SAN FRANCISCO -- March 15 -- California State Treasurer Phil Angelides today appeared with family, friends, and hundreds of supporters to announce his candidacy for Governor of California.
Angelides kicked off his campaign at San Francisco's Spring Valley Science Magnet School, California's oldest public school still open today, which was attended by his father, Jerry, in the 1920s and 30s, after the Treasurer's grandparents emigrated from Greece. The San Francisco event was the first stop in a five-day, 19-city tour, during which Angelides will rally thousands of supporters across the state, from Eureka to Calexico.
Standing with his wife Julie, their three daughters, Megan, Christina, and Arianna, and joined by his parents, Angelides pledged to honor the sacrifices of his grandparents, parents, and previous generations of Californians by "keeping the faith with our children" and creating "a California that leads the nation and the world once again - a California that's still a frontier of opportunity."
"The California dream is in jeopardy. We're not keeping the faith. And here, in the shadow of my own family's dream - here, in the nerve center of American vision and innovation - here in what is still the great American frontier, the native home of hope and opportunity - I announce my candidacy for Governor of the State of California."
Angelides vowed to lead California on the "high road to prosperity - where we have the most livable cities, the cleanest environment, and the best-educated workers, so we can compete for and win the high-wage jobs of the future."
At the outset, Angelides' campaign has already attracted broad-based support from Democrats across the State, including many of the Party's most vibrant leaders. Angelides announced today that United States Senator Barbara Boxer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi will serve as Honorary Co-Chairs of his gubernatorial campaign.
Senator Boxer enthusiastically endorsed Angelides, saying he has "The power of ideas, the power of conviction, the power of values - deep moral values. He stood with me when no one thought I could win. He believed in me, made history with me."
In endorsing Angelides, House Democratic Leader Pelosi praised Angelides' experience as a civic leader and successful businessmen, "Phil Angelides is a person of great integrity and intellect. He's an innovative thinker; he was an entrepreneur in business before he came into the political world. He has great experience that will serve the people of California very well."
Over the past year and a half, Treasurer Angelides has consistently stood up to Governor Schwarzenegger because of his belief that the Governor's policies are wrong for California. Angelides pledged to wage a campaign of contrasts, offering a clear choice at the very time when a majority of Californians believe the State is on the wrong track, as the Governor pursues increasingly divisive policies. "It's easy to view any statewide race as a fight over potholes and practicalities. This race is much, much bigger than that. It's a choice between two vastly different visions of our future; two sharply opposing sets of values."
In his address, Angelides took particular issue with the Governor's massive deficit borrowing and cuts to education - and promised to stop the Governor from "bringing the Bush-Cheney policies of debt, division, and diminished opportunity back home to our California."
Before being elected as California's Treasurer, Angelides built a successful business, meeting a payroll and creating jobs. In the private sector, Angelides demonstrated, as he also would as Treasurer, that one could do well and do right at the same time. Among his many business ventures, he planned and built a pioneering smart-growth community that earned national recognition for its environmental responsibility and its innovative approach to the creation of more livable communities.
Angelides was inaugurated as California's Treasurer in 1999, the only elective office he has held. During just six years in public office, Angelides has gained a reputation as an innovative national leader and has earned widespread praise for his actions as State Treasurer. He has led the fight to curb excesses in corporate boardrooms and to restore the integrity of our financial system in order to protect taxpayers, families and pensioners. He's led the State to invest in California's neglected communities, creating jobs, housing and solid financial returns. He's pushed the State to invest in technologies that clean up the environment and combat global warming, and has spearheaded initiatives to ensure environmentally responsible, smarter growth for California. And he's consistently fought against irresponsible deficit borrowing, and for budgets that are balanced, that are fair, and that protect critical investments in our people and our future.
Angelides promised that as Governor he will continue his lifelong fight for the values of responsibility, fairness, and opportunity, "Instead of passing on every nickel of debt, every failure to confront the cold fiscal facts, I will balance California's budget, so we can invest in the promise of the future again."
Angelides acknowledged that he had no illusions about the difficulty of the campaign ahead. However, throughout his life, Angelides has always looked to his heart instead of the polls, and never shied away from making tough choices and standing up for his principles.
Angelides didn't shy away from another big challenge in 1991 when he became the unpaid Chair of the California Democratic Party after Democrats had lost six straight presidential campaigns in California and three consecutive gubernatorial elections. Angelides succeeded in rejuvenating the Party's grassroots and helped Bill Clinton become the first Democratic presidential candidate to win the state in 28 years, despite the fact that President George H.W. Bush had a 91 percent approval rating when Angelides took the party's reins. With Angelides' leadership, California also became the first state in history to elect two women to the United States Senate.
Angelides concluded his speech with a pledge to Californians:
"I will stand up for you every day. I will give everything I have to make this state the home to your hopes, your own California dream.
"So I ask you to work with me, for a California that serves the many, and not just the few. I ask you to join with me, for a California future as bold and bountiful as our potential. I ask you to lead with me, for a California that lifts up all who have been left out, or locked out, or left behind.
"We're going to win this race. And then we're going to go on and win something much greater - for our children, and their children to follow."