Even at 100 degrees Farenheit, the Coachella Valley is gorgeous. Here’s a pic from a house party for Manuel Pérez, Democratic candidate for the 80th AD.
As I mentioned earlier, I support Pérez because he is the strongest, best qualified candidate of a good set of Democrats. As dday notes, this House seat leans Dem:
AD-80 (Bonnie Garcia)
Follow me over the flip for more photos and a breakdown of why Manuel Pérez is the best Democrat to represent the 80th, and the most likely to beat the predicted Republican candidate, Palm Springs police chief, Gary Jeandron.
Here’s another photo of Pérez speaking to supporters in Bermuda Dunes.
Here’s a Map of the CA 80th AD.
Now, about the primary challengers:
The other Democrats in this race are Greg Pettis, Cathedral City councilman, and Rick Gonzales, Wells Fargo investment banker. Both are great guys. If Manuel Pérez didn’t match their strengths and up the ante considerably, I’d probably be stumping for one of them. (A recent addition, Gilbert Ramirez, Jr. just jumped in, but I know little about him yet. The little I do know tells me he’s no threat to Pérez.) But as I noted in a previous diary, we have a good farm team of liberals growing in this district now, and I feel strongly that Pérez is the best in this race.
In Greg Pettis’s case, he represents a solid vote for gay rights and labor. However, Pérez is a lifelong advocate for all civil rights, including protection for gay students, and you don’t get more pro labor than Pérez, whose UFW parents met working in the fields right here in the 80th district. Also, Perez is a married Latino family man who is both prochoice and pro gay rights. That’s a powerful combo for our advocate in Sacramento. Greg’s been a fixture of Democratic politics in the area for some time, but he’s lost this race before. Pérez is new to politics and offers a very compelling new option.
Rick Gonzalez has a great background in D.C., working with Bill Clinton and Al Gore years back, but he doesn’t have Pérez’s experience and track record of working for social justice here in the 80th. Rick has roots here, but so does Pérez, deep and broad roots. As my initial Pérez diary indicates, Manuel Pérez served Riverside and Imperial Counties his entire career. Other than short absences to attend Harvard and to work in Sacramento, Pérez has been bringing healthcare and education to the 80th as a nonprofit manager and CVUSD trustee. Rick has excellent businesss experience with Wells Fargo, but so does Pérez, with local government and nonprofit healthcare. The biggest difference: Gonzalez doesn’t have Manuel Pérez’s support from labor.
Finally, Steve Clute, the previous Democratic candidate for the CA 80th AD who garnered 49.57 % of the last vote, endorsed Pérez.
At the house party, Pérez talked about the interaction between California’s schools, our prisons, and our social services, and how they don’t work cooperatively. He knows what it is to be the at-risk-youth, the teacher, and the policy wonk. He knows it from experience acquired here, and he can express it equally well in the salons of Rancho Mirage y las iglesias de Coachella. This is the candidate we’ve been waiting for.
About Gary Jeandron, I hear he’s well-liked in Palm Springs where he’s been police chief for some time. However, this Desert Sun article about veteran volunteers getting an unceremonious boot from the Citizens on Patrol program doesn’t speak well for Jeandron’s judgement. Nor does his willingness to have intelligent design taught in Palm Springs public schools, according to this Press Enterprise article about his school board race.
Riverside and Imperial Counties deserve a strong, compassionate, smart progressive for a change. And the California Assembly needs all the Democrats we can get! Please help us get there – come pay a visit to my ActBlue page for Manuel Pérez.
Crossposted from Daily Kos