Ed Reyes

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Ed Reyes

The Next Agenda Conference

Progressive LA: The Next Agenda Conference was held On October 20, 2001 in Los Angeles at the California Science Center.

The Progressive Los Angeles Network (PLAN) and the Institute for America’s Future "will co-sponsor an important conference -- the Next Agenda Conference -- designed to celebrate recent victories, build upon Los Angeles’ progressive momentum, and link local issues with a national progressive agenda. The conference will also help solidify a more strategic and integrated progressive movement in Los Angeles".

Speakers included Los Angeles City Council freshmen Eric Garcetti, Jan Perry and Ed Reyes, also spoke.[1]

No War In Iraq

On Feb. 18, 2003, seven members of the Los Angeles City Council voted "yes" after Eric Garcetti eloquently introduced the No War In Iraq resolution which was seconded by Ruth Galanter. Seven strong statements were made on behalf of the innocent civilian populations of Iraq and against a preemptive, first-strike policy by the U.S. The "only problem at City Council today was IT NEEDED 8 VOTES TO PASS!"

The seven voting "yes"---Cindy Miscikowski, Ed Reyes, Nate Holden, Janice Hahn, Ruth Galanter, Tom LaBonge and Eric Garcetti------needed an eighth vote.

Nick Pacheco who is expected to vote yes was absent.

Cindy Miscikowski, in "a admirable procedural step", cited the lack of a decisive vote--- 7 to 5 --- and moved that a final vote take place Friday. That proposal was accepted.

Neighbors For Peace & Justice, actors Ed Asner and David Clennon, the religious, labor and academic leaders who spoke so effectively and the hundreds, from virtually every movement, who showed up to keep their feet.

Coalition for World Peace urged its members to pressure Coucil members to obtain the deciding eigth vote.[2]

"Living Wage"

September 28, 2006 more than 2,000 people marched down Century Boulevard near Los Angeles International Airport, and more than 300 people, including two LA City Council members and other elected officials, clergy, union leaders and students, were arrested as part of a well-orchestrated civil disobedience sit-in--to protest the mistreatment of low-wage hotel workers by thirteen hotels in the airport area.

The grassroots campaign culminated four months later, on January 31, when the LA City Council voted to extend the city's living-wage law to the 3,500 employees at the LAX hotels. Their pay ed bump up to $10.64 an hour on July 1, and they would get ten days of paid vacation, a significant improvement for most of the workers, primarily immigrants from Mexico and Central America.

The City Council initially approved the living-wage extension in November, over the objections of the business community and a Los Angeles Times editorial. But then the LA Chamber of Commerce and the hotel industry collected enough signatures to put the measure on the May ballot, pledging to raise more than $5 million for a media campaign to persuade voters to rescind the law. The hotel workers' union (UNITE HERE), the LA County Federation of Labor and the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE)--the key backers of the law--were prepared to defend the law with a grassroots campaign of their own, which they expected would cost $1.5 million.

The strong City Council support for the law was due in large part to what LAANE organizer Vivian Rothstein called the members' "personal engagement" with the plight of the hotel workers. Council members Ed Reyes and Jose Huizar, who were arrested in the September civil disobedience, "put their bodies on the line," Rothstein said.

In addition, at the request of UNITE HERE, more than half of the fifteen City Council members visited hotel workers at their jobs and homes. Many were horrified by the workers' living and working conditions but also moved by their resolve to win improvements from their employers. Councilmember Janice Hahn, the living-wage law's chief sponsor, experienced an altercation with a hotel security guard when she insisted on talking with a hotel manager, an incident that strengthened her commitment to the workers' cause.[3]

Presentation to Obama's sister

standing Evelina Alarcon left, Maya Soetoro-Ng, right

In June 2008, Communist Party USA leader and Executive Director of Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday, Evelina Alarcon presented a poster from the organization to Barack Obama's younger sister Maya Soetoro-Ng at a gathering in East Los Angeles[4].

Addressing a largely Latino audience in East Los Angeles yesterday, Dr. Maya Soetoro-Ng shared stories about her childhood with her older brother, Barack Obama, and the effect he has had on her life. Held in El Sereno’s Hecho en Mexico restaurant, the event drew more than a hundred enthusiastic community activists, local elected officials, and regular citizens...

Clearly "designed to draw support to her brother’s presidential candidacy" from two key voting blocs—women and Latinos— the event was organized by State Senate Majority Leader Gloria Romero, State Senator Martha Escutia (ret.), State Board of Equalization Chair Judy Chu, Los Angeles City Controller Laura Chick, Los Angeles City Councilmember Ed Reyes, and Los Angeles Unified School District Vice President Yolie Flores-Aguilar[5].

Arizona "Boycott"

May 12 2010, Janice Hahn and Ed Reyes, Los Angeles City Council members and co-authors of the resolution, spoke during a news conference after the City Council approved an economic boycott of Arizona, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. LA hopes of pressuring the state of Arizona into repealing a tough immigration law by boycotting it's goods.

Hahn also called for a review of the city's investments and divestiture of any pension funds and bonds proceeds that could be invested in Arizona.[6]

"Latinos Need Barack Obama"

Rep. Linda Sanchez posted an article on the Huffington Post blog September 17, 2012, co-signed by several leftist California activists, and legislators, supporting Barack Obama for president;

We support comprehensive immigration reform and we believe President Obama is on the right track. He favors an immigration policy that rewards hard work and responsibility and lifts the shadow of deportation from young people who were brought here as children, through no fault of their own, and grew up as Americans. And given congressional inaction, the President and the DHS implemented a stop-gap measure that temporarily lifts the shadow of deportation from DREAMers.

The economic recovery is not yet complete, but we recognize President Obama's work to help our communities. From the Latina back in school thanks to expanded Pell Grants to the family that can now afford health care for their child with a preexisting condition, all Latinos need a leader that will stand by his word and respect their pursuit of the American Dream.

Sadly when Mitt Romney speaks to Latinos today he will not answer our Grito de Verdad y Liderazgo because he stands on the wrong side of every Latino voter priority. Latinos know that what we need is a President who will lead our community with respect and value our contributions and that the contrast between Romney's campaign rhetoric and four years of action from this administration is clear: the man we need to lead us is Barack Obama.

References