Sunday, April 16, 2006

Phil Angelides For Governor

I know at least one other poster who supports Steve Westly for governor so I figured I would try to start a dialogue on the two major Democratic candidates. Hopefully this remains constructive...

When Schwarzenegger was first elected and was rather popular, Democrats across the state went out of their way to cozy up to the popular governor. It was probably a smart political move and no one really knew what Schwarzenegger would do. It didn't take too long for the new governor to start pushing his Bush agenda in California. Initially, few were willing to challenge Schwarzenegger's efforts to take away money from schools. There were three big opponents who earned the title of "three stooges" from Schwarzenegger: Bill Lockyear, Jack O'Connell, and Phil Angelides.

The "three stooges" continued to vocally and emphatically challenge Schwarzenegger's policies on education. Lockyear and Angelides challenged Schwarzenegger on many other policies. During the 2005 special election, Phil Angelides was intimately involved in the campaigns against Schwarzeneggers anti-union policies and against Prop. 73. Once Schwarzenegger lost popularity and was humiliated in the special election, it became easy to stand up to Schwarzenegger. But Phil Angelides was standing up to Schwarzenegger before it was easy and I find that refreshing.

That aside, I think Angelides' stance on some issues is pretty brave and smart. Angelides has been a vocal leader in support of divestment from Sudan. As a CalSTRS trustee, Angelides pushed for a divestment motion:
Nine trustees supported a divestiture motion introduced by Treasurer Phil Angelides. Nobody opposed it.

The vote came less than a month after students persuaded the University of California Board of Regents to pull millions of its investment dollars out of Sudan because of ongoing killings by that country's government.

Angelides, himself a CalSTRS trustee, praised fellow trustees for highlighting an important moral issue.

"CalSTRS did the right thing today," Angelides said moments after the vote. "This is a huge step forward for the divestiture movement, and it sends a very powerful message. The students who came here today touched the heart of the board.

"The board saw the moral clarity of the issue. They understood that we can find equally lucrative alternative investments."

The treasurer's Democratic gubernatorial campaign subsidized the costs for the students to travel from universities across the state to the CalSTRS headquarters and provided them water and snacks after their rally, said Mike Roth, an Angelides spokesman.
The divestment movement is pretty big on campus and is the morally right thing to do.

On a personal note, I was happy to see Angelides propose to double the number of public school counselors. To me it's important to make sure students are informed of their opportunities and helped to prepare to pursue a college education--I've witnessed first hand an overworked counselor. Teachers are very important in this, but so are counselors and it's great to see leaders realizing this.

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