Tag Archives: Inland Empire

Banning Needs a Better School Board

California School Employees Association and its Chapter 147 endorsed Alfredo Andrade, Alex Cassadas, and Ray Curtis for the Banning School Board   (Full disclosure: I am the labor relations representative for CSEA Chapter 147.)

CSEA, the classified employees, endorsed three candidates who promise to make the Banning USD administration accountable to the students, parents, staff, and citizens of the Banning Unified School District.  This is an important election for Banning schools.   It can finally ensure that spending cuts start with management’s perks, instead of essential staff.  Banning has no more bilingual aides, and is slashing library staff hours.  Meanwhile, administrators continue to spend freely on attorneys and consultants, as though they worked at Goldman Sachs.  They don’t.  They work for us.

On November 8th, Banning residents can exercise their power to change the school district by electing Alfredo Andrade, Alex Cassadas, and Ray Curtis to the Banning School Board.  You can give them the authority to supervise the administration.

Isn’t it about time that the Banning School Board did that?


Alfredo Andrade

Para Educator

For the past 10 years, Alfredo Andrade has been working with Special Education students.  Andrade is a proud member of the California School Employees Association, actively engaged in the union’s efforts to improve the lives of its members, our students, and the community.  He believes that the Banning Unified School Board needs to be accountable to the community, its students, and its employees.   As a trustee, Andrade will ensure it.  Alfredo Andrade is currently enrolled at at California State University – San Bernardino.  He is the oldest of five children, and engaged to be married.


Ray Curtis

Retired Teacher and Administrator

Curtis is a Banning High School graduate, former Assistant Superintendent, school administrator, School Board  Trustee, principal, and beloved teacher and coach.  As trustee, he will focus on enhancing academic achievement for all students as well as focusing on the complete development of children to help them in becoming productive citizens, skilled workers, and good parents.  He will insist on budget efficiency, fiscal accountability, and a culture of dignity and respect within the school district.  Curtis has the capacity to ask the tough questions and hold the district administration accountable to the community and its children.  Curtis will listen to the concerns of parents and teachers, and will work for respectful communication with all school, staff, and community participants.


Alex Cassadas

Child Case Worker

Cassadas believes in building positive, collaborative relationships between all stakeholders and he is committed to our students and their education.  He believes we must preserve the full scope of quality academics, including Special Education, arts, music, athletics and programs for English language learners.  Cassadas knows we must prepare our students for college or a career by supporting both college preparatory classes and vocational and technical programs.  All students must have the opportunity to learn and succeed.  As a lifelong Banning resident, Cassadas feels that it is his responsibility to give back to our community, and he currently volunteers in the district.  Cassadas is running for Banning Unified School Board to improve Banning schools.

Vote for Andrade, Curtis, and Cassadas on November 8th!

Need to register to vote?  Click here.

“It Gets Bluer” in the Inland Empire

(Welcome to Fera, who is creating the CDP’s online content – promoted by Brian Leubitz)

Right now CA Dem staff and volunteers together with local Democrats in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties are hard at work setting up the first-ever joint (state and local) Latino Voter Registration Project in the Inland Empire. This week, we’re launching the “It Gets Bluer” online and social media campaign to spread the word and let Democrats in the Inland Empire know that Democrats across California stand with them as they work to turn the tide in one of our state’s final remaining GOP strongholds.

Check out the dedicated website at www.ItGetsBluer.com

Christopher Guerrero, Field Director for the California Democratic Party, described it this way:

“We’ve set up shop in the Inland Empire and together with our Democratic partners in San Bernardino and Riverside we’re going to register as many Latino voters as we can between now and November 2012,” said Christopher Guerrero, Field Director for the California Democratic Party. “We are taking the fight right to the GOP’s doorstep here and in what’s considered a red (GOP) area a lot of Democrats and potential Democrats may feel like they’re the only one in the area. That’s why we’re coming together to announce to the whole community and to Democrats across the state that It Gets Bluer, and together we will work to turn the Inland Empire a bright shade of Democratic blue.”

Before initiating the project’s field component, the CDP’s field and data teams analyzed recently released Census data and past voting trends and cross-referenced the data in the Party’s voter contact file. Using geospacial tools, the results were then overlaid on detailed maps of the San Bernardino and Riverside areas to determine potential Democratic voter “hotspots” in the Inland Empire. Joint CDP and local field teams were then created in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties to register potential Democratic voters in those “hotspots.”

“We’ve got a great team in place with our lead organizers, the county parties, the local clubs and we’re even getting interest from Democrats outside of the area who are excited to see this kind of project get off the ground,” said Guerrero. “We need more volunteers and whether you’re in the area and want to help us canvass or table events with other local Democrats, or you’re outside of the area, we’ll find a way to use your help.” To volunteer for the Inland Empire Latino Voter Registration Project click here.

Be sure to check www.ItGetsBluer.com for updates on the project including stories from newly registered voters and activists in the Inland Empire and beyond.

Darren Parker Ad and Phonebanking

(I got to know Darren while on the Kamala Harris campaign, and now he’s running against Sharon Runner for Senate. The Choice is Clear! – promoted by Brian Leubitz)

Progressives: We are working the phones to make sure this seat flips into the “D” column. Registration’s close, so turnout is the key! Come help us man the virtual phonebanks!

(Edit by Brian: Details for the phonebanks and the ad over the flip.)

For SB County Calling visit: https://www.moe-phonebank.com/…

For LA County Calling visit: http://www.darrenparker4senate…  

-click on “Phonebank Today” and follow the instructions


Progressives: Lead, Follow, or get the F*ck outta the Way (GOTV Part 2)


I wanted to use an old Marine Corps Adage to motivate us to GOTV for every swinging Progressive Candidate across California. We need the Governorship! We need the Senate! We need the Congress! And we definitely need the damn 2/3rds that Republicans have used to keep us from enacting Progressive Change in California. For these final 2 days we have to focus like a laser on electing candidates to help further our cause. Jerry Brown is ahead by 10 pts., so let us focus on the down ticket races that will indirectly help him. Let’s focus on Sen. Barbara Boxer who has fought tooth and nail for Progressives in California! Let’s focus on Gavin Newson or Kamala Harris who have taken bold strides in advancing a Progressive Agenda despite have themselves painted as a San Fransisco liberal or soft on crime. Finally, but not the least of all lets focus on electing memebers of Congress, State Senate, or Assembly who represent California’s interests. California Republicans will make up the some of the leadership positions in Congress, Assembly, and Senate. We have to bring these members down! We must face our fears and go boldly once more into the breach dear friends. Only our tenacity can ensure our victory. I will see you on the beach November 2.  

Progressive G.R.I.T. wins Elections (GOTV Part 1)

With 2 weeks left until E-Day, California Progressives have been building a firewall to beat back the tide of the Red Menace. We are walking precincts, knocking on doors, engaging voters neighbor to neighbor, and phonebanking, phonebanking, phonebanking!

The task at hand is daunting and morale may flag and spirits may dwindle, but I say we must stand together! We must show not just California, but the nation that we will not go quietly into the night; that we, the Progressive Movement, on principle will not go down without a fight.

In this this vien, the acronym G.R.I.T. should serve as a rally cry to all activists in our movement.

Grim Determination:We may not have the enthusiasm of the other side, but we have the intestinal fortitude to soldier on in the face of long odds and short tempers. We will snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

Regain the Momentum:Very soon…maybe not today, maybe not tommorrow, and because of our efforts we will regain the momentum. Maintaing a positive attitude leads to positive results.

Intensify the Effort:Every waking moment and every single body should be focused on winning this election. If we are not exhausted by the time this thing is over, then we have not done enough.

Turn the Tide:Our organization is better than the Teabaggers and thier allies, our determination is greater, our GOTV is legendary! We can win this!

Good luck and godspeed, see you Nov. 2 🙂

(CA 65AD) It’s about jobs and tax fairness

The Riverside/San Bernardino County area, aka Inland Empire (whose Empire, I always want to know)recently beat Detroit for the dubious honor of being No. 1 in unemployment nationwide.  The Democratic challenger for the 65th Assembly District, Carl Wood, is running on job creation and tax fairness (ie, make corporations pay their fair share).  The incumbent Republican has no record whatsoever on jobs, and recently gave struggling homeowners the back of his hand on foreclosure relief.

The only hope for turning this District around is voter turnout.  A bit of local press on Wood’s odds in the extended diary.  Carl’s Act Blue page is here.

Crossposted at dKos

From Tuesday’s San Bernardino Sun:

Wood’s performance in 2008 was by far the best showing by a Democrat in the district this decade. Before 2008, Cook and Republican candidates before him had won lopsided victories – margins of victory of about 24 percentage points on average – in the 65th District, which stretches from Big Bear Lake to Hemet and from Yucaipa to Twentynine Palms.

But in 2008, Cook’s margin of victory was just 6.6 percentage points. Repeating that showing will be difficult though, as Wood was almost certainly helped by the groundswell of Democratic voter turnout that propelled President Barack Obama to victory and boosted many other otherwise-longshot Democratic candidates.

Wood knows turnout will be key this year if he hopes to build on last year’s near-success.

“That’s what makes this race so unpredictable,” he said. “It’s so heavily dependent on voter turnout. If there’s good turnout, I think I stand a good chance of winning.”

Wood had the Obama surge in 2008, but no campaign structure to speak of.  This time he has a strong volunteer base, union boots on the ground, and better name recognition.  Bill Hedrick’s excellent campaign* for the CA 44th CD is another plus for Carl, their districts overlap, and they share progressive values.   If we can pull this off, Sacramento will get a true bold progressive, one who can actually utter the word taxes without an apology, and leave his audience convinced that they’ve been had by the GOP.

*Corrected from previous version, wherein I invert the candidates and call it GOP Rep. Ken Calvert’s excellent campaign.  Ken Calvert (h/t to Howie Klein)is the incumbent we need to remove.

(CA AD80) Labor of Love: Re-electing Manuel Perez

CSEA members and my fellow union staffer Dale and I walked precincts in Coachella this morning for Manuel Perez, Assemblyman for the 80th AD. As always with this campaign, we were in good company:

Isadore Hall, Assemblyman for the 52nd District, brought five volunteers with him for precinct walking and carne asada.  More from Isadore Hall, CA52AD, on the flip.

Crossposted from dKos

I’ll get better at this videography thing, I promise:

Assemblyman Hall, continued:

We had LIUNA, United Domestic Workers, Coachella Valley Teachers Association, CSEA and more.  This campaign has so many of the same people we had last time, and Manuel Perez’s grassroots/social justice focus is the same.  The difference is now he is on the inside, with a track record.  

Carl Wood Invites Incumbent Paul Cook to Debate Series for 65th Assembly District

CHERRY VALLEY –  65th Assembly District Democratic challenger Carl Wood has invited Republican incumbent Paul Cook to a series of debates.  In a personal letter Wood declared it “our duty” as candidates “to make every effort to inform voters about our candidacies.”  In an election year where voters are said to be hostile toward incumbents Wood’s invitation includes his assurance that he will make “every accommodation” for Cook in order to make these debates happen.  

Wood’s campaign manager, Michael Kreizenbeck, hopes Cook will agree to the debates.  “A debate that discusses issues like jobs, home foreclosures and the substantial needs of veterans is certain to hurt Cook’s chances of reelection, but I don’t see how Cook can run from this opportunity to explain himself directly to voters,” Kreizenbeck said.


Out of touch in the Inland Empire

In a dramatic illustration of my campaign theme that Republican incumbent assemblyman Paul Cook is out of touch with his district, he was quoted in Monday’s Riverside Press-Enterprise on his reason for voting against Sen. Mark Leno’s SB 1275, which would help homeowners by requiring banks and mortgage companies to better communicate with delinquent borrowers about modification options before beginning the foreclosure process.  Said Cook, “I needed a good reason to vote for it and I just didn’t see it.”

Well, Mr. Cook, let me suggest a few good reasons.  Our Assembly District 65, in the heart of the Inland Empire, has the highest unemployment rate of any large metropolitan area in California (15.1%, second nationally only to metro Detroit).  We are Ground Zero for the foreclosure crisis; when the New York Times did a series on foreclosures, they came to Moreno Valley for their interviews.  

Widespread foreclosures lead to failing neighborhoods, which in turn burden already underfunded schools.  Many schools in the 65th lag behind the rest of the state, mortgaging (no pun intended) the futures of our area’s youth.

Cook’s response to these multiple crises in his district?  Not a single bill that addresses the economic crisis or relief for its victims.  Although he proclaims his passion for recognizing the service of military veterans, his legislative record contains nothing that addresses the needs of the thousands of veterans in the 65th District facing unemployment, foreclosure and possible homelessness.

The 65th AD is poised to turn Democratic.  From a 23% Cook win in 2006, the Republican margin was cut to 6.5% when I ran against him in 2008.  If ever there was an area needing the solutions that only progressive Democrats can provide, it is the Inland Empire in 2010.

                       Please visit www.wood4assembly.org