Yesterday afternoon, while working frantically on a research paper, the gmail notification popped up. The subject line was enough to make me stop.
The message was simple: Former assemblyman Marco Firebaugh dies in Los Angeles.
I read the AP article and considered writing something for blogging.la, but I was still in shock and a bit emotional. Instead, I continued writing my paper.
I read the Times’ obituary a few minutes ago. It made me upset. If I didn’t know about Firebaugh, I would think he was just a Chicano politician who drank too much.
When I think of Firebaugh, I automatically think of a man who worked hard for people who couldn’t even vote for him: undocumented immigrant youth. He wrote Assembly Bill 540, passed in 2001, that allowed some undocumented students to qualify as California residents for tuition purposes only. AB 540 made higher education much more affordable for talented students who did not qualify for financial aid because of their immigrant status.
Undocumented students still face numerous challenges, but AB 540 helped them clear a big hurdle.
Que en paz descanse. May he rest in peace.