San Gabriel Mountains’ Monument Status In Danger

August 23, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Democratic elected officials and activists gathered Tuesday in support of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, expressing concern that the 346,000-acre expanse of land northeast of Los Angeles could be threatened under a pending review ordered by President Donald Trump.

“We want our San Gabriel Monument to stay as it is, and we want outdoor spaces, nature

At a news conference in Los Angeles Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Judy Chu (center) called on the Trump administration to keep in place the monument status of 346,000-acres of the San Gabriel Mountains. Chu was joined at Los Angeles Historic Park by fellow Congressmen Adam Schiff and Jimmy Gomez, and local activists who questioned the singling out of some monuments but not others. (Photo courtesy Office of U.S. Rep. Judy Chu)

At a news conference in Los Angeles Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Judy Chu (center) called on the Trump administration to keep in place the monument status of 346,000-acres of the San Gabriel Mountains. Chu was joined at Los Angeles Historic Park by fellow Congressmen Adam Schiff and Jimmy Gomez, and local activists who questioned the singling out of some monuments but not others. (Photo courtesy Office of U.S. Rep. Judy Chu)

and fresh air for the people of Los Angeles County,” Rep. Judy Chu, D-Pasadena, said at a news conference at Los Angeles Historic Park.

The monument is one of more than four dozen placed under scrutiny by Trump, who issued an executive order in April calling for a review of monuments designated under the Antiquities Act of 1906, which grants the president authority to declare federal lands of historic or scientific value as national monuments.

Trump said his executive order would “end another egregious abuse of federal power” and “give that power back to the states and to the people, where it belongs.”

He also said the Antiquities Act “unilaterally put millions of acres of land and water under strict federal control … eliminating the ability of the people who actually live in those states to decide how best to use that land.”

The San Gabriel Mountains monument was created by President Barack Obama by executive order in 2014. Some Republican lawmakers criticized the move at the time, saying it would restrict access to public land and have a negative impact on water resources, flood control facilities and roads.

Chu was a major proponent of the monument designation. She had originally pushed to have 600,000 acres of the mountain range declared a national monument.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank, also spoke in favor of maintaining the monument in its current form, and criticized Trump’s order mandating the review.

“We also don’t know why specific monuments, including the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, were targeted and not others,” Schiff said. “Our guess is simple — President Trump, in his zeal to be against anything President Obama did, no matter what it is, is against this too.”

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke is expected to announce the results of his review and any recommendations this week, no later than Thursday.

Zinke has already concluded his review of several other monuments, recommending no changes. Among those was the Sand to Snow National Monument, a 154,000-acre expanse in the San Gorgonio wilderness area of the San Bernardino National Forest, stretching into both Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

Jimmy Gomez for Congress

June 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

The appointment of Xavier Becerra to become State Attorney General has left a big hole to fill in California’s congressional delegation.

It’s especially true now that Pres. Trump has set upon a path that could have some alarming consequences for gains made in the Golden State to protect workers rights, the climate, immigrants in the country without permission, and access to affordable health care.

Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez is our choice for the 34th Congressional District.

Gomez currently represents much of the district in the State Assembly. When it comes to understanding how government works, we believe he is by far the more experienced of the two candidates in next Tuesday’s Special Election runoff.

Gomez will have some very big shoes to fill when it comes to replacing Becerra, who after two decades rose to be one of the top ranking and most influential Democrats in Congress before departing for Sacramento. Articulate, serious, with a depth of knowledge on many issues, Becerra was well versed and accomplished when it came to bringing things — resources and money — home for his district and the state.

Gomez won’t have the seniority of Becerra, but he has proven he can get things done. He has earned a reputation as a progressive lawmaker, whose record includes the expansion of paid family leave, funding for river revitalization projects, and speeding up the deadline to reduce gas emissions. Gomez pushed for at least 25 percent of the state’s cap-and-trade dollars to go to disadvantaged communities, and for at least 10 percent to be invested in low-income households.

We have been impressed by his interest in the needs of the local areas he has represented, such as Pico Union, Highland Park and Eagle Rock.

Gomez faced dozens of well-qualified candidates from diverse backgrounds in the Primary Election, and to his credit, a majority have now turned around and endorsed him. A slew of state and local leaders, labor groups and environmental groups have also thrown their support his way.

His challenger, Robert Lee Ahn, is smart and thoughtful, and while he and Gomez differ little on some issues, his positions are not as well flushed out as those of Gomez, and he tends to be more conservative on other issues.

If elected, Ahn would be the only Korean American in Congress, a reality that has inspired many Korean Americans to register and vote. While that’s impressive, it’s not enough to earn our endorsement.

Eastern Group Publications recognizes the potential in Jimmy Gomez. We believe he will be a thoughtful, energetic voice for the 34th District, just as we believed when we endorsed him in his runs for the Assembly.

And we have his expanding record in promoting transparency in campaign fund raising, and his present efforts to create for Californians a single payer health insurance program, as evidence of his willingness to take on tough issues.

These are hard times for the average middle class and poor American, and we believe Jimmy Gomez is the superior candidate to represent all Californians in Congress.

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