RIALTO – Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles), Assembly Assistant Majority Policy Leader Wilmer Amina Carter (D-Rialto) and Assembly Budget Committee Chair Bob Blumenfield (D-San Fernando Valley) today convened a summit with Inland Empire education leaders as part of Assembly Democrats’ efforts to ensure a balanced approach is taken to the state’s budget deficit by the June 15th constitutional deadline.
The summit, held at Wilmer Amina Carter High School in Rialto, is the first in a series planned throughout California aimed at ensuring passage of a timely budget that protects jobs, schools and public safety. The summit focused on the importance to students and their families of a balanced approach to solving the deficit that combines revenues in addition to the $14 billion in cuts and solutions Democrats have already approved.
"I believe we can demonstrate a statewide consensus for a balanced approach to the state’s deficit, which is why Assembly Democrats are here today bringing together leaders in education to talk about the future of our schools, colleges and universities,” Pérez said. “Our students’ ability to succeed depends on a balanced approach that allows California to provide a top-notch education. California—and the Inland Empire—can be natural homes to vital new growth industries if we invest in an educational system that produces a qualified, competitive workforce.”
The summit included roundtable discussions on the massive cuts education faced in previous years under Governor Schwarzenegger, including the impact to local schools, colleges and universities; a review of recently approved cuts and other solutions, and an examination of why additional revenues are needed to prevent further harm to students and schools.
Speaker Pérez told the summit that since a lack of action by Republican legislators means a June election on revenues is no longer an option, he has called upon his Republican colleagues to produce a comprehensive budget plan of their own by the end of this month, saying: “I believe they have the responsibility to articulate solutions in a detailed and public manner, and if they produce a plan, I think it will be healthy for California to have the debate. The people of our state are willing to make the kinds of investments that are needed to avoid laying off thousands of cops, teachers, firefighters and other Californians. We need to approach this problem together, as a state, and today’s summit is part of that effort.”
Statements from some several summit participants and a full list of participants are below.
Statements from Inland Empire Education Summit Participants
“I am the product of local schools and also of the local school board, so I know firsthand how important quality education is to the families in our community and to families across our state. I have faith that if the people of this state make clear the kind of opportunity and futures they want for the children of California, then we will have no trouble working together and finding enough Republican legislators to join Democrats in supporting a balanced approach to solving the state’s budget problems.”
--Assemblymember Wilmer Amina Carter (D-Rialto), Assistant Majority Policy Leader
“We must have an honest debate about the budget and our priorities. That starts with abandoning the myth that we can responsibly balance our budget only with cuts. Such a budget would devastate our schools and dim the prospects of our children who need a good education to be competitive for good jobs.”
--Assemblymember Bob Blumenfield (D-San Fernando Valley), Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee
“The UC Riverside campus, and our State’s entire higher education system, have been deeply affected by the budget cuts of recent years. It is our hope that, through detailing the impacts of the cuts on our students and their parents, faculty and staff, we help better explain why the UC system is seeking a sustainable funding model that preserves the excellence of our institutions for the competitive future of California.”
--Chancellor Timothy P. White, University of California, Riverside
“We’re facing a crucial situation that will affect not only us, but future generations of Californians, as well. The damage to the Inland Empire is apt to be far greater than elsewhere, because our region has among the lowest percentage of college graduates in the nation – a leading reason why the Ontario-Riverside-San Bernardino metropolitan area has the greatest unemployment rate of any U.S. metropolitan area over 100,000. Given the profound importance of higher education to the success of our children and grandchildren, as well as to the long-term success of California and our region, we need to remain vigilant in sustaining higher education as a high priority for elected officials.”
--President Albert Karnig, California State University, San Bernardino
“Our system is vital to the state's fiscal stability. Cuts have come at a time when community colleges are in greatest demand. I believe students deserve the opportunity to come to us to get a degree, job training or to take the classes they need to transfer to a four-year university. For many of the students we serve, especially the unemployed seeking new job skills, community colleges give them a chance to get their lives back on track. I appreciate this important effort to bring education leaders to the table to discuss what’s at stake, why our lawmakers need to approve a balanced solution of cuts and revenues, and why it’s important to pass a state budget by June 15.”
--San Bernardino Community College District Interim Chancellor Bruce Baron
Inland Empire Education Summit Participants
Mr. Bruce Baron Interim Chancellor, San Bernardino Community College District
Mr. Don Bridge Board of Directors, California Teachers Association
Mr. Phil Doolittle Executive Vice President, University of Redlands
Ms. Martha Fluor President, California School Boards Association, Trustee, Newport-Mesa Unified School District
Mr. Albert K. Karnig President, California State University, San Bernardino
Ms. Debbie Look Director of Legislation, California State PTA
Dr. Marcia Marx President, California Faculty Association, San Bernardino Chapter
Mr. Frank Torres Political Director, SEIU, Local 99
Mr. Ben Valdepeña Area F Director, California School Employees Association
Mr. Greg Washington Vice President, California State Student Association
Mr. Timothy P. White Chancellor, University of California, Riverside
SACRAMENTO – On a strong bipartisan vote the California State Assembly today approved AB 46, legislation by Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles), which would establish a process for disincorporating any city with a population of fewer than 150 people.
AB 46 establishes a process whereby any city with fewer than 150 residents is disincorporated, unless the Board of Supervisors in the corresponding County votes to allow the city to continue. One city affected by the measure is the City of Vernon, which has a decades-long history of corruption allegations, indictments and convictions for offenses including voter fraud.
“When a city’s population becomes so small, the burden of monitoring government activities falls on the few, and no real protections or accountability exist,” Pérez said. “That’s certainly the case in Vernon, where 60 years of corruption have eaten away at the city’s foundation, creating a real threat to the stability of the jobs and businesses that have located there,” Pérez said. “AB 46 not only remedies corruption among the ruling clique in Vernon, it prevents similar fiefdoms from occurring in other extremely small cities as well.”
Supporters of AB 46 include the County of Los Angeles and the Cities of Los Angeles, Huntington Park and Maywood, all of which border Vernon, as well as community organizations including the Central City Association of Los Angeles, the William C. Velasquez Institute, and the Latino Business Chamber of Greater Los Angeles. Sheriff Lee Baca of Los Angeles County, and Monsignor John Moretta of Resurrection Church in Boyle Heights are among those who have testified in support of the bill.
“I have stated repeatedly that jobs must be protected in any disincorporation caused by this legislation, so as AB 46 continues to move through the legislature, we will keep listening to concerns and identifying solutions,” Pérez said. “In terms of Vernon, concerns we have heard include maintaining affordable power prices, providing quality public safety services, protecting land use and zoning designations, and retaining permitting and business licenses. As we continue the thorough and thoughtful work of crafting such protections for jobs and businesses, I am hopeful Vernon’s leaders will provide us with the information we have asked for in order to ensure that the concerns expressed by the city’s business leaders and working families can be properly addressed.”
Vernon is the smallest city in California with only 96 residents, virtually all of whom live in heavily subsidized, city owned housing and are either employed by the city or connected to city officials. This removes any semblance of an independent electorate or accountability.
News reports have documented that Vernon officials have used their leverage repeatedly, including forcing city employees to fill out ballots in the presence of city officials and harassing and intimidating reformers who have attempted to run for office in Vernon.
Other news reports have revealed Vernon leaders’ lavish spending on salaries, luxury travel and payments to high-priced law firms and lobbyists.
Following its passage in the Assembly, AB 46 will now move to consideration in the State Senate.
SACRAMENTO – Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles), released the following statement after unveiling new legislation to create the very first statewide educational program geared at helping high school students make informed decisions about signing up to become organ and tissue donors when applying for their first driver licenses. Pérez, who has a personal connection to the issue—his father was an organ donor and his mother passed away while awaiting a kidney transplant—has been an organ donation champion throughout his career, previously authoring legislation that requires Medi-Cal to cover anti-rejection medication for two years following a transplant operation:
“I myself learned the hard lesson that tragedy sometimes happens. People take ill, and suddenly, issues such as organ donation become very important. When my mother became ill, I would sit with her during her treatments. I would see the same faces every time, many of them waiting patiently on the donation list, hoping that a kidney would become available before they lost the race against the clock. Each of us has the opportunity to give a very precious gift—the gift of a second chance at life, and I sincerely hope each Californian will make that decision. That is why I have introduced AB 1118 to have schools educate students on the critical need for all of us to become organ donors.”
SACRAMENTO—Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez received a unanimous, bipartisan vote to approve his AB 46 in the Assembly Local Government Committee today. This was the first hearing on the Speaker’s legislation, which would establish a process for disincorporating any city with a population of fewer than 150 people. One such city affected by the measure is the City of Vernon, which has a decades-long history of corruption allegations, indictments and convictions for offenses including voter fraud.
“Today’s unanimous vote is a strong statement against more than 60 years of corruption that represents a threat to jobs throughout Los Angeles County,” said the Speaker. “AB 46 not only remedies the corruption that currently exists, but permanently eliminates the structural mechanisms that have allowed this corruption to flourish unchecked for more than half a century.”
Vernon is the smallest city in California by population; the city only has 96 residents, virtually all of whom live in heavily subsidized, city owned housing; and are either employed by the city or connected to city officials. This has effectively created a situation where the city is both the landlord and the supervisor for the residents of Vernon, giving Vernon officials an unprecedented level of economic control over the electorate and removing any semblance of an independent electorate to hold city officials accountable. News reports have documented that Vernon officials have used that leverage repeatedly, including forcing city employees to fill out ballots in the presence of city officials and harassing and intimidating reformers who have attempted to run for office in Vernon.
AB 46, which was introduced in December by the Speaker, establishes a process whereby any city with fewer than 150 residents is disincorporated, unless the County Board of Supervisors in that County vote to allow the city to continue in existence. Vernon meets that criterion.
The measure has attracted broad support throughout the Southeast Communities of Los Angeles County, as well as overwhelming bipartisan support among members of the Legislature. Testifying in support of the bill were Sheriff Lee Baca of Los Angeles County and Monsignor John Moretta of Resurrection Church in Boyle Heights. The bill also has the support of the County of Los Angeles and the Cities of Los Angeles, Huntington Park and Maywood, all of which border Vernon, as well as community organizations including the Central City Association of Los Angeles, the William C. Velasquez Institute, and the Latino Business Chamber of Greater Los Angeles.
AB 46 will next be heard by the full Assembly. If successful there, it will be considered by the Senate for approval.
“This is fundamentally about ending corruption and protecting jobs. Vernon’s officials have been accountable to no one for too long, and the rap sheet of indictments, allegations and investigations against Vernon officials is staggering. This is a major priority for the people of the Southeast Community, and I am proud to stand with them against corruption and for jobs,” said the Speaker.
(Sacramento) - Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez has received a unanimous, bipartisan vote to approve his AB 46 in the Assembly Local Government Committee. AB 46 would establish a process for disincorporating any city with a population of fewer than 150 people. One such city affected by the measure is the City of Vernon, which has a decades-long history of corruption allegations, indictments and convictions for offenses including voter fraud. “The unanimous vote is a strong statement against more than 60 years of corruption that represents a threat to jobs throughout Los Angeles County,” said the Speaker. “AB 46 not only remedies the corruption that currently exists, but permanently eliminates the structural mechanisms that have allowed this corruption to flourish unchecked for more than half a century.” Here’s more from the Speaker in this Assembly Access video.
(Sacramento) - Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles), joined by Assembly Budget Chair Bob Blumenfield (D-San Fernando Valley), has announced that Assembly Democratic Caucus leaders will conduct summits throughout the state with frontline educators, business leaders and public safety responders to emphasize the importance of crafting a balanced budget solution by June 15th that includes the necessary revenue extensions to protect schools, public safety and local governments. The Speaker also challenged Republican legislators to either produce a comprehensive plan to close the deficit, or work with Assembly Democrats to pass new revenues to approve an honest, balanced budget. Here's more from Speaker Pérez in this Assembly Access video.
SACRAMENTO – Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) released the following statement regarding efforts to seek solutions to California’s budget deficit:
“Democrats have made the tough decisions necessary to close an historic budget deficit. While Republican rhetoric suggests they are open to working with us, their actions have not reflected their public statements. In fact, over the past several days, they have shown their true priority is demanding tax cuts for huge, out-of-state corporations, and other costly proposals that would have put a four billion dollar hole in the budget. I am deeply disappointed they have refused to let the people of California have a say in how we close the deficit and put our fiscal house in order.
“Regardless, we must move forward on finding solutions that reflect the spirit of the Governor’s budget proposal. We have approved more than 14 billion dollars in solutions to close a 26 billion dollar deficit, and we will meet our constitutional obligation to approve the budget by June 15. One thing is clear: the people of California would be well served if Republican actions matched their rhetoric, because we need to move forward together, as a state, to close this deficit.”
MAYWOOD – Speaker John A. Pérez(D-Los Angeles) declared at a Maywood City Council public hearing on Saturday that water companies serving the city of Maywood must immediately outline a plan to reduce the amount of manganese in their water in order to comply with a new state law.
AB 890, a bill that the Speaker ushered through the legislature and was signed by the governor in 2009, requires water companies serving Maywood to provide safe, quality drinking water to all its residents. The law requires water companies in Maywood to create a plan for improving the quality of their water to the same level as the cities surrounding Maywood, and calls on water providers to be more transparent in their findings.
At Saturday’s hearing, a representative from the water companies offered a plan to meet the state’s requirement – less than 50 parts per billion.
Speaker Pérezthanked the water companies for presenting their plan. But he said Maywood residents deserve the same water quality as residents in the surrounding cities, and called on the water companies to outline a plan to meet those levels, as required by his bill. That amount is 13.7 ppb.
“We are standing together to ensure that the entire Southeast Community is able to have access to safe, quality drinking water,” said Pérezto applause from the nearly 100 community members in attendance. “The residents who live in this city deserve the same quality of drinking water that the rest of the state enjoys, and today we’re taking a big step toward making that goal a reality.”
For years, the water in Maywood has had a murky brown color, with manganese levels well above the level that California deems safe.
AB 890 required the water companies to be more responsive to Maywood residents by reporting on levels of manganese and other contaminants in their water, holding a public hearing on those findings, and sending water quality statements to Maywood households in English and Spanish.
Their survey found that three of the seven wells serving Maywood had manganese levels above 50 ppb. For Maywood Mutual Water Company #2, which supplies more than half of Maywood’s water, the average concentration of manganese for both of that company’s wells were significantly above 50 ppb.
“We must work with the water companies, the city council, and the community to solve this issue fairly and quickly,” Pérezsaid.
Dozens of community members spoke during the hearing to express their frustration over how the water companies were treating them.
“The water that we’re drinking, it’s not clean, it’s not safe,” said Hector Alvarado, a longtime Maywood resident whose comments were translated into English by an interpreter. “We deserve to be treated with dignity, just like everybody else. We deserve the same standard as everybody else.”
The water companies now have 30 days to respond in writing to the comments and concerns voiced by residents at the hearing.
Saturday’s hearing took place in the gymnasium of the Maywood Activity Center, at 4801 58th St.
SACRAMENTO – In this Democratic Weekly Address, Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) looks back on his first year as Speaker of the Assembly, including efforts to save and create jobs, put California at the forefront of health care reform, and restore devastating cuts to child care. Pérez stresses the importance of "putting the state's fiscal house in order," and says the Assembly is committed to getting the state back on track "for recovery and the jobs recovery brings." Pérez adds that he believes the Legislature will be successful in moving the Governor's budget plan forward and giving the people of California the opportunity to weigh in.
Click onto the following link for the English language MP3 file. The running time is 2:00. mp3
Click onto the following link for the Spanish language MP3 file. The running time is 3:08. mp3
This week marked my one year anniversary as Speaker of the Assembly.
It's been a challenging year, given the deficit and the fragile state of our economy.
But there have been important successes, too.
The Assembly has worked to help create and protect jobs...we put Californians in the forefront of health care reform.... and we restored devastating cuts to child care so that 60,000 parents can keep working.
Looking to the future, our immediate challenge is, of course, to put the state's fiscal house in order so we can get on track for recovery and the jobs that recovery brings.
Governor Brown has proposed a budget that has many difficult choices. And I do not believe any member of the Legislature will relish voting for it.
But I believe when we take the vote in the next several days, we will be successful in moving the Governor's plan forward, and giving the people of California the opportunity to weigh in.
I don't mean to minimize the uncertainty. Many of our Republican colleagues remain adamantly opposed to allowing California voters to decide the direction our state is going to take in the next several years.
But I am hopeful that there are enough Republicans whose position isn't so intransigent, who recognize that an all-cuts budget is not realistic and who will help us move forward.
In 2008, the global financial markets seized up and plunged us into the worst recession since the Great Depression.
In 2009, California spent an entire year on the brink of insolvency.
In 2010, the year I became Speaker, we struggled to keep the problems from getting worse.
This year we must finally stop reacting, and start moving forward.
Once we get our finances under control, we can build on our efforts to create jobs and put more Californians back to work.
We can solve our challenges as a state in a way that keeps faith with the legacy of greatness that has made this such an iconic place in the world.
This is Assembly Speaker John Pérez
Thank you for listening.
Presidente Pérez Da una Mirada a su Primer Año Como Presidente - Y Ansioso por Resolver la Crisis Fiscal
SACRAMENTO –En el mensaje demócrata semanal, el presidente de la Asamblea John A. Pérez (D- Los Angeles), comenta sobre su primer año como presidente de la Asamblea, y los esfuerzos por resguardar y crear empleos, poner a California a la vanguardia de la reforma de salud, y evadir los desbastadores recortes al cuidado infantil. Pérez hace hincapié en la importancia de"poner la caja fiscal en orden," y agrega que la Asamblea está comprometida a devolver al estado en la senda correcta "de la recuperación económica y los empleos que la recuperación trae consigo." Pérez añade que él está convencido que la Legislatura estará a la altura de las circunstancias para llevar hacia adelante el plan del gobernador y entregarle la oportunidad a los residentes de California a decidir por ellos mismos.
El discurso radial en archivo de MP3 puede ser localizado en el sitio de Internet. mp3
Hola les saluda John Pérez, presidente de la Asamblea estatal de California.
Esta semana marcó mi primer aniversario como presidente de la Asamblea.
Ha sido un año de grandes desafíos, dado el déficit y la delicada situación económica de nuestro estado.
Pero también han habido importantes logros.
La Asamblea ha trabajado y cooperado en la creación y protección de empleos....nosotros hemos puesto a California a la vanguardia en el tema de la reforma de salud.... y hemos logrado evadir los desbastadores recortes al programa del cuidado infantil para que así 60,000 padres de familia puedan seguir trabajando.
Mirando hacia el futuro, nuestro inmediato desafío es, obviamente, poner la caja fiscal del estado en orden para así lograr volver a la senda de la recuperación económica y los empleos que la recuperación trae consigo.
El gobernador Brown ha propuesto un plan fiscal que contiene muchas decisiones difíciles. Y yo... creo que no hay ningún legislador que este con gran entusiasmo para votar por ellas.
Pero estoy convencido que cuando votemos en los próximos días, nosotros lograremos empujar el plan del gobernador hacia adelante, y darle la oportunidad a los residentes de California de participar.
Eso no quiere decir que estoy disminuyendo la incertidumbre. Muchos de nuestros colegas republicanos continúan enérgicamente opuestos a permitir que los votantes de California decidan la dirección que nuestro estado va a tomar en los próximos años.
Pero tengo la esperanza que hay suficientes republicanos cuya posición no es tan intransigente, y que reconocen que un presupuesto de puros recortes no es real y el cual no ayudará a seguir nuestro camino hacia adelante.
En el 2008, el mercado financiero global se fundió y nos sumergió en la peor recesión desde la Gran Depresión.
En el 2009, California estuvo todo un año al borde de la bancarrota.
Y en el 2010, el año en que asumí como presidente, estuvimos luchando todo el año para que la situación no se pusiera peor.
Este año debemos parar de reaccionar, y comenzar a movernos hacia adelante.
Una vez que nuestras finanzas estén bajo control, nosotros podremos construir sobre nuestros esfuerzos para crear empleos y poner a más californianos devuelta a trabajar.
Nosotros podemos resolver nuestros desafíos como estado.... de una manera que mantenga la fe con el legado de grandeza que hace de este lugar un icono para el mundo.
Les habló John Pérez, presidente de la Asamblea estatal. Gracias por su atención.
Y gracias por el honor y privilegio de servir a California y a la Asamblea Estatal de California.