ICYMI: Aguilar Publishes Op-ed in the Press Enterprise on His Record of Working Across the Aisle to Deliver Results for the Inland Empire
October 2, 2014
San Bernardino, CA – Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar, Democratic candidate for Congress in California’s 31st district, published an op-ed in the Press Enterprise today discussing his record of working with both Republicans and Democrats and why this experience is needed in Congress to end the dysfunction and deliver results for San Bernardino County.
The op-ed can be seen here or read below:
Can’t We All Just Get Some Work Done?
By Pete Aguilar
It’s no secret that Republicans and Democrats in Washington have not been getting along.
Constant bickering and political posturing by both sides has been the rule, rather than the exception, for quite some time.
The American people are frustrated, and rightfully so, with Congress. But the root of the frustration is not in Congress’ inability to play nice, but in their inability to work together to get things done for the people they are supposed to represent. They are failing all of us.
No one expects Republicans and Democrats to agree on everything, but we expect that they will do the job they were sent to Washington to do.
Redlands has both Republicans and Democrats on its City Council. And in 2009, the city was facing a multi-million dollar deficit. Tough choices needed to be made to get our fiscal house in order.
As mayor, I approached the situation with three principles. First, a budget is a moral document. It’s about priorities. Second, all ideas were on the table, regardless of whom they came from.
And lastly, inaction or giving up was not acceptable. We would disagree, argue and ultimately negotiate. But we would do the work we were sent there to do.
From the beginning, I knew I would fight for my priorities: education, jobs, infrastructure, crime reduction, safe neighborhoods and protecting seniors. Council members from both sides proposed ideas, some good, some bad, but all in a good faith effort to balance the city’s budget. We worked tirelessly, and we all had to give in a little, but, in the end, and for the past five years, we passed balanced budgets, turned the multi-million dollar deficit into a surplus, improved the city’s credit rating and boosted the business climate. We did right by the people who sent us there to get the job done.
This story of local representatives working across the aisle to get things done isn’t unique to Redlands.
It happens everyday in cities and states across the country. Republicans and Democrats often disagree, but are willing to negotiate because they understand the consequences of inaction.
For too long, Congress has underestimated the consequences of its inaction.
From a comprehensive jobs plan that invests in small businesses and infrastructure to education and student loan reform, Washington is languishing while Americans struggle. It’s a national travesty and not only unnecessary, but entirely fixable.
What our country needs now more than ever are members of Congress who have experience working with those of the opposite party to get things done.
Our nation’s founders embraced political diversity because they knew that in a healthy democracy, there would be differing ideas and a vigorous debate on the issues of the day.
However, at a certain point, the debate comes to an end and decisions need to be made on policies that will move our county forward.
We may not always get along, but we should always be able to work together to get the people’s business done.
Pete Aguilar is mayor of Redlands and a candidate for California’s 31st Congressional District.