January 8, 1999

Governor Gray Davis Ignores Mexican Americans

Governor Gray Davis has been a disappointment to the state's Mexican American-Latino voters in his first actions as Governor. His appointments to his Cabinet, State Departments, and Agencies to this point showed a total disregard and lack of sensitivity to the hopes and aspirations of the MexicanAmerican & Latino population of this state. It was their large turn out and their denial of their votes to Republican Dan Lungren that made it possible for him to win the governorship of the State of California.

Representing 30 percent of the State's population, it would have seemed prudent that Governor Davis demonstrate through his appointments his respect and appreciation for the votes of a community that has suffered so much under the Pete Wilson administration. At first blush, it appears that we are once again being ignored and taken for granted. We were good enough to man the trenches and provide the cheering sections for the DEMOCRATIC TEAM. We are not, however, invited in to the locker room with the rest of the team to share in the fruits of the struggle.

The record thus far Michael Flores appointed as Director of Administration & Protocol (an underwhelming appointment), Maria Contreras-Sweet, appointed as Secretary of Business, Transportation & Housing (one of top tier appointments), James R. Ramos, appointed as Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Tomas Alvarado appointed as his under-Secretary. (Not top tier, but important as much as La Raza has been a heavy contributor in the field of battle). Finally, the Governor appointed Supervisor Jose Medina to head CALTRANS (California Department of Transportation). On that one, all I can say is that Maria -Contreras-Sweet is going to have a tough time with "Willie Brown's" boy. (Position is second tier appointment at best).

Contreras-Sweet and James R. Ramos are members of the Governors Cabinet. Thus far we have received no press notices on any of the appointments to the "Special Offices" within the administration. We received only one appointment to the Governor's staff: Michel Bustamante, Press Secretary (guess we will be hearing from him).

A major disappointment was the Governors first speech outlining his principle concerns… Am I wrong or deaf? I didn't hear a word on reversing the divisive anti-bilingual Prop 227 nor reversing the State's destruction of "affirmative action, marketing and outreach." I didn't note any interest in disestablishing THE REPUBLICAN PARTY'S main economic engine the prison system! Nor were there any actions outlined to stopping the outrageous actions of Missner's army, the INS-Border Patrol.

It might be nice Governor if you take the time to talk and listen to us. After all you have nothing to lose except your job.

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