Certainly the 6.5 million workers who will receive a raise due to the passage of California’s $15/hr minimum wage bill owe a debt of gratitude to the California Democratic Party for years of struggle over this core principle of economic justice.

That gratitude, however, does not extend to OC’s only Democratic Assembly Member, Tom Daly AD 69 who was one of only two Democrats to oppose the bill.

Just a short while ago, the Democratic Party of OC Central Committee unanimously rebuked Anaheim Council Member Jordan Brandman for his attempts to derail “The People’s Map” in the battle for district-wide elections. As an endorsed Democratic officeholder, the argument went, Brandman should respect and support the Party Platform, even when it ruffled the feathers of his political and financial supporters. If the integrity of the Party structure meant anything, then failure to abide by it’s core principles must have consequences. In the end, Brandman and fellow Council Members Kring and Murray reversed their positions and the new map was unanimously approved.

On April 4, 2016, OC Democrats were once again faced with this same dilemma as Governor Brown signed a bill gradually implementing a pathway to a $15/hr minimum wage by 2022.

The bill was a measured and responsible attempt to better the lives of California’s 2.2 million working poor who struggle each day to provide food, housing and medical care for themselves and their families. This pathway to economic justice was the result of years of hard work by the very core of the Democratic Party and it is enshrined in the State Party Platform. “Support a statewide minimum wage with a path to at least $15 per hour, and then indexed for inflation, and living wages in areas where the increasingly high cost of living and rising inflation renders it impossible to afford the basic necessities of life;” Certainly, Central Committee Members believed, we could count on the support of our sole Democratic Assembly Member, Tom Daly, at this historic moment.

Ah, but such was not to be the case, as Daly instead cast his lot with each and every Assembly Republican and only one other Democratic and voted no. Although representing one of the poorest Districts in California (Anaheim and Santa Ana) he instead chose to take a position right out of the Lincoln Club, Disney and California Restaurant Association playbook, arguing against indexing for inflation and using the tired argument that the bill would cost jobs for the working poor.

Perhaps it is because he has already received the Democratic Party endorsement and faces minimal Republican opposition that he felt it was permissible to oppose a core principle of our Party Platform and to call the CHP on the labor community who were protesting his vote at his office.

Or, perhaps he just wasn’t listening when the Central Committee finally went on record that there will now be some accountability for placing personal political interests ahead of those who worked so hard to place him in office.

In any case, the issue is sure to be dealt with at Monday’s Central Committee meeting.

As with the continuous looting of the Anaheim public coffers by Brandman, Murray and Kring, there comes a time when the progressive community must raise it’s voice and simply say ENOUGH!!!!!!!!!

Jeff LeTourneau serves on the Democratic Central Committee and ran for party chairman in 2013.

Voice of OC is interested in hearing different perspectives and voices. If you want to weigh in on this issue please contact Voice of OC Involvement Editor Theresa Sears at TSears@voiceofoc.org

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