04 Apr

FCDCC approves resolution on Secret Legal Justifications

The Fresno County Democratic Central Committee approved the following resolution at its General Meeting April 3, 2013.

A Proposed Resolution of the Fresno County Democratic Central Committee to Remedy the Assertion of “Secret Legal Justifications”

WHEREAS America is a constitutional nation governed by the rule of law whose foundation is a system of checks and balances; and

WHEREAS the California Democratic Party Platform affirms our commitment as a party to “upholding our Federal and State Constitutions, protecting and defending ourselves and our human rights and civil liberties, and ensuring peace and justice, freedom, and equal opportunity.” And states that “ We believe that by standing firm and acting positively on these values, America can reclaim her vision and lead by example as a responsible and judicious member of the global community.”; and

WHEREAS it has been disclosed that our government now asserts secret legal justifications for classified programs such as extrajudicial assassinations completely outside our system of checks, balances, legal challenge, or public review in complete contradiction of our founding principles and party platform;

Therefore be it resolved that the Fresno County Democratic Central Committee and its Democratic Congressional Delegation calls upon the government to make public all purported legal justifications for all such programs so as to allow full and complete participation by the citizens, their elected representatives, and the courts in a vigorous debate and review of such justifications; and

Be it further resolved that should the government fail to bring forward such legal justifications or that said justifications be found to not meet the requirements of our constitution and laws, that the California Congressional Delegation and the government take the necessary steps to assure that all such programs purported to be so justified be immediately discontinued.

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28 Mar

Fresno County Young Democrats endorse Leticia Perez for SD 16

A press release from our friends at the Fresno County Young Democrats:

P.O. Box 4008 – Fresno, CA 93744

March 28, 2013

Contact: Matt Rogers (559) 289-7477

FRESNO, CA- Today, the Fresno County Young Democrats, the official chapter of the California Young Democrats in Fresno County, endorsed Leticia Perez in her bid for the special election primary in Senate District 16. The Fresno County Young Democrats consists of young professionals from throughout Fresno County who actively plan to engage in this critical campaign for the Democratic Party and the people of the Central Valley. The endorsement comes on the heels of Perez receiving the official endorsement of the California Democratic Party.

“As Young Democrats, we will do whatever we possibly can to ensure Leticia Perez is the next State Senator from District 16. Leticia is tested and ready to serve our Valley well in Sacramento. Our club is anxious and ready to begin walking, phoning and doing whatever it takes to make sure she is victorious on May 21st,” said Matt Rogers.

The Fresno County Young Democrats will engage in an aggressive voter mobilization campaign on behalf of Perez beginning this weekend in Fresno.

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27 Mar

A note from Fran Florez

A note from Fran Florez about the California Senate campaign:

“If we are together nothing is impossible. If we are divided all will fail.” – Winston Churchill

I have to announce today that I will be leaving the race for the 16th Senate District.

As I have reflected on this race to date, I confess that I am disappointed that our leaders have not allowed this race to proceed without putting the significant resources of the Democratic Party behind a single candidate. I have been following the polls in the media as well and my campaign has been consistently listed as being “ahead” and in great position to win the primary. I must also admit to a great sense of frustration that this election cannot be decided by the people and through candidates marshaling their own local resources and volunteers.

My philosophy is simple but realistic – I always look to the logical and optimistic side of life; however, I understand that the business of politics is a complex animal and in most cases, often does not follow logic.

An important lesson is at hand. In 2010, I ran against another Democrat (Pete Parra) and the Democrat Party let us fight that battle without picking a side. That election taught me that while I won the battle, the Democrats lost the war. Our local residents were divided and in frustration, did not come out to vote in the next general election because they felt that their favorite Democrat lost. Ultimately, this cost our party a seat in the Legislature and we spent a significant amount of time and effort reuniting as Democrats.

Division and infighting are two of the largest threats to our party – and based on my years of experience, I have no doubt that this is exactly what will happen in this special election.

So, with all of that in mind, and with special thanks to all of those who have been with me in this and many other battles, today I step out of this important special election for Senate District 16. I am announcing this now in order to ensure that there is time to remove myself from the ballot and, most importantly, prevent history in the Valley from repeating itself.

This seat is much too important to lose to infighting in our party – now or in a general election.

Over the past two days, I have spent many hours calling my most loyal supporters – they have told me, in person, that they are torn between personal loyalty and the wishes of the Democratic leadership. I will not force my friends and backers to make that choice – especially one that threatens to divide the Democrats over two strong candidates and could potentially lead to a loss of the Senate seat.

Real leaders know when to step up and lead from the front and when their skills are best utilized by stepping aside and pointing the way to victory. I see a clear victory for Democrats in the making, and I am pointing us in the direction of “unity.”

I stand ready to work to maintain a powerful and effective Democratic seat – one that my son, Senate Majority Leader Dean Florez, proudly served for nearly a decade.

I am honored to continue to serve as I have done for over two decades. I know, given my experience, that every exit is an entry somewhere else.

Thank you for your support!

–Fran Florez

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11 Mar

A Message from the Chair – March 11, 2013

Michael D. Evans

Michael D. Evans

The electoral landscape has changed rather radically in the past month. We came into 2013 with no elections on the horizon, and now it appears we could have as many as three. The State Senate election to replace Sen. Michael Rubio will be held on May 21, the special election to reverse the mayor’s privatization of residential solid waste service in the City of Fresno will be held on June 4 and a runoff for the Senate race, if necessary, will be held on July 23.

The Fresno County Democratic Party’s focus this year was to be on voter education and party-building activities, and we will now dovetail those efforts into these newly scheduled elections to reach even more prospective voters than we had originally planned.

A number of names have surfaced for the Senate race, and the leadership in Sacramento will no doubt weigh in with a preference. A party endorsement will likely take place at the Democratic Convention in Sacramento in mid-April, if not earlier.

The vote to repeal the mayor’s privatization of residential trash service is a milestone. Following the collection of nearly 40,000 signatures by opponents of privatization and the convincing defeat of Measure O (which would have made it easier for Fresno County to privatize public-sector services) within the city of Fresno, it is clear that the public does not want “solutions” that fail to address the real problems of city and county government.

The challenge with each of these elections is turnout. Yes, turnout is always a problem, but the problem is exacerbated in special elections, off-year elections and the unprecedented occurrence of two elections within two weeks, with tens of thousands of voters participating in both.

In preparation for these elections, I would encourage you to participate in our Democratic Activist Training. The training starts on March 19 and continues for six weeks on Tuesday evenings. You will come away from this training better prepared to address local issues and contribute to electoral campaigns—for candidates or issues.

There will be ample opportunity to volunteer and engage with voters over the next three months. I hope that you will join us in these efforts. Call today at 559-495-0606 or e-mail to help make our community a better place.

–Michael D. Evans, Chair, Fresno County Democratic Party

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11 Mar

Vote No on Privatization June 4

The June 4 special election to repeal Mayor Ashley Swearingen’s privatization of residential solid waste is really about whether we are going to come up with serious solutions to the fiscal woes facing our city or settle for short-term fixes with long-term disaster written all over them. Although the mayor is trying to vilify organized labor, unions are not the source of the city’s problems. Greater transparency and increased citizen participation would allow us to identify the real problems and weigh in with viable solutions.

Among the many reasons to repeal the measure on the June 4 ballot:

  • Fresno’s trash and recycling services have received national recognition for commitment to the community, safety and customer service. Why should we privatize an efficient and revenue-generating city service?
  • The mayor and the City Council historically have been poor stewards of the city’s finances. Witness the downtown stadium, the Met Museum, Granite Park and the downtown parking deck, to name but a few recent catastrophes. That’s the real problem, not a city-run department.
  • Once the residential solid waste service has been privatized, it cannot easily be brought back under the city’s purview should the arrangement fail. Having sold the city’s assets for pennies on the dollars would make it next-to-impossible to re-create public-sector residential trash service from scratch.
  • The city has put us at risk given a number of lawsuits including those related to having privatized commercial recycling services and denying the rights of Fresno’s homeless persons.
  • The city needs long-term solutions, not gimmicks. Real and trustworthy leadership are necessary to fix Fresno’s budget problems.

Call 559-495-0606 today if you want to help turn back the privatization of residential trash service. If you would allow your name be used publicly in opposition to this measure, please contact us at 559-495-0606 or to confirm that.

We may have lost the battle when the Fresno City Council refused to rescind its privatization vote in light of the citizen petition effort, but the war can still be won by defeating the measure at the ballot box on June 4.

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