LOS ANGELES — Latino immigrant rights leaders are responding to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s veto of SB 60 with a joint mobilization to defeat all Schwarzenegger-backed propositions in the Nov. 8 election. The bill would provide driver’s licenses for over 2 million undocumented workers here.

Shortly after Schwarzenegger vetoed the license measure on Oct. 7, Los Angeles Democratic leaders, state Sen. Gil Cedillo and Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez called on immigrant rights supporters to join with other labor and civil rights organizations to defeat the governor’s Propositions 74, 75, 76 and 77 in the statewide special election. These measures would limit teacher job rights, union campaign contributions, state funding of schools and other services, and would reapportion congressional districts.

Service Employees International Union Local 1877 President Mike Garcia and Mexican American Political Association (MAPA) President Nativo Lopez joined Cedillo at a rally in downtown Los Angeles on Oct. 9. Hundreds attended — supporting the continuous struggle for immigrant driver’s licenses and to defeat the four propositions.

“The people need driver’s licenses. They are workers, not terrorists, and deserve respect and dignity,” said Cedillo, who pledged to reintroduce the bill as many times as it takes to get it passed. “Broken promises” are unacceptable, he said. “On Nov. 8, we will vote no on Propositions 74, 75, 76 and 77!”

Nativo Lopez of MAPA said the Latino community, immigrants and citizens, should help build a huge turnout to defeat the Schwarzenegger agenda and build a stronger base to eventually win the battle for driver’s licenses for the undocumented workers.

The veto of the license measure “is part of the antilabor, anti-community, anti-Latino and anti-immigrant agenda of Gov. Schwarzenegger” that he is also pushing in the four propositions, said Garcia, the leader of the “Justice for Janitors” union. He called for defeating the propositions because “we need to take joint action to win respect. … This governor is the exterminator of our hopes and the future of our children.”

Miguel Resendi, who attended the rally, told the La Opinion newspaper here that in November 2004 he had been driving four years without a license. The license “is something we need for our families to have dignity,” he said. The denial of licenses “will change when we have someone in power who realizes we are people of worth in this country,” Resendi added.

Recently, a new coalition has been initiated to get out the vote against the propositions focusing on the Latino community. A “No On Arnold” rally to kick off the effort is planned Oct. 27 at 4 p.m. in Pershing Square, downtown Los Angeles.

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