I have a personal stake in this year’s gubernatorial campaign, because my
dad, Treasurer Phil Angelides, is running for governor. You don’t have to
know my dad to know the damage Gov. Schwarzenegger has done to this
state–the attacks on nurses, teachers and firefighters, the attempts to
raise college tuition and turn qualified students away from college
altogether, and the endless protection of every special-interest loophole
and tax break on the books.
But if you know my dad, you know how much he cares about progressive
politics, about making government work for ordinary people, about standing
up to powerful corporations and special interests, then you realize why this
election is so important. It’s a choice between keeping the Schwarzenegger
agenda of debt, division, and diminished opportunity in the statehouse, and
having a government that really represents us–all of us–again.
My dad’s grandparents came to this country as Greek immigrants, with no
money and no education. They had to make their own way. And my two sisters
and I were raised to believe in helping others, to believe that you don’t
just climb the ladder and saw off the bottom rungs.
That’s why my dad, after a successful career in the private sector, became
chairman of the California Democratic Party, at a time when people had all
but written off the Democratic Party.
As treasurer, he hasn’t tried to help big special interests, he’s taken them
on: getting the state to dump all of its tobacco stocks, and end its
investments in companies that use sweatshop labor or child labor; investing
in neglected communities and investing in technologies that clean up the
It was that same spirit of service my father instilled in us that led me to
join the Peace Corps after graduating from UC Davis. I was sent to Senegal,
West Africa, where I became extremely close with my village of 130 people,
and helped educate them about malaria, AIDS, malnutrition, and the
importance of educating children–especially young girls.
After returning home from Africa, I went to work coordinating volunteers for
Howard Dean’s Presidential campaign. Working day and night to try to change
the direction of this country, I felt like I was part of a movement, and I
We need that movement to grow in California, because our state is going in
the wrong direction.
My dad stood up to Gov. Schwarzenegger, from the first day he took
office–he’s even been called the “anti-Arnold,” and I’m proud of that. He
stood up to the Governor’s attacks on nurses, teachers, firefighters, and
police officers and joined with the Alliance for a Better California in
defeating Schwarzenegger’s Special Election agenda. Now, groups like the
California Professional Firefighters, the California Federation of Teachers,
and over 20 law enforcement organizations are supporting his candidacy for
He has fought hard for increased educational opportunities for young
Californians. As Treasurer, he’s stood up to those who seem to view higher
education as just another piggy bank they can raid for political purposes.
He stood up when the Governor tried to raise tuition and fees at UC and CSU
and community colleges and proposed cutting financial aid at California’s
public universities–and now groups like the California Young Democrats are
supporting my dad.
Thanks in part to my dad’s opposition, we stopped the governor from turning
away 22,000 young people from higher education for the first time in our
state’s history. We stopped him from eliminating outreach programs for
disadvantaged students–programs that make opportunity real for allour
And my dad recently unveiled a sweeping plan to renew California’s
commitment to college opportunity for all by ensuring that for all young
Californians who study hard, make the grades, and want to go to college,
California will do its part by helping them achieve their dreams. As
Governor, my dad will roll back all of Schwarzenegger’s steep tuition
increases, Schwarzenegger’s tax on education.
A contest between Phil Angelides and Arnold Schwarzenegger would be a
contest between two vastly different visions for the future of this state.
It would be a choice between two different visions of what makes a strong
society – trickle-down versus lifting our people up, running down our public
schools versus building them up, and slamming the doors to higher education
versus opening the doors to college wider than ever.
With leaders like Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, House
Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Assembly Speaker Fabian N