Dec. 10, 2012
-- We need to hold our elected leaders to higher standards. Governor Jerry Brown ran on the platform of not fearing unpopular choices to get California’s budget crisis under control. He’s certainly proven that he can make unpopular choices. Yet, he’s also proven his acceptance for being misleading in the pursuit of his political agenda.
I’m a proud Democrat who voted for the Governor. But I’ve been tremendously upset with the choices he has made at the expense of those Californians most in need. First, the Governor eliminated Redevelopment Agencies stating that localities were misusing the funds. While there is certainly some validity in this claim, he went on to say that he would use the funds pulled back to the state to fund affordable housing measures. Has this been the truth? No. As the Vice Chairperson of the Culver City Homelessness Committee, I hear from homeless service providers that they have families lined up and ready for affordable housing. But no new voucher funds have come from the state. For the sake of balancing a budget that remains unbalanced, he has chosen to not fulfill his promise: California families are sleeping on the streets.
In the San Francisco Chronicle
, columnist Andrew S. Ross reports that “of the $410.6 million in direct payments [from the lawsuits paid to states for improper foreclosures by banks] very little is going where it was intended. Instead, it’s helping to plug Governor Jerry Brown’s budget hole.” Ross continues: “most went to service state bond debt.” The Governor, in his single-minded vision to balance California’s budget, acts again without the best interests of those most impacted by foreclosures.
Balancing our budget is of critical importance. Yet it cannot be done through misrepresentation (think Proposition 30 where only 60% of the funds will actually go to schools). It is equally wrong for our leaders to state they will fund important programs (funding for homeless, funding for Californians hit from the foreclosure crisis, funding for education), and then never release said funds for those in need. We must take a stand by doing some withholding of our own. We can withhold our votes
for those who mislead Californians and serve agendas over people.