Amending Constitution to Ensure Better Representation Makes Sense for L.A. County and California

June 16, 2017 by · 1 Comment 

Senate Constitutional Amendment 12 is about the Future of California. The laws governing the way counties are structured were written in the 1850s and were left alone after passage. To put that into context, Los Angeles County was home to five thousand people at that time. Today, the same county is home to over 10 million people and has a larger population than 42 individual states!

Imagine a state like North Carolina with a five person governing committee without a governor or legislature.

Beyond Los Angeles County, however, the concern for how counties are structured is a statewide issue. In 1850, the California Constitutional Committee created 18 counties in the new state of California. In the years since then, the general shape, guidelines and format of a Board of Supervisors has been unchanged. Our state is very different today and will continue to change in the coming years. The demographics, economy, and scale of everyday life in California have changed dramatically since 1850. A form of government that worked for cattle ranchers pre-Civil War cannot adequately address counties larger than most states.

It has become clear that effective, accessible, and accountable government is nearly impossible when a single County Supervisor serves over two million constituents. Los Angeles County is the first to rise above five million, but others will as well in the coming years. It is simply foolish to ignore the future in order to preserve a system of government that is over 150 years old.

Senate Constitutional Amendment 12 is a simple plan to ensure better, fairer representation with clear lines of executive authority. This Amendment brings Los Angeles County closer to our common system of government. It would add two seats to a Board of Supervisors, an elected County Executive, and better utilize employees and county resources. County government should be local, accessible, accountable, and personal.

This Amendment will ensure Supervisors serve no more than two congressional districts worth of constituents. Supervisors will be accessible and closer to the people they serve while having a stronger connection to voters. If the law has determined that representatives who vote on a broad range of national issues should serve a fraction of the number California Supervisors do, a change must be made.

Accountability has been a problem for Los Angeles County. We have seen scandals in the Jails, in the foster care system, and with the County Assessor’s office. Currently, the Board of Supervisors is in control of the budget, administrative duties, and ensuring County organizations remain accountable. In 2016, the LA County Grand Jury made it clear that, at minimum, the Board of Supervisors needs two more seats and an empowered executive position to manage the county.

Senate Constitutional Amendment 12 is a bipartisan effort to ensure that large counties can accommodate and adequately address the needs of their constituents. An administrator who has the dual responsibilities of drawing up an effective budget and professionalizing management would facilitate healthy, organized growth in counties. Additional seats on a Board of Supervisors means we would see vibrant tapestry of our community reflected in local government.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has done little to encourage diversity and representation of minority communities in County government. Of the 33 department heads in the county, none are Latino. There are no Latino Chiefs of Staff for the Board of Supervisors. In a county that is over forty percent Latino, that’s unacceptable and a reflection of the limited number of opportunities in county government. While 20% of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is Latino, there are no Asian-Americans on the Board.

This bill is about the future of California and finding a way to avoid the growing pains Los Angeles has encountered from happening again. We are a state that is growing and our policies should develop alongside. To preserve the power, prestige, and finances of a few at the expense of California’s future, the choice is simple. Our children, our people, and our state are too valuable to let political preservation derail the long-term potential of the Golden State. Our shared future is too important to set aside for the benefit of a single Board in a single county.

 

Senator Tony Mendoza, a Los Angeles native and former elementary school teacher in East Los Angeles, represents the 32nd Senate District encompassing portions of Los Angeles and Orange Counties. For more information about Senator Mendoza visit his website or follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Council Opposes Senate Bill that Would Bring Changes to Metro Board

May 25, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

The Los Angeles City Council unanimously opposed a state Senate bill that would drastically overhaul the governing board of Metro.

The bill is Sen. Tony Mendoza’s third attempt in two years to overhaul the board of the county’s transit agency and increase the representation of cities in areas outside the city of Los Angeles. Mendoza, D-Artesia, contends the county’s other 87 cities are underrepresented on the board and its projects often benefit Los Angeles at the expense of smaller cities.

The Metro board is made up of 13 voting members and a non-voting representative of the governor. The board oversees the agency’s vast network of public buses and rail lines. The board comprises the mayor of Los Angeles, three appointees of the mayor, all five members of the Board of Supervisors and a representative from each of the county’s four sub-regions.

SB 268 would eliminate three members of the Board of Supervisors from the Metro board while adding three members from the county’s sub-regions. It would also eliminate the Los Angeles mayor’s three appointees in favor of five City Council members.

The current publicly available text of the bill does not include mention of the three additional members from the county’s sub-regions, but a spokesman for Mendoza said it will be added soon.

“SB 268 runs counter to the spirit of local control by changing the membership of the Metro board without local consensus,” Los Angeles City

Councilman Mike Bonin wrote in a letter to the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee.

“These changes set a dangerous precedent for state control of local transportation boards and agencies.”

Bonin is the chair of the City Council’s Transportation Committee and also one of Los Angeles’ representatives on the board.

“The primary reason for the bill is to ensure that there is fair and equal voting rights for other parts of the district. The communities that currently don’t have as much influence on the board will have more ability to have a larger voting percentage,” said Tim Kirkonnell, communications director for Mendoza.

Mendoza introduced two bills last year that sought to increase representation of the smaller cities, including one that would have replaced three of the county seats with a post for Long Beach and for appointees of the president pro tempore of the Senate and the speaker of the Assembly, and

another that would have added 10 new seats. Both were shelved by the Senate.

The new bill comes as Metro and the county are making plans for spending the estimated $120 billion that will be generated by a half-cent sales tax increase stemming from voter approval of Measure M in November.

“This bill would disrupt that process and make it more difficult for Metro to make critical investments that will create jobs, reduce traffic, and reduce pollution,” Bonin’s letter said.

The City Council approved the resolution May 19 with a 10-0 vote.

 

Empoderando A Jóvenes Latinas Con Ejemplos a Seguir

March 30, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Durante su niñez en el Este de Los Ángeles, Leticia Mendoza tuvo maestros que la animaban a soñar en grande; Ahora, ella igualmente trata de motivar a las jóvenes latinas que viven en el sureste del Condado de Los Ángeles.

Como maestra y funcionaria electa del Distrito Escolar Unificado de ABC, Mendoza entiende que incluso cuando se le anima a las mujeres jóvenes a enfrentarse al mundo, a veces ellas toman decisiones que les impiden alcanzar sus metas.

“La mayor parte del tiempo lo que nos retiene es el miedo”, confiesa Mendoza, quien la semana pasada vio realizado uno de sus esfuerzos por empoderar a las jóvenes latinas.

Con la ayuda de líderes locales, ella reunió a 175 estudiantes de escuelas secundarias de los distritos ABC, Downey, Montebello, Norwalk-La Mirada junto con los Distritos Escolares Unificados de Whittier Union en la Conferencia Inaugural de Empoderamiento de Jóvenes Latinas en Cerritos College.

El evento contó la participación de mujeres latinas políticas, empresarias, educadoras, doctoras y administradoras.

“Quiero que estas jóvenes sientan que no importa qué campo profesional les interese, todo depende de ellas”, dijo Mendoza, quien también es la esposa del Senador de California, Tony Mendoza.

“Muchas tal vez no están considerando asistir a la universidad ya que se enfrentan a desafíos y necesitan más apoyo”, dijo Mendoza, enfatizando que las barreras del idioma, el estatus migratorio, las relaciones, el bajo autoestima o la poca preparación universitaria pueden ser tropiezos en sus caminos.

O tal vez “los padres querrán que nos quedemos en casa y ayudemos a nuestras familias”, dijo Mendoza, reflexionando sobre las barreras culturales que enfrentan las latinas cuando buscan una educación superior.

Maria Malagon, Ph.D., profesora en Cal State Fullerton, fue la oradora principal en la conferencia.

Ella señaló que de cada 100 latinos en las escuelas secundarias de California, sólo 60 terminarán graduándose; un 11 buscan una licenciatura y a penas el tres por ciento obtiene un título de maestría. La cantidad que obtiene un doctorado es aun menor, dijo Malagon.

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Lideres latinas platicaron con jóvenes y platicando sobre la importancia de una educación superior y de ser activas en sus comunidades. Foto de EGP por Nancy Martínez.

La profesora le dijo a las adolescentes latinas en la reunión que son necesitadas en una variedad de campos profesionales, por lo que “necesitamos que se comprometan a trabajar duro”.

Al igual, añadió que no será fácil y que a veces se sentirán poco gratas cuando lleguen a la universidad. Ella reconoció que, de hecho, la frontera que a veces separa a los latinos no sólo es entre Estados Unidos y México, sino una metafórica también.

“Es una línea que subraya claramente si perteneces aquí o no,” dijo.

“Estas instituciones no fueron diseñadas para ustedes ni para mí … pero tenemos el derecho de estar allí”, dijo, refiriéndose al bajo número de estudiantes y profesores latinos en los campus universitarios.

Malagon también le advirtió a las jóvenes de secundaria que se resistan cuando “la gente intenta cambiarnos”.

“Me dijeron que tenía que cambiar muchos aspectos míos”, dijo Malagon, refiriéndose a sus aretes de aro y a su delineador de ojos alado. Pero, “Demostré mi potencial con mucho trabajo.”

Con los ataques dirigidos hacia las mujeres y a la comunidad latina enviados por el Presidente Donald Trump, una conferencia como esta es muy oportuna, le dijo Mendoza a EGP.

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Funcionarios elegidos le sirvieron el almuerzo a las jóvenes latinas durante la conferencia en Cerritos College. Foto de EGP por Nancy Martínez.

“Fue el momento ideal para hacer algo al respecto”, dijo, y agregó que espera que más mujeres consideren correr para el puesto.

Mendoza también dijo que quiere que las jóvenes latinas aprendan cómo los hombres deben tratarlas y por eso reclutó a su esposo senador para ayudarle a demostrar esa lección.

Portando delantales de color rosa, una docena de funcionarios elegidos tomaron la idea de “servirle al público” literalmente. El alcalde de Commerce, Iván Altamirano, y el miembro del Consejo de MUSD, Edgar Cisneros, estuvieron entre los participantes.

“Queríamos demostrarles que su éxito nos preocupa”, les dijo el Senador Mendoza. “Este es el primer paso del resto de sus vidas”, agregó el Asambleísta Ian Calderón. “Queremos ser solidarios”.

Muchos de las estudiantes de secundaria usaron la palabra “empoderadas” para describir cómo se sentían después de escuchar las palabras alentadoras de los oradores y de ver a mujeres con quienes se identifican ocupando cargos importantes en varios campos profesionales.

Sara Flores, estudiante de la Escuela Secundaria de Santa Fe, le dijo a EGP que se sentía más motivada para alcanzar sus metas.

“Muchas personas piensan que nosotros [los latinos] no sabemos nada sobre la educación o que no nos importa”, dijo. “Quiero demostrarle a la gente que están equivocados. Quiero que se escuche mi voz”.

Mendoza le dijo a EGP que le gustaría ver que el evento se expanda el próximo año para incluir a más mujeres líderes, estudiantes e incluso a padres. Pero por ahora, ella espera que estas chicas regresen a sus comunidades con el lema: “¡Sí puedo hacerlo!”

Lizet Anguiano, una estudiante de Norwalk High School, se apresuró a poner en práctica su nuevo nivel de confianza y autoridad obtenido.

Sin pensarlo dos veces, ella le dijo a Calderón, el líder mayoritario de la Asamblea, “¿Podría traernos unos limones aquí?”

Southeast L.A. County Leaders React to Election

November 10, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

By the time the polling booths closed Tuesday in California, Southeast Los Angeles County residents attending a “Bad Hombres and Nasty Women” election night party were already glued to their phones and TV screens, anxiously watching the electoral votes tally up against their candidate, Hillary Clinton.

The tongue-in-cheek event, hosted by Democrat Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia at The Bicycle Casino Hotel in Bell Gardens, was supposed to be a victory celebration, after all, almost all the polls earlier in the day had signaled victory for Clinton. Instead, a Donald Trump piñata sat untouched at the bar and a solemn mood persisted throughout the night.

At a Democratic "victory party' at The Bicycle Casino Tuesday, Hillary Clinton supporter Evamarie Balderas watches in disbelief as numbers fall into the win column for Donald Trump. (EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

At a Democratic “victory party’ at The Bicycle Casino Tuesday, Hillary Clinton supporter Evamarie Balderas watches in disbelief as numbers fall into the win column for Donald Trump. (EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

Garcia kicked off the evening by asking attendees to stay focused and hopeful, despite Trump’s early lead.

“Irrespective of what happens we must show unity,” she told the crowd.

Yet, as the clock moved closer to midnight and projections for key battleground states like Ohio, Florida and Iowa brought Trump closer to the 270 electoral votes he needed to secure the election, the bar got busier as attendees struggled with disbelief.

“I can’t believe this is happening,” one person said.

“How did it get like this,” asked another in shock.

The local elected officials, campaign strategists and residents tried to do the math and tally the numbers, hoping for a Hail Mary victory for Clinton, but it was increasingly clear the night would not end as they’d hoped, and the impact would be far-reaching.

“This is a wake up call for our community and for our state,” Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard told the crowd as Trump’s lead continued to grow Tuesday. (EGP Photo by Nancy Martinez)

“This is a wake up call for our community and for our state,” Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard told the crowd as Trump’s lead continued to grow Tuesday. (EGP Photo by Nancy Martinez)

“Even if she wins, it’s very disappointing that someone who has dishonored our culture, insulted every minority, talked [disparagingly] about immigrants – and in spite of all that, so many people supported him …even Latinos,” a dismayed Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard told EGP .

The cloud from the presidential race made it difficult for elected officials at the event to celebrate their own victories: Garcia was reelected to serve the 58th District, Sen. Ricardo Lara will contine to serve the 33th District, Rep. Linda Sanchez, chair of the Hispanic Caucus, will once again represent District 38 in Congress and Roybal-Allard, the first Mexican-American woman elected to Congress easily held on to her seat in the 40th District.

“This is a wake up call for our community and for our state,” Roybal-Allard told the crowd as Trump’s lead continued to grow. “Take tonight, regardless of turnout and use it as a foundation for building awareness, strengthening our community and being proud of being American.”

Rep. Linda Sanchez speaks to room full of Democrats Tuesday at the "Bad Hombres and Nasty Women" election night party in Bell Gardens. (EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

Rep. Linda Sanchez speaks to room full of Democrats Tuesday at the “Bad Hombres and Nasty Women” election night party in Bell Gardens. (EGP photo by Nancy Martinez)

In the early hours of the morning, business mogul and TV personality, and now President-Elect Donald Trump would rule the night, beating former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, receiving 279 electoral votes to Clinton’s 228. Clinton was ahead in the popular vote.

Excerpts from EGP’s Election Night interviews:

Senator Ricardo Lara on electing more “nasty women and bad hombres:”

“We’re used to fighting,” he said. “We’re looking to elect more women and Latinos to state legislator.”

Rep. Linda Sanchez on being proud of California Democrats:

While campaigning in Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Arizona there were always “busloads of California Democrats [trying] to help turn those states blue,” she told the large crowd of Democrats. “As we’re still waiting for election results I know I did everything in my power before November to bring it home for Hillary Clinton.”

Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard on Hillary Clinton’s Challenges:

“Part of what happened was the press and FBI Director [James] Comey,” she told EGP. “It was hard to recover from misinformation that was out; the FBI really undermined the election.”

On the U.S. Senate Race: “Its kind of sad that in the most Latino state we didn’t elect the Latina,” she said. “Southern California will not have reps in Washington.”

On Prop 64: “Given what’s happened in Colorado and facts from reputable, proven science that have shown marijuana negatively impacts the brain, there is just not enough research and safety regulations in place.”

On a Trump Presidency: “The reality is if Donald Trump wins the election I don’t know if he will follow through on what he promised like the wall and getting rid of immigrants,” she told EGP. “Everything is up in the air.”

Senator Tony Mendoza on what election means for State: “California will not change one bit, it stands alone and is trendsetter,” he said. “We have to set the example, nationwide we still need a lot of work to do.”

“Next session we have a lot of untouched issues, many that revolve around transportation.”

Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia on increasing the number of women and minorities in the State Legislature: “I made a commitment to uplift other women,” she told EGP. “For women and women of color the work starts today to make sure our country looks more like California.”

On Prop 64: “There needs to be a change in the system,” she said. “My community is more likely get in trouble.”

Commerce Mayor Ivan Altamirano on Measure M:

“If it passes I’m hoping it will create a win-win and we can all sit at the table and start to fix our neighborhoods,” he told EGP. “In a way the repair of the 5 freeway was the main concern for Commerce, the expansion of the freeway needs to happen right, not 20 years from now.

Montebello Unified School Board Member Joanne Flores on Prop 51: “It will help us with funding tremendously,” she told EGP. “It will compliment funds we already have from our local bond that passed.”

County Will Fight Moves to Cut Its Metro Board Seats

August 25, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors went on record Tuesday against a state bill that would cut the number of county seats on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors from five to two.

Senate Bill 1379, sponsored by Sen. Tony Mendoza, D-Artesia, would maintain 14 board seats, but replace three of the county seats with a post for Long Beach and for appointees of the president pro tempore of the Senate and the speaker of the Assembly.

Supervisor Hilda Solis recommended sending a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders opposing the bill and directing county lobbyists to actively advocate against it.

In her motion, Solis said each of the supervisors acts on behalf of the incorporated cities that comprise their district when they vote on the Metro board, not just the unincorporated areas of the county.

In addition to the five county seats, the current board includes Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and three of his appointees, four members appointed from other cities and one non-voting member appointed by the governor.

The debate comes as officials wrangle over Metro’s plans for spending the estimated $120 billion that would be generated by a half-cent sales tax increase proposed by Measure M. The measure is set for the Nov. 8 ballot and requires the approval of at least two-thirds of voters to pass.

Also known as the Los Angeles County Traffic Improvement Plan, the measure includes a package of new rail and bus lines, highway improvements, bike lanes and street repairs.

Mendoza said the plan does not consider the needs of communities countywide and questioned the Metro board’s process for choosing and prioritizing specific projects.

He originally proposed adding 10 seats to the Metro board to address what he sees as a “lopsided system.”

Supervisor Michael Antonovich said if Mendoza “was interested in having a real regional body,” he should reallocate seats held by the city of Los Angeles to other municipalities.

Before the vote, Antonovich amended Solis’s motion to also oppose any measure that would reduce the county’s representation on the board or expand the city of Los Angeles’ representation.

Gobernador de California Firma Medidas a Favor de los Inmigrantes Indocumentados

August 13, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

El gobernador de California, Jerry Brown, firmó el lunes tres medidas migratorias, entre ellas la SB 432, la reforma y modernización del código laboral estatal, del que eliminarán la palabra “extranjero” (alien).

Dicha palabra, que tiene una connotación negativa para los inmigrantes, se utiliza comúnmente de forma despectiva para referirse a aquellos individuos que no han nacido en territorio estadounidense o que no son ciudadanos.

El senador estatal Tony Mendoza recalcó la importancia de garantizar que la ley laboral esté exenta de términos que acarrean significados ofensivos hacia los inmigrantes, según publicaron medios locales.

El representante demócrata aseguró que la palabra “alien” y cualquier ley que haga referencia a la contratación de empleados ‘extranjeros’ no debe tener cabida en las leyes estatales y “no deben utilizarse como base para contratar a ningún individuo”.

“Los alegatos y los discursos sobre inmigración se forman con palabras que muchas veces son despectivas”, declaró a Efe Tessie Borden, directiva del Centro de Recursos Centroamericanos (CARECEN).

“Quitar palabras que están cargadas de tanto significado negativo nos parece muy apropiado e invita a una nueva conversación acerca de la inmigración en el estado”, agregó la activista.

Igualmente, Brown firmó la propuesta SB 560 por la que se prohíbe la utilización del estatus migratorio de menores como defensa que exima de responsabilidades a un denunciado en un caso civil.

“A ningún niño se le debe hacer pensar que las cortes de California valoran su futuro menos que el de otros niños”, expresó Thomas Sáenz, presidente del Fondo México Americano de Defensa Legal y Educación (MALDEF).

Un análisis reciente del Instituto de Política Pública de California (PPIC) calculó que para 2013 en el estado residían cerca de 2.7 millones de indocumentados, más del 6% de la población total y la mayor cantidad de indocumentados en los estados del país.

El reporte igualmente estableció que cerca del 10% de los trabajadores californianos son indocumentados.

Por lo menos 436,000 de estos indocumentados se han beneficiado en los primeros seis meses del año con las licencias de conducir aprobadas a partir de enero pasado por el estado.

De igual forma, estos inmigrantes se han beneficiados con matrículas universitarias como residentes del estado y la cobertura médica subsidiada por California para los menores de edad.

Con las nuevas leyes que favorecen a los indocumentados, el estado reafirma su política compasiva hacia estos inmigrantes que ya contaban con licencias de conducir y matrículas universitarias al mismo precio que los residentes.

“Estas leyes reflejan un estado que reconoce y respeta la diversidad y las contribuciones de todos los californianos”, dijo el martes a Efe Evan Westrup, portavoz de la gobernación.

El estado también es recordado como el primero en otorgar una licencia profesional para ejercer el Derecho a un abogado indocumentado, que luego se extendió a otras actividades profesionales.

California hace parte también de las llamadas jurisdicciones “santuario”, que aprobaron leyes que impiden a la policía participar en actividades de inmigración que son “voluntarias”.

Sin embargo, dos casos recientes, uno en San Francisco y otro en Santa María, de personas asesinadas por indocumentados con historial criminal que habían sido dejados en libertad en lugar de ser entregados a las autoridades de inmigración, han puesto en tela las ciudades “santuario”.

“Todos los californianos, sin importar su estado de inmigración, desean un vecindario donde nuestros mayores y nuestros niños puedan estar seguros especialmente en su propio hogar”, afirmó el martes Angélica Salas directora de la Coalición por los Derechos Humanos de los Inmigrantes de Los Ángeles (CHIRLA).

“Sin embargo, este horrible crimen -agregó Salas al referirse al asesinato a martillazos de Marilyn Pharis en Santa María- no puede ser la regla para demonizar a los inmigrantes”.

Otra de las medidas permitirá a los estudiantes de preparatoria que son residentes permanentes trabajar durante las elecciones en California y ayudar con los retos lingüísticos asociados con el aumento de la población de votantes hispanos.

Los Angeles County’s Next 4th District Supervisor Should be Latino

February 26, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

In June 2016, there will be a primary election in Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe’s 4th Supervisorial District. Unless one candidate receives over 50 percent of the vote in June, the top two candidates will advance to a run off in the November 2016 general election, the candidate who wins the election will most likely hold this seat for 12 years, until Nov. 30, 2028.

Currently this seat includes three dominant areas: the coast from San Pedro to Venice; the city of Long Beach; and the San Gabriel Valley/south county area from Lakewood to Diamond Bar with a population of nearly 2 million.

In 2011, Democrats had 15 percent higher voter registration than the Republicans. This Democratic registration strength in comparison with the Republican registration should increase by June 2016 and even more by November 2016, with the presidential election attracting more voters.

Latinos were 28.7 percent of all registered voters in the district in 2011 and should increase to over 32 percent by November 2016. The eligible pool of Latino voters was 32.8 percent in 2011 and should be close to 35 percent by November 2016. White eligible voters should be approximately 39 percent in November 2016.

The only viable Democratic San Gabriel Valley candidate is Sen. Tony Mendoza, who represents more than 750,000 of the residents of the district. He would not have to give up his district to run and has demonstrated an ability to raise money. He was successful in overcoming a well-financed campaign against him for state Senate in the 2014 election.

There will be other Democrats running for this district most likely from other parts of the district.

There should be several Republican candidates running from various parts of the district. It will be tough for them to win in a district where there are significantly more Democrats than Republicans and where the election will occur in a high-Democrat turn out presidential election year.

Mendoza’s potential front-runner status in the race has been ignored in the media. Latino Democrats and other Democrats from the San Gabriel Valley have been quiet. If they do not speak up soon then we will most likely not have a candidate who will focus on issues affecting the San Gabriel Valley.

Why is it important to elect a San Gabriel Valley Latino to District 4? There are three key issues:

1. Transportation, particularly the fair allocation of Measure R dollars and construction of light rails;

2. The need for a new public hospital in east San Gabriel Valley, to meet unmet needs and to fulfill promises made in 2000 when a much smaller county/USC hospital was built with the promise of a new hospital in east San Gabriel Valley;

3. The safe redevelopment of the Los Angeles and San Gabriel rivers so as to protect south county cities from future flooding, flood insurance and rate increases and fair access to funds for developing riverfront recreational opportunities.

In a county with approximately 50 percent of the residents Latino and with Latinos projected by 2020 to have the same number of potential voters as whites in Los Angeles County, it is important that two of the five supervisors be Latino, instead of the current one Latino supervisor.

The time is now for San Gabriel residents to speak out. They should encourage Sen. Mendoza to run for this district.

 

Alan Clayton is a redistricting consultant who lives in San Gabriel Valley. The column was first published in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.

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