politics

The Potential Latino Attorney General Of California Is Already Gearing Up To Fight Trump

becerra.house.gov / @repbecerra / Instagram

Congressman Xavier Becerra has been representing California’s 34th district, which includes downtown Los Angeles, in the House of Representatives since the early ’90s. After winning his re-election, Becerra was tapped by Governor Jerry Brown to replace Kamala Harris as the next attorney general for California.

If confirmed, Becerra would become California’s first Latino attorney general.


“Xavier has been an outstanding public servant – in the State Legislature, the U.S. Congress and as a deputy attorney general,” said Governor Brown about Becerra in a press release. “I’m confident he will be a champion for all Californians and help our state aggressively combat climate change.”

Becerra was first elected to Congress in 1992 and has since risen to the fourth-highest position in the House of Representatives.

Great day celebrating #ChineseNewYear. I had the best seat in town! #DTLA #Chinatown #mydayinla #lapd

A photo posted by Congressman Xavier Becerra (@repbecerra) on


Becerra, if approved by the state legislature, will be replacing Kamala Harris, who will vacate the attorney general position after being elected to the U.S. Senate. Becerra’s appointment as attorney general means he will finish off the time left from Harris’ appointment, which ends in 2018.

He is eager to accept Gov. Brown’s appointment. Prior to being elected to Congress, Becerra served California as the Deputy Attorney General.


“Governor Brown and our state leaders lean forward when it comes to advancing and protecting the rights and interests of the more than 38 million people in California,” Rep. Becerra said in a press release. “I’m deeply honored by Governor Brown’s confidence in me to serve as our state’s next chief law enforcement officer. It has been an extraordinary privilege to serve my fellow Californians in Congress for the past 24 years, fighting for working families like my parents, and I look forward to continuing that battle as California’s attorney general.”

Becerra, the son of immigrants from Mexico, has already hinted at his willingness to fight against the Trump administration.


“If you want to take on a forward-leaning state that is prepared to defend its rights and interests, then come at us,” Becerra told the LA Times.

“California right now is ahead of the country when it comes to clean energy, commonsense treatment of immigrants, real health security and so much more,” Becerra told The Guardian.


READ: We Didn’t Elect The First Woman President, But We Elected The First Latina Senator

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A Deadly Virus Is Back With A Vengeance And It’s Hitting Our Farmworker Community The Hardest

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A Deadly Virus Is Back With A Vengeance And It’s Hitting Our Farmworker Community The Hardest

UNM / Instagram

Farmworkers face dangerous and even life-threatening conditions each and every day they’re at work. It’s a seriously difficult job to do but so many of our country’s most at-risk people are the ones doing it.

Our nation’s farmworkers face discrimination, refusal of payment, immigration crackdowns, physical injury, and now – according to an NBC report – an outbreak of valley fever.

This outbreak of valley fever has the potential to be deadly for farmworkers.

Credit: @NBCNews / Twitter

A new NBC News report details the story of Victor Gutierrez, who contracted valley fever, a dangerous fungal disease. Victor was suffering from flu-like symptoms – coughing, night sweats, exhaustion, and a strange feeling that he was burning up on the inside. He ignored the symptoms and kept working so that he wouldn’t lose his job but eventually the illness caught up with him and he was struggling to breathe.

The next day, Gutierrez’s lungs filled up with fluid and he felt so sick that he went to a local clinic. This time, they tested him for valley fever, and it came back positive.

He told NBC News: “The nurse called me and told me to rush to the clinic because it was an emergency.” They told him he might only have six months to live.

While Gutierrez managed to beat those odds by taking the antifungal medication fluconazole for more than a year, he has seen valley fever kill many other people he’s known.

The worst of the valley fever outbreak is happening where nearly two-thirds of our nuts and fruits come from – putting a huge amount of workers at risk along with our economy.

Credit: @NBCNews / Twitter

In California, rates of new cases rose 10 percent in just one year. The state budget has $8 million for valley fever research, while about $3 million will go to the Valley Fever Institute at Kern Medical Center, in the heart of the growing threat.

These figures pale in comparison to the actual costs associated with valley fever. In 2011, California spent approximately $2.2 billion in valley fever-related hospital expenses.

Climate change has been singled out as a possible cause for the outbreaks.

Credit: @NBCNews / Twitter

Coccidioidomycosis or cocci (pronounced “coxy”), the fungus that causes valley fever, thrives in dry, undisturbed soil. It becomes airborne when that soil is disturbed – whether it’s by dirt bikes, construction crews, or farmers putting in a new fruit or nut orchard. It can travel on the wind as far as 75 miles away. Years of climate change-fueled drought and a 240 percent increase in dust storms appear to have led to a swift rise in the number of people diagnosed with the illness across the Southwest.

Adding to the threat of valley fever is that 49% of farmworkers are undocumented and unlikely to seek medical care for fear of deportation.

Credit: @NBCNews / Twitter

Like 68 percent of the estimated 800,000 farmworkers in California, Gutierrez was born in Mexico. An estimated 49 percent of the state’s farmworkers lack work authorization and most live under the federal poverty line in unincorporated communities with few public services.

Undocumented residents are far less likely to visit a doctor or a hospital, even for urgent medical care. This puts an already at-risk group of people at greater risk of health complications.

Other’s are forced to make a choice between eating or medicine.

Like many farmworkers who contract the illness, Gutierrez found the cost of the antifungal medication needed to treat valley fever totally unaffordable. At the height of the illness, it cost $1,200 for two months of pills because he had to take two to three times as many as one would if they were treating a typical candida infection.

He didn’t have insurance at the time and said his family often had to choose between food and his medication. He still isn’t able to work regularly and his family mainly survives on the money his wife, Maria, makes in the fields.

People took to Twitter to worry about what this meant for the state and its farmworkers.

Credit: @NBCNews / Twitter

With more than 800,000 at-risk farmworkers, people who work in the fields to help deliver foods to plates across the country, this is an urgent problem.

Valley fever could leave large groups of the community unable to work.

While some offered up first-hand experience on their battle with valley fever.

Credit: @NBCNews / Twitter

Although valley fever is often mild with no symptoms, it has the potential to be deadly – especially in at-risk groups. Symptoms include fatigue, cough, fever, night sweats and can progress to painful skin lesions and fluid-filled lungs.

Thankfully, vaccines are in the works but they won’t be a silver bullet.

Credit: @NBCNews / Twitter

Two vaccines are in the works – at the University of Texas and the University of Arizona – but it’s not clear how close they are to being tested on humans.

Three members of Congress from the Southwest last month introduced a federal bill, the FORWARD Act, in an effort to increase public awareness of the disease while “promoting the development of novel treatments and a vaccine.”

While D.C. Debates Reparations, California Governor Issues The Long Overdue Apology Indigenous People Have Long Awaited

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While D.C. Debates Reparations, California Governor Issues The Long Overdue Apology Indigenous People Have Long Awaited

@ajplus | Twitter

Earlier this week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell issued an appalling statement about reparations toward the African-American community. Reparations are “the making of amends for a wrong one has done, by paying money to or otherwise helping those who have been wronged.” He said that the U.S. should not be responsible for something the country did 150 years ago. While he was bashed on social media for having such an oppressive view about Black people and slavery in the country, we’d like for him to take into account the eloquent speech that was also delivered by a more compassionate politician.

On Tuesday, Gov. Gavin Newsome said he was sorry on behalf of California to the Native American people for how the state wronged them.

The governor spoke at a ceremony at the California Indian Heritage Center near Sacramento. He was alongside tribal leaders who were there for a new commission that will benefit their community.

“It’s called a genocide,” Newsom said, according to the Sacramento Bee. “No other way to describe it… I’m sorry on behalf of the state of California.” He added, “We can never undo the wrongs inflicted on the peoples who have lived on this land that we now call California since time immemorial, but we can work together to build bridges, tell the truth about our past and begin to heal deep wounds.”

Newsome has launched the Truth and Healing Council “to produce a report before the end of 2024 on the historical relationship between the state and Native Americans.”

Tribal leaders that attended the event said they were grateful to hear words of acknowledgment and also said they are ready to know how this council will produce action.

“It’s healing to hear your words, but actions will speak for themselves, and I do look forward to hearing more and seeing more of you,” Erica Pinto, chairwoman of Jamul Indian Village in San Diego County, said according to Reuters.

In 1851, California’s first governor, Peter Burnett said the chilling words in an address “That a war of extermination will continue to be waged between the races until the Indian race becomes extinct must be expected.”

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