To my fellow Angelenos and residents of the 51st Assembly District:
I’m Dr. Ron Birnbaum, a physician in Los Angeles who has dedicated his career to giving all members of our community access to quality healthcare. I have seen the savage injustice of our health care system firsthand. I have seen the inhumanity that forces families to make wrenching decisions between paying for medications and paying for food and rent. We spend twice as much as most other nations on healthcare but get heartbreaking results, and it’s even worse in California. I can no longer just toil on the sidelines and instead declare, with this great central purpose of reforming healthcare, my run to represent you in the California Assembly.
As the son of Argentinian immigrants, I want to protect what California and this nation have given me: a chance to freely pursue the American Dream. My parents taught me that a citizen in a democracy must take part in a public life: I am a proud Navy veteran, a union member, a feminist (like my mom), and an activist with a record of success that comes from an iron resolve to serve people and do what is right for them. As a leader in the Los Angeles County healthcare safety net, I worked tirelessly to transform a broken system so that families and all people had access to vital health services, including the impoverished, immigrant communities, communities of color, women, our homeless brothers and sisters, and members of the LGBT community.
Because too many hardworking families still don’t have a livable income, I will fight to raise the minimum wage, and make housing affordable. I will make sure we protect and energize local small businesses and ones throughout the state so they can be the engines of hiring and rising wages. I will support unions because where unions thrive, the middle-class grows and thrives. Our federal government is threatening honest, hardworking people – immigrants like my mom and dad – in our state with cruel and vindictive practices that tear apart families. As a father of three children I love – I won’t stand for it. I will protect our families in our community and state.
We are not doing enough for the most vulnerable among us, and when we have skyrocketing healthcare costs, there is no way all people – including the poor, the working-class, and the middle class – can aspire to the American Dream that brought my parents here: to work hard so that our family could have a warm, safe home and their kids an education that reflected their love and hopes for me and my brother. If you send me to Sacramento as your Assemblymember, you will get a champion for universal health care NOW who knows how the system works, who will drive the state legislatures to pass and implement the Healthy California Act, and who has the experience to make sure our healthcare plan is the best in the world. I will not be the only candidate who supports universal healthcare, but I will be the candidate best able to make it happen because I can speak to the issue with depth and passion.
I know how to get this job done, and I won’t rest until it’s done. We are a community of believers – people who believe in fighting for economic and social justice, for policies based on evidence and science, for caring about the lives of other human beings, and enacting progressive policies that benefit everyone. So with humility I ask for your vote and support for our bold, inclusive progressive vision for the 51st District and for California. Join me in making our 51st district a beacon to the state and the nation.
Your friend and neighbor,