Pamela Price, a candidate for the open seat in 15th Assembly District, recently spoke with members of the Marin African-American Professional Network (MAAPN).
The talk was earlier this month at the Embassy Suite Hotel in San Rafael. The 15th Assembly District covers 12 cities, East Bay cities, including Albany, Berkeley, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Emeryville, Hercules, Kensington, Piedmont, Pinole, Richmond, San Pablo, and parts of Oakland.
Price is running for that position, she says, because of her lifelong commitment to “fight for civil rights, to make lives better, to make society fair, and to find solutions for real people.”
Price says she understands how broad and diverse the 15 District is. While this diversity is positive, it presents many challenges that need to be addressed, such as gender inequality, how to support small businesses, how to provide to provide youths with jobs and what to do enhance non-violent solutions to conflicts.
Price sees the surplus in the California budget as an opportunity to fund and “reinvest in our justice system, our cities, and to repair the safety net that has been torn asunder.”
“We need to provide services, and (find) ways to pay for those services,” she said. “We need to change our tax structure. We need to tax people who are not paying taxes. We need to start looking at loopholes that are there that do not benefit the people but benefit corporations.”
Price talked about how education changed her life.
Price was 13 years old when she was arrested tracked into the Juvenile justice and foster care system. She dropped out of high school at 17 because she was working at two jobs to pay the rent.
Price was working in a factory when she was accepted to Yale University on a scholarship.
While at Yale, one of Price’s professors asked her to sleep with him in his office. If she did, she would receive an A for the course. Price reported the incident, which became a part of an investigation into sexual harassment of female students at Yale.
The investigation led to a class-action lawsuit entitled Alexander v. Yale (1980), which established that that sexual harassment of female students could be considered sex discrimination, and therefore illegal.
They lost the case. But Price learned from that experience about organizing, creating a huge coalition and fund-raising, and about standing for a cause and for other people. This led her become a lawyer
“When I go to Sacramento, I will stand and deliver,” said Price, who is a civil rights attorney.