OCEA in the Register
OCEA writes columns in the Orange County Register about issues impacting working people.
Justice for all? Or just those at the top of county courts
October 6, 2017
The image is universal and has been the central focus of countless movies and TV shows—a black-robed judge seated behind a bench, empowered to oversee the application of the laws of our state. It’s also a reality seen every day inside the five regional justice centers in Orange County. But there is much more to the administration of justice than what we usually see on a television or theater screen.
Lack of health care access a gateway to homelessness
September 22, 2017
Headlines about homelessness increasing in Orange County appear regularly in the media these days, along with images of riverbed encampments and stories about crime, hope, the lack of affordable housing and the need for a stronger safety net.
Union members laboring for disaster victims
September 8, 2017
This week is Labor Day week. Labor Day became a national holiday in 1894, and before that had been unofficially celebrated for years in support of the role labor unions play in achieving advances in the working lives of Americans, including weekends, overtime, paid holidays, and health and retirement benefits. It has traditionally been a time of parades, community events and family-centered celebrations.
Bring county contracts out of the shadows
August 25, 2017
Orange County voters are notoriously alert when it comes to watching out for their tax dollars. So voters here might be both surprised and dismayed to find out that our county has been a poster child for insider deals and rigged bidding processes that have awarded lucrative deals to campaign donors and cronies of high-ranking officials. Assembly Bill 1250 will bring county contracts out of the shadows, allowing the public and the news media to scrutinize them in the light of day. A one-month window remains for the Legislature to pass bills and Gov. Brown to sign them this year. Protecting taxpayers from waste with AB1250 should top their priority list.
Reining in predatory pharmaceutical drug prices
August 11, 2017
I’ll bet every Orange County Register reader knows someone who relies on prescription medication to stay alive. Whether they’re fighting cancer, controlling high blood pressure or diabetes, treating an auto immune disease or a bout with pneumonia, access to medication is just as critical as food and water for many in our communities.
Put democratic process ahead of partisan politics
July 28, 2017
Last month the Orange County Board of Supervisors quietly voted to reject a new model for voting in our county elections that would have saved taxpayers millions of dollars and expanded access to voting.
Honoring those who sacrificed for our county and country
July 14, 2017
The Orange County Fair opens today—this year with some new educational opportunities that highlight the roles of the working men and women who helped build our great county and country.
Supervisors vote against democracy
June 23, 2017
The right to vote is one of the building blocks of democracy. It’s one of the key ways “We the People” participate in our self-governance. Voting enables us to reflect our values in the representatives we choose and the issues we face. Simply and clearly, in a democracy our vote is our voice.
Petition is bait-and-switch that won’t repeal gas tax
June 9, 2017
You can hear the lie all over AM radio: “Sign this petition and repeal the gas tax,” or “Stop the car tax.” The same message is being peddled by paid signature gatherers at drug stores, markets and public facilities.
Memorial Day binds Americans together
May 26, 2017
Our national holidays can provide every American an opportunity to at least for a day put aside our differences and remember those things that bind us together as a nation. Memorial Day does that.