For Immediate Release
Official Campaign Statement
Over recent weeks, I have faced a significant amount of criticism and allegations of anti-semitism. The allegations stem from Facebook posts and comments that I made in the context of debates over Palestinian rights. I always have been, and will continue to be, a strong support of Palestinian rights of self-determination, economic development, and a peaceful coexistence with Israel.
As a candidate for public office, I recognize that I must be more careful about the language and imagery that I deploy in the context of this debate. I want to be clear that I am strongly opposed to anti-semitism, just as I am opposed to ideologies that seek to ignore and downplay the suffering of the Palestinian people. My sincere hope is that progressives can unify to call out hatred wherever it appears. Recognizing the fundamental dignity and right to respect of Arab, Muslim, and Palestinian peoples ought to be a serious priority for the progressive movement at this time.
To the extent that we must seek better dialogue and discourse surrounding issues in the Muslim and Arab worlds, I also recognize that we must do better when we talk about the Jewish community as well. It is unfair to conflate the Jewish people with the Likud government. It is important that valid criticisms of Israel do not become criticisms of the Jewish people.
To that end, I apologize for my heated rhetoric that has caused offense to many. Louis Farrakhan has made awful statements about the LGBT community and Jewish people, among many other populations. Growing up in Lynwood and Compton, I have seen Farrakhan as a unique figure that spoke out for black and brown communities in a unique way. Yet in recent weeks I have seen the genuine pain and anger that Farrakhan caused for many Jewish and LGBT people. As a result, I understand that I must more clearly denounce the hateful language used by Farrakhan - and that this language must clearly and unequivocally be disavowed. The conduct of the California Democratic Party and party chair, Eric Bauman, and the Democratic party as a whole with regard to right-wing Israeli politics still disturbs me.
As I transition from a progressive activist to a public figure and candidate for elected office, I understand that I must recognize the wider impact that my words and actions have and will do better in the future.
We, as progressives, must unite to take down Speaker Anthony Rendon. Rendon stopped SB 562, denying healthcare to millions, in the district with the highest rate of uninsured children in Los Angeles county, and some of the worst environmental conditions in the state. Rendon betrayed his constituents and voted for an underfunded Exide cleanup that exposes children and families to toxic poisoning from pollution- all to protect a billion-dollar corporation. Now, Rendon has introduced new legislation to expand the influence of money in politics when he co-sponsored AB84. We must not allow this bill to move forward.
As my campaign to replace him continues, I hope to continue to listen to and work with the voices that have been critical of me. I hope that together we can develop a more productive and inclusive dialogue for all of the diverse voices within our movement.
I hope to count on your continuing support as we move forward to November.