March 10, 2015
Chicano Latino Caucus  Opinion
California Democratic Party
"Chicano Latino Democrats Voice"
Immigration Reform March
Half a Million People March in Los Angeles in Support of Immigrants


  By Carlos Alcala

                    Chair Chicano Latino Caucus CDP                   


     A February 19, 2016 Field Poll places four Latinos among the top ten choices of California voters to succeed Senator Barbara Boxer.  Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez made a very strong showing at number three in the Field Poll just behind Condeleeza Rice and Attorney General Kamala Harris.  Secretary of State Alex Padilla also received very high marks in fourth place.  Democratic Congressman John Garamendi, three times elected in statewide elections, made an excellent showing in sixth place ahead of former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Congressman Xavier Becerra.  Among these, both Antonio Villaraigosa and Alex Padilla have stated they will not seek the Senate seat vacated by Boxer.

     The Chicano Latino Caucus of the California Democratic Party applauds Assemblyman Luis Alejo and the entire Latino Legislative Caucus for saying what all of us are feeling: the best candidates to succeed Senator Boxer must not be deterred by a peremptory candidacy.

     Since September 10, 1850, California has elected or appointed forty four United States senators to represent the Golden State. Despite a historically huge Latino population, no US Senator from California has been Latino. Forty three of forty four people appointed or elected to the Senate have been non Latino whites. A succession of forty four United States Senators beginning with John Fremont in 1850 has all been white males except for three: Senator S. I. Hayakawa elected in 1976 for a single term, Senator Diane Feinstein elected five times, and Senator Barbara Boxer elected four times.  This election cycle offers Californians an opportunity to elect the best qualified person for the job who may also happens to be Latino. 


Congressman Javier Becerra
Congressman Xavier Becerra Addressing the Chicano Latino Caucus, CDP

     Today nearly forty percent of all Californians are Latino.   Not since 1850, when California entered the Union, has the Latino population outnumbered the non Latino white population. While democratic representation may be a strong argument in favor of electing a Latino Senator, it is simply not enough reason to do so. The person that succeeds Barbara Boxer will have to represent all Californians and Latinos are only one of the diverse groups, albeit the largest. Senator Boxer's successor must be a leader with the experience and political acumen to represent all Californians.

     Rather than focus on democratic representation alone, the Democratic Party must examine all the candidates to determine what attributes each brings to the table. Undisputedly, all the current candidates being discussed are wonderful people who could represent our state well.

     Congressman Xavier Becerra, Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, has served in both the California Assembly and United Congress where he has been elected fourteen times. Becerra brings the political experience in Washington that no other candidate can match. Previously, Congressman Becerra served as a California Deputy Attorney General. Over The last twenty five years, he has supported both Dreamers and women. Becerra earned a 100% rating from both Planned Parenthood and NARAL. Congressman Becerra has fought to end subsidies to Big Oil and to increase gas mileage requirements.  Becerra is the best qualified person for the job. But qualifications do not end the debate. Access to large donors and name recognition are also significant factors in selecting a candidate.   Certainly, Antonio Villaraigosa has greater name recognition and brings the considerable experience of a California Assembly Speaker and Los Angeles mayor, but Villaraigosa  has bowed out and is no longer a player in this discussion.  Attorney General Kamala Harris also has greater name recognition and brings the experience of holding a statewide office to the table. However, neither Harris nor Villaraigosa have ever served in Washington. Among the three, only Becerra has that relevant experience-twenty six years worth. If qualifications and experience are the standard, then Xavier Becerra may be the candidate to support.

     If history instructs, then Congressman John Garamendi may actually be the most electable.  Three times, he has won statewide elections, once as Lieutenant Governor and twice as  California Insurance Commissioner.  He brings the coveted Washington experience that both Xavier Becerra and Loretta Sanchez possess.  Congressman Garamendi led national efforts to nominate Dolores Huerta for the Nobel Peace Prize. 

      Senate President Kevin De Leon has expressed no interest in the position for himself, instead focusing on establishing his record as the first Latino California Senate President since the nineteenth century.  His efforts for immigrants and the poor are stellar.  If he were interested in the job, Kevin De leon would be difficult to match.

       Others that merit our consideration include  Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones,  Senator Ricardo Lara, erstwhile Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, retired Senator Richard Polanco, retired Assemblyman Albert Torrico, Controller Betty Yee, and Assemblyman Luis Alejo.   All are capable of serving in the United States Senate.

       On the other side of the aisle, Republicans hope to cobble together a coalition of disenchanted Latino voters looking for a Latino candidate with the Republican faithful.  It is a cynical gambit from a party that has opposed even the Dreamers. Yet, Rocky Chavez, the Latino marine colonel, has declared his candidacy as the only declared Republican candidate.  Democrats must be wary of a Republican Party that cynically nominated Schwarzenegger to exploit mere name recognition. Chavez even claims to support the Dreamers.

       Becerra entered elected politics in 1989 in a grassroots campaign without the benefit of the endorsement of the incumbent or political contributions from the largest donors.   Perhaps he will do so again. The best qualified candidate should not step aside because "he should wait." 165 years is long enough.   


  By Carlos Alcala

                    Chair Chicano Latino Caucus CDP                   


      Former New York Mayor Rudy Guliani recently commented that he doesn't think that President Obama loves America. This begs the question, "Do Guliani and the Republican Party not love democracy?"

     Guliani observed that "President Obama was not raised like us." Guliani noted President Obama's father is African and his mother is Anglo. He was raised in Hawaii and also for a time in Indonesia. At the National Prayer Breakfast, President Obama recognized that terrible things were done by Crusaders in God's name. These differences cause Guliani to conclude that Obama does not love America.

     However, Giuliani's statement causes Latino's to conclude that Guliani and the Republican Party do not love democracy. Like Obama, Latinos do not have two Anglo parents. Latina mothers cook albondigas in addition to potatoes. Many Latino families sing "Las Mananitas" in addition to Happy Birthday. Many Latino families attend feasts for Our Lady of Guadalupe. Many of our children learn Folklorico dancing. None of those differences makes Latinos love America less. But Guliani's words cause us to believe that he does not love democracy.

     Democracy is not premised on homogeneity but on principles of egalitarianism and populism that embrace all people as equal. To recognize history does not mean that Latinos or President Obama do not love America.

     Many great grandparents of Mexican ethnicity were educated in separate schools for Mexican children and were denied the right to buy homes in many areas due to restrictive covenants against persons of Mexican ethnicity. Latinos are taught that the civil rights movement under Dr. Hector Garcia and the returning Latino war veterans of World War II changed this. Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta fought to better the lives of farm workers and by extension all people.  Latinos fought for America in every American war including World War II and Latinos fought for civil rights in America.  To remember history does not make anyone less American.

     The crusaders were not Americans. We are not the heirs to the credit for their accomplishments or to the condemnations for their crimes. There were probably good and bad crusaders. But there were no good atrocities or good genocides. Crimes against humanity are crimes no matter who commits them. To say that, makes no person un-American. Shame on Guliani for implying anything different. It lessens his legacy. To remember history does not make anyone less Christian. Nor does belonging to any certain religion make you more American.

     Being raised differently does not imply that those who are raised differently than Anglos do not love America. In California, Latinos are the plurality. Does that give Latinos the right to declare that Anglos like Guliani do not love America because they were not raised like the Latino plurality? Does Mr. Giuliani's litmus test fail him in California and throw his love for America into question because he was not raised like the plurality of California. Logic is not limited by state borders.

     The fact that Mr. Giuliani's statements are welcome in the Republican Party tells Latinos that Latinos are not welcome in their Party, because their litmus test leads to the conclusion that Republicans believe that Latinos do not love America. It is not America that Latinos do not love. It is Republicans that Latinos do not love because Republicans do not love democracy. Guliani's comments should cause Republicans to do some introspection and ask themselves whether it is democracy that they favor, or Anglo democracy that they embrace.  
By Carlos Alcala        

       This continues to be a time of "firsts" for Latinos. Since 1850, California has elected or appointed thirty two Secretaries of State. None had been Latino prior to the election of Alex Padilla. All but March Fong Eu, elected in 1975 and serving until 1994, have been non Latino whites. Jerry Brown served as Secretary of State from 1971 to 1975, before his election to Governor.

     Secretary of State Alex Padilla was formerly a State Senator and formerly President of the Los Angeles City Council. He is a graduate of MIT in engineering.

Secretary of State Alex Padilla, dolores Huerta, Senate Pro Tem Kevin De Leon, Norma Alcala, WUSD Trustee
Secretary of State Alex Padilla, Dolores Huerta, Senate Pro Tem Kevin De Leon, Norma Alcala, WUSD Trustee

    As Secretary of State, Alex Padilla is California's Chief Election  Officer. He comes into office confronted by record low voter participation. In this regard, the Chicano Latino Caucus makes several recommendation to the new Secretary of State:

  1. Work to institute single member districts. In a September 2010 Report from the Cesar Chavez Public Policy Institute at San Francisco State University, The Cesar Chavez Institute reported that two thirds of the School Boards in California have no Latino representation. The Report identifies at large election policies as an important barrier to democratic representation for Latinos. "At large elections" refers to elections in which school board members are elected by residents of the entire district rather than the residents of the areas where the board member lives. According to the study, Latinos are more often elected to school boards in single member districts than in at large districts. When Latinos are the minority of a district they are likely not to be represented in at large districts and more likely to be represented when elections are divided into neighborhoods.  Only fifteen percent of the state's school board members are Latino. Even districts where a majority of the District's students are Latino, display the same malady-no Latino representation. The Report's authors, Max Nieman, Belinda Reyes, Luis Fraga, and Daniel Kimm, assert that Latino representation on school boards is directly correlated to the success of Latino students. Single member districts will allow more people to run for office at a time when money seems to limit access to office.

  2. Work to institute same day voter registration. Current voter registration is a vestige of restrictive practices and antiquated technology. States with same day voter registration boast higher voter participation. Same Day Registration allows a voter to register at the same time that they vote. States that allow Same Day Registration consistently lead the nation in voter participation. Four of the top five states for voter turnout in the 2012 presidential election all offered Same Day Registration. Average voter turnout was over 10 percentage points higher in SAME DAY REGISTRATION states than in other states. In the 2006 midterm elections, states with same-day voter registration had turnout rates 10-12 percent higher than in other states. According to the official voting statistics reported by secretaries of state and the U.S. Census Bureau estimates of state population, SAME DAY REGISTRATION states had a voter turnout rate of 70.3 percent in the 2004 presidential election, while non-SAME DAY REGISTRATION states had a turnout rate of only 54.7 percent.

  3. Work to institute alien suffrage in school board elections. Among those elected, Latinos cited the ineligibility of parents to vote six times more often than others as a barrier to election than Anglos. Latino school board members cited the franchise as a barrier to election far more often than any other reason including at large elections. The authors of the Report note that prior to 1926 voting by resident aliens was commonplace and persists even today in the Northeast cities of Cambridge, Amherst, and large metropolitan areas such as Chicago. The authors suggest that non citizen voting for resident alien taxpayers is a reasonable remedy for the lack of Latino representation. Single member districts are another remedy. 

  4. Institute a uniform ballot in California elections. Currently, ballots vary from County to County.  some ballots fosters confusion, and are an invitation to ballot invalidation for the unwary.

     To be sure, these reforms require legislation.  Mr. Padilla's Senatorial experience will serve him well with this agenda.       

Eric Guerra.
       Flush from participating in a series of victories in November elections, the Chicano Latino Caucus of the Democratic Party has joined others supporting Eric Guerra in the election for the Sacramento City Council occurring on April 7, 2015. There has not been a Latino on the Sacramento City Council for over twenty years.
      The Dolores Huerta Latino Democratic Club has challenged all other Latino Democratic Clubs, and all other clubs, and  caucuses and even Central Committees to a contest to make the most calls FOR ERIC GUERRA.  Online phone banking  also permits Latino Democratic Clubs to earn a banner or an eagle on their banner, and a seat on the Chicano Latino Caucus Executive Board by making over 2000 calls in a CLC designated race, listed below.  RESULTS WILL BE ANNOUNCED EVERY SATURDAY AT ON THE CLC PHONE BANK PAGE UNTIL THE ELECTION!
Remote, online phone banking allows you to support a campaign by phone banking from the comfort of your home. Easy steps to follow:
1.  Go to the CLC website at  CLC Online Phone Bank for Eric Guerra.  This will take you to the CLC website and press the phone bank button.
2.  Register as a phone banker by providing your name and email address,
3.  In the pull down window, select a volunteer organization that you want to receive credit for your calls, such as, Sacramento Latino Democratic Club. 
4.  Push the Log in button and start calling.


By Gladys Soto, Maria Grijalva, Raquel Andrade, and Krisna Velasco,

members of the Chicano Latino Caucus Executive Board.

    The Latinas of the CLC applaud the Latinos of the CLC for empowering Latinas. Latinas extend particular thanks to the CLC Chair, Carlos Alcala, for his extraordinarily encouragement, excellent leadership, and support for Latina empowerment.

     The Chicano Latino Caucus empowers Latinas. As the majority of both the Chicano Latino Caucus Executive Board and CLC Statewide officers, Latinas are setting the policy of the CLC, and are including men in their decisions. In 2013-2014, the majority Latina Executive Board made a number of significant decisions to set the direction of the CLC.

       First, the Latina majority CLC Executive Board voted to pursue a charter from the CDP. With Latino voter registration and voting significantly trailing all other ethnic groups, the decision to charter will allow the CLC to use its dues to register voters and canvas on behalf of Latina and Latino candidates. At the July 2014 meeting when this action was adopted, Latina Senatorial candidate Paulina Miranda, a college chemistry professor, explained the need for chartering. A clear majority of the CLC membership followed the Latina majority board. The CLC membership listened intently to opposition arguments from Gregory Rivera and others before voting to accept the recommendation of the Latina majority CLC Executive Board.

Raquel Andrade, Chair CLC Latina Advisory
Raquel Andrade, Chair CLC Latina Advisory, Dolores Huerta, Norma Alcala, WUSD School Board

     Second, the Latina majority CLC Executive Board voted to sponsor numerous resolutions that reflect the concerns of the Latino community. The CLC Board voted to condemn the murder of forty-three college students who disappeared on September 26, 2014 in Iguala, Mexico. This resolution was later adopted by a unanimous Democratic Party State Central Committee. The Latina majority CLC Board successfully sponsored CDP Resolution 14-07.38L which addressed the refugee status of an estimated sixty thousand children that have fled rape, robbery, and gang violence and extortion in their homelands of Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala to the relative safety of our nation. Similarly the Latina majority CLC Executive Board successfully sponsored Resolution to establish credit unions and banks loan programs to provide citizenship loans amounting to ninety percent (90%) of the cost of citizenship fees and penalties and back state taxes owed, not to exceed $5000; that all monies obtained from these citizenship loans must be used for direct payment of citizenship.

     Third, the Latina majority CLC Executive Board burst on the scene with phone banking in May 2013 in support of three Latina candidates: Leticia Perez in SD16, Lorena Gonzalez in AD80, and Norma Torres in SD32. Initially the CLC pledged 2000 calls but made nearly double that. Two of the three Latinas won and the third made a runoff. In the runoff, the CLC pledged 5000 calls and challenged all other caucuses. CLC finished with a huge lead over all caucuses, central committees, and clubs with 7,415 calls for Leticia Perez for Senate in SD 16. In February 2014, the CLC phone bank supported David Alvarez in the San Diego mayor's race with a pledge of 7000 calls and made 14,000 calls. In the November 2014 elections the CLC became the first caucus to establish its own onsite phone bank. The CLC listed eighteen candidates for CLC volunteers to support. One of these races featured a Latina, Norma Alcala, endorsed by the Yolo County Central Committee, Dolores Huerta, and the Chicano Latino Caucus CDP. Norma ran against an opponent endorsed by the local newspaper, the town mayor, members of the city council, and the local supervisor. Norma's campaign team included many CLC Latinas, and others. All of the Latina authors of this article walked precincts for Norma. Two of the authors travelled as much as 400 miles to do so. Norma won by a two to one margin overall, with margins as high as four to one in the Latino barrios of West Sacramento.

     The CLC stands out as a well run caucus that supports the women of the CLC. Si se puede! 


      By Alex San Martin  

     At the January 4, 2015, Chair Carlos Alcala took action to add two young Latinos to the Chicano Latino Caucus Executive Board.  The CLC Executive Board confirmed Julio Esperias Jr. as the  Chair of the Young Adults Division of the Chicano Latino Caucus (Young Chicano Latino Caucus Dems).  The Young Adults Division has been a part of the CLC bylaws for many years but became dormant over time under previous CLC Chairs. Consistent with his promise to bring youth into the Chicano Latino Caucus, CLC Chair Carlos Alcala has revived the long dormant Youth Division in order to promote and support youth involvement in the CLC.  At the same meeting, the CLC Executive Board voted to adopt an amendment to the CLC Bylaws, proposed by Chair Carlos Alcala, that will place the head of the CLC Young Adults Division on the  CLC Executive Board and make it an elected position at the May 2015 biannual convention:

 "The Young Adults Division (YAD) Chair shall be elected by CLC members between the ages of 14 and 35 at the biannual CLC Convention and shall serve as a voting member of the CLC Executive Board. The YAD Chair shall have the powers, duties, and stature of a vice chair of the CLC and shall strive to involve youth in the CLC and the Democratic Party. The YAD Chair shall build collegial, friendly, supportive, cooperative, and respectful relationships with other Democratic Party youth groups."


Eric Riviera Jurado

     Chair Carlos Alcala, who is also President of the powerhouse Dolores Huerta Latino Democratic Club,  supported Eric Riviera Jurado in his successful effort to win a seat on the CLC Executive Board as the representative of the DH LDC.  At age 26, Eric is the youngest member of the CLC Board. Eric is a gifted student who attends McGeorge Law School from which he will graduate in May 2015.   Eric has worked for a number of legislators including retired Senator Darryl Steinberg.  Eric is also a gifted athlete who teaches martial arts in three disciplines at CSUS:  boxing, kick boxing, and Thai boxing.  He also teaches self defense to women.  We are proud to have someone of his caliber and enthusiasm.


                                                                           By Norma Alcala

      On February 13, 2015, the California College Dems held their annual fundraiser "Blue Ball" at the home of Carlos and Norma Alcala.  The Ball was held to support young College Democrats efforts to attend the Young Dems State Convention in Anaheim.  The fundraiser featured a Great Gatsby theme. A photographer captured the moments throughout this memorable event. Costumes designed by Rory Castillo were presented in a Twenties period fashion show.  College Dems can be reached for further donations by contacting Itzel C. Perez via phone at (916)955-6095 or via email at [email protected].  

Rory Castillo, fashion designer, with College Dems
Rory Castillo, Fashion Designer, with College Dems


       By Norma Alcala 

       Committee appointments are a way for grassroots activists to become voting members of the CDP policy making and endorsement process. CDP Chair John Burton appoints committee members annually.        

     "CDP Standing Committees are comprised of between 15 and 25 members from the Democratic State Central Committee (DSCC) and are appointed by the Chair of the California Democratic Party every two years, following DSCC re-organization and the first convention thereafter. Committee members are expected to attend all committee meetings at their own expense.

     In considering appointments to Standing Committees, the CDP Chair "shall take into consideration the Party's commitment to non-discrimination, affirmative action, inclusiveness, and diversity including, but not limited to such things as: race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, religion, ethnic identity, sexual orientation, persons with disabilities as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, economic status. The geographical location of the appointees, including their residence in urban, suburban, or rural communities, shall also guide the Chair of This Committee in making appointments to each Standing Committee." (Section V, CDP By-Laws)"

     "The current DSCC re-organization began in late 2014 for the 2015-2017 term. Only DSCC members for the 2015-2017 term, who have filled out this form will be considered."

     "The deadline for initial appointments to Standing Committees for the 2015-17 DSCC is April 30, 2015. Membership will be announced after May 18, 2015."  Click Here for CDP Committee Application 

CLC Executive Board and General Membership Both Vote to Eliminate Executive Director


     The CLC membership voted to eliminate the title of Executive Director. The former Executive Director, Angelica Tellechea, Gregory Rivera, Melissa San Miguel, and Leticia Garcia appealed the vote of the CLC membership to the California Democratic Party.  The CDP denied the appeal.  The position of Executive Director no longer exists in the Chicano Latino Caucus.

The Agenda For The CLC E Board Meetings Can Be Found At The Official CLC Website At:

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CLC Board


Carlos Alcala 



Maria Grijalva

Northern Administrative Coordinator


Alex San Martin

Southern Administrative Coordinator (Not yet Confirmed) 


Sen. Richard Polanco (Senate Majority Leader ret.)

Senior Advisor


Asm. Alberto Torrico

(Assembly Majority Leader ret.)


Norma De La Pena Recording Secretary
Norma Alcala
Corresponding Secretary
Gladys Soto
San Francisco Latino Democratic Club
Eric Riviera Jurado
Dolores Huerta
Northern California Latino Democratic Club
Melissa San Miguel
Vice Chair Region 1
Rene Aguilera
Vice Chair Region 2
Gregory Rivera
Vice Chair Region 3
Tony Madrigal
Vice Chair Region 4
Hazel Putney
Vice Chair Region 5
Xilonin Cruz Gonzalez
Vice Chair Region 6
Jesus Silva
Vice Chair Region 7
Leticia Garcia
Vice Chair Region 8
Mary Jane Sanchez
Vice Chair Region 9
Armando Telles
Vice Chair Region 10

Francisco Garcia
Sgt. At Arms
Rafael Castellanos
Krisna Velasco
Chair Membership and Events Committee
Edwin Ortega
Chair Voter Registration Committee
Gabriel Medina
Chair Appointments Committee
Raquel Andrade
Chair Latina Advisory Committee

Placido Salazar
Resolutions Committee


Norma Alcala
Corresponding Secretary California Chicano Latino Caucus-California Democratic Party
916 372-1033 


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