Who is Assembly candidate Julio Pérez? Meet him Thursday in Santa Ana…


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“I live by a quote from St. Francis:
First, do what is necessary.
Then, do what is possible.
Before you know it, you’re doing the impossible.
That’s the approach I have taken throughout my career.
That’s the approach I will take to Sacramento.”

– JP

My Santa Ana readers have frequently bitched, “Who the hell is this Julio Pérez?”  They feel like they know Michele Martinez, for better or worse – his one declared opponent for the 69th Assembly District being vacated by termed-out José Solorio.  But this “Labor guy from Anaheim” is still a cipher to them.  I’ve said, “Jesus, guys, the election is over a year off, you’ll have time to meet him and ask him questions.”

And Thursday afternoon from 5:30 on, at Santa Ana’s Bistro 400 (corner of 4th and Birch) is their chance.  Although Julio hopes to raise funds at this event, he has assured me (after I gave him grief for his “expensive fundraisers”) that nobody will be turned away. So come one, come all, with all your questions!

I’ve already asked him a few, but I have more.  Seeking to allay the concerns of some of my readers who may be leery of voting for a “union thug” (LOL) I asked:  “Do you agree with Governor Brown that the state needs pension reform, and how would you envision that?”

JULIO SEZ:  Orange County employees have led the effort to reform pensions and have saved taxpayers millions.  Bringing all sides to the table and hammering out reforms that protect both taxpayers and employees is the way to go.

We’re hoping not to elect just another “tough on crime,” lock-em-all-up Democrat who’s going to help the Republicans in keeping California the incarceration capital of the nation.  So I asked JP several questions about the prison-industrial complex, the Drug War, Three Strikes, etc…

JULIO SEZ:   Growing up in Anaheim, I heard the gunshots of drive-by shooting as often as Disneyland’s fireworks. It was a sad reality I want to do my part to prevent. We should invest more in prevention and education while never forgetting the victims of crimes. I’m a big fan of Attorney General Kamala Harris’ “Smartcrime approach.” Crimes that hurt people should be punished accordingly – from purse snatching to embezzlement.  However, we do need to consider reforming Three Strikes, similar to what Prop 66 (2004) would have done. Drug addiction is a disease that needs to be treated, but it’s not an excuse to commit crimes. I want to learn more about the best ways to prevent crime, reducing recidivism and ensure we do not waste taxpayer money on any project.

Most of us who vote Democrat vaguely say we want our Democrats to be “progressive,” but often that word becomes meaningless the more it’s thrown around.  I bounced a few of my ideas of what it means to be progressive off of JP, and he responded…

JULIO SEZ:  I grew up poor and had many opportunities that enabled me to obtain several degrees and have a good job and a decent quality of life.  For me a progressive is a person that looks out for the interest of the most disenfranchised in our community, so they too can have a good quality of life (a good home, healthcare, educational opportunities  and retirement).  There are several ways to attain this, but every decision that I make in Sacramento will be guided by this value system.  It’s not just about one vote or one bill, it’s about the core values that I have and that will guide me through the tough decisions that I will have to make.  There is so much more…

You’ve been criticized for your “high-priced fundraisers,” held up in LA far from the district you’ll be representing…

JULIO SEZ:  The fliers might have a variety of suggested donations but most of the contributions I have received are under a hundred dollars.  Most of my contributors are first-time donors to any political candidates.  And in terms of holding one in LA, I worked out there for years and have a lot of friends there.  A good number of the organizations and unions I have relationships with serve both Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

To a long detailed question on options for health care reform, he responded…

JULIO SEZ:  My goal is for everyone to have access to quality, affordable healthcare, there are a lot of ways to get there.  As a candidate, I’m studying all the issues in order to work towards the best approach to making quality healthcare to all.

Hopefully, as the year goes by, Mr. Pérez will have more concrete ideas of how he would achieve health care justice, the re-funding of education, and a return of California’s jobs, which I know are goals he’d like to achieve.  We’ll be asking the same of Michele, and Tom Daly if he decides to run.  See you at the Bistro!!  🙂


About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at vernpnelson@gmail.com, or 714-235-VERN.