Gay Latino John Perez to become California’s Assembly Speaker?

Assembly Speaker John Perez

“The speakership scuffle continued yesterday, with current Assembly leader Karen Bass crowning Assemblyman John Pérez her heir apparent,” according to the Sacramento Bee.

My sources in Sacramento tell me this is a done deal.

The Republicans won’t like having a gay, Latino speaker!  Good.

Here is Perez’ bio, from his website:

John A. Pérez has dedicated his career to helping working families succeed in his 15 years working for labor unions, most recently serving as UFCW political director. Growing up in the working class communities of El Sereno and Highland Park, John’s parents taught him the values of hard work and community service. John has channeled that passion into fighting to create jobs, expand healthcare and protect basic rights like an eight-hour day with overtime.

John became politically active as a high school student over twenty years ago successfully helping to organize students against the proposed East Los Angeles prison. As a member of the Redevelopment Commission, he helped lead the effort at the Community Redevelopment Agency to turn that same site into a Green Tech Center that creates jobs and serves as a business incubator.

Knowing that opportunity and a path to success are not always easy to find in our community, John has worked tirelessly to create jobs for local residents. He helped lead the effort to mandate a local hire agreement requiring 30% of all major construction jobs to be dedicated to local residents and those in need, providing those individuals with valuable experience and training in skilled professions. He also played a leading role in the increase of the California minimum wage.

Having worked both in housing projects and with immigrants on job sites to improve wages, healthcare and benefits, John also has a deep understanding of the daily struggles that so many working families endure just to survive. John helped organize tenants to learn about lead exposure and abatement programs, implemented free lead screening tests, and instituted education efforts for residents in developments impacted by lead exposure.

John’s work on behalf of the community has been recognized by various elected officials and organizations. Three mayors, including Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, have appointed John to major Los Angeles City Commissions. State Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg appointed John to serve on the Blue Ribbon panel studying state initiative reform. John also received a Presidential appointment to serve on the President’s Advisory Council on HIV and AIDS.

In addition to his work in the labor movement, John serves as an elected member of the Democratic National Committee. John has served as a board member for the California League of Conservation Voters, AIDS Project Los Angeles, the Latino Coalition against AIDS, the California Center for Regional Leadership, and the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation.


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