Saturday, August 24, 2013


(San Diego) As someone who served as acting Mayor during a period of crisis in our city, I understand what needs to be done to manage the City during a difficult time and hopefully position our next Mayor for success.  I offer my support and assistance to Acting Mayor Gloria in any way I can.  Like many of you, I am relieved Mayor Filner put the City's needs ahead of his own and resigned.  While San Diego can now move forward to its next chapter, we should remain mindful that today’s action does not resolve matters for the victims of the former Mayor’s sexual harassment.   

Block: San Diego must move forward

State Senator Marty Block (SD-39) today issued the following statement following the resignation of San Diego Mayor Bob Filner:

“The Mayor’s resignation will begin to close a sad chapter in San Diego’s long city history. Just as importantly, it validates the victims who courageously stepped forward. City staff who have served the people of San Diego over the last eight months deserve our thanks and appreciation for their service under very difficult conditions.

Democratic Party Reaction to San Diego Mayor Bob Filner's Resignation

Following the announcement today of Mayor Bob Filner's resignation as part of a settlement with the City Council, San Diego County Democratic Party Chair Francine Busby has issued this statement:

“I share the relief of most San Diegans that Bob Filner has accepted the calls for his resignation from the Democratic Party and others. It’s time to put this painful chapter in the City’s history behind us.

“The women who have spoken out with stories of mistreatment deserve our appreciation, compassion, and support. No one should have to endure the behavior they reported, including the disrespect that Mr. Filner has already acknowledged.

“As for the legal process, the parties involved will have their day in court. On a human level, Mr. Filner has admitted to profound personal failings, and I urge him to continue to seek whatever treatment he may need.

“The rest of us must now work to ensure that the urgent business of San Diego will carry on. The City Council will soon set the date for a special election. Despite the difficult time that the City has faced in recent weeks, I hope voters will participate and turn out in force to give our City’s next leader the support to move us forward.
“Last November, San Diegans didn’t just choose someone to be the Mayor. They endorsed a Democratic vision for the future. From investing in renewable energy to highlighting our role as a border community, from standing up for working families to embracing the diversity of our people and the strength of our neighborhoods, they voted for a distinctly progressive agenda. That mandate is greater than any one person, and now it remains our responsibility and privilege to see it through.”

Friday, August 23, 2013

Statement by San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council Secretary-Treasurer Richard Barrera on Resignation of Mayor Bob Filner

SAN DIEGO – Richard Barrera, Secretary-Treasurer of the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council, made the following statement today following the resignation of San Diego Mayor Bob Filner:

“It is time to move forward. Today, we close a painful chapter for San Diego and the paralysis that has gripped City Hall can be brought to an end. We hope that those who have been hurt by Bob Filner’s behavior will receive the respect and closure they deserve.

“As we look to the election of a new Mayor, the Labor Council will continue to be a strong advocate for San Diego's working families and for our Middle Class. The power and importance of working San Diegans remains as strong as ever and the work of providing good jobs, good schools and better lives continues. We are fully committed to championing an agenda for America’s Finest City that accomplishes all of this; that celebrates the importance and dignity of working people; that believes in providing quality services to every single neighborhood; and that ensures that the voices at City Hall reflect the broad diversity of our city.

“We will participate fully in the public debate as the city seeks new leadership; and we will absolutely not allow right-wing radicals like Carl DeMaio and his divisive politics to take over our city when we need inclusion, unity and consensus.

“Our commitment to building a better San Diego is undiminished. And so too, we believe, is that same commitment from San Diego’s voters.”

San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council

The San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, AFL-CIO includes 135 affiliated labor groups in the region with a membership of more than 200,000 working families. Founded in 1891, the Labor Council advocates for more jobs, better jobs and better lives for all of San Diego’s workers – union and non-union.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Wonder Where Carl DeMaio Stands? New Web Site Helps Californians Check – with the Tea Party

Carl DeMaio proudly claims to be a “new generation Republican,” echoing Washington Republicans’ message-tested slogan. But on the issues that matter to San Diegans, Carl DeMaio’s record and the Tea Party’s agenda in Washington are one and the same.

To highlight the truth behind DeMaio’s Tea Party record, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched the web site There, Californians can see for themselves just how closely DeMaio’s record aligns with the Tea Party’s priorities.

“San Diego voters are fed up with a dysfunctional government that isn’t working for them, and sending Carl DeMaio to Washington would only make the gridlock worse,” said Matt Inzeo of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Carl DeMaio wants to push the Tea Party’s priorities that harm San Diego and will continue to put gridlock and obstruction ahead of progress on issues like jobs.”


 DeMaio is Using GOP Poll Tested Term “New Generation Republican.” “A new GOP poll tested former San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio, an openly gay Republican and potential congressional candidate, as a ‘new generation Republican’ in the highly competitive 52nd District...‘The data from this survey shows that DeMaio could be very successful in a congressional race portraying himself as a ‘new generation Republican,’” said Tarrance Group pollster Dave Sackett. [Roll Call, 5/01/13]

Monday, August 19, 2013

Assemblywoman Gonzalez Introduces Bill To Prevent Fraud on the Pathway to Citizenship

AB 1159 Empowers 2.5 Million Californians Who Seek Immigration Reform Services Under Pending Federal Law

SACRAMENTO, CA – (Monday, August 19, 2013)  – California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) will introduced legislation today to prevent payment for immigration reform services until federal immigration reform is enacted and to ensure other basic consumer protections are provided to immigrants pursuing a pathway to U.S. citizenship under the federal immigration reform act pending in Congress.

Assembly Bill 1159 (Gonzalez) would require that lawyers and consultants performing services under the pending federal immigration reform act abide by common sense business practices that will protect more than 2.5 million potentially eligible Californians from the unauthorized practice of law by non-lawyers, fraud, and unnecessary mistakes that could jeopardize a client’s pursuit of citizenship or – worse – result in deportation.

“As millions of California families face the historic opportunity of improving their lives by pursuing a pathway to citizenship, the state must be ready to ensure immigration services are performed by competent professionals and include anti-fraud protections,” Assemblywoman Gonzalez said. “AB 1159 prepares California for this upswing in demand by creating more accountability and transparency in an otherwise daunting process for immigrants, who are already targets of fraud now.”

AB 1159 will be considered today by the Senate Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development. Assemblywoman Gonzalez has asked that the Legislature act with urgency – requiring a higher vote threshold – in order to crack down on the unscrupulous practice by some professionals to demand payment for immigration reform services based by promising that clients could “cut to the front of the line” when federal immigration reform is eventually enacted by paying now.

AB 1159’s goal of empowering immigrants during their pursuit of citizenship by:

PROHIBITING THE USE OF TERM “NOTARIO”:  Expands current law to apply to “anyone who is not an attorney” from advertising as a “notario,” not just notaries public. This ban prevents confusion that has oftentimes been capitalized upon by non-attorneys hoping to present themselves as attorneys, as a “notario” in many Latin American nations is a type of lawyer. It will be unlawful to use any translated word that may imply that a person is an attorney, including the literal translation of the word “notario”.

PROHIBITING EARLY CLIENT SOLICITATION AND TRUST ACCOUNT REQUIREMENT:  The bill will make it illegal for attorneys or consultants to demand money from clients seeking immigration reform act services before the federal reform bill becomes law and is enacted. AB 1159 will also require immigration consultants to deposit into a client trust account all funds received from a client of immigration  reform services prior to performing those services. Requires both consultants and attorneys to utilize a trust account when funds were collected during the window of time after this bill goes into effect but before federal immigration reform is enacted. These provisions clamp down on a fraudulent practice of advising clients on a law for which the exact regulations have not become law yet.

REQUIRING A CONTRACT:  Attorneys and consultants must provide a client with a written contract in the client’s language under AB 1159. Contracts must describe the services being performed for the client, the attorney’s or consultant’s compensation for the services, and where a client can report complaints for unsatisfactory or fraudulent performance of those immigration reform act services. This requirement is to provide transparency to what services a client would be paying for and, equally important, what is not provided for in the contract.

Additionally, non-attorneys performing immigration reform act services are required to itemize each service to be performed; an explanation of the purpose of each service; and the cost of preparing each document specified in the contract.

REQUIRING A BOND FOR NON-ATTORNEYS: AB 1159 increases the required bond for consultants performing immigration reform act services from $50,000 to $100,000 to allow immigrants to recover damages related to immigration fraud.

AB 1159 has gained early support from the State Bar of California, labor groups, the faith community, and organizations dedicated to advocating for immigrant rights and equitable access to justice. Letters in support of AB 1159 are available upon request.

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez represents California’s 80th Assembly District, located in southern San Diego County including the cities of San Diego, Chula Vista and National City. For more information, visit