Harvard-educated Greg Pettis, in his 14th year as Cathedral City Councilman and Democratic candidate for the 80th Assembly District to replace the termed out, thank God, Bonnie Garcia (R), has unparalleled credentials in the Progressive Democratic Movement.
Pettis has served on the City Council of Cathedral City for the last 13 years. During that time, he helped change a city that was once a place to drive through into a place where 50,000 people work, live, shop and live their dreams.
In addition to his duties on City Council, Pettis has worked on a wide range of committees designed to improve the lives of Californians and those in the Coachella and Imperial Valleys.
Pettis dealt successfully with environmental issues from Salton Sea restoration to serving on the Coachella Valley Mountains Conservancy Board to helping to negotiating the Multi Species Habitat Act which will guide future growth in the region in a more sustainable way.
In addition, Pettis has been working on transportation issues through the Riverside County Transportation Commission and the National League of Cities Transportation Policy Committee, helping to identify mass transit solutions that will help combat climate change.
Pettis was the first openly-gay elected official in Riverside County and has worked to bridge the gap between communities and to provide leadership to other gay candidates who have the desire to serve in public office but needed encouragement and mentorship.
Pettis is a member of Howard Dean’s Democracy for America and has a Bachelor’s of Arts degree from Azusa Pacific University and completed the Senior Executive Program in State and Municipal Government from the JFK School of Government at Harvard.
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As a Progressive Democratic Assemblyman, Pettis will move the progressive movement forward in the Coachella Valley, has substantial support from local Progressive Democrats, has positions and policies fit into the broader Progressive Democratic Movement, and has a campaign that is people-powered. In its editorial endorsement, The Desert Sun highlighted Pettis’ progressive bona fides:
…Cathedral City Councilman Greg Pettis stands out because of his ties to the Coachella Valley.
Pettis, 52, is a strong political tactician. His strong suit is organization. He communicates well with his constituents. Navigating the state capitol scene will be critical to his – and the valley’s – success, but we believe he understands Sacramento and can hit the ground running there and that is what we need.
We also are confident Pettis would be visible in the district after being elected – and that is an important part of the job…
…Pettis has been in office 14 years as a Cathedral City councilman. He knows the Coachella Valley best. He has strong relationships with local officials and understands local issues.
He has built a solid record of achievement while on the council, and we believe he is electable and will be effective in Sacramento…
…he does understand our issues and, of all Democratic candidates, he is he best choice to represent the needs of the Coachella Valley.
He plans to focus on bringing needed transportation infrastructure to our valley, as wells as more jobs to the Coachella and Imperial valleys, better school funding and expanding incentives for green and renewable energy sources.
Pettis said he also will work on health insurance coverage for all Californians. He wants all children younger than 18 to be covered by expanding programs. He would push to expand tax credit programs to create more affordable housing and work to stabilize interest rates to fend off more foreclosures.
The endorsement of the California League of Conservation Voters , highlights Pettis’ credentials in the environmental movement. CLCV’s Southern California Director, David Allgood announced in February 2008, that CLCV endorsed Pettis for the 80th Assembly District seat:
“While there are many good candidates running for this seat, Greg Pettis’ long history of involvement on improving air and water quality, forward-looking smart growth planning and commitment to combating global climate change is what earned him our Board’s trust,” said David Allgood, CLCV Southern California Director.
“We were particularly impressed with forward-looking legislation Greg has implemented like Cathedral City’s Green Building Standards which require new construction in Cathedral City to be 10-15 percent above state efficiency standards to help reduce water use, his tireless work negotiating the Multi-Species Habitat Plan to manage growth in the desert and his vote to install solar panels to provide all electricity needs for City Hall.”
“Additionally, his Pettis Plan for Progress takes a thoughtful look about how Sacramento can act locally while leading globally.”
In addition, Pettis’s campaign for the 80th AD is actively supported by innumerable local Progressive Democrats and Democratic organizations. Thus far, Pettis has been endorsed by every local Democratic club that has endorsed, including the Desert Stonewall Democratic Club, the Pass Democratic Club, the Inland Stonewall Democratic Club, the Desert Hot Springs Democratic Club, the San Diego Democratic Club, the San Diego Democratic Women’s Club, and the Palm Springs Democratic Club. President Desert Hot Springs Democratic Club Will Pieper, Vice President Desert Hot Springs Democratic Club Chuck McDaniel, Treasurer Desert Stonewall Democrats Bob Silverman, President Pass Democratic Club Jacquelyn Atwood, Vice President Pass Democratic Club Betty McMillion, President Sun City Democratic Club Arnie Kamisky, and Riverside County Democratic Central Committee Alternate Kira Klatchko have also endorsed Pettis for 80th AD.
Local electeds endorsing the Pettis campaign include former-candidate for the 80th Assembly District Mary Ann Andreas, Palm Springs Councilmember Ginny Foat, Palm Springs Councilmember Rick Hutcheson, Palm Springs Unified School District Trustee Meredy Schoenberger, Desert Hot Springs Councilmember Karl Baker, Cathedral City Councilmember and Candidate for Cathedral City Mayor Paul Marchand, Cathedral City Clerk Pat Hammers, former-Coachella Mayor Juan DeLara, Coachella Councilmember Gilbert Ramirez, Jr., former-Brawley Mayor Orbie Hanks, El Centro City Councilmember Sedalia Sanders, El Centro School Board Trustee Diana Newton, and former-Rancho Mirage City Councilmember Jeanne Parrish.
Progressives amongst the tribes who have endorsed Pettis include Pechanga Band of Lisueno Mission Indians Vice Chairman Andrew Masiel and Morongo Band of Mission Indians Vice-Chair Mary Ann Andreas. In addition, Pettis has across-the-board support with local unions including the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Building Trades of California, the California AFL-CIO, the Cathedral City Professional Firefighters, San Bernardino/Riverside Counties Central Labor Council, San Diego/Imperial Counties Central Labor Council, Teamsters, Joint Council 42, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 440.
In another coup, the Progressive Majority endorsed Pettis on March 3, 2008. Here are portions of the Press Release announcing the Progressive Majority support:
PETTIS ENDORSED BY PROGRESSIVE MAJORITY…
Cathedral City Councilmember Greg Pettis scored the endorsement of local and national progressive leaders last week, picking up the support of Progressive Majority and the Palm Springs Democratic Club in his race for the 80th Assembly District.
This is Pettis’ third major endorsement in the last week, having just secured the recommendation of the San Diego/Imperial County Central Labor Council as well.
Christopher Honey, California political director for Progressive Majority, said, “Greg Pettis has a fourteen year record of putting progressive principles into action. He doesn’t just say what he will do for local communities; he can point to real accomplishments for people living in the Valley. Accomplishments like bringing the first union hotel to Riverside County – meaning good jobs that provide healthcare and a living wage…”
…Pettis touted his Plan for Progress as one of the key reasons for the groups’ support. “While my 14-years of experience as a City Councilmember has given me the ability to be effective from my first day in office, having a roadmap is key to accomplishing the goals of universal, affordable and accessible health care, a healthier long-term job market thanks to quality schools and a healthier environment,” he said.
Clearly, with Pettis’ experience in the local, state, and National Progressive Movement, his governmental and organizational skills, his support in the West Valley, East Valley, and Imperial Valley, his plan to improve the local economy, schools, environment, and healthcare system all contribute to make Pettis the most formidable Democratic candidate for the 80th AD. Add to this the fact that Pettis has outraised and outspent all of his Democratic opponents combined in the most recent electronic filings, and outraised his presumptive Republican opponent as well, Pettis is poised to not only take the Democratic nomination for the 80th AD, but also bring the District into the Democratic column in November 2008.