Cowardly Resistance In California

Attacking easy targets, cowering before tough ones.

Every day the California Democratic Party (of which I am a member) proudly reminds the world that it is leading the “resistance.” But every day it fails to resist the most powerful forces affecting the everyday lives of Californians.

For example, at its convention this weekend the party chose to endorse State Assembly Member Tony Thurmond in the contest for Superintendent of Public Instruction. As a member of the legislature Thurmond has toed the line drawn by teachers’ unions, who are California’s most powerful political force and among Thurmond’s biggest supporters. Because Thurmond and a majority of his fellow legislators have toed that line, fewer than half of California’s children meet English standards, even fewer meet math standards, and despite a massive increase in tax revenues schools are laying off staff and limiting salary increases because of exploding spending on unfunded pensions and other retirement costs. Still, my party endorsed him.

The six million children who attend California’s public schools desperately need elected officials with the courage to resist the real forces disrupting their educations. Those forces are in California, not Washington. K-12 education is overwhelmingly a state, not federal, obligation. But most California officials reserve their resistance for Trump, who not only can’t hurt them — if anything, they know an attack by Trump would boost their popularity — but can do next to nothing for K-12 education in California. Some resistance.

Govern For California supports elected officials who walk their talk.

This article originally appeared on Medium, 2/25/18.