Who Will Lead?
By: Victor Abalos
We salute those marching in the streets and protesting at airports. We also commend those of you busy organizing “The Resistence.” Political expression and engagement in this time of our history is vital.
But as an organization dedicated to supporting elected officials, we want to pay particular attention to those who have chosen to channel their anger/outrage/anxiety into public service.
There are dozens of political candidates lined up for the March 7 primary election – as well the growing list of candidates jumping into the CD34 special election. Many are first timers. We wanted to get their take on this election – what motivated them to run and find out whether the results from last November impacted their decision.
If we have indeed entered a new political era – what will define it? We have been following with considerable interest, particularly on social media, what many of you are against. But what are we for? “The Resistence” may become an important political force in this country and in California, but as that force works to oppose the new president’s policies, what agenda will it advance?
Our interviews with the candidates just started – we will share them in our March 1 edition of the Latino Policy Connection newsletter. If you know of (or are) a political newcomer running for office and want to share your thoughts, please contact me. My email is below.
This month we feature an exclusive preview of gubernatorial candidate Antonio Villaraigosa’s economic proposals – a plan he will be outlining in a speech in Sacramento today (Feb. 1).
Villaraigosa has made no secret of his position – shared strongly by the SCLPC – that our state’s economic future is closely tied to our ability to get more Latinos into the middle class. He expands on that idea in his latest address:
“At precisely the moment Latinos have become the largest ethnic group in California, the promise of a better life is growing farther and farther out of reach for a growing segment of our society… California must lead. And because Latinos will soon to be the majority of this state, we must lead.”
We agree with Villaraigosa. We as Latino advocates must work to ensure Latinos have access to – and are ready for – 21st Century jobs. We need to lead the way to make sure our families have access to affordable housing.
It is a new day. What’s not new is what we need to get done.
Victor Abalos is Executive Director of the Southern California Latino Policy Center and Editor of the Latino Policy Connection.