Comments by Assemblyman Gil Cedillo upon the signing of Assembly Bill 131, the second half of the Dream Act
The passage of the California Dream Act did not come without struggle. It emerged out of the desire for opportunity and inclusion, but it was initially stymied and vetoed out of an impulse of political fear. The lesson that we learn today - the insight that Steve Jobs expressed in thatcommencement address that has been featured so prominently this week - is that fear is not an adequate or noble basis for our political aspirations.
The thousands of people and dozens of organizations who continued to fight for the California Dream Act year after year, in spite of the advice of experts and pundits who said it couldn't or shouldn't be done, have now seen their work vindicated. I thank all of them for their continued support through the years. Especially the students who have worked with my office and staff who knew all along that the Dream Act would not be passed in time to help them, but continued making phone calls and writing letters and traveling toall night on busses. They have the most to be proud of because their work has been on behalf of others, the young students who they will never know who will be lifted up because of their dedication and sacrifice. Their work has been an expression of deep love. The California Dream Act is the embodiment of a desire for justice, a vision of moral clarity and the courage to engage the rough and tumble of the political process. All of these elements are necessary to move history forward. This day will be remembered well into the future. Together we have sent a message of hope throughout the country. Dreams can come true. We have proved it today.
Gil Cedillo - October 8, 2011