Monday, December 13, 2021

Additional Tribute to Eric Vega

Excellent work by DSA includes a historical piece from Story Corps.

The DSA blog,  Dl, has posted my tribute to Eric Vega and his work as a Chicano leader. Eric was in DSA for a time.

DL also included a story corp interview with Eric and Estella Sanchez.  Quite impressive.

The piece I wrote also includes a link to an archives project of Eric’s work. It is part of the  the Mexican American Education Project ( of which I was once co director), and the Chicano Movement in Sacramento.

This latter project was done by Lorena V. Marquez.  An ex student of mine and my wife.

Professor of Chicana/o History of U.C. Davis.  Author of the book, La Genre: Struggles for Empowerment and Community Self Determination in Sacramento. (2020) by the Univ. of Arizona Press.  

Wednesday, December 01, 2021

A Tribute to the Life of Eric Vega

 A  Personal Tribute to Eric Vega.  

Eric Vega passed away on Nov 25,2021.  It has been a road well traveled- together.


The  statement of the Sol Collective described  many of  Eric’s contributions well.


“Eric Vega was a father, husband, educator, labor organizer, activist, and philanthropist. He was a brilliant community leader who led by example and impacted our region through his decades of social justice work and mentorship of young activists, educators, law students, and politicians.”



Eric had a long and sustained history of activism and numerous causes.


Eric Vega was the Chair and primary organizer of the Sacramento Civil Rights Network and Chair of the California Civil Rights Conference.  In the 1980’s He served as  a state policy advocate for MALDEF, The Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund,  Later he was the Director of the Sacramento Fair Housing  and Human Rights Commission. 


Eric became a Professor of  Chicano Studies/ Ethnic studies. CSU- Sacramento in the 1980’s as ethnic studies became a part of the university systems. In this role he served as faculty sponsor of the campus MEChA Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanos de Atzlán. This work assisted generations of young people to become political activists and change agents.   

From 1992- 1994, Along with DSA – NPC member Al Rojas and the Latino Commission  Eric  worked to unite Sacramento labor work with Chicano community activism to oppose the North American Free Trade Agreement (1994). This effort included participating in election observing in Mexico and bringing  former Governor of Michoacán and  presidential  candidate Cuauhtémoc Cardenas to California for an opposition tour.   



Eric joined DSA after extensive experience with other left formations in the 70’s and 80’s.  

 In 1994, he served as Chair of the Sacramento electoral  effort to defeat the Anti Mexican Immigrants  Proposition 187. Eric focused  the  DSA’s Latino Commission's efforts on the California  Prop. 187 ( 1994)  and anti Affirmative Action California  ( so called) Civil Rights Initiative. 1996 (Prop 209) .


In 1995 Eric Vega was elected to the National Political Committee of DSA at the convention where he served for four years, representing an effective Latino voice  and  needed representative of West Coast activism on the National Political Committee.  


With his  leadership DSA and MEChA  co sponsored a numerous forums on Chicanos Organizing for Social Change on the CSU campus.  In 2004,  Eric  co authored with me a chapter on Racism and Schools in my book, Choosing Democracy : A practical guide to multicultural education ( 3rd.edition) extending the coverage of Chicano history into the public school curriculum.  

While thoroughly engaged within the Chicano community, Eric was always supportive and active with multiracial efforts such as opposing the 1996 CCRI. ( California misnamed Civil Rights Initiative. 


Eric, along with his wife Janet Vining, herself an attorney and  activist,  was always open and ready to help others and to get the necessary work done in campaigns and events.   He was kind and caring. He drew people to his work with his positive openness. He touched the lives of hundreds of students by listening to others, including young people, and makings  them  feel welcome in a broad range of efforts. 



 Eric’s life was significantly influenced by the Chicano cultural resistance  of the Chicano Movement  which grew significantly through developments in the many arts In the 70’s and 80’s. It is well known for the development of the RCAF ( Royal Chicano Air Force).  He contributed to this tradition as one of the founders of the Arts and Culture Center the Sol Collective.  Today, the Collective continues as a vibrant effort to engage and involve young people in their own self definitions. You can read the Sol Collective’s generous description of Eric’s founding contributions here.

Within the Sol Collective, Eric and others created the Sacramento Activist School to train young people as organizers.   I heartily recommend that readers interested in  seeing Eric reflecting upon his own life as a socialist and a Chicano Activist in  view this oral history from  The Sacramento Movimiento Chicano and Mexican American Education Oral History Project (2014)



We make the road by walking.  It has been a road well traveled together. It has been my honor to have walked so far with Eric.   We miss you brother.   I will try to cary it on. 





Monday, November 29, 2021

Honduran Elections: Voters Throw Out Corrupt, U.S. Backed Regime

As soon as the first ballots were counted it became clear: Xiomara Castro of the Libre party was overwhelming the ruling party -- and winning the presidency of Honduras.

“What a beautiful sight -- to see people jubilant, waving flags, and dancing into the night in the streets of San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa, cities renowned for violence and corruption.” said Marco Castillo, leader of the CESPAD/Global Exchange observer mission. 

Yesterday, DEMOCRACY triumphed, although results remain preliminary and we must remain vigilant. (Follow us on Twitter for ongoing updates from our election observation team on the ground.)

Hondurans went to the polls and voted by stunning margins to end the miserable and corrupt rule of the National Party that had taken power in a 2009 military coup with tacit U.S. support -- looking at you Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.  

Corruption and economic deterioration followed the coup and U.S. sanctioned election fraud in 2017 kept the national party in power -- looking at you now, Donald Trump. 

We know how Honduras has suffered as a pawn of violent U.S. policies in the region and as a northbound transport “trampoline” for cocaine traffickers. It was particularly galling when Donald Trump stigmatized desperate Honduran migrants who caravanned north after the 2017 election fraud (that he green-lighted) as “invaders”; but, the neocolonial domination of Honduras has long been bi-partisan. 

But yesterday, democracy and national sovereignty won, while authoritarianism and colonial domination lost. This is the reality that turned the streets electric and raised hope in a country where hope has been hard to find.

We congratulate the Honduran people on a hard won victory. We also want to thank our supporters who have helped us to invest deeply in supporting these elections and appeal to our supporters to help us stay the course. Honduras now has an enormous opportunity to redefine its destiny, but our support must continue and we still need your help.

Global Exchange has been involved in Honduras since the late 1980s when Media Benjamin wrote, “Don’t Be Afraid Gringo” the story of Elvia Alvarado, a Honduran organizer who galvanized her community despite the U.S. backed repression of that era.  We have worked to stay connected with Honduras and it was no coincidence that Tegucigalpa, Honduras was where we started our five-nation End the Drug War Caravan to New York City and the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Drugs in 2016. 

The connections we have made over the years led us to CESPAD, (The Center for the Study of Democracy) and the robust partnership we established to train, equip, and deploy hundreds of national and international observers around the country on Sunday.  We worked closely with CESPAD, for months, to investigate conditions on the ground and to attract media coverage to potential problems or irregularities prior to the elections.  

From SOA Watch.

In her victory speech Sunday night, Castro spoke of the past 12 years of resistance by the Honduran people and lifted up the memory of the numerous martyrs who lost their lives opposing the coup and subsequent regimes. She also emphasized her plan to build a government of unity and reconciliation. As President, she would face huge challenges. Since the U.S.-backed coup, there has been a massive looting of Honduras, with the violent implementation of extreme right-wing neoliberal policies that have plundered both public institutions and natural resources. This has resulted in massive poverty, displacement, migration, and the criminalization and murders of those who have defended nature and human rights. The damage that was done will not be fixed overnight, but will take sustained organizing. As Bertha Zuniga, General Coordinator of COPINH, wrote on Twitter on Sunday night, ''Now we must rebuild our Honduras so that never again are people murdered or jailed for defending nature and the rights of Indigenous peoples. The Struggle Continues.'' 

As Hondurans embark on the struggle to rebuild, the U.S. must not interfere. We know too well that the U.S. bears significant responsibility for the destruction of Honduras over the past 12 years (and over the past century). We will not forget that it was U.S. recognition of Hernandez as President that enabled him to stay in power despite massive fraud in the 2017 elections. We will not forget the U.S. training, financing, and equipping of the military and police forces that shot and killed demonstrators in the streets. We will not forget the U.S. financing of the Hernandez regime in the name of fighting the drug war even as his brother was prosecuted by the U.S. for drug trafficking. We will not forget the U.S. training of those who carried out the 2009 coup at the School of the Americas. In the days ahead, as the votes continue to come in and Hondurans continue organizing, challenging extremely violent and entrenched powerful forces, we must remain vigilant against U.S. interference and demand respect for the will of the Honduran population.  

While the road ahead is paved with challenges, at this moment we lift up the clear mandate of the Honduran people and what that represents after the past 12 years of repression and bloodshed. We also remember and honor all the martyrs of the Honduran resistance, from Isis Obed Murillo to Ra

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Immigrants Lose to " Moderate" advocates in Congress

 WASHINGTON, D.C. — Generations of Democratic candidates on the campaign trail have promised a pathway to citizenship to immigrants, and all failed to deliver once seated on Capitol Hill.

Likewise, generations of immigrant rights advocates have demanded a pathway to citizenship from Congress since President Ronald Reagan passed the last amnesty in 1986. All have come up short.

Both sides fell short yet again last Thursday night when Reps. Chuy Garcia (D-IL), Lou Correa (D-CA), and Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) met with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in her Capital Hill suite.

The hours-long meeting with Pelosi was the second for the three Hispanic Caucus Congressmen, dubbed the “three amigos” in a Univision segment that ran nationally on the nightly news.

Read more:


Friday, October 22, 2021

Dia de los Muertos - Sacramento

Día de Los Muertos - (Day of the Dead)
October 28 & 29    (Thurs. & Fri.)      6:00 pm to 10:00 pm
October 30              (Saturday)       10:00 am to 10:00 pm
October 31               (Sunday)            8:00 am to 8:00 pm
El Panteón de Sacramento, 2700 Front Street , Sacramento CA

To participate at this event, please contact:
Presenting Organization:  Latino Center of Art & Culture  (916) 446-5133

“El Día de Los Muertos” (Day of the Dead) is a Mexican holiday observed on November 1st and 2nd, throughout México and around the world in other cultures.  While this colorful holiday takes many forms, it always focuses on gatherings of family and friends to remember and celebrate the lives of friends and family members who have died.

Internationally, the celebration takes place on October 31, November 1 and November 2, in connection with the Triduum of Hallowtide, All Hallows’ Eve, All Saints Day, and All Souls’ Day.

In Mexican tradition, “El Día de Los Muertos” pays homage to the dearly departed by erecting and dedicating beautiful altars in their honor and paying tribute to their memory.  The altars bring together photo images of the deceased, food, water and drink that they particularly enjoyed, “pan de muerto”, aromatic incense, candles, “cempaxúchitl” (marigolds), colorful artifacts and sugar skulls. 

Where possible, a “desfile” (community procession) goes to the local cemetery to deliver vivid orange marigolds, beautiful marigold crosses, gifts and remembrances to the grave sites of the loved ones.  It is an ancient Mexican belief that the souls of the dead have gone to a better place and that no soul likes to be thought of sadly, therefore it is common to see the procession accompanied by local people dressed as “Calacas” (skeletons), depicted as joyous figures often wearing festive clothing, dancing, and playing musical instruments to indicate a happy afterlife.

It is said that every altar should have the representation of the four elements, earth, wind, fire and water.  The community strives to include these through the use of “Papél Picado” (images cut into colorful tissue) because it’s lightness and fragility reminds us of the breeze, the flowers come from and represent the earth, the candles represent fire and there is water. Many altars will have a candle for every person we wish to remember.  The candle assists the loved one to see their altar, the water and food are provided to nourish them following their long journey from beyond and the incense to make their arrival pleasant. 


Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Texas Redistricting is Voter Suppression of Latinos


LULAC Calls New Texas Redistricting Map Blatant Voter Suppression Of Latinos

Nation’s Largest and Oldest Latino Civil Rights Organization Warns Legal Action is Ahead Again to Defend Voter Rights

Washington, DC – The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) issued the following statement after the new Texas redistricting map for Congressional seats was released Monday.

Domingo Garcia – LULAC National President
“The Texas Congressional district maps released today are a travesty of justice and a violation of the United States Constitution. The largest growth in Texas between 2010 and 2020 was Hispanics, who added to the population boom in the state. Yet, today’s map all but assures that anyone except a Latino gets a new seat in Congress. Those responsible made sure to pack Latino voters into districts with blacks and dilute us everywhere else in one of the most bizarre examples of gerrymandering we have ever witnessed. Since the 1970s, LULAC has challenged redistricting every ten years in court, and we have always won. If Senators are not going to do the right thing and address this glaring suppressing of our vote, we will go into federal court again to have our voice and our votes respected.”

Linda Chavez – LULAC National Board Member and Vice-President of the Southwest
“To say that the maps published today are shocking is an understatement. Their actions legitimize voter exclusion by distorting and twisting entire areas to suit the outcome they want! I have never seen such a blatant act in all my years of championing civil rights in Texas. These maps clearly show how discrimination targeting Latinos is still alive and well in this state. We have no choice except to challenge this plan as illegal and cannot be allowed to stand. When those who fear Latinos see our growth in sheer numbers, they do the only thing xenophobes can do. They lie, cheat and steal our right to vote and have our votes matter!”

Rodolfo Rosales Jr., - Texas LULAC State Director
“Our community is speechless at the disrespect and outright arrogance by those who would deny us our legal and civil rights. Redistricting is supposed to be an opportunity to re-apportion areas that fairly allow growing communities to have their share of representation. Yet, the process is in the hands of people who see redistricting as another path to disenfranchise and marginalize our community at the very moment when we see exponential voting interest. It is unconscionable to have political leaders say they believe in America’s values, only to turn right around and trample on the most fundamental value of our Republic, the democratic right to vote. Their contradiction is sheer hypocrisy.”

# # #

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Farmworkers March for Voting Rights.


Grape worker Baldomero Perez knows what political voting is like and what union voting is like. "I have supported political campaigns to get people to go out and vote. It has been a very nice experience, since all voters have the right to vote from their homes by sending their ballot in by mail. Their vote is safe and they do not receive any pressure from anyone. This would help me to have union representation, benefits, fair treatment, job security and much more."

When the Agricultural Labor Relations Act was passed in 1975, it allowed for workers to vote at their place of employment. Then, being allowed to vote at all was a big step. Political voting options have changed since 1975. It has become clear that farm workers need the same opportunities. As Baldomero points out, it's not a free choice when the supervisor who threatened to fire anyone who votes for a union is glaring at you. 

We are fighting for this change through the Agricultural Labor Relations Voting Choice Act which was introduced in the California legislature. It would modernize voting for union representation giving workers the same choices voters have to submit their ballots -- including voting by mail, early ballot drop offs, the option to get help filling out their ballots and the existing in-person voting.

The bill has passed the Assembly and Senate and is on Governor Newsom's desk. However, it is facing major opposition from the $50 billion agricultural industry, which is spreading disinformation in order to try to stop the bill. That's why starting today, September 22, workers began a 19-day, 260-mile socially-distanced march from Farmersville to Sacramento

It's a tough battle. As you can imagine, nearly all the associations of growers and agribusiness are lobbying against this bill. It's remarkable how the nationwide attacks on voting rights are being seen here too in the California fields. That's why this bill is crucial. 

Make a donation today and help us win voting choice for farm workers. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Let Them In - Del Rio Texas

Statement by the National Political Committee of DSA

Abolish CBP and Let them In/Abolir La Migra y Déjalos Entrar

The National Political Committee of DSA condemns in the strongest possible terms the inhumane treatment of the 12,000+ asylum seekers currently stuck under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas. These migrants have been forced to wait in a makeshift camp after crossing the Rio Grande for their petitions to be processed with little food, water, medicine, or shelter from the elements. They’ve also endured anti-Black violence at the hands of Customs and Border Protection, with reported shouts of “Go Back to Mexico” despite many of the migrants originating from Haiti, further adding to the erasure of Black immigrants in the discussion around immigration.

In May, the administration ruled that people coming to the US from Haiti would be granted TPS designation due to ongoing political unrest and climate disasters. We know these crises are rooted in US imperialism and western colonization. Instead of receiving them with dignity, 86 people were deported under Title 42, and there are more flights scheduled to depart this week.

The deportation flights must end, the border must be demilitarized, and these migrants must be allowed in. They should be allowed to petition for asylum for the violence they are fleeing. We reaffirm our position that ICE and CBP serve no purpose other than to enact racist violence in the name of xenophobic policies, designed to force the people of the Global South into a permanently-maintained, exploitable underclass. We call for these policies and the agencies that enforce them to be defunded, disarmed, and dismantled.

Time and again, the US has shown its disregard for the humane treatment of asylum seekers and migrants, and as the reconciliation bill is being finalized, it’s more important than ever that a pathway to citizenship be included. A budget is a political and moral document, and regardless of what the Senate Parliamentarian recommends, Senate Democrats and President Biden have the power to ensure millions of people living in the US are no longer arbitrarily disenfranchised.

As DSA, we will continue the public pressure to ensure that parts of the PRO Act and Green New Deal for Public Schools are in the national budget and infrastructure bill, because we recognize how the climate crisis drives migration, and thus the US obligation to house and provide universal public services to those who seek refuge from man-made disasters.  The investment of $3.5 trillion into our safety, livelihoods, and addressing the climate crisis are not optional but absolutely necessary.

We encourage members to get involved with our Immigrant Rights Working Group and join our Green New Deal campaign for shifts this weekend.

El Comité Político Nacional de los Socialistas Democráticos de América condena en los términos más enérgicos posibles el trato inhumano de los 12,000 solicitantes de asilo actualmente atrapados bajo un puente en Del Río, Texas. Estos migrantes se han visto obligados a esperar en un campamento improvisado después de cruzar el Río Bravo para que sus peticiones sean procesadas con poca comida, agua, medicinas o refugio de los elementos. También han soportado la violencia anti-negra a manos de la migra, Aduanas y Protección Fronteriza, con reporteos de gritos de “Vete a México” a pesar de que muchos de los migrantes son de Haití, añadiendo aún más al borrado de los inmigrantes negros en la discusión sobre inmigración.

En mayo, la administración dictaminó que a las personas que llegan a Estados Unidos desde Haití se les concedería la designación del TPS debido a los continuos disturbios políticos y desastres climáticos. Sabemos que estas crisis están arraigadas en el imperialismo estadounidense y en la colonización occidental. En lugar de recibirlos con dignidad, 86 personas fueron deportadas bajo el Título 42, y hay más vuelos programados para salir esta semana.

Los vuelos de deportación deben terminar, la frontera debe ser desmilitarizada y estos migrantes deben ser admitidos. Se les debe permitir solicitar asilo por la violencia de la que huyen sin más violencia. Reafirmamos nuestra posición de que ICE y CBP no tienen otro propósito que promulgar violencia racista en nombre de políticas xenófobas, diseñadas para forzar al pueblo de los países del Sur a una subclase explotable y permanentemente mantenida. Pedimos que estas políticas y las agencias que las hacen cumplir sean desfinanciadas, desarmadas, y desmanteladas.

Una y otra vez, los Estados Unidos ha mostrado su desprecio por el trato humano de los solicitantes de asilo y los migrantes, y a medida que se está finalizando el proyecto de ley de reconciliación, es más importante que nunca que se incluya un camino hacia la ciudadanía. Un presupuesto es un documento político y moral, e independientemente de lo que recomiende el parlamentario del Senado, los demócratas del Senado y el presidente Biden tienen el poder de garantizar que millones de personas que viven en los Estados Unidos ya no sean arbitrariamente privadas de sus derechos.

Como DSA, continuaremos la presión pública para asegurar que partes del PRO Act y el Nuevo Trato Verde para las Escuelas Públicas estén en el presupuesto nacional y en la factura de infraestructura, porque reconocemos cómo la crisis climática impulsa la migración, y por lo tanto, la obligación de los Estados Unidos de albergar y proporcionar servicios públicos universales a quienes buscan refugio de desastres provocados por el hombre. La inversión de $3.5 billones en nuestra seguridad, medios de vida y para abordar la crisis climática no es opcional sino absolutamente necesaria.

Animamos a nuestros miembros a que se involucren con nuestro grupo de trabajo sobre Derechos de los Inmigrantes y se unan a nuestra campaña GND4PS para turnos este fin de semana. 

Monday, September 20, 2021

Major Loss on Immigration Reform


Democrats Dealt a Blow on Immigration Plans

The Senate’s parliamentarian ruled that Democrats’ plan to give 8 million immigrants a path to citizenship could not be achieved through the reconciliation process.

Members of United We Dream rallied near the White House in August to demand Congress deliver citizenship for millions of immigrants this year.
Shawn Thew/EPA, via Shutterstock

WASHINGTON — The Senate parliamentarian dealt a major setback on Sunday to Democrats’ plan to use their $3.5 trillion social policy bill to create a path to citizenship for an estimated 8 million undocumented immigrants.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

About Hispanic Heritage Month


Gavin Newsom defeats California recall election in historic vote !

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month- Sept.15 – Oct 15, 2021


By Dolores Delgado Campbell 

Hispanic Heritage Month begins in the U.S. on Sept. 15 of each year and celebrates several of the independence struggles in Latin America from 1810- through the 1820s. 

Spain ruled most of Latin America from 1521 until 1820. The movements of independence from Spanish rule began most notably on Sept. 15, 1810 in Dolores, Mexico with the Grito de Dolores when Fr, Miguel Hidalgo declared Mexico’s independence from Spain. Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates these movements of independence.  

2021 marks the 500th Anniversary of the fall of Tenochtitlan, the ancient capital of the Aztecs, today’s Mexico City, and also the 200th Anniversary  of Mexican Independence. To commemorate these historical landmarks, the Mexican Government declared 2021 as the Year of Historical Reconciliation. The Consulate General of Mexico in Sacramento is participating in these celebrations with a series of binational cultural events.   “500 years of Indigenous Resistance-1521 the fall of Tenochtitlan”, programmed from Aug 16th to 31st. (in Spanish). 

There is more about the history further down in this post, but what about this complex and at times confusing  term Hispanic?

Hispanic or Latino refers to people in the U.S. from Puerto Rico, Mexico, South or Central America, as well as the  indigenous people of the once dominant Spanish empire in the Americas. The majority of these people do not call themselves Hispanic. 

The divisions and contentions over the terms Hispanic, Latino, Mexican Americans, Chicanos and others have complex historical antecedents. We are not going to resolve them here. 

The development of the term “Hispanic” was promoted by the Nixon administration to describe the collective of the variety of people descended from Latin America. Choosing this term, however, had significant political connotations and results.  In general, the use of Hispanic promotes the idea of a broad, inclusive Spanish influence.  At the same time it tends to ignore the very vast ethnic and cultural influences of the millions of indigenous people in the Americas. 

Some people prefer Hispanic; some would rather use other terms including Latino.  

So, what is a person seeking to interact with these communities to do?  Relax.  Listen to what people say about themselves.  You will hear a diversity of terms. First-generation immigrants tend to name their native country — ie. “I am Bolivian, or Argentinian,” while second- and third-generation people use the more universal terms Hispanic or Latino.  People who speak only English tend to use Hispanic more, while bilinguals tend to use Latino or other terms.  Note: not all Latinos are immigrants, some come from families that were here long before the U.S. claimed the west – such as myself..

One caution   Please don’t tell people how to define themselves. They can do that for themselves.  It is particularly not our role to define other peoples’ identities.  Listen and learn.

On population matters, the  results of the 2020 Census for redistricting purposes are just in. The nation’s population is becoming increasingly diverse due to major growth in the Latino, Asian, and multiracial populations and an aging white population that declined for the first time ever.


A total of 331.4 million were tallied in the 2020 Census, an absolute increase of 22.7 million people in the country. The Latino population led the way with slightly more than one of every two persons added to the country’s population through birth or international migration between 2010 and 2020 being Latino.  Overall, the Latino population increased by 23% during the decade while the white population declined by 8.6%.


While California is still the country’s most populist state, at the same time, White people are no longer the majority in the state.

In 2020, more than 39 percent of Californians identified themselves as Hispanic or Latino, compared with the approximately 35 percent who reported they were white and not Hispanic.


The shift makes California one of only five states or territories where white people do not make up the largest population  group. The others are Hawaii, New Mexico, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.


Also note that Asians are among the fastest-growing ethnic groups


The percentage of Californians who identify as Asian or part-Asian grew by more than 27 percent between 2010 and 2020, one of the biggest increases among ethnic groups.

By comparison, the proportion of Californians who identified as Black or part-Black increased by 5 percent.


About the history  of Hispanic Heritage month we started with.

The war of independence in Mexico  lasted until 1821.  This  challenge to  Spanish power in Mexico led to the collapse of Spanish power in the Americas  with independence struggles winning in Chile, Columbia, Venezuela , Ecuador and Peru among others.  Five Latin American countries; Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua celebrate the anniversaries of their independence on Sept. 15.

After  1810 the independence movements went through several stages. Many of the leaders were imprisoned or executed by forces loyal to Spain including  Fr, Hildalgo.

 A notable leader in South America was Simon Bolivar who organized and fought for over a decade to liberate the area now part of Chile, Columbia, Venezuela and Peru. By  1820, many of the leaders went beyond a demand for independence and took more radical positions, including the abolition of slavery.

Recommended readings.

Forget the Alamo: The Rise and Fall of an American Myth.  Burrough, Tomlinson, and Stanford.  2021.

An Indigenous People’s History of the United States. 2014.   Roxanne Dunbar- Ortiz. ( formerly a DSA member).  

This essay is an update of a piece posted in Democratic Left in 2014. 

Dolores Delgado Campbell 





Tuesday, September 07, 2021

Election Now - Please Vote

SACRAMENTO PROGRESSIVE ALLIANCE: Election Now - Please Vote:     We stand at a crossroad in California. In the September 14 Special Election, will Californians choose a future where all are valued or w...

Sunday, August 29, 2021

The California Recall Is Dangerous

 The Recall Is Dangerous !

The  California recall vote scheduled for Sept 14, is powered by a partisan, Republican coalition of national Republicans, anti-vaxxers, QAnon conspiracy theorists, anti-immigrant activists and Trump supporters. They seek to overturn the California governor’s election and their victory could threaten California’s economic recovery and Covid  control efforts.

From the Los Angeles Times: 

“Allied with radical and extreme elements… includ[ing] groups promoting distrust of government, science and medicine; peddlers of QAnon doomsday conspiracies; “patriots” readying for battle and one organization allied with the far-right extremist group, the Proud Boys.”

POLITICO reported how one of the co-founders and chief organizers of the recall- a former Yolo county deputy sheriff,  suggested it would be a good idea to “microchip” immigrants, and anti-immigrant rhetoric has been central to recall organizers’ appeals to supporters.

In addition to the anti Vaxxer extremism, the recall advocates reveal their anti immigrant  emphasis in the  published  official statement of reasons for the recall.  In the second sentence they say, 

“ Governor Newsom has implemented laws which are detrimental to the citizens of this state and our way of life. Laws he endorsed favor foreign nationals in our country illegally, over that of our own citizens….

And,  in the fourth sentence  they say, “ He has imposed sanctuary state status and fails to enforce immigration laws.”

That is how they argue in public for the record.  On social media they are much more blatant and aggressive. Could they be more clear? These are anti immigrant dog whistles.  And dog whistles work with some voters. 

This campaign is a  dangerous repeat  of the 1994 campaign of California  Prop.187 which initiated over 10 years of anti immigrant repression in the nation.   California  Proposition 187 was a hate crime.  It was a racists law, passed by 2/3 of California voters.  It banned over 600,000 immigrants from receiving needed food stamps, medical care.   Although overturned by a court decision at the state level in 1999, the elements of California  Prop. 187 became national law in 1996 as a part of the Immigration Reform and Control act of 1996 and the bipartisan  " Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-193)."  during the Clinton Administration. 

 These laws and policies are included in some of the most punitive and cruel  aspects of our current immigration enforcement system. How did this happen ?  In the Summer of 1993, a failing economy and governmental retrenchment combined to make Republican Governor Pete Wilson the most unpopular governor in recent history.  By November of 1994 Wilson won re-election with over 56% of the vote.  Two factors combined to deliver victory to Wilson; a mean spirited, divisive, and racist campaign directed against Mexican and Mexican Americans, and an inept campaign by Democratic Candidate Kathleen Brown. 

            The voters of California voted 62% to 38% in favor of Proposition 187, the  so called Save Our State initiative to restrict illegal immigration.  A number of groups including FAIR, the Republican Party,  Zero Population Growth and the Perot organization worked together to qualify the initiative. 

            In 1994 California had a population that is 56.3 % White, 26.3 % Latino, 9.4% Asian, 7.4 % African American, and 0.6% other.  However, according to exit polls, the voters in this election were 80% white, 9% Latino, 7 % African American, and 4 % Asian. Exit polls show that Latinos voted against Prop. 187 by 3 to 1, African Americans split their vote 50 -50, and the Anglo electorate, then the majority, passed the proposition by over 60%.


            On campuses the Chicano/Latino youth mobilized in unprecedented numbers. School walk outs and protests occurred up and down the state – but campus politics could not match the power of enraged, organized, angry voters.   


Make no mistake about it. This was an anti Mexican campaign.  While the Wilson said that he welcomed legal immigrants, the photos, the ads, the letters, the references, and the scapegoating clearly blamed Mexicans for the state’s economic crisis. 


The anti Mexican immigrant campaign of 1994  had far reaching  consequences.  For example, Proposition 186 on the same ballot would have provided a single payer health system for California, but it was defeated by the engaged voters.  In following years similar White voter majorities passed Proposition 209 banning Affirmative Action in California, and Proposition 227 banning bilingual education programs among others.


            Since Trump, blame the immigrant politics is on the Republican voter mobilization agenda once again. They are using the Covid economic crisis and blaming the current California governor for an endless series of problems related to the pandemic – and they are engaging and motivating the dangerous, armed white militarized organizations.  This agitation grows the white supremacy movement in the state and advances Republican politics- the same people who sought to overthrow the U.S. government on Jan.6, 2020. 


    California politics changed in the decade after the 1994  passing of Proposition 187. The Latino vote grew from about 20% of the electorate to 30 %.  A new younger generation of Latinos have now become active and elected leaders.  The growth of the Latino vote produced a major shift as California “Turned Blue,” .  However the harmful national legislation that derived from the Proposition 187 campaign was never repealed.  It remains law. 


  And, bad race baiting politics did not go away.  In a substantive July 27, 2021, poll, some 47% of likely California voters would vote to recall Newsom, while some 50% oppose the recall.  And, the Republican right is much more engaged  and enthused in the campaign than are the Democrats.  A September election will be a low turnout election, which usually means an increased percentage of White voters. To date, the  effort to defeat the recall has been unimaginative.


This  recall campaign could be a decisive turning point similar to the attacks on union workers by then Governor Walker of 2010-2012 in Wisconsin.  With a mobilized  anti immigrant  anti Mexican campaign  a majority of California voters  could turn Republican once again. To avoid this calamity, every union, every progressive organization, every prodemocracy group, and certainly each of the many Latino political organizations should have their members walking precincts, working phone banks, and talking to their neighbors to make certain that a sufficient number of Democrats and independents understand the danger of this recall campaign. 



It is in each of our interests to unite to defeat this recall.


Dr. Duane E. Campbell,

Professor Emeritus. California State U- Sacramento

Co- Chair. Immigrants Rights Working Group,

Democratic Socialists of America