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Drivers License for All Now a Reality in California

Drivers License for All Now a Reality in California

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Published by vomeditor

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Published by: vomeditor on Sep 14, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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At approximately 9:35 P.M., today
September 12
- the California Assembly passed AB60 by avote margin of 55 to 18, one day after Assemblyman Luis Alejo had pulled his legislation tomake it a two-
year bill. “Justice delayed is justice denied,” responded Los Angeles CityCouncilman Gil Cedillo when he heard of Alejo’s decision. Cedillo is the original author of thedriver’s license legislation, AB60, in 1998 when he arrived at the state assembly.
Alejo’s decision was based on pressure both he and Assembly Speaker John Perez received from
labor unions, in particular SEIU in the person of Eliseo Medina, International Vice President, andthe California Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, who essentially ordered them to not proceed withthe legislation. It was never made clear what their real objections were only to say that theymentioned the issue of the distinguishing feature that the proposed license would bear, a DPinstead of DL preceding the serial number that appears on the document. However, it wasrumored that the unions were seeking to extract some other favor or benefit from the governorand sought to hold the bill as leverage.
When immigrant rights organizations throughout the state learned o
f Alejo’s capitulation before
Speaker Perez and the unions, they immediately went into mobilization mode with telephonecalls, faxes, personal delegations to Sacramento, press conferences and interviews, talk radioshows, and email blasts. And, it worked!
First and foremost, we congratulate our immigrant brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers,young and old, the hardest working, salt of the earth workers of California for their forbearance,perseverance, patience, and great faith to right the injustices heaped on them for no otherreason than their color, language, culture, and legal status. But today, they showed thepowerful that the weak will have their moment in history and will not be denied. Twenty yearsis a long time to finally savor victory, and it is certainly sweet. The State of California and itspolitical elite owe you more than an apology for making you wait so long and sacrifice so much.Second, this victory could not have been possible without leadership and we owe that greathonor of recognition to our steadfast leader Gil Cedillo, who under even perilous politicalcircumstances never succumbed to the pressure, threats, and vetoes by five governors, mediascrutiny, right-wing DJ harangues, and even betrayal by the labor unions on numerous occasionsand even legislator colleagues. He also persevered with the support of the immigrantcommunity and today demonstrated his political metal at the eleventh hour of apparent defeat
and pulled victory out from the jaws of defeat. We are ever so thankful to him, and the spiritof his wife Ruby, and his team
Team Cedillo! - Dan, Arturo, David, Eric, Iris, Jan, Mel, Mario,Fredy, Conrado, Ana, Maria, and many more.
We recognize that today’s result, coming on the heels of yesterday’s occurrence,
could not havebeen possible without the courage of other state legislators, and special mention goes toSenators Kevin de Leon, Ricardo Lara, and Lou Correa who stood up to labor and refused toallow the bill to die in their chamber. They revived the bill in the senate and moved it to a voteof 28-
8, a lopsided vote of support to California’s immigrant workers and families, and then
moved the bill back to the assembly into the hands of Perez and Alejo for the final vote.The social movement demanding d
river’s licenses for all has a two decade history and many
people came together to comprise that movement. There are too many to name and weapologize for any omission, but the list is incredibly long of individuals and organizations whoworked tirelessly to bring this to fruition. Thank you for your commitment to social justice:Hermandad Mexicana, and Bert Corona posthumorously
Mexican American Political Association, MAPA
Jose Sandoval and Voluntarios de la Comunidad
Miguel Araujo and Centro Azteca
Al Rojas and the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement,
Southern California Immigration Coalition, SCIC, that has consistently confronted the policecheckpoints - Ron, Sandra, Ulyses, Marc, John, Carlos, Daniel, Martin, and many others
Latino Roundtable of Inland Empire
Arturo Jimenez and Pomona Valley Coalition
Lizbeth Mateo of DreamActivist and other Dreamers who were active in the fight
Marcos Gutierrez, Radio Commentator, San Francisco
Araceli Martinez Ortega of La Opinion
All the other Spanish language media that consistently covered the issue over the years
Team Hermandad - Taina,
Sergio, Xel’ha, Griselda, Erica, Pancho, Sam, Maria Rosa, Eloina, and

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