East Los Angeles Cityhood Fundraising Reaches Half-Way Mark

One year later, residents are still on a quest to pay for the fiscal analysis.

By Gloria Angelina Castillo, EGP Staff Writer

The East Los Angeles Residents Association (ELARA) has raised just over half the amount needed to pay for a Comprehensive Fiscal Analysis (CFA), an audit of revenues in the area that could determine if it could sustain itself as an incorporated city.

A year ago, ELARA successfully completed a signature drive to authorize the analysis. Since then, the group has received four extensions to raise money needed to pay for the $134,710 study, that must be complete before resident’s can vote on cityhood.

ELARA President Benjamin Cardenas told EGP last week that they have raised about $70,000, thanks in part to the help from U.S. Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-38th Dist)).

Cardenas is Napolitano’s district director. Last month, the Congresswoman helped the group hold a reception in Washington D.C. where they raised $20,000, Cardenas said.

In Dec. 2009, the resident group received its fourth extension, good until April 29, from the consulting firm hired to perform the CFA for the Los Angeles Local Agency Formation Commission. LAFCO Executive Officer Sandy Winger told EGP yesterday that although East Los Angeles Incorporation is on next month’s agenda, no discussion will take place until the group pays for the study. If ELARA does not make the April deadline, East LA Incorporation will be on the May 12 agenda, where options will be weighed, Winger said.

The study consultant has been very “good,” repeatedly granting extensions because of the difficult financial times, Winger said

The residents’ association may, however, have another time sensitive matter on their hands: how long signatures can be considered valid, since the population that authorized the analysis can change.

“There is no real law that specifically covers the expiration date of signatures gathered by petitions,” Winger said last week, but added that he hopes the study can be conducted before too much more times goes by, because he wouldn’t want to recount the petition signatures to see if they are still valid.

Cardenas is optimistic. He said ELARA still has time to fundraise before the April deadline.

As for the signatures, Cardenas said ELARA collected a surplus so he is hopeful they won’t be brought into question.

“We collected 33 percent and we only needed 25 percent [of the registered voter’s signatures],” he said. “If they re-certify the signatures, we should have more than enough of a cushion.”

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January 21, 2010  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.


2 Responses to “East Los Angeles Cityhood Fundraising Reaches Half-Way Mark”

  1. Jesse Torres on January 29th, 2010 7:17 pm

    I would like to see ELARA raise the money to determine definitively whether cityhood is a viable option. To the extent that it can self-sustain, it would be a great opportunity for the residents of East Los Angeles to have a dedicated cadre of representatives. Having spoken with Cityhood leadership I know they are eager and optimistic about the results but they too only want what is best for the entire East Los Angeles community.

    I personally endorse the fundraising effort and look forward to ELARA raising the remaining funds to enable all to learn whether an incorporated East Los Angeles is a viable option. And in the off chance that it is not, community leaders can continue to devise strategies that best support the residents of the East Los Angeles community in the absence of cityhood.

    Jesse Torres
    President and CEO
    Pan American Bank
    3626 East First Street
    East Los Angeles, CA 90063
    “California’s Oldest Latino-Owned Bank”

  2. steve patino on March 3rd, 2010 4:02 pm

    I hope the effort to make east los angeles a city will actually be true someday. Growing up in the city terrace area of e.l.a and moving over to the boyle heights area has made me proud to have lived in both places. Many of my friends have moved out of the area, but we all know it will be worth the effort. It is a powerful place to live…steve p

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