California Tribal Business Alliance Endorses John Burton for Party Chair

Dec 10, 2008, 13:15 ET from California Tribal Business Alliance

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Dec. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- The California Tribal Business Alliance announced today that it is endorsing John Burton for chair of the California Democratic Party.

"California Indian tribes have had many years of experience working with John Burton, whether as the author of the ballot proposition allowing tribal government gaming or legislation to protect California Indian sacred sites and cultural traditions," said Robert H. Smith, chairman of the Pala Band of Mission Indians and chairman of the CTBA Board of Directors. "We know first hand what an effective leader he is -- just the kind of leader needed by the California Democratic Party."

Smith continued, "John Burton fought for us when we had nothing. I can't imagine any California Indian organization supporting any other candidate for party chair. We are for the people who stayed with us when it really mattered."

Burton was the author of legislation to put Proposition 1A on the 2000 statewide ballot, the proposition that authorized tribal gaming and allowed tribes to open their casinos. He was also the author of a hard-fought bill in 2004 to defend California Indian culture and dignity by protecting the ceremonial sites that are vital to their traditions. Burton also carried the legislation that assured non-gaming tribes that they would receive their full share of revenue sharing funds from tribal casino operations, money these tribes depend on for health care, education and housing programs.

"Burton fought hardest for the poorest tribes in this state," Chairman Smith said. "It is with pride that we stand behind him."

The California Tribal Business Alliance was formed in 2004 by six forward-looking California Indian tribes interested in developing partnerships and coalitions with like-minded governments and with business, community, and civic organizations, with the intent to build productive alliances based on mutual respect and cooperation.

The CTBA members are the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians, Pala Band of Mission Indians, the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians, the Pauma Band of Luiseno Indians, the United Auburn Indian Community, and the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians.

SOURCE California Tribal Business Alliance