By Dolores Huerta. co-founder of the UFW Special to Bilingual Weekly
Sadly, the economy is still tough here in San Joaquin County. We all know far too many people who lost their homes or got laid off through no fault of their own. During difficult economic times, we need strong leaders in Congress who will stand up for what’s right. Jerry McNerney is that kind of leader, and that’s why he’s earned my support in the upcoming election.
I’ve known Jerry for several years now, and he’s a good friend to our community. Jerry’s wife, Mary, is a first-generation Mexican American, and Jerry is committed to the issues that matter most to us. Jerry has brought back millions for our local schools, including almost a million dollars for an after-school program helping children throughout San Joaquin County. Jerry is the leader we need to help our schools fight against deep budget cuts.
Jerry’s also taken on the predatory lenders that have caused so much harm to our families. He voted for the Wall Street Reform bill that cracks down on abusive lending practices and that reins in the Wall Street executives who made so much in profits while families suffered. And right here in San Joaquin County, Jerry has hosted foreclosure prevention workshops to help families stay in their homes.
Unfortunately, Jerry’s opponent – former Wall Street corporate lawyer David Harmer – would be a disaster for us. Harmer touts his ties to extreme right-wing groups, and he’s been endorsed by anti-Latino organizations like the Minutemen. We can’t afford to have him in Congress.
Just as troubling, David Harmer spent his career working as a debt collector and senior executive for notorious predatory lending companies. Harmer signed on as a Vice President for a credit card company that paid millions of dollars in fines, and under his leadership the company charged outrageous fee increases to unsuspecting consumers. Harmer even became a senior executive for a predatory mortgage lender that targeted Latino families.
Most frightening, though, is David Harmer’s extreme views on education. Harmer called for the complete end of our local public schools, even writing an article called “Abolish the Public Schools.” Harmer wrote that, “we need to separate school and state entirely. Government should exit the business of running and funding schools.” If David Harmer had his way, every middle class family in California would have to make a scary choice – sacrifice their kids’ education or pay thousands of dollars to send them to expensive private schools.
The polls show that Jerry is in a close race. Election Day is right around the corner, and it’s important for our community to come together and support Jerry McNerney. I’m proud to call Jerry our Congressman and my friend.
- David Harmer, Republican candidate for CD-11 (sfgate.com)
- Jerry McNerney for District 11 – endorsement (sfgate.com)
- David Harmer, California Tea Party Frontrunner: Abolish Public Schools (huffingtonpost.com)
- SFgate.com Rep. McNerney faces stiff challenge from Harmer (sfgate.com)