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When Will Speaker Perez Speak up for all Marginalized Californians?

Source: John_A._Pérez_2010.jpg
California Assembly Speaker John Perez (D-Los Angeles) has the distinction of being the first openly gay statehouse speaker in California history. While he was the first elected official in the country with this orientation, Assembly Speaker Gordon Fox of Rhode Island beat Perez by one month as far as installation is concerned for the first gay statehouse speaker in US History.

Perez was not the first openly gay member of the California state legislature, either, a record which belongs to Sheila Kuehl (D- West Los Angeles and Ventura), who is now mulling a run for Board of Supervisor to replace retiring Zev Yaroslavsky.

Still, because of his connections with LGBT (and now Q for “questioning”) interests, no one should be surprised that he is advancing causes for that lobby in California. Last month, Perez positioned his speakership and power behind AB 1266, a bill which would require schools to respect the rights of transgendered students, including accommodations which permit a child who was a boy and now a girl to enter into the women’s restroom on a school campus, and vice versa (I’m already confused. Are you?)

Perez offered his relational rationale for supporting the bill:

“Now in government, it is important that we stand up and look for the rights of marginalized individuals and individuals that don’t have much of a voice. And that’s what this bill speaks to.”

Perez claims to represent the rights of all marginalized citizens in the state of California, I beg to differ. There are disparate, marginalized voices all over the Golden State crying out for an end to the tax-and-spend, regulate-frustrate stupidity sinking this state, and Perez does not seem interested in listening to them.

Let’s talk about the students suffering in substandard schools throughout California. How many pupils have to compete for their teachers’ attention in classes with forty students or more? Even wealthier school districts like Palos Verdes Unified are contending with thirty-six students per fourth grade teacher. “That’s a lecture!” one parent complained. In the Santa Monica-Malibu District, parents are complaining that their kids are not getting their fair share of tax dollars from Sacramento, and even within the district’s wide boundaries, parents in Malibu still feel short-changed by decisions which benefit Santa Monica schools at their expense.

When will Speaker Perez speak up for our students?
Instead of lecturing the state legislature on fairness for transgendered students, Speaker Perez should be lecturing his Democratic colleagues about the critical importance of a proper education for all of our state’s children, regardless of their orientation.

Then again, Perez reportedly fluffed his academic credentials, claiming to be a Cal Berkeley graduate, an oft-repeated misprint which Los Angeles leaders have repeated to this day. The best interests of our students and our schools must not mean much to Perez.

[Editor’s note: Perez issued a statement on his website on Thursday, May 19 2011 that he had attended UC Berkeley but did not graduate. This statement was widely covered two years ago]

Besides the students, there are the homeowners in our state. With the passage of Prop 13 in 1978, property owners got a reprieve from the tax-and-spend state legislature’s wasteful habits subsidized by hard-working residents. Commercial properties also benefit from the tax reforms, which grant some relief to statewide businesses struggling to make ends meet. This term, the Democratic supermajority is poised to raise taxes, increase government spending, and introduce regulation which protect fish and environmental causes, yet leave farmers out to dry and drive businesses away.

And there’s another group of marginalized individuals in California: small businesses and farmers. Because of the water wars, the environmental regulations (including Cap and Trade), and tax hikes which cover the legislature’s overspending, but do not fix the structural deficits or amoral values of a government bent on growing itself, even if everyone else is pushed away in the process.

Then there are the pensioners in California, whose margins of retirement diminish as pension funds remain insolvent and depleted. Men and women who served their state in public office, the majority of whom paid faithfully into their retirement funds, wonder whether their money will be there when they retire.

Rhode Island pensioners have already faced cuts to their retirement monies, and Detroit workers are bracing for losses, as well. When will Perez talk tough to union leaders who position their interests ahead of the public interest?

Then there are the non-violent criminals in our overcrowded state prisons. Despite repeated appeals from current California office-holders and former legislators, the United States Supreme Court has refused to enjoin the federal mandate to decrease the overcrowded California prison populations.

What has contributed to the massive population increase in our prisons? The drugs laws, which in our country have already been challenged in Colorado and Washington, along with medical exemptions in California. It’s time for Perez to represent the marginal individuals who struggle with drug addiction, who are condemned to repeat the pattern of dependence because of the illegal label forced on the habit. Rescind the immoral drug laws, and our prison populations will decrease substantially.

[Editor’s note: And, by taxing now illegal drugs if they were legalized, some of those under funded pension obligations might get a needed boost too.]

Other marginal communities which Speaker Perez has ignored include the homeless veterans in the Los Angeles area, the welfare recipients induced then seduced to remain dependent, and everyone else frustrated by Sacramento tax-and-spend stupidity.

[Editor’s note; Please see Perez’s thoughts on (AB) 639
http://www.asmdc.org/speaker/other-resources/veterans-housing-and-homeless-prevention-act]

When will Speaker Perez speak up for the rest of us marginalized Californians?

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