College Democrats of America Western Regional Video Chat - Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Join CDA’s Western Regional Video Chat (encompassing our Southwest, Mountain West, and Pacific regions) for a conversation about how to continue the momentum following the historic progress made in 2012. This is an opportunity to collaborate on organizing techniques and share updates from your state federation or College Democrats chapter.
We will meet via Google + Hangout on Wednesday, March 20 at 10pm EST. RSVP here: http://bit.ly/13HlUvc
The Obama administration is quietly considering urging the Supreme Court to overturn California’s ban on gay marriage, a step that would mark a political victory for advocates of same-sex unions and a deepening commitment by President Barack Obama to rights for gay couples.
“I am hopeful that the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the issue of marriage equality will move California and this nation one step closer to truly standing for equal rights for all. Though this fight is far from over, I consider the Court’s decision to be an important victory for equality.
“As a founding member of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, I have repeatedly spoken against the effort to ban same-sex marriage, and I will continue to fight until equal rights are enjoyed by all.”
Mitt Romney’s loss in the 2012 presidential election this month brought unexpected collateral damage on another Republican drive - the much-touted “Young Guns” effort to bring a new crop of party stars to Washington.
The GOP’s recruitment campaign was led in California by Rep. Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, the House majority whip, who joined Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia and 2012 vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as the founders of the group touted as “a new generation of conservative leaders” on Capitol Hill.
Their nationwide effort, funded by the National Republican Congressional Committee, aimed to recruit and promote rising new stars in the party who were chosen for their viability and fundraising potential. It was billed as the best way to revive the party and cultivate new GOP legislators in California and other blue states.
But the results at the polls weren’t impressive. All but one of the Young Guns candidates in California were defeated, including Ricky Gill, the 25-year-old Indian American from San Joaquin County, while some longtime GOP veterans lost, including Rep. Dan Lundgren of Gold River (Sacramento County), who fell to up-and-coming Democrat Ami Bera.
Obama wins California
The Los Angeles County Democratic Party issues endorsements in local and municipal candidate races and takes positions on statewide and local ballot measures. Endorsements issued by the LACDP in local and municipal races become the official endorsements of the California Democratic Party.
Proposition 30 – YES – Protects funding for schools and local public safety
Proposition 31 – NO – Locks California into permanent underfunding of education, health, and other vital services
Proposition 32 – NO – Creates special exemptions for billionaires and Super PACs allowing them to buy elections
Proposition 33 – NO – Auto insurance rate hike
Proposition 34 – YES – Repeals death penalty and replaces with life without parole
Proposition 35 – YES – Increases penalties for human trafficking
Proposition 36 – YES – Reforms “Three Strikes” law
Proposition 37 – YES – Labeling of genetically engineered foods
Proposition 38 – NO – Munger initiative
Proposition 39 – YES – Adjusts taxes for multi-state corporations to fund clean energy programs
Proposition 40 – YES – Referendum on State Senate district boundaries
Every day, Mark Takano works to improve the lives of young people as a teacher at Rialto High School. Born and raised in Riverside, Mark’s commitment to public service began at an early age.
His family roots in Riverside go back to his grandparents who, along with his parents, were removed from their respective homes and sent to Japanese American Internment camps during World War II. After the war, these two families settled in Riverside County to rebuild their lives.
Mark attended La Sierra High School in the Alvord Unified School District, where he played football and wrestled at the junior varsity level. In 1979, he graduated as the school’s valedictorian. Mark attended Harvard College and received his bachelor’s degree in Government in 1983. As a student, he bused tables to help make ends meet. During his senior year, he organized and co-founded Ride for Life, a transcontinental bicycle ride to benefit the international development agency Oxfam America.
Upon graduation, Mark worked as a substitute teacher for various public school systems in the Boston area. He observed first-hand the disparity between well-funded and acclaimed suburban schools in Brookline and the beleaguered inner-city Boston schools.
Mark returned home to Riverside and obtained his secondary teaching credential in Language Arts and Social Studies at the University of California at Riverside. He began teaching in the Rialto Unified School District in 1988 in schools serving predominantly Latino and African American students. Since 2009, he has served as advisor to the Rialto High School Gay Straight Student Alliance. As a classroom teacher, Mark confronts the challenges in our public education system daily.
In 1990, Mark was elected to the Riverside Community College District’s Board of Trustees, finishing first among eleven candidates competing for two seats. At RCC, Mark has worked with Republicans and Democrats to improve higher education for young people and job training opportunities for adults seeking to learn a new skill or start a new career.
Mark was elected Board President in 1991 and helped the Board and the District gain stability and direction amid serious fiscal challenges. As a Trustee, Mark helped oversee the transition of the District’s Norco and Moreno Valley campuses to become independent colleges. He has won re-election to the Board in 1995, 1999, 2004 and 2008. Mark’s long history of public service in Riverside County includes roles on the Community Advisory Board of the Children’s Spine Foundation and the Board of the Chancellor’s Asian Pacific Islander Community Advisory Center at the University of California, Riverside. He has served as chairman of the Riverside Mayor’s Task Force on the Digital Divide, Chairman of the Asian Pacific Islander Caucus of the California Democratic Party, a charter member of the Association of Latino Community College Trustees, a member of the Association of California Asian American Trustees and a member of Asian Pacific Americans in Higher Education. He is a recipient of the Martin Luther King Visionaries Award.
Today, Mark Takano is running to represent Riverside County in the United States Congress. As the next Congressman from District 41, Mark will work with members of both parties to create good-paying jobs, keep local families in their homes, improve public education, cut taxes for small businesses and hardworking Americans, and honor the service of our veterans.