Latinos, like most Californians, want a government they can hold accountable, one that makes the American Dream attainable. But according to dozens of Latino leaders we’ve spoken to during the last 3 years, our state government’s inability to make and stick to priorities, to focus on long-term solutions and to consistently support quality education, the American Dream remains out of reach to many Latinos.
The Latino community is younger and poorer than the rest of the state and relies more on state services: More than half of the students in the state’s K-12 schools are Latino, so every time the state mismanages its finances and has to lay off teachers or cut schools’ budgets, it hurts Latinos.
To combat this trend, Latino leaders throughout the state are supporting the California Forward Action Fund’s Government Performance and Accountability Act (GPAA), which is modeled after the framework developed by California Forward.
They have told the Action Fund that this measure offers a set of common-sense budget solutions that will make the state budget more stable—and gives Latino communities a set of dependable public services they can rely on. It also shifts power back to our local communities, giving community leaders the flexibility to design programs and pool resources to meet their own specific needs.
The following Latino leaders from around California have voiced their support for the GPAA:
“California Forward’s initiative positions both state and local governments to effectively manage California’s fiscal affairs to promote concrete results.”
– Antonio Gonzalez, William C. Velasquez Institute *
“California Forward is to be commended for the Government Performance and Accountability Act (GPAA). They have proposed to simplify and make our governing process much more efficient and transparent. It is a very good first step to get our state working well for us all again.”
– Dennis Gutierrez, Director of Governmental Affairs, Inland Empire Hispanic Leadership Council
“California Forward has taken the much-needed initiative to return government to the people by putting together a comprehensive initiative which provides for government to communicate with and be responsive to the people from local to statewide levels. It holds our representatives and government, as a whole, accountable by ensuring local government and community participation. It is a much-needed common sense approach to governance and I fully support the efforts of California Forward.”
– Ralph Cansimbe, Vice President, United Latinos Promoviendo Acción Cívica
“The United Latinos is a nonpartisan organization with the goal of informing Latinos about the importance of civic participation in democratic processes. The United Latinos organizes an annual Voter Education Forum to empower and encourage Latinos to get more involved in their communities and to participate in the electoral process and elect representatives that are responsive to the needs of our communities and to hold elected official accountable. The United Latinos fully supports the efforts of California Forward to pass the Government Performance and Accountability Act. California Forward’s proposal is commensurate with United Latinos’ values and ideals.”
– Mauricio E. Leiva, President, United Latinos
“I read the CAFWD Proposal and want to say I was impressed with its straightforward but comprehensive approach toward improving governmental performance. It encourages cooperation at the local level to determine common goals. Once common goals are identified and approved, there is a provision to deal with statutes or regulations that would inhibit progress on these goals. Also, a two-year State budget might be a promising change from the current annual struggle to put a budget together.”
– Bernardo Buenrostro, retired, Franchise Tax Board and treasurer, United Latinos Promoviendo Acción Cívica
“Empowering Latinos, like any other community, is a challenging task. Having the right vision is the most important factor in community activism.
We at United Latinos are proud to share the vision that California Forward espouses. Holding the government accountable, ensuring that everyone pays their fair share of the cost of that government and ensuring equity in all of its services is the most important thing that we can do as citizens and as residents. That is why United Latinos looks forward to supporting the California Forward Initiative proposed for the 2012 ballot. We need you. Keep up the good work!”
– Arturo A. Aleman, Director of Strategic Initiatives, United Latinos Promoviendo Acción Cívica