Why I’m voting for Betsy Butler for California Assembly

I’ve never written an overtly political blog before now. Given my lineage, I’m overdue.

I grew up in a home that believes in the higher power of politics, the capacity for doing good in government. My parents took my sister to a Robert Kennedy rally when she was a wee newborn. Flash forward twenty years, and I had the good fortune to meet Bill and Hillary Clinton in my parents’ living room when the Arkansas Governor was running for President. (Witnesses will confirm that I found his wife the more impressive. But I digress.) Between these two events, our dinner conversations expounded on assembly campaigns, Retire Ronald Reagan rallies, battles to protect the California coast from oil-drilling, initiatives to ban smoking in public places, and more.

California has an election coming in June. And this family is voting to re-elect Betsy Butler to the California  Assembly.

Now for the why. Yes, Betsy champions my most important values – women’s rights, environmental protection, gay rights, a healthy economy. And yes, she is endorsed by groups whose opinion matters to me – Planned Parenthood, Equality California, California League of Conservation Voters, to name a few. (Click here for more.) But what makes Betsy Butler truly stand out as a candidate is her proven ability to get things done.

It isn’t easy being a California legislator. When she was first running for election in 2010, I asked her (while standing in my parents’ kitchen, of course, following a “meet and greet”) why any sane person would want to be in the California legislature. I was honestly confounded. The state was a mess – no money, failing schools, crumbling infrastructure – so what was the point of going to Sacramento?

It was just the two of us there in the kitchen, no crowd or reporters to impress. She took my question to heart and responded without hesitation that she couldn’t wait to get started fixing the problems. The problems I’d outlined only underscored the urgency for her. She saw California as worthy of being saved, and she wasn’t intimidated by the immense challenges.

Cut to the present. After just a little over a year in the Assembly, Betsy has proved up to the task. A few examples: In her first year in office, she calmly and methodically scaled the mountainous opposition by the chemical industry in her quest to keep babies and toddlers safe from carcinogenic BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups. In 2011, the Governor signed into law her bills to protect elderly persons from fraud and to promote infrastructure for more electric cars. This year she is fighting to ensure basic human rights for farm workers and to maintain funding for local domestic violence prevention programs. (Here’s more of her legislative record, for you die-hards.)

Betsy Butler has strength, intelligence, insight and tenacity. She is a fighter (in tasteful heels) who I want in my corner. She is the no-nonsense, dedicated public servant we all deserve. Betsy has already changed California for the better. I am voting to re-elect Betsy Butler so she can continue to battle on our behalf.

6 thoughts on “Why I’m voting for Betsy Butler for California Assembly

  1. Laura, This is so laudible and these are excellent reasons to support Betsy Butler (love her name). The only difference between me and you is that I am more in favor of having government do the things individuals or groups can’t and leave the doing good to private individuals and organizations of which there are many. I love your dedication to wanting better lives for everyone! Love, Joyce

    • I agree — government has to do the things individuals can’t. Like demand that carcinogens be excluded from baby bottles and sippy cups, or require that farm workers be given water to drink so they don’t die on the job. Because the people who produce baby bottles, or who hire farmworkers, don’t always seem to want to do the right thing on their own.

      I also agree individuals have to stand up to do what they can. That’s why I am grateful for (and support with my time and money) private groups like Beyond Shelter (www.beyondshelter.org) that help homeless families get back into housing, and CLUE-LA (Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice) (http://cluela.org) that advocates for humane and fair treatment for all workers. There are millions of people doing amazing work. Thanks for your comment!

  2. Not to pick at nits, but Betsy Butler hasn’t been endorsed by Planned Parenthood. She’s been endorsed by the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project LA County Action Fund. Planned Parenthood has yet to endorse any candidate in this race.

  3. The Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project Los Angeles County Action Fund is the only Planned Parenthood-affiliated PAC in Los Angeles County, and therefore the only Planned Parenthood entity that would endorse in this race. Betsy is thrilled to get their endorsement and is so deserving of it.

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