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My mother, Isabel Bravo, is a proud member of a public employees union.  While we didn't have much growing up, seeing her fighting alongside her co-workers for better wages, benefits, and working conditions instilled a great respect for the right of workers. The income security and improved retirement benefits union members can gain through organizing are especially important today given these uncertain economic times.

Unfortunately, our current labor law is still structured based on the economy of the 20th Century and far too often favors big business and corporations rather than the workers it should be protecting.  I've seen first-hand the struggle workers are forced to go through when they attempt to organize to have a voice at their workplace.  All too frequently, workers' efforts to join a union are quashed by management's union-busting campaigns built around misinformation, intimidation, and threats of termination.  This is unacceptable.  We need to update our labor law to accurately reflect the realities of the modern workplace and to once again protect workers' rights.

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I'd like to thank everyone who read and commented on my first diary.  It's a pleasure to be able to interact with such a vibrant online community and I hope to continue that while I campaign for the House seat in CA's 32nd congressional district.  You can visit my campaign site at

As I write this post, we are on the verge of passing the stimulus package, which now totals to about $789 billion — $719 billion, if you don't include the AMT provision — and it's a relief to see that the Republican posturing about fiscal responsibility won't stop this badly needed funding.  The rate and size of these job losses are unseen in my lifetime, and any policy that stems these losses must come soon.

However, negotiations in the conference committee have not restored the state aid to its previous levels.

From the New York Times:

Despite intense lobbying by governors, the final deal slashed $35 billion from a proposed state fiscal stabilization fund, eliminated $16 billion in aid for school construction and sharply curtailed health care subsidies for the unemployed.

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My name is Emanuel Pleitez and I am running for Congress in California’s 32nd Congressional District, which is being vacated by Labor Secretary nominee Hilda Solis.

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