State senator brings words of encouragement


Summer Pagán

Senator Kevin de Leon as he speaks to crowds in Main Street Bistro.

Summer Pagán, Staff member

California state senator Kevin de León carried on with the discussion of protecting refugees and undocumented immigrants during a visit to DVC’s cafeteria on March 16.

Having the state come together to become a “beacon of hope” and continuing to uplift diversity in California was one of the main ideas that Senator de León shared on Thursday.

Crowds gathered in Main Street Bistro as they heard the district’s chancellor and two California senators speak on behalf of how the state plans to support communities.

“Following last year’s fall election, our country in particular California, we’re seeing and experiencing a life very different than it was before,” said Fred Wood, the chancellor of the Contra Costa Community College District, as he asserted challenges the Muslim, immigrant and LGBT+ community face daily.

Wood continued by acknowledging how those communities could possibly be supported by the “California Values Act” – SB 54, which is in alignment with Resolution 1-S.

As Sen. de León took the stage, he explained the possible outcomes of SB 54, released a positive attitude to the future of the country and responded to public questions and comments.

In response to President Trump being elected to office, de León said, “Donald Trump may have won the presidency of the United States but he hasn’t changed our values of who we are as a great state.”

After a brief introduction of his beliefs and plans for the state, de Leon replied to public comments with the best of his ability.

DVC student Hassam Jawaid asked the senator, “What good ultimately is a sanctuary state when you can’t afford to live in it?”

Jawaid carried on as he highlighted his concern, “The cost of living is skyrocketing in cities across California. Every day we’re seeing more and more homeless people, and the state level governments are doing nothing about it.”

In reply, the senator was disappointed by the amount of money that is being used to jail those who are mentally ill or homeless instead of helping them survive by living.

He described a $2 billion budget for building urban housing for homeless persons with mental illnesses as a possible solution to the problem.

Although many Californians are still concerned with the future of the state and country, the state’s senate team only plans for the better during the next four years and longer.

“California has always been a place where you can be whoever you are and become whoever you dream of being. We celebrate who we are. We celebrate diversity. We don’t deport it, we don’t ban it and we don’t wall it off,” Sen. De Leon said.