This week Blue America is endorsing our second California candidate, Jay Chen, who's running in a newly created district that takes in a chuck of L.A. and San Bernardino counties-- Brea, Buena Park, Chino Hills, Diamond Bar, Fullerton, Hacienda Heights, La Habra, La Habra Heights, Placentia, Rowland Heights, Walnut, and Yorba Linda. Jay will be joining us for a live blogging session here (in the comments section below) at 11 AM (PT). Try to stop by and meet him if you can. He told us that he's "fighting to restore the American dream that brought my parents to this great country, a dream that feels increasingly out of reach for the middle class with each day that Congress fails to move critical legislation forward."
Jay's opponent is Ed Royce, who represents a neighboring district in Orange County but is trying to make the move to Jay's area. That's a problem for him because he's made a career of exactly two things: serving the interests of the Big Banks that have financed his career, and demogoguing the most sordid kinds of racism and bigotry. And "his" new district is 30% Asian and 30% Latino. Royce proudly boasts being California’s “most effective conservative” and that he was a Tea Partier before there was a Tea Party. His 20-year record in Congress includes trying to end the Voting Rights Act, weakening laws protecting women, fighting against subprime mortgage regulation, and voting to privatize Medicare. He believes Arizona’s “Show me your Papers” law should be the national standard, and has been caught on film describing multiculturalism as “odious.”
The new 39th CD is full of the same folks that Royce has tried to disenfranchise over the years with draconian English-only laws and attacks on diversity. This district needs a Congressman who will fight to rebuild Main Street, not just fight to protect Wall Street. "We need new leadership," Jay told us, "and I intend to bring it."
"I was educated in the public school systems of this district, and fortunate to earn a degree at Harvard University. I’ve worked inside large corporations and within small businesses, but my main passion has been education. That is why I ran for school board for the same district that gave me my remarkable educational opportunities. As the President of the board I helped guide our district to increased achievement while avoiding layoffs and furloughs to K-12 education. As a Congressman, I will put money back into higher education and ensure that our students are prepared for the jobs of tomorrow.
"I have faith that our government can work, because I not only help oversee a successful school district, I am also an officer in the United States Naval Reserves. Far too many Congressmembers are eager to talk tough on national security and send other peoples’ sons and daughters into battle. I will never send our troops into harms way unnecessarily, and will always make sure our troops have the resources they need when deployed, and the support they need when they return home.
"We have critical issues that need to be moved forward. I want to invest in our roads and bridges, ensure that our students can get the higher education they need, and nurture a green economy that will clean our environment and create good jobs. I also want to empower women to make the best decisions about their own reproductive health, and ensure that the diversity of our country is celebrated, not condemned."
Royce has been ducking the League of Women Voters' request to set up a debate. He's afraid of Jay-- and Jay says they have a lot to talk about... in front of the voters: "Recently, Royce voted to weaken the Violence Against Women Act, lower penalties and punishments for abuse against women and to remove the exemption for rape and incest that Republican anti-Choice legislation still has. As millions of families were still reeling from the subprime mortgage market he helped deregulate, Royce voted against a critical measure to help families save their homes. He also voted, again, to give insurance companies the right to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions.
Consider helping Blue America replace Royce with a sterling example of the next generation of American leadership. Jay is the kind of public servant we can all be proud to send to Congress. Please give what you can on our Act Blue page.