Southern California Latino leaders today joined together to announce their support for Jerry Brown's campaign for Governor and decry Republican Meg Whitman's anti-Latino positions and deceptive campaign tactics.
"As Governor, Mayor, and Attorney General, Jerry Brown has time and again proven his commitment to California's Latino and immigrant communities," said United States Representative Xavier Becerra (D-31st CD). "He marched with Cesar Chavez and the farm workers for safe working conditions, demonstrated a commitment to diversity in hiring, and fought for decades for California's working families."
As Governor, Jerry Brown enacted laws to protect workers, and signed into law the Agricultural Relations Act, giving farm workers the right to organize. Brown also made Cruz Reynoso the first Latino ever to serve in the Court of Appeals, and went on to appoint him to the California Supreme Court. Governor Brown had the most diverse gubernatorial administration in the country, including naming Mario Obledo Secretary of Health and Welfare -- the first Latino in a modern-day California cabinet.
In 1980, Governor Brown signed a groundbreaking law (SB 1874) that requires employers to provide information to workers on toxic substances produced or handled in their workplace, including pesticides and fertilizers. This was a key part of Governor Brown's effort to create a safer environment for workers.
As Attorney General, Jerry Brown took legal action against a number of companies that exploit and abuse their workers and violate California's labor laws. In March 2010, based on investigations in 2009, the Attorney General's office filed suit against a farm labor contractor for paying less than minimum wage and not paying overtime, as well as committing "potentially deadly" worker safety violations by neglecting to provide rest breaks, potable drinking water or shade to field workers.
Jerry Brown also understands the important role our immigrants play in our economy and our society. He supports comprehensive, bipartisan immigration reform, a reduction in the red tape for legal immigrants, securing educational and economic opportunities for our AB 540 students, and the Dream Act.
Meg Whitman, on the other hand, has notorious immigrant basher Pete Wilson leading her campaign, does not support comprehensive immigration reform, does not support any earned path to legalization, and wants to repeal AB 540, and kick undocumented kids out of our state and community colleges. It's no wonder the Sacramento Bee called her a demagogue and fear monger on immigrants."
"For Latinos, the choice is clear," said Assembly Member Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles). "Jerry Brown marched with Cesar Chavez and the farm workers, made landmark Latino appointments, and supports a sensible, bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform package. He values diversity and he respects immigrants."
"Meg Whitman marches with Pete Wilson, and failed to hired a single Latino executive out of 366 hires at eBay's Silicon Valley offices from 2000-2005. Clearly, Meg Whitman did not respect the Latino community at eBay, does not respect the Latino community during her campaign, and will not respect our community as Governor," added de León.
Attorney General Brown expressed his appreciation for the key support of California's Latino leaders, remarking "We are up against a republican willing to spend more money than has ever been spent on a California election, and we'll have to win with hard work. I'm pleased so many of California's Latino leaders have chosen to stand with my campaign and tell voters the truth."
Participants at today's event included Becerra, Cedillo, de León, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, LAUSD School Board President Monica Garcia, Los Angeles Community College District Board Member Miguel Santana, State Senate Majority Leader Dean Florez (D-Shafter), State Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima), Hector De La Torre (D-Southgate), Jose Solorio (D-Anaheim), Tony Mendoza (D-Norwalk) , Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina), Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti (CD-13), Los Angeles City Council Member Ed Reyes (CD 1), Los Angeles City Council Member Jose Huizar (CD-14) and others.