Monday, March 19, 2012

Tom Perez: Assistant Attorney General With The Department Of Justice

We mentioned a quote of Mr. Perez at an Advancing Justice Conference in a previous entry that said, "The State of California today is America tomorrow, and I embrace that."

This sparked an interest in finding out what other statements were made during that same conference.  As you read through some of his other remarks, take note of how many times he mentions the words "transformation", "progress" and "restoration". (Our commentary will be in RED)

(Our) mission is to insure that people do not confront discrimination on the basis of citizenship or immigration status. 

I also want to bring greetings on behalf of the President because this has been a wonderful run for the last nine months or so.  I could not feel more honored to serve this President, Barack Obama, whose vision of "ONE AMERICA" is a vision that we all embrace. 

I'm here to deliver one very critical message...the civil rights division of the United States Department of Justice is open for business!

I firmly believe that the civil rights division is the MORAL COMPASS OF OUR NATION.

The work of the civil rights division is to ensure that we TRANSFORM shadows into sunshine so that everybody has an opportunity to realize their heights and best hopes.

We have the opportunity with the President's budget, adopted by Congress, to add 100 new people and those new people will enable us to not only carry out the vision of restoration, but to also implement our TRANSFORMATION because we must continue to ensure that we have the resources to attack the long standing civil rights challenges that have been around forever....

The first case that I did a press release on was a case involving a racist from Oregon who mailed a noose to the head of the NAACP in Ohio in an effort to intimidate him from being an activist in his community.  The more things change, the more things stay the same....

As I was thinking about restoration and transformation, I reflected on what does "advancing justice in the 21st century" mean?  I came up with seven principles that I'd like to discuss with you.

1.  Recognizing that many of the challenges of the 20th century persist with all too great vigor in the 21st century.
.....remember that promise of section 203  which is to ensure that EVERYBODY has access to the ballot is a promise that we can carry out.  (regardless of citizenship status...see his first comment above)

2.  Advancing justice for all.
....making sure that "shadows" are eliminated in their entirety.

3.  There are no buffet lines.
...we can't pick and choose which laws we will enforce.

4.  Use ALL of the tools in our arsenal to advance civil rights.
....must use the tools of outrage so we can explain the laws to prevent things from happening.  Ensuring that we use tools such as regulation and executive order.  (in an effort to circumvent the Constitution)   Litigation cannot be the only tool.    Working with employers so we can explain the law in order to prevent things from occurring.  Working with our non-profit partners to ensure the advancement of justice.  Again, tools that work very well....

5.  Taking partnerships to a new level.
If we are going to successfully complete the census program and ensure that EVERY person in the United States is counted, we must take that partnership to new levels.  We can NOT afford NOT to. 

We must partner with other government agencies.  If we are going to increase opportunities for people with disabilities to live in community settings and not be forced to continue to live in institutions, we must not only work with the DOJ, but we need the help of the Department of Health and Human Services because THEY'RE the money people!  They can bring money to the table!  They can bring expertise to the table.  (The DEPARTMENTS are the money people???  I thought it was the TAXPAYERS!  This is pretty clear evidence that our DOJ is working closely with other departments in order to bring about "change" because they know they are otherwise Constitutionally bound.  Has Congress figured out they are irrelevant yet?)

We need to work with the Department of Housing and Urban Development because you know what?  THEY can bring money to the table!  If we're going to make progress in the many areas of immigration, we need to work with, and HAVE worked with, our partners at the Department of Homeland security.

We're going to make progress in the employment area to address the glass ceiling, we must work with our colleagues at the Equal Employment Commission and our colleagues at the Department of Labor.  If we're going to make progress on human trafficking, we must build those partnerships with the Department of Labor, with the Department of State, and with everyone in government who is involved.  We must work with State governments as well.  I'm proud to be serving with the Attorney General of Illinois (Lisa Madigan)  on a task force addressing lending discrimination.  The mortgage crisis and foreclosure crisis affects everyone in this country but it disproportionally touches communities of color.

6.  Reject the false choices and search for "win-win" solutions to challenges.
....All too frequently, in times of greatest human stress, we have been confronted by those who say "we can either promote our national security, OR protect our civil rights or civil liberties."  (This was the debate during the Senator Pearce recall election.  It's clear, especially after the recall election, which "Republicans" sided with the opinion of the leftist DOJ)  As we move forward on immigration reform, COMPREHENSIVE immigration reform, (It is particularly alarming to see that he emphasized the term "Comprehensive".  The same term that people like Jeff Flake has always liked to use) as the President has outlined, it's about searching for a "win-win" and rejecting those false dichotomies. (Their definition of "win-win" means silencing those with opposing viewpoints by equating them to bigots, extremists and racists) 

7.  Persistence.
...I am absolutely confident that this civil rights division can implement our ambitious agenda of restoration and transformation.