Alberto de Sol (Disunited States)
Alberto de Sol
Official 2020 Portrait of de Sol
|18th Prime Minister of Pacífica|
Assumed office |
November 1st, 2016
|Preceded by||Steven J. Kennedy|
|Leader of the Social Democratic Party|
Assumed office |
April 3rd, 2015
|Preceded by||Allan Chang|
|House of Deputies Member for Angeles|
Assumed office |
November 1st, 2004
|Preceded by||David Horace|
|Leader of the Opposition|
April 3rd, 2015 – November 1st, 2016
|Preceded by||Allan Chang|
|Succeeded by||Kennedy Jackson|
March 5, 1969|
Los Angeles, Province of Los Angeles, Kingdom of Pacífica
|Political party||Social Democratic|
|Spouse(s)||Maria Garcia (m. 1991)|
|Children||4, including Christina de Sol|
|Residence||House of the Prime Minister, Sierravista, Pacífica|
|Alma mater||University of Southern California|
Alberto Ignacio de Sol (born March 5th, 1969) is a Pacífican politician serving as the 18th Prime Minister of Pacífica. As Prime Minister, he is also the leader of the largest political party in the House of Deputies, the Social Democratic Party. De Sol has been a member of the House of Deputies since the 2004 general election and briefly served as the Leader of the Opposition from 2015 until his appointment as Prime Minister in 2016. Politically, de Sol identifies as a social democrat, a social liberal, and a moderate progressive.
Born and raised in Los Angeles City, de Sol attended and graduated from the University of Southern California in 1995 with a bachelor's degree in social science and economy. After leaving university, de Sol became an active member of the Social Democratic Party and was elected as a member of the House of Deputies in 2004. As a House Deputy, de Sol pushed for progressive legislation for minorities, supporting the Citizenship Assistance Act of 2004 and the infamous Secondary Language Act of 2006. After the Social Democratic defeat in the 2008 election, de Sol became the leader of the House Minority Caucus and the de facto deputy to Leader of the Opposition Allan Chang but was never appointed the position.
After Chang announced his resignation as Social Democratic leader, de Sol announced his candidacy for the position. During the 2015 leadership election, de Sol portrayed himself as a moderate progressive representing all sides of the Social Democratic Party, making himself stand out in a field of social democrats and socialists. De Sol would go one to win 58% of the vote, officially becoming Leader of the Social Democratic Party and Leader of the Opposition on April 3rd, 2015. Under de Sol, the Social Democratic Party would go onto win the 2016 general election, becoming the largest party in the House, but just shy from becoming the majority party. In response, de Sol formed an electoral and legislative coalition with the Labor and Green parties, creating a governing coalition. De Sol was appointed Prime Minister on November 1st, 2016, becoming the second Latino and Minority Prime Minister in Pacífican History, following Carlos Gonzales.
Under de Sol, the country has seen some massive progressive changes, including the legislation of same-sex marriage, the increase of minority rights, and massive environmental and economic reforms. Despite some positive changes, de Sol's term as Prime Minister has seen some controversy, with his support for a new Secondary Language Act and accusations of ethnic racism being frequently used against him and his government. Despite this, de Sol has retained a moderate approval rating, with his current rating at 52%. His highest approval rating was 64% in 2017 and his lowest being 46% in 2019.
Alberto Ignacio de Sol was born on March 5th, 1969 to Marco and Lorena de Sol in the predominantly Hispanic eastern Los Angeles. His father, Marco de Sol, was a prominent civil rights attorney, defending the Teller Twins during their trial during Emily Yorba case. His mother, Lorena de Sol, was a prominent civil rights activist and was well-known in the Eastern Los Angeles community as "La Madre". While growing up, de Sol adopted the views of his parents and as early as eleven years old began joining them in protests against racial injustice. During his early teenage years, de Sol developed an interest in baseball and began training to become a professional baseball player. However, after receiving a leg injury while playing for his high school team, de Sol dropped his dream and instead began focusing on a career in politics. During his childhood, de Sol also developed an interest in the piano, learning to play at age 13. Also during his childhood, de Sol met and befriended his future wife, Maria Garcia.
Like other children growing up in eastern Los Angeles, de Sol attended William J. Pierson Primary School and later attended Fremont High School. During his time at Fremont, de Sol was a pitcher for the school's baseball team but dropped out after receiving a leg injury. He was also a member of the Racial Equality and Social Democratic clubs. After graduating high school, de Sol attended the University of California. While in university, de Sol became the leader of the College Social Democrats and eventually became Student Body President during his final year. De Sol graduated USC with a bachelor's degree in social science and the economy in 1995. In a 2019 interview, de Sol revealed that it took him ten years to pay off his college debts, which cemented his belief in the need for "radical student debt reform".
Early career in politics
While attending high school, de Sol became very active in his parent's activist organization, People before Profit!, which donated to Social Democratic and Labor campaigns around the country. After graduating from university, de Sol became a campaign staffer for Prime Minister Alan Turnball and after the 1996 general election, founded the Make LA Red Campaign, which raised money for Social Democratic candidates competing in traditionally Conservative seats in northern and western districts of Los Angeles Province. In 2000, de Sol became the President of the People before Profit! organization after his father suffered from a heart attack.
In January 2004, de Sol announced his candidacy for the Los Angeles's 1st Legislative District, hoping to replace retiring House Deputy, David Horace. As a community favorite and Social Democratic safe haven, de Sol largely ran an uncontested race, with his closest opponent, a Conservative, only polling at 28%. During his campaign, de Sol promoted social democratic and social liberal ideals, which was a stark contrast to the socialist and far-left nature of his district. De Sol received the support of numerous Los Angeles City officials, including the Mayor of Los Angeles, Raul D. Conte. On October 1st, de Sol was elected as the next House Deputy for LA's 1st Legislative District, winning over 60% of the vote. Like other incoming House Deputies, de Sol was sworn in on November 1st, 2004.
As a House Deputy, de Sol worked closely with his fellow Social Democrats to promote progressive and liberal legislation. In December of 2004, de Sol co-sponsored the Citizenship Assistance Act, which reduces restrictions on citizenship, making it easier for both legal and illegal migrants to become citizens. In early 2005, de Sol supported the REVIVAL Act, which was Prime Minister Susan Caren attempt at curbing the rising wealth inequality in the country. In 2006, de Sol supported the now infamous Secondary Language Act, which required students to learn and be proficient in the three major minority languages of the country before applying for college. The act also required teachers to teach in all three major minority languages to promote "inclusion". Because of the act, many student's college applications were denied and many teachers began losing their jobs for solely teaching in English. In response, over a million students, parents, and teachers began a massive strike, refusing to return to school/work and demanding the repeal of the act. After an official refusal by Prime Minister Caren and the Social Democratic leadership, King James I used his royal privileges to veto the act, becoming the first monarch to use such power. In response, Prime Minister Caren and the House leadership apologized to the nation.
Despite his devout support for the Secondary Language Act, de Sol was re-elected in 2008 general election with increased support. During his later terms, de Sol continued to support progressive and liberal legislation, usually being the one to present such legislation to the House. In 2009, de Sol became the de facto deputy to the newly-elected Leader of the Opposition Allan Chang, however, he was never appointed to such position. De Sol also became the de facto spokesperson and critic for the Opposition, constantly defending legislation made by his party while also denouncing legislation promoted by the governing Conservatives.
Leader of the Opposition
On December 27th, 2015, Allan Chang announced his intention to resign as leader of the Social Democratic Party and Leader of the Opposition, citing his lack of charisma, which, according to Chang, "could cost [the Social Democrats] the upcoming election". Following party procedure, an leadership election was called to replace Chang. On January 1st, 2016, de Sol announced his candidacy for the position, entering an already crowded election. While campaigning, de Sol promoted himself as a moderate social democrat and progressive, which was a stark contrast to a majority of his opponents, who promoted socialism and radical progressivism. For the months leading up to the election, de Sol polled high above his opponents. On April 3rd, de Sol was elected Leader of the Social Democratic Party with 58% of the vote, immediately succeeding Chang.
During his short time as Leader of the Opposition, de Sol spent most of his term campaigning for the Social Democrats in the upcoming general election. Despite this, de Sol was present for a majority of house sessions during the legislative season, continuing his role as the semi-official Opposition critic. On October 1st, 2016, after months of intense campaigning, the Social Democratic Party won the largest amount of seats in the House, defeating the Conservatives. However, the party was not able to secure an outright majority in the House, resulting in a Hung Parliament.
Although not having a majority of seats in the House of Deputies, the Social Democratic Party was the largest party in the House, meaning de Sol would become the next Prime Minister. To ensure his party's legislation was able to get through the House, on October 30th, 2016, de Sol announced the creation of a legislative and electoral coalition with the Labor and Green parties, creating an alliance of left-wing parties. De Sol was officially appointed as Prime Minister by James I on November 1st during his inauguration ceremony.
Ethnic German comments
On December 5th, 2019, an secret audio tape of de Sol speaking with Justin Wright, the Minister of Internal Affairs, was released to the public, showing de Sol making various racist comments about the ethnic German minority in Pacífica:
de Sol:"Those f***king Jerries always want something, huh? It's not like they suffered through centuries of abuse and discrimination like us colored people did. F***king whities.
Wright:(uncomfortable) "That's not really fair."
de Sol:"What's not really fair is that these god damned white privileged Nazi-loving scumbags benefit off of minority benefits despite being f***king white! That is what's really not fair!"
De Sol responded to the tape by writing an official apology, apologizing for his remarks, but also condemning the taping of a "private government meeting." Many critics of de Sol called his apology "insincere" and "obviously forced", with many believing the Prime Minister was not "actually apologizing", rather "conducting a PR stunt to improve his party's standings in the upcoming election." In response to the Prime Minister's comments, Leader of the Opposition Benjamin Moore called for an ethics investigation into the Prime Minister for hate speech and discrimination, however, his request has been denied.
On November 6th, 2009, de Sol was debating with fellow House Deputy Joanna Remington, a veteran of the Iraq War over the Military Spending Act, which would increase funding for better military equipment. After delivering her rebuttal to de Sol's argument against the bill, which included a recount of her experience at the Battle of Baghdad, de Sol, unaware his microphone was on, was heard saying to Leader of the Opposition Allan Chang: "How these veterans create these sob stories is beyond me. Like seriously." Although not heard by his fellow house deputies, de Sol's comments surfaced onto the internet, creating public outrage. De Sol publically denies the credibility of the clip and continues to claim the video was altered, despite an ethics investigation confirming otherwise.
Support of a new Secondary Language Act
On October 26th, 2018, de Sol announced to the House of Deputies that his cabinet was looking at the possibility of producing and presenting a revised Secondary Language Act, which, according to de Sol, "will improve on the last one." After receiving public backlash, de Sol announced that his government found that the possibility of re-introducing the Secondary Language Act would be too risky, as it may result in a second student strike. Despite this, de Sol said a new Secondary Language Act was not "off the table".
De Sol considers himself "staunchly" pro-choice, believing it is "a woman's right to make decisions on her own body". De Sol personally considers himself one of the most pro-choice Prime Ministers in Pacífican history. During his time as Prime Minister, de Sol has raised government funding for Planned Parenthood of Pacífica and has attending fundraisers for Pro-Choice Pacífica. In March of 2018, de Sol and his government proposed numerous amounts of abortion-related bills, with a majority passing and becoming law. Despite this, de Sol has yet to make abortion a constitutional right, despite promising to during his 2016 campaign.
De Sol is very open to immigration, owing to his background as a third-generation immigrant. During his time as a House Deputy, de Sol attempted to pass the Pathway to Citizenship Act, which lifted restrictions on citizenship applicants and removed controversial or "threatening" questions from the citizenship test. This bill, however, was defeated. Once becoming Prime Minister, de Sol worked to increase the number of refugees and immigrants becoming citizens and created multiple minority relief programs to assist them. De Sol also called on Pacífica's neighbors to also improve their minority and immigration rights.
De Sol's views on the monarchy have changed over time. In his youth, according to de Sol, he was a dedicated republican and believed the monarchy was the symbol of a "by-gone era". However, as he got older, his views on the monarchy became more positive. After the veto of the Secondary Language Act, de Sol was "heartbroken" but believed James I's actions were "completely constitutional". When asked during the 2016 campaign if he would consider abolishing the monarchy, de Sol responded by saying: "The monarchy is the most important institution in our country. Without it, we would not be here today.". In a 2017 interview, de Sol declared himself a "royal admirer" and was very interested in the "roles and duties of the monarchy."
Marriage and family
De Sol married his longtime girlfriend Maria Garica in 1992. The two grew up together in eastern Los Angeles and are very close. The couple would go on to have four children, Chrisitina in 1993, Marcus in 1994, Maria in 2000, and Joseph in 2003. Christina would go on to follow in the footsteps of her father and become a House Deputy for Santa Barbara.