This past week was filled with many exciting things for me from the November elections to Vice President Joe Biden coming to Colton, to the African American surgeons holding a panel discussion at UC Riverside and finally the local NAACP Annual Freedom Fund Dinner in San Bernardino.
With Cheryl Brown seeking re-election to the Assembly in the 47th District (which serves Colton) she was on stage with Vice President Joe Biden to bring remarks on behalf of Congressional candidate Pete Aguilar. She did a wonderful job as did VP Biden in representing the democratic efforts to get out the vote this Tuesday. As her husband, I was so proud of her as she enthusiastically pumped up the crowded Colton High School gymnasium supporters.
It was a rainy morning but people braved the rain for the opportunity to hear speakers: Mayor Deborah Robertson of Rialto, Mayor Sarah Zamora of Colton, Colton School Board Member Dan Flores, Secretary of State candidate Senator Alex Padilla, Mayor Pete Aguilar of Redlands running for Congress and non-elected officials like senate candidate Connie Leyva, AFL/CIO Executive Secretary and Treasurer Laurie Stalnaker, Chair San Bernardino County Democratic Party Chris Robles, and Vice Chair California Democratic Party Eric Bauman. Rev. Ray Turner of Temple Missionary Baptist Church offered the invocation with songs performed by New Hope Missionary Baptist Church all from San Bernardino.
Afterwards, I attended Opening Doors, a panel discussion by African American surgeons held at the University of California, Riverside to educate students on careers in medicine.
Thursday of last week, Willie Brown of San Francisco, yes the longest serving speaker of the State Assembly and mayor of San Francisco was the keynote speaker for the NAACP Freedom Fund Dinner. He laid out from memory the struggle to gain civil rightsleading up to the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Those who lived through it and those hearing it for the first time were enlightened to the African American struggle towards freedom in America. I use the word “towards” because we are not there yet.
The Civil Rights Act involves: Title 1, Voting Rights; Title 2, Public Accommodations; Title 3, Desegregation of Public Facilities; Title 4, Desegregation of Public Education; Title 5, Civil Rights Commission; Title 6, Nondiscrimination in Federally Assisted Programs; Title 7, Equal Employment Opportunity; Title 8, Registration and Voting Statistics; Title 9, Intervention and Removal of Cases and Title 10, Community Relations Service.
My life has been impacted greatly by this law because I lived through this transitional period and had the good fortune of having responsibility to develop and implement Title 7 Equal Employment Opportunity Programs at Kaiser Permanente Medical Program of Southern California and Fontana specifically. As a school board member I helped adopt policies that improved the recruiting and hiring of minority employees in San Bernardino and at Valley College.
Lastly, I want to introduce my newly appointed pastor at St. Paul AME Church in San Bernardino, Rev. Norman Copeland. We have known one another for a long time and his son was hired under the Kaiser Summer Youth Program some 30 years ago. In addition to his pastoral duties, he will be a great leader in the community. He is a champion for social justice and community development.
Welcome Pastor Copeland and please come by to give him a warm greeting. Before you ask, Rev. Larry Campbell now can call Pasadena home. We will miss him greatly.