Governor Gray Davis - Digital Library
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Celebrating Diversity: Latino

From day one, Governor Davis has fought to take the edge off the wedge issues that have divided us for too long.

The Governor was deeply honored to establish Cesar Chavez Day in California, the nation's first paid state holiday to honor the legendary farm labor leader.

After years of mistrust and mean spirit, California and Mexico are working together in the spirit of mutual respect.

In addition, Governor Davis signed SB 60, to allow California's large immigrant population the privilege of driving with a state driver's license.

• Increased Funding K-12 - The Governor has increased funding for K-12 schools by $9.6 billion, or 30 percent - the largest increase in California history.

• Raised academic standards - in every classroom, and for all groups of students.

• Increased College Financial Aid - Expanded the largest state run financial aid program in America. The Cal-Grant program guarantees all qualifying high school graduating seniors the financial assistance to pay for college.

• College Admissions - Four-Percent Admissions Program ensures admission at a UC school for the top 4% of students from every high school in California. Since the "Four-Percent" program was implemented in 2001, Latino/Chicano freshman admissions have increased by 38 percent.

Health Care
• Since 1998, the number of Latino children participating in the Healthy Families health insurance program has grown dramatically - from just 24,500 in 1998 to 393,000 today, an increase of 1,600%. Gov. Davis launched a bilingual outreach campaign and received a federal waiver to expand the program to working parents.

• For the first time ever, Blue Shield's Access Baja health program allows workers with health benefits from a U.S. employer to obtain medical services in Mexico.

Governor Davis has:
• Required the Agricultural Labor Relations Board to appoint a neutral mediator in cases of an unresolved labor dispute between farmworkers and management.

• Provided funding for the development of farmworker housing.

• Strengthened regulations of farm labor vehicles and increased the number of unannounced agricultural inspections.

• Required all farm labor contractors to be licensed.

• Acted in record time to assist the victims of the December 1998 Citrus Freeze, which impacted thousands of farmworkers.

La Mano de Amistad
• The Governor has offered the hand of friendship to our neighbor in the South.

• In just four-and-a-half years, the Governor has met with Mexican Presidents 8 times, more than any other Governor in recent history.

• During his tenure, Mexico has become California's largest trading partner.

• The Governor made Justice Carlos Moreno his first - and only - appointment to the California Supreme Court.

• He appointed the first Latina to the California Court of Appeals, Justice Maria Rivera.

• Latinos have made up 13 percent of his judicial appointments - far exceeding that of his predecessors.

• Governor Davis appointed the first Mexican-American woman to ever hold a cabinet position - Secretary of Business, Transportation and Housing Maria Contreras-Sweet.

• He appointed Michael Flores as Secretary of Foreign Affairs, the first Mexican-American to hold that post.

• And, he appointed Dolores Huerta, co-founder of United Farm Workers, as a Regent of the University of California.