Trump Rescinde DACA: 800.000 Beneficiaros en Riesgo

September 5, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Los líderes demócratas del sur de California y los defensores de los inmigrantes criticaron duramente hoy la decisión de la Administración de Trump de eliminar gradualmente el programa de Acción Deferida para los Llegados en la Infancia (DACA), que ha protegido a unas 800.000 personas – incluidas más de 242.000 en California – que fueron traídos al país como niños de deportación.

Los activistas de inmediato planearon salir a las calles para protestar la decisión, que fue anunciado por el fiscal general Jeff Sessions en nombre del presidente Donald Trump.

Read this article in English: Trump Rescinds DACA: 800,000 Recipients at Risk

Bajo la acción de la Administración de Trump, el Congreso tendrá seis meses para intentar aprobar una legislación que se dirija a DACA antes de que el programa se elimine gradualmente.

La congresista Grace Napolitano, D-El Monte, también en Twitter, instó a todos sus “colegas republicanos a unirse a nosotros y tomar medidas para #ProtectDreamers! #DefendDACA!”

El alcalde de Los Ángeles, Eric Garcetti, dijo: “La acción del presidente Trump en DACA es cruel – amenaza con separar a familias, pone en riesgo nuestra economía y no hará nada para unificar a Estados Unidos o hacernos más seguros”.

“La decisión de hoy es un revés gigante para los Estados Unidos, porque todos nuestros niños deben sentirse seguros y aceptados en un país que les pertenece”, dijo Garcetti. “DACA ha permitido que cerca de 800.000 jóvenes ambiciosos y patrióticos comiencen sus carreras, permanezcan en la escuela y devuelvan a nuestras comunidades sin temor a ser separados de la gente que aman”.

El alcalde también instó al Congreso a actuar rápidamente sobre la legislación: “…Ellos pertenecen aquí. Y lucharemos para que se queden”.

Al defender la decisión, Trump dijo que el presidente Barack Obama excedió su autoridad en la creación del programa DACA.

“En junio de 2012, el presidente Obama evitó que el Congreso otorgue permisos de trabajo, números de Seguro Social y beneficios federales a aproximadamente 800.000 inmigrantes ilegales actualmente entre las edades de 15 y 36 años”, dijo Trump.

“Los receptores típicos de esta amnistía ejecutiva, conocida como DACA, tienen más de 20 años. La legislación que ofrecía estos mismos beneficios había sido presentada en el Congreso en numerosas ocasiones y fue rechazada cada vez”.

Trump agregó: “Solo por la aplicación confiable de la ley de inmigración podemos producir comunidades seguras, una clase media robusta y equidad económica para todos los estadounidenses”.

Señalo que funcionarios de 10 estados están demandando el programa y sus asesores legales han determinado que es “ilegal e inconstitucional y no puede ser defendido con éxito en los tribunales”.

Esos argumentos hicieron poco para apaciguar a los legisladores demócratas.

La senadora Kamala Harris, de California, dijo que los receptores de DACA “hacen que nuestra nación sea fuerte y representen lo mejor de los Estados Unidos” y rescindir el programa “socava los valores de nuestra nación y es una cruel traición” de DREAMers. El representante Adam Schiff, D-Burbank, criticó el “ataque cruel y arbitrario” contra ellos.

La senadora Dianne Feinstein, D-California, instó al Congreso a avanzar con la legislación conocida como el DREAM Act que proporcionaría un camino a la ciudadanía para DREAMers – el término usado para los receptores de DACA.

“El fracaso en proteger a los jóvenes que han salido de las sombras constituiría un abyecto fracaso moral”, dijo Feinstein.

Funcionarios de la Unión Internacional de Empleados de Servicios denunciaron lo que llamó un “ataque vergonzoso” contra los beneficiaros de DACA.

La Coalición por los Derechos Humanos de los Inmigrantes de Los Ángeles (CHIRLA) dijo que los miembros estaban listos para reunirse en las oficinas de los legisladores republicanos, incluyendo el representante Steven Knight en Santa Clarita, la representante Mimi Walters en Irvine, así como la oficina del representante Kevin McCarthy en Bakersfield.

Además, decenas de trabajadores y miembros de la comunidad planificaron una marcha de mediodía por el centro de la ciudad de Los Ángeles desde los escalones del Ayuntamiento hasta el edificio federal en el bloque 200 del este de la calle Temple.

Introducido por Obama en 2012, DACA permite a las personas que fueron traídas ilegalmente a los Estados Unidos como niños a trabajar y estudiar en el país sin temor de ser deportados. DACA ha estado disponible para inmigrantes sin antecedentes penales que fueron traídos al país cuando eran menores de 16 años de edad. Los permisos de trabajo expedidos bajo DACA deben renovarse cada dos años.

Trump ha adoptado una postura dura contra la inmigración ilegal, pero hasta poco no había dado una fuerte indicación de si mantendría a DACA en su lugar.

Preguntado durante el fin de semana si los receptores de DACA deben estar preocupados, Trump respondió: “Amamos a los DREAMers. Amamos a todos…Creamos que los DREAMers son fantásticos”.

El representante Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, es uno de los muchos funcionarios electos de ambos partidos que han criticado los planes del presidente.

“La cobarde decisión de Trump de poner fin a DACA va en contra de las mismas fuerzas que han hecho de Estados Unidos un país excepcional”, dijo Lieu. “Deportar a cientos de miles de asiáticos y latinos – casi la mitad de los cuales fueron traídos a los Estados Unidos antes de los 7 años – no sólo es cruel, sino que dañara a nuestra economía”.

Trump Rescinds DACA: 800,000 Recipients at Risk

September 5, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Southland Democratic leaders and immigrant advocates lashed out harshly today at the Trump Administration decision to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which has protected an estimated 800,000 people – including more than 242,000 in California – who were brought to the country as children from deportation.

Activists immediately planned to take to the streets to protest the move, which was announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions on behalf of President Donald Trump.

Trump Terminates DACA: Protesters begin to gather at L.A. City Hall for march to federal building. (EGP photo by Fred Zermeno)

Trump Terminates DACA: Protesters begin to gather at L.A. City Hall for march to federal building. (EGP photo by Fred Zermeno)

Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Los Angeles, called the president’s decision to rescind the program “outrageous.” This is a “heartbreaking day for the US and the bright young DACA recipients who know no home but America,” she said on Twitter.

Under the action by the Trump Administration, Congress will be given six months to attempt to pass legislation addressing DACA before the program is phased out.

Congresswoman Grace Napolitano, D-El Monte, also on Twitter, urged all her “Republican colleagues to join us & take action to #ProtectDreamers! #DefendDACA!”

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said, “President Trump’s action on DACA is cruel — it threatens to tear families apart, put our economy at risk, and will do nothing to unify America or make us more secure.”

“Today’s decision is a giant setback for America, because all our children should feel safe and accepted in a country that belongs to them,” Garcetti said. “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals has allowed close to 800,000 ambitious, patriotic young people to start careers, stay in school, and
give back to our communities without fear of being torn from the people they love.”

The mayor also urged congress to act quickly on legislation: “… They belong here. And we’ll fight for them to stay.”

In defending the decision, Trump said President Barack Obama over-stepped his authority in creating the DACA program.

“In June of 2012, President Obama bypassed Congress to give work permits, Social Security numbers and federal benefits to approximately 800,000 illegal immigrants currently between the ages of 15 and 36,” Trump said. “The typical recipients of this executive amnesty, known as DACA, are in their 20s. Legislation offering these same benefits had been introduced in Congress on numerous occasions and rejected each time.”

Trump added: “Only by the reliable enforcement of immigration law can we produce safe communities, a robust middle class and economic fairness for all Americans.”

He noted that officials from 10 states are suing over the program, and his legal advisers have determined that it is “unlawful and unconstitutional and cannot be successfully defended in court.”

Those arguments did little to appease Democratic lawmakers.

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California, said DACA recipients “make our nation strong and represent the best of America” and rescinding the program “undermines our nation’s values and is a cruel betrayal” of DREAMers. Rep.Adam Schiff, D-Burbank, criticized the “cruel and arbitrary attack” on them.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, urged Congress to move forward with legislation known as the DREAM Act that would provide a path to citizenship for DREAMers — the term used for DACA recipients.

“Failure to protect young people who have come out of the shadows would constitute an abject moral failure,” Feinstein said.

Officials with the Service Employees International Union decried what it called a “shameful attack” against DACA beneficiaries.

The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles said members were ready to gather at the offices of Republican legislators, including Rep. Steven Knight in Santa Clarita and Rep. Mimi Walters in Irvine, as well as Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s office in Bakersfield.

Additionally, scores of workers and community members planned a midday march through downtown L.A. from the steps of City Hall to the federal building on the 200 block of east Temple Street.

Introduced by Obama in 2012, DACA allows people who were brought into the United States illegally as children to work and study in the country without fear of being deported. DACA has been available to immigrants without criminal records who were brought to the country when they were younger than 16 years old. Work permits issued under DACA must be renewed every two years.

Trump has taken a hard stance against illegal immigration, but until recently had not given a strong indication of whether he would keep DACA in place.

Asked over the weekend whether DACA recipients should be worried, Trump responded, “We love the DREAMers. We love everybody. … We think the DREAMers are terrific.”

Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, is one of many elected officials of both parties who have criticized the president’s plans.

“Trump’s cowardly decision to end DACA goes against the very forces that have made America an exceptional country,” Lieu said. “Deporting hundreds of thousands of Asians and Latinos — nearly half of whom were brought to the U.S. before the age of 7 — is not only cruel, it will hurt our economy.”

EGP staff writers contributed to this report.

Officials Lash Out Against Suggestion to ‘Shrink’ Size of Some National Monuments

August 24, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

The San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, created by President Barack Obama in 2014 and placed under review in April by President Donald Trump, would likely remain in place, but could potentially shrink, under recommendations submitted to the White House today by U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

Zinke did not reveal any specifics about his recommendations on the fate of more than two dozen monuments under review across the country. But he said the recommendations “will maintain federal ownership of all federal land and protect the land under federal environmental regulations, and also provide a much needed change for the local communities who border and rely on these lands
for hunting and fishing, economic development, traditional uses and recreation.”San Gab Mon WEB Featurestelprd3829626

Zinke told the Associated Press earlier Thursday that he was not recommending the elimination of any of the national monuments under review, but some of them might be reduced in size. He did not provide any specifics.

A summary of Zinke’s report released by the Interior Department also did not give any specifics about the recommendations.

His failure to publicly reveal any details of his recommendations earned him rebukes from some Southland Democrats.

“The American people have the right to see his entire report,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said. “A proposal to strip protections from public lands should be made public immediately.”

Trump’s executive order in April demanded the review of monuments designated since 1996 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.”

Zinke’s report concurred with the need for the study, noting that the Antiquities Act had been used by presidents 26 times since 1996 to create monuments more than 100,000 acres in size.

“No president should use the authority under the act to restrict public access, preventing hunting and fishing, burden private land or eliminate traditional land uses, unless such action is needed to protect the object,” according to the report. It goes on to note that the use of “executive power” under the act “is not a substitute for a lack of congressional action on protective land designations.”

Obama created the 346,000-acre San Gabriel Mountains monument northeast of Los Angeles via executive order. Rep. Judy Chu, D-Pasadena, had originally pushed to have 600,000 acres of the mountain range declared a national monument, but never gained traction for the idea in Congress.

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. (Photo courtesy of 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. (Photo courtesy of Office of U.S. Rep. Judy Chu)

Some Republican lawmakers criticized Obama’s action 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 also lashed out at Zinke for failing to publicly disclose specifics of his recommendations, and indicating only that he was suggesting size-reductions for a “handful” of the monuments under review.

“At the behest of oil companies eager to drill in protected lands, Donald Trump ordered a review of 27 of America’s most beloved national monuments,” Chu said. “Now, after visiting just eight of them, Secretary Zinke is ignoring the outpouring of public support from 2.7 million Americans and recommending that an undetermined number be altered.

“The public deserves to see the complete list of recommendations that were sent to the White House,” she said. “That he is not recommending any of the monuments be eliminated, as was intended at the start of the review, is an acknowledgement that these monuments all comport with the Antiquities Act. And so he is seeking to change them to cater to corporate interests instead.”

Rep. Grace Napolitano, D-El Monte, echoed Chu’s sentiments, saying Zinke and the Trump administration “have shut out the voices of the public, turning a review of some of our precious monuments into one of the least transparent and most complicated federal processes.”

Zinke’s recommendations will be reviewed by Trump, who will have the final say over any possible changes. Some environmental groups have already indicated they would file legal challenges to any effort to change the boundaries of any national monuments.

Repealing the ACA Would Hurt Mental Health Care

March 23, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Once again Republicans are pushing to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and it will hurt millions of Americans, especially those who live with a mental health or substance abuse disorder. The Republican bill would limit access to life-saving Medicaid coverage, make private insurance more expensive, and penalize the poor and elderly — all while reducing taxes on the richest.

The GOP proposal specifically targets Medicaid, the biggest provider of health and behavioral health services in the country, by eliminating the ACA requirement that Medicaid plans cover an Essential Health Benefits package and cutting federal funding by setting a limit for federal reimbursement per enrollee, also known as a “per-capita cap,” no matter their need for care. Weakening coverage requirements and limiting the amount of funding provided to deliver services would hurt the ability to qualify and access Medicaid, especially for those with time-intensive and often costly substance abuse and mental health disorders. Under the GOP plan, a child treated through one of Pacific Clinics school-based mental health programs could potentially lose their Medicare (Medi-Cal) coverage due to budgetary constraints and lose access to care. Many of the children and young adults we see will consider, attempt, or complete suicide. This is the third leading cause of death in children between the ages of 10-14 and second cause of death between ages 15-34.

This bill would also negatively affect those who get their insurance through the Exchanges. In particular, the Republicans’ proposal to eliminate the ACA’s “actuarial value” protections, which require insurance companies to pay a fair share of the cost of your care, would mean higher deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses for low-income individuals. For the millions of Americans seeking care for chronic conditions requiring many doctor visits including mental health disorders, this is simply unacceptable and could make seeing a doctor unaffordable.

Older Americans would also see a big increase in out-of-pocket costs. The GOP plan would allow insurers to increase the “age rating” limits put in place by the ACA and charge older Americans five times as much as they would a younger customer. For the 1 in 5 older Americans who live with a mental health condition, this could mean having to make the difficult decision of going without treatment or going without food.

The Republican proposal comes at a steep cost and delivers little benefit for those seeking either mental or physical health care. According to the Congressional Budget Office (a non-partisan entity), under the GOP plan, 14 million people lose insurance in 2018. It would also cut $880 billion from the Medicaid program, which cares for low-income families and the disabled, while cutting $600 billion in taxes on wealthy individuals.

While some have argued that the ACA did not directly modify the federal mental health parity protections, it did extend those protections to millions of Americans who did not have them before. The ACA also helped millions of Americans obtain health care coverage they would otherwise not have. It is undeniable that the ACA has been successful in connecting more people with behavioral healthcare, especially young adults, children and their families. The law has had a tremendous effect in our home state of California, for example, where one in three Californians currently benefit from our state’s Medicaid program, known as Medi-Cal.

Many challenges still remain for behavioral health — too many individuals do not have access to treatment, there is a shortage of behavioral health clinicians, and the suicide rate, sadly including for children, is increasing. Repealing the ACA and replacing it with the Republican plan would hurt those most in need. We encourage all Republicans to work with us to strengthen the ACA in order to ensure that Americans everywhere have access to the health care they need.

 

Congresswoman Grace F. Napolitano (CA-32) is Chair of the Congressional Mental Health Caucus. Dr. Luis Garcia is Vice President of Quality Care, Cultural Diversity, and Outcomes at Pacific Clinics.

 

June 7, 2016 Primary Election Preliminary Results

June 9, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

United States President
Democratic Party
Hillary Clinton    1,940,773 (55.8%)
Bernie Sanders     1,502,187 (43.2%)

Republican Party
Donald Trump    1,175,270 (75.3%)
John R. Kasich    176,655 (11.3%)
Ted Cruz        144,173 (9.2%)

United States Senator
*Kamala D. Harris    2,051,252 (40.3%)
*Loretta L. Sanchez    943,091 (18.5%)
United States Representative
32nd District
Grace F. Napolitano    41,423 (51.73%)
Gordon E. Fisher        19,439 (24.27%)
Roger Hernandez        19,219 (24%)

34th District
Xavier Becerra        52,349 (79.61%)
Adrienne N. Edwards     13,410 (20.39%)

38th District
Linda T. Sanchez        63,037 (70.45%)
Ryan Downing        18,572 (20.76%)
Scott Michael Adams    7,870 (8.8%)

40th District
Lucille Roybal-Allard      43,809 (76.66%)
Roman G. Gonzalez      13,336 (23.34%)

State Senator
33rd District
Ricardo Lara        72,151 (100%)

State Assembly
51st District
Jimmy Gomez        45,075 (100%)

53rd District
*Miguel Santiago        16,316 (47.04%)
*Sandra Mendoza        13,727 (39.57%)

58th District
Cristina Garcia        41,082 (100%)

63rd District
*Anthony Rendon    32,700 (77.83%)
*Adam Joshua Miller    9,317 (22.17%)

*Runoffs

Measures
State Measure 50 – Suspension of Legislators
Yes        3,756,975 (75.3%)
No        1,234,537 (24.7%)

Montebello City Measure W – Sale of the Montebello Water System
Yes        3,984 (48.95%)
No        4,155 (51.05%)

Montebello Unified School District Measure GS – $300 Million Bond
Yes        13,652 (77.08%)
No        4,059 (22.92%)

Los Angeles County
District Attorney
Jackie Lacey    941,391 (100%)

EGP Ballot Recommendations for June 7, 2016 Primary Election

June 2, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

No one can say this campaign season has been boring, at least not in the Presidential races. For the first time in a long time, California voters will play an important role in the nominating process, as evidenced by the amount of time the two candidates for the Democratic nomination are spending in the state courting voters.

Voting is one of our most important civic duties, and we encourage all eligible voters to exercise their duty and vote June 7. Even if your are discouraged by the tone of presidential campaign, there are other important races and issues on the ballot that deserve your attention.

As is our custom, EGP will not be endorsing candidates who are unopposed for reelection, since we believe that their lack of opposition makes the question of their candidacy a mute point.

Clinton for President of the United States
Our endorsement goes to Hillary Clinton (no. 15 on your ballot) as the most qualified person for our nations’ highest office.

Hillary Clinton’s credentials as a former U.S. Senator and former Secretary of State and even her role as the country’s First Lady have more than adequately prepared her to be our president.

Her support for health care for all Americans going back to the Clinton administration assures us she will continue to expand the gains made by passage of the Affordable Care Act.

Her stint as U.S. Senator prepares her to negotiate with Congress on legislation important to the U.S. Her experience in foreign policy as Secretary of State and her acquaintance with many of today’s foreign leaders gives her quick entry into foreign affairs with other nations and the ability to negotiate to the U.S.’s advantage. We respect that she has been a long time supporter of comprehensive immigration reform, and expect that she would push legislation to make it happen if elected president.

We do, however, want to urge her to not obfuscate the details of her use of her private e-mail. While she isn’t the only government official to use a private e-mail server, (why single her out and not all the others?), she does have a responsibility to cooperate and be transparent about her use.

Why not Sen. Bernie Sanders? It comes down to we believe she has a better chance to defeat Donald Trump in the race for the White House.

We admire Sen. Sanders for his efforts to make our country a better place for all Americans, for raising the level of conversation about income inequality, onerous student debt, the country’s loss of good paying jobs, the shrinking of the middle-class and the influence of Wall Street on Washington, we believe that many of the changes he backs are not achievable. While we find it admirable that he wants to shake up our present financial and educational systems, the Congress, our judicial system including the Supreme Court, it seems to us that he is unwilling to accept that those same systems, as well as our states, will have a lot to say about what he is proposing.

Yes, at one time in California, a college education was nearly free. But college presidents didn’t earn million dollar salaries like they do today and colleges did not cost as much to operate as they do today.

We admire Senator Sanders for trying to level the playing field for all of us, but we believe Hillary Clinton can better negotiate with the Congress to accomplish that goal if elected President.

United States Senator
In our prior endorsement of Rep. Loretta Sanchez (no. 114 on your ballot) we stated that we believe her legislative credentials are far superior to any other candidate for U.S. Senator.

Twenty years in the Congress gives her the necessary experience in foreign affairs, homeland security and other issues that the Congress will address in the coming years.

One other important virtue we believe Loretta Sanchez has is that she is a Southern Californian, and we believe the ideal balance is to have one Senator from the southern half of the state and the other from the north.

Why not Attorney General Kamala Harris?

Attorney General Harris has proven herself to be a good litigator, but lacks the experience needed to be a good legislator.

United States Representative
34th District —Xavier Becerra – the first Latino to serve on the House Ways and Means Committee.
Becerra has used his position to increase opportunities for working families to improve social security programs for women and minorities, to help the working poor, strengthen Medicare and ensure its long term viability.
He has dedicated himself to promoting issues affecting industries critical to the Southern California region in health care, high technology, entertainment, free and fair trade. His continued tenure in the Congress is important to all Californians and our influence in the nation’s capitol.

40th District —Lucille Roybal Allard is the first Latino to serve on the House Appropriations Committee. She is the ranking Democrat on the House Homeland Security Appropriations subcommittee.

Roybal Allard also serves on two other appropriations subcommittees Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Subcommittee.
Roybal Allard’s position on the House Appropriations committee has led to many federal projects that have created jobs for her district and Greater Los Angeles, among them; A New Federal Courthouse for the Central District of California Los Angeles Division; The Metro Gold Line Eastside Extension; Deepening the Port of Los Angeles to increase jobs and international trade for Los Angeles; Repairing and maintaining sewer and water systems; Preserving historic structures and culture facilities; Federal funding for local community health clinics.

Allard also authored legislation to require life saving screening of newborns and to prevent under age drinking.

She led the introduction of the Health, Equality and Accountability Act of 2014, a blue print to achieve health equality among all populations.

Roybal-Allard understands the importance of staying connected to her diverse constituents, and makes it a point to spend time in the District listening to the people she represents.

32nd District
Grace Napolitano – is the most senior member of the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

Napolitano currently serves as the top Democrat on the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, which oversees EPA’s Clean Water Act on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a boom to the state of California. As a conferee to fixing America’s surface transportation (FAST ACT) House and Senate Conference Committee, she was able to procure major victories for the state, which will receive over $26 billion for our crumbling roads, bridges, and transportation systems; $450 million a year for the Los Angeles region alone for transit. She introduced H.R. 241 the Water in the 21st Century Act to provide grants and loans for conservation, water recycling, groundwater and storm water and water infrastructure projects.

She is the founder and chair of the Congressional Mental Health Caucus and assisted in securing mental health in the Affordable Care Act.

During her tenure, Napolitano worked with former President George W. Bush and the Congress to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act of 1965. She also fought for a Democratic immigration over haul proposal that would have created a guest worker program, a path for citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

Her leadership on mental health and water related issues have improved the quality of life of Californians.

Member of the State Assembly
63rd District – Speaker Anthony Rendon has served and chaired the Water, Park and Wildlife Committee. He assumed the role of Speaker of the Assembly on March 7, 2016, and has since demonstrated an openness to listen to constituents on issues before the Assembly, Rendon also authored Proposition 1, a $7.5 billion state water bond passed in November 2014 by the voters.

Rendon also authored AB 530 in 2015, which spurs revitalization of the lower portion of the Los Angeles River and AB 496, which connects schools with resources to improve clean drinking water infrastructure.

As chair of the utilities and commerce committee, he led the effort to ensure accountability of the California Public Utilities Commission.
Rendon has earned our endorsement.

53rd District – Miguel Santiago was elected to the assembly in November 2014, and while he hasn’t been in the legislature long enough to have a large record on legislation we find him a straight forward politician whose efforts on behalf of his district should give him a long record of accomplishment in the future. We appreciate that he has been a constant presence in the battle over Exide, attending the meetings and hearings that few of his counterparts in the Legislature have found time to take part in.

Montebello Measure W
The city of Montebello has decided to seek voter approval to sell the city-owned water utility, the Montebello Water System.

The city has had to subsidize the system that only serves about 1,600 ratepayers, only eight percent of the city’s water customers. In doing so, they have taken money that could have been used on services for a larger share of city residents and businesses.

What is being sold is the physical infrastructure; the city will retain its rights to pump water from its aquifer. The infrastructure needs an estimated $50 million in upgrades and maintenance, money the city just does not have.

Montebello officials want to sell the water system for $14 million to the San Gabriel Water Company, which already operates a portion of the system being sold, so it is not an unknown operator.

The sale makes sense given the city’s precarious financial situation and the prospect of another round of large budget deficits. It makes no sense to continue to pour money into a system that the city had no ability to improve, which will lead to further deterioration and  lowering of its value.

We recommend that the city use great prudence and transparency in what is does with the money generated from the sale. The best plan may be to earmark the sale revenue in a special account to close any future budget deficits.

Copyright © 2017 Eastern Group Publications/EGPNews, Inc. ·