Tag: diverse

How diverse if California government, from school board up?

Sacramento City Councilman Eric Guerra talks on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020, at his Tahoe Park home, about the struggles faced by Latino political candidates. “The importance of having a diverse electorate and even encouraging immigrants who become naturalized to run for office is that you bring a new perspective into our government,” he said.

Sacramento City Councilman Eric Guerra talks on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020, at his Tahoe Park home, about the struggles faced by Latino political candidates. “The importance of having a diverse electorate and even encouraging immigrants who become naturalized to run for office is that you bring a new perspective into our government,” he said.

[email protected]

Happy Monday! We’ll find out today whether President Donald Trump really can be discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. In the meantime, where do you stand on Democratic candidate’s Joe Biden’s ads? Too soon to go negative? Or too close to Election Day to let up?

FIRST UP: Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to make a “special announcement” today at his regular Monday press conference, according to a press release from his office Sunday evening. We’ll be covering it here at SacBee.com.

TWO LAWS THAT CHANGED WHO HOLDS POWER IN CALIFORNIA

We have a special report today by The Sacramento Bee’s Kim Bojórquez looking at who holds power in California government, from the school board to the Governor’s Office. Her project, supported by the Solutions Journalism Network, takes a deep look at how two changes in state law empowered less-experienced and minority candidates to run for office.

You can join Kim Tuesday for a virtual panel we’re hosting on diversity in elected government and what it means for voting. She’ll be joined by Sen. Maria Elena Durazo, GOP political consultant Luis Alvarado, Laura Gómez of UCLA Law, Mindy Romero of the Center for Inclusive Democracy, civil rights attorney Robert Rubin and The Bee’s Marcos Breton. Here are the details.

Now here’s a preview of Kim’s report. The full piece is online here.

Deborah Ortiz felt like an underdog when she ran for a seat on the Sacramento City Council in 1993. She was the only Latina in a field of six vying for the seat opened by Joe Serna Jr., who’d just won a race for mayor.

Ortiz didn’t get support from prominent Democratic leaders or influential developers in the city, who helped fund most local races. Most were convinced city council candidate Jean Shaw-Conelly, the wife of former Assemblyman Lloyd Connelly, would win the race, she said.

“There was always a candidate they endorsed other than me,” Ortiz said.

But Ortiz came out ahead anyway, becoming the first Latina and woman of color to be elected to the city council.

Nearly three decades later, the landscape for Latino candidates is very different. Latino lawmakers represent 27 seats in the Legislature, making up about a fifth of its 120 officeholders. That’s up from six in 1990.

They’ve made gains in local offices, too, especially on school boards. A Sacramento Bee analysis shows the county’s elected school boards are increasingly diverse, with Latino trustees accounting for 22% of seats and Blacks holding 11% of seats. Those numbers are proportional to the county’s population.

Those achievements were no accident.

They followed two major

Continue reading