Suzette Martinez Valladares | Protecting Our Communities

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

These past two weeks have marked crucial deadlines for bills to pass through their house of origin in the California Legislature – either the state Senate or state Assembly. Hundreds of bills are being heard, and California policy is ever-evolving. 

One particular vote that turned heads was Assembly Bill 2641. This bill would allow California law enforcement to work with their federal counterparts to deport convicted child rapists and sex traffickers who are in this country illegally. It seems like a no-brainer, right? Apparently not.

Local Assemblywoman Pilar Schiavo, D-Chatsworth, decided not to support the bill for reasons unclear to anyone. That will be her burden to explain the inexplicable, but nevertheless, her votes are her prerogative. Schiavo is no friend to public safety and famously protested prior to getting elected to defund the Los Angeles Police Department and told LAPD officers to quit.

This anti-public-safety stance by some on the left, including Schiavo, highlights a deep divide in our society between that extreme versus the mainstream of Democrats, Republicans and independents who are tired of placing the values of convicted criminals above those of victims.

My mom was a John F. Kennedy Democrat. Kennedy was president well before I was born, and Generation X, Z, Y, and Millennials mostly know about Kennedy through history books. But what I know about what that label meant is that it was someone who stood for justice, supported public safety as the primary role of government, and had the compassion to care for the victims and those less fortunate. Those values were what drew my mother to President Kennedy. That looks very different from the policies and values coming out of Sacramento, and it’s the source of a growing divide – between extremists and the mainstream.

State Sen. Susan Eggman, a Democrat representing the Stockton area, took to the Senate floor to call out these extremists, who would put felons in this country illegally over child victims, and said, “I’m done. I’m done with us protecting people who would buy and abuse our children.”

Eggman is speaking for the mainstream. When Schiavo didn’t support that bill to deport child rapists, she was speaking for the extreme.

These extreme versus mainstream battles are happening every day in Sacramento, in our state Capitol, and impacting our lives and safety here in Santa Clarita every year. These policies are damaging our future.

Getting back to former President John F. Kennedy, Kennedy Democrats, and what drew millions of young people like my mom to his approach, was how he gave hope for the future, breaking up the dogmatic ideologues on the extremes – particularly the far left — and charting a new path forward. One of my favorite quotes of his is, “Let us not despair but act. Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix blame for the past – let us accept our own responsibility for the future.”

If we can begin there, then the extremists whose votes endanger our safety will find themselves out of power. Beginning one vote at a time, we can get back to protecting victims and finding the right answers to our problems.

 Suzette Martinez Valladares

Santa Clarita

Related To This Story

Latest NEWS