Labor Council Head Lorena Gonzalez: ‘San Diego Progressives Have a Lot to Be Thankful For’

by on November 16, 2012 · 2 comments

in California, Economy, Election, Labor, Organizing, San Diego

Lorena Gonzalez speaking at the Rally for the Jobless, Labor Day 2011. (Photo by Frank Gormlie.)

By Lorena Gonzalez

San Diego’s progressive community has a lot to be thankful for this November. We passed Proposition 30, defeated Proposition 32, took down Brian Bilbray and elected Bob Filner our next mayor! And for good measure, we elected Dave Roberts as the first Democrat and first fresh blood of any kind on the county Board of Supervisors in two decades.

In the process, we swept through dozens of school board and city council races across the region and elected leaders like Dr. Shirley Weber to continue the good work in Sacramento – now with a supermajority that has the ability to break the stranglehold of Grover Norquist’s no-tax pledge.

When we started the A Better San Diego coalition, this was exactly the moment I was hoping for. We have a tremendous opportunity now to fundamentally change how business is done in San Diego, and that opportunity only exists because of the progressive coalition that came together like never before in this election.

We now have a singular opportunity to empower communities that have been neglected for far too long, and demonstrate what progressive policies can accomplish. Our electoral victories are a tremendous success, but we’ve only just begun. Now we face the challenge of turning these opportunities into stronger communities and a durable coalition that can be transformative in San Diego.

This is an opportunity to push for full equality and fair treatment for all workers. It’s an opportunity to provide meaningful infrastructure investment in struggling neighborhoods and bring communities of color into our civic conversation. It’s a chance to invest in smart transit options, protect our environment, and make sure the jobs we create renew communities instead of threaten them. It’s a chance to make sure everyone has access to sufficient health care and affordable housing, and ensure that San Diego provides our children with the best possible opportunity to succeed.

With an unprecedented coalition, we built that chance. Thank you.

Lorena Gonzalez is Secretary-Treasurer, San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Frances O'Neill Zimmerman March 30, 2023 at 4:28 pm

A lot of Democrats have drowned in water under the bridge since Lorena Gonzalez wrote this hopeful piece ten years ago. But Lorena is still standing and I personally hope she will reassess her situation and our need and carry on.

Included in the flotsam and jetsam are failed political careers of Democrats that Lorena’s essay mentions as up-and-comers — Bob Filner and Dave Roberts, who are followed by other lesser Democratic flame-outs such as Myrtle Cole, Kevin Bieser and County Democratic Party chairman David Rodriguez. Today Lorena’s shape-shifting spouse County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher joins the long list of fallen. Lorena Gonzalez reportedly has transferred a bunch of her own campaign cash to Fletcher’s now-abandoned State Senate bid. Maybe she can recover it. I hope she will and will use it to move on.

Governor Newsom, no fan of Lorena Gonzalez’s A.B. 5 that infuriated exploitive gig economy entrepreneurs, artfully side-stepped Lorena’s publicly-stated intention to run for Secretary of State when he found himself in the catbird seat of appointer-in-chief.

Kamala Harris had resigned her U.S. Senate seat ( to which Newsom earlier appointed her after Senator Barbara Boxer retired) to become Biden’s Vice President of the United States. Newsom then named CA Secretary of State Alex Padilla to fill Harris’ Senate post. Finally in this circle game, Newsom named Lorena’s Assembly colleague Shirley Weber to be Secretary of State, a tough job in a difficult time that she has performed admirably. So Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez — termed out, re-districted and recovering from cancer treatments and surgery — hired on as head of the California Federation of Labor.

Governor Newsom made two solid appointments; checked off diversity, equity and inclusion boxes for himself; got Assemblywoman Weber out of the Legislature where she’d been making trouble for him with criticism and demands from his allies, the powerful California Teachers Association; and he also seemed to have blocked rebel Lorena Gonzalez’s intended path onward and upward.

As I said at the beginning, I hope that isn’t true. People with promise and grit like Lorena should keep on keeping on in the elective arena.


Frances O'Neill Zimmerman March 31, 2023 at 11:45 am

Please correct the record: I mis-named the resigned and disgraced San Diego Democratic Party chairman as David Rodriguez. The correct name is Will Rodriguez-Kennedy.


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