Gloria Romero: The Trials of a Democratic Reformer

A former state legislator who saw union boss intimidation at its strongest, from Corrections officer union bosses staring her down in the State House, Gloria Romero lifts the veil on union power in the California Statehouse in Allysia Finley has the story in the Wall Street Journal

Topping the list of proprietors is the California Teachers Association, which she calls the most muscular union and political player in the state. Then there are the unions for nurses, prison guards, firefighters and police. Call them California’s “deep state.”

Ms. Romero now heads the California chapter of Democrats for Education Reform, a large tent of liberals who are as diverse as an Occupy encampment but united by a common desire to improve accountability in public schools. The group supports Democratic school reformers running for political office and promotes legislation that toughens standards.

“If you keep putting more money into the same system, we’re going to keep getting the same result. And that’s the definition of insanity. Nothing ever changes,” she laments. “I do think, honestly, out of crisis comes opportunity. And with education you almost have to reach bottom before you can pick up.”

Perhaps the only way California voters can save their state is to cut up unions’ and lawmakers’ credit cards this fall. Ms. Romero is sharpening the scissors.