Our “launch” video has now been seen hundreds of thousands of times, but we wanted to make sure even more people can see it by breaking it down into easy to watch chapters.

We are releasing Chapter 1 today and you can watch it here:

After you watch, please make sure to Like and Share so we can make sure this powerful story is seen by all our friends and neighbors. 

In the News

Los Angeles Times: “It’s a tightening race for governor…” According to the Los Angeles Times, “Voters are more divided in the governor’s race, creating a closer contest between Democrats Gavin Newsom and Antonio Villaraigosa.” [Los Angeles Times, 11/09/17]

USC Dornsife/L.A. Times Poll

Los Angeles Times: “Villaraigosa: ‘There’s not enough concern about the environmental impacts of climate change on the poor’” According to the Los Angeles Times, “Gubernatorial candidate Antonio Villaraigosa said Wednesday that Democratic wins in Virginia and New Jersey are clear signs that voters across the United States want to elect leaders who have a vision of uniting the nation. That vision, Villaraigosa said, should include a focus on creating clean energy jobs and job training, especially for low-income residents.” [Los Angeles Times, 11/08/17]

L.A. Weekly: Villaraigosa Was First Latino to Take Los Angeles Mayor’s Office Since 1872 and “Won Big.” According to the L.A. Weekly, “Twelve years ago, when Antonio Villaraigosa became the first Latino to take the mayor’s office since 1872, his victory over the incumbent, political scion James K. Hahn, was a sensational masterstroke of coalition building. ‘Villaraigosa won big,’ gushed the Washington Post on May 19, 2005. ‘He won the Latino vote — and the black vote, and the white vote. He won the working-class neighborhoods, and the prosperous San Fernando Valley. The longtime liberal even captured much of the Republican vote.’” [L.A. Weekly, 11/10/17]

EdSource: Villaraigosa Passionate About Doing More to Ensure Success of Low-Income Students.According to EdSource, “Villaraigosa was especially passionate about doing more to ensure the success of low-income students. ‘Kids who grew up the way I did, those kids need more than my kids,’ he said. ‘We’re going to have to build on what we’ve done with the Local Control Funding Formula, to make sure that those kids have the resources that they need so that they can compete with the kids who grow up in the more affluent homes.’” [EdSource, 11/07/17]

Voice of the Week

My family (parents & sister) and I moved to the United States in 1994, 4 weeks before my 10th birthday with my younger sister (7 years old), and my mom who was pregnant at the time with our youngest sister.

I am now a mommy and a step-mommy myself, a college student at CSUF working on my Psychology degree part-time, and a full-time working single mom.

Read more at https://antonioforcalifornia.com/voices/maria-calderon/ 

Call for Volunteers

Are you in the San Francisco Bay Area and want to volunteer on the Antonio for California campaign? The campaign is looking for volunteers to show support for the campaign and staff our table at the Winter 2017 Executive Board Meeting.

If you are available 11/17 and 11/18, please sign up at antonioforcalifornia.com/volunteer.

What a Year

What a Year

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Just a year ago I launched my campaign for governor and started this journey because there are too many people doing everything right and still falling behind. I’m running for governor because I know that in order to thrive as a state – to restore the luster to the California dream – we have to make sure that we’re growing together.

We’ve made so much progress. And the polls show our incredible momentum. But I can’t do it alone. I hope you will join our campaign by making a contribution today.

This past year, I have been traveling up and down our great state and hearing the powerful personal stories of Californians. Time and again, I heard how much Californians love their state, but know that we have to do so much more to keep the California dream alive for everyone.

We have many months to go, but I’m energized and committed to continue to give voice to every Californian. I hope you will add your voice by contributing to our campaign today.

BREAKING NEWS: New USC Poll Shows Antonio is Surging

BREAKING NEWS: New USC Poll Shows Antonio is Surging

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A new USC poll released today shows Antonio Villaraigosa surging and poised to take on millionaire businessman Gavin Newsom in the November run-off.

The strong Villaraigosa poll showing was particularly impressive because the poll was conducted online – a methodology that has usually favored Newsom as he does well with the wealthiest voters. The fact that Villaraigosa is surging in this new online poll just confirms that his campaign for economic opportunity and equality is gaining traction.

Can you help us keep up this incredible momentum by giving just $5 right now?

The poll of 1,296 likely 2018 June voters shows Newsom at 31 percent, Villaraigosa rising to 21 percent and other candidates trailing. Under California’s open primary system, the top two candidates in June advance to a November run-off, regardless of party.

Bob Shrum, who leads the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at USC, which sponsored the poll, said the new numbers indicated a possible repeat of the last U.S. Senate race, when both of the top candidates advancing in June were Democrats. The Los Angeles Times’ headline announced, “It’s a Tightening Race for Governor.”

The poll shows Villaraigosa now leading among Latino voters by two-to-one – an important strength as the registration of this key California community continues to grow in response to President Donald Trump, and because of the increasing number of Latinos in California. This means Villaraigosa is doing the best with the voter constituency that is growing the fastest.

The poll shows we are surging – can you help us right now by making your contribution to Antonio’s campaign for a stronger economy? Antonio is speaking out for every Californian struggling in this economy.


Weekly Update:  It’s Election Day

Weekly Update: It’s Election Day

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Today is Election Day in many communities in California and across the country and the polls are open for a few more hours. The best way to create change is voting.

If you’re in California and unsure if there’s an election in your community today, click here. 

Every election matters – whether it’s for President or local school board. So make sure you’re registered to vote, by clicking here.

In the News

Sacramento Bee: “California’s top Latino candidates face a tougher enemy than Trump: Fellow Democrats.” According to Marcos Bretón of the Sacramento Bee, “It doesn’t matter that Latinos are 39 percent of California’s population, the largest ethnic group, when a persistent political narrative condemning Latinos continues to win elections. The end result contributes to disenfranchisement of potential Latino voters that plays out in election after election… Villaraigosa and de León have a chance to flip the narrative, to turn Latino voters into aspirational voters rather than protest voters.” [Sacramento Bee, 11/05/17]

Los Angeles Times: “Antonio Villaraigosa warns of growing economic disparity in California.” According to the Los Angeles Times, “Gubernatorial candidate Antonio Villaraigosa said Friday that California must take substantive action to address the disparities between the haves and have-nots in the state…’If California is going to resist, as I hear so many people talk about, the best way to resist is to do a better job addressing the housing needs of the state, the healthcare needs of the state and the fact so many people don’t have good jobs to live a better life.’” [Los Angeles Times, 11/03/17]

Univision: “¿Cuáles son las posibilidades de Antonio Villaraigosa en la gobernación de California?” “El aspirante, quien dice estar dispuesto a la lucha contra las políticas de Donald Trump, se muestra en un comercial llevando agua al desierto por donde cruzan los inmigrantes y a los barrios angelinos en los que viven desamparados. Funcionarios como Gavin Newsom, John Chiang y Delaine Eastin también participan en la contienda electoral.” [Univision, 10/31/17]

Voice of the Week

Richard Howell, Nevada City

Sadly, many Americans have lost faith in our institutions. A majority of Republicans were reported to believe that colleges are a greater danger to America than a benefit. People don’t believe the press, their elected leaders, and vilify those who disagree with them.

We need leadership. We need politicians who can articulate a vision of California that works for most. We as a people believe, in principle, in hard work, but don’t ask that of our leaders, our citizens, and our children. Sadly, we’re not likely to change the isolated, angry folks who preach distrust and hatred… Read more here.

Call for Volunteers

Join the Antonio for California Team! We are looking for motivated volunteers who want to join a progressive campaign that is fighting to make a difference in California. There are many ways in which you can help our campaign – phone banking, knocking on doors, hosting an event, posting on social media, you name it. Go to AntonioForCalifornia.com/volunteer to sign up.