Thursday, June 15, 2006


In California, we have achieved a critical mass which enables us to make fundamental changes to the socio-economic structure of our state, transforming its nature from sado-masochistic to humanistic. Transforming the transportation system would undermine the necessity for invading and occupying foreign countries.

The society which most of us claim to want, with affordable housing, high quality education for everyone not just privileged populations, universal health insurance, and an ecologically and economically sustainable transportation model, all of which would create a more vibrant culture, is possible to create if we enact the appropriate policies.

Key to such a societal shift is the concept of progressive taxation. A concept which is diametrically opposed to the political philosophy of Arnold Schwarzenegger and most Republicans. Fortunately, they have been swept out of state office since 1994, with Arnold being the exception, and Democrats have established firm majorities in both legislative chambers and are near super majorities. Central to this phenomenon is the growing political leverage of Latinos. As a person of Mexican ancestry, I not only believe that change is possible, but that it is our destiny to transform the society; a society whose economy has been sustained by the labor of our fathers, grandfathers, and in some cases great grandfathers, for decades.

The economic importance of California to the U.S. and to the world cannot be overlooked. It is the 5th largest economy on the planet. It’s central valley is the most fertile valley in the world, provides over a quarter of the nation’s food supply, and feeds millions of people around the world. The majority of the cargo that enters the U.S. enters through Southern California. California is also home to the film industry and to a robust technology industry. It is home to some of the most prestigious public universities in the world. It is a donor state to the rest of the country.

We can support policies that allow us to have more leisure so we can enjoy the beaches, mountains, forests, mild weather, and cultural mosaic of California; or support policies that make slaves of us, compelling us to endure traffic; to overwork, undersleep, and have very little time because the price of housing is skyrocketing. We can turn all of California into a parking lot, or we can build world class mass transit. We can have a mediocre educational system, or produce one of the most educated societies on the planet.

California is a dream on the edge of the North American continent. It is our dream.