Angelides said so after a visit to West Oakland's McClymonds High School, even as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger prepared to meet Thursday in Sacramento with Mexican President Vicente Fox on immigration and economic issues.
"Let's work together to build the economies of both California and Mexico, and let's be good partners," Angelides said he would tell Fox, adding National Guard troops should be available for state emergencies, not to fulfill federal responsibilities.
Angelides' rival for the Democratic nomination, state Controller Steve Westly, later Thursday noted that he already has vowed that if elected he will meet with Mexico's president within his first three months in office to discuss "how we can jointly work to solve the immigration issue," economic cooperation and environmental protection.
Making his third visit to McClymonds since early 2004, Angelides urged students in a math classroom to vote for him if they are old enough, and if not, to "fan out" and urge family and friends to do the same.
"Enough is enough. ... It's time to stand up for the right kind of California and America," he said, adding this election represents "a very basic, very fundamental fight of values."
Oakland Unified School District spokesman Alex Katz later Thursday noted the visit seemed to be in violation of district policy: "You're not supposed to hold campaign events or political events during school hours ... not during instructional time."
Katz said he did not know the circumstances under which the visit was arranged, so he could not say with whom responsibility lies.
Angelides vowed to students that as governor he would fully fund schools by raising taxes on corporations and on couples making more than $500,000 per year. Better and more teachers, texts, counselors and other resources, plus universal health care for California's children, will create a better work force and boost the state's economy, he said.
Tamara Flaherty, 17, a junior, asked how she can know he would truly help Oakland's struggling schools.
"I want the education that's offered at Piedmont," she said.
"I'm a kid from Sacramento, so I'm smart enough to know what I do know and what I don't know," he replied, explaining local officials and residents tell him what communities need most.
That said, he acknowledged "schools in places like Oakland get less money, get less resources" than those in richer areas. "I promise you, as governor, I'm going to change that."