Today I’m at the Riverside County Democratic Central Committee Strategic Planning Retreat. We are 44th CD, 45th CD, 64th, 65th AD, 80th AD, and the 37th SD (election April 17th if someone gets 50+1). Riverside County frankly deserves maximum attention from the CDP, as we have the seats that could flip. Manuel Perez’s win in the 80th was a long time coming, and we need the rest in 2010.
Carl Wood is running again in the 65th, but couldn’t join us today as he’s just now returning from Copenhagen. I read the following letter on his behalf to the RCDCC, and here it is for the Calitics crew:
Dear fellow Democrats,
I regret not being with you today for this important Retreat. As many of you know, I have been in Copenhagen, Denmark for the past ten days as an official member of the U.S. labor delegation to the United Nations Climate Change Conference. My flight arrangements were made months ago and could not be changed when this Retreat was scheduled.
As the Director of Government and Regulatory Affairs for the Utility Workers Union, I serve on the AFL-CIO Energy Task Force and represent my union in international meetings on climate change and other matters. Along with union representatives from around the world, our delegation has been working to ensure that the international agreements that will guide the transition to a low-carbon economy will include economic protections and millions of good new jobs for working people.
Continued over the flip.
Our U.S. union delegation has met with ambassadors, cabinet members and key Congressional leaders including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Chairman Henry Waxman and Senator John Kerry. As I write these words, just hours after President Obama addressed the Conference, we still don’t know if the day will end with an international climate agreement. Still, our efforts have already been rewarded with language recognizing worker rights in the working document that will form the basis of that agreement whenever it is finalized.
Last year, as our Party’s candidate in the 65th Assembly District, I won the Riverside County portion of the district and came close to capturing the seat. Next year, with your support, I intend to finish the job.
While the Inland Empire is seen as a Republican stronghold, that has never made sense to me. Our region, for all its physical beauty and vast human and natural resources, is beset with daunting man-made problems: a 15% unemployment rate on top of low wages for many of those who are still employed; a devastating foreclosure crisis accompanying the collapse of our crucial home-building industry; underfunded schools attempting to educate a diverse and often disadvantaged student population; and environmental challenges ranging from poor air quality to stressed water systems to massive transportation issues.
Yet we are “represented” in Sacramento by a man whose signature legislative achievement is a bill banning registered sex offenders from driving ice cream trucks! The working people, the children, the seniors and the veterans of our communities deserve better.
It appears that there will be a contested primary in our Party for this seat, and I believe that my record as a party activist, long-time union leader, former elected local officeholder and state Public Utilities Commissioner has prepared me to be a credible standard bearer for the progressive policies that are necessary to rescue our region from decades of Republican corruption and misrule.
While I cannot be with you today at this Retreat, I look forward to contacting each of you personally over the next few weeks to reintroduce myself, exchange views on the issues and solicit your support for our Party’s nomination for the 65th Assembly District.