Latino Edge Magazine

 PEOPLE - TRENDS - CULTURES 

Governor

Twenty-seven (27) candidates are running for governor this election cycle and with the primary election on June 5th we have examined the credentials, successes and plans of the five candidates leading the field. In the final analysis we are endorsing Antonio Villaraigosa for Governor of California.


Villaraigosa’s story is compelling. Fighting his way through high school, dropping out, recovering and eventually graduating from UCLA and law school to becoming the Speaker of the State’s Assembly and a two-term Mayor of Los Angeles.


With education a top-of-mind issue for California’s voters, according to a recent poll by the Public Policy Institute of California, it is imperative our next governor have a background and history in dealing with major issues related to the public education system in the state.


Villaraigosa has history with recognizing issues with public education and doing something about it.

As mayor of Los Angeles, he took on the challenge of changing the culture of the Los Angeles Unified School District working to place the control of schools under the mayor’s office - as it is done in cities like New York. This meant taking on powerful union organizations. Though he lost his bid to control the direction of the district, Villaraigosa showed the strength of character to acknowledge change is needed and that the system is failing our kids.


A strong coalition builder, Villaraigosa’s ability to bring factions together throughout his history is impressive. Without these skills many of the living projects and continuing infrastructure work in Los Angeles would not have been possible.

Villaraigosa is not without flaws both personally and professionally, but he has delivered in the public interest progressive planning and programs that have changed the landscape and improved the quality of life for many.


Maintaining California’s position as a power player in the world economy will require bold and direct actions to improve the quality of our workforce and encourage innovation from our business and entrepreneurial communities. Our next governor must have the discipline to design a well thought out plan, while at the same time possess the political will to launch it - despite the risk of upsetting the status quo.


For these reasons, we encourage your vote for Antonio Villaraigosa on June 5th for Governor.


State Senate District 22

The San Gabriel Valley is a behemoth in terms of economics and transportation issues serving as a corridor to downtown Los Angeles and the Inland Empire and a pass through to Pasadena and the Port of Long Beach for millions each year. Diverse in its population including a majority Latino followed by Asian Pacific, Chinese and Vietnamese covering Glendora to Temple City and Rosemead and San Gabriel to the City of Industry with Irwindale included.


Departing State Senator Ed Hernandez has carried the district well enough leaving the seat open to a newcomer to institute new ideas or carry the status quo.


Top contenders running in the June 5th election are Mike Eng, current member of the LA Community College District Board and Baldwin Park City Councilwoman Susan Rubio.


It’s clear progressive ideas are needed to serve the growth and future of the district and we believe Susan Rubio will serve those needs for the business community and working families and individuals who call the 22nd District home.


Rubio represents change having an inside view of current issues facing the district while maintaining a third-eye perspective on the legislative process from outside of Sacramento. As an educator, teaching 4th grade for the past 17 years, Rubio is forceful and passionate about her goals and role in public service and we believe will be the better champion of local interests including education, entrepreneurial enterprises and public safety.


Eng, in our opinion has maintained a role in various elected offices with moderate outcomes. It seems to us that others with qualifications to represent should be given the opportunity to serve and present a fresh perspective.


We, therefore, endorse Susan Rubio for the 22nd State Senate race on June 5th.

 
Ya Basta! It's Time To Go

State Senator Tony Mendoza must resign, now.

Posted December 11, 2017


California State Senator Tony Mendoza has issued an awkwardly written holiday letter to "neighbors, family and friends" exalting "the climate across our country has changed!" The odd opening refers to the multitude of sexual harassment claims made against prominent entertainment and political figures, including State Senator Mendoza.


   Three women have come forward to allege inappropriate conduct by Mendoza while in his employ and presence. Though Mendoza states in his holiday letter the accusations are vague, the Sacramento Bee has reported detailed accounts by each woman as to the location, actions and time of each of their separate encounters with the alleged misbehavior by Mendoza. Further, the reporting has former members of Mendoza's own senior staff corroborating the accounts.


   Sexual harassment allegations aside, Mendoza has faced a sundry of accusations and odd behavior in his political past. In late 2016, Senator Mendoza was fined $57,000 by the state's Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) for what they called "laundered campaign contributions' violations in addition to reprimanding Mendoza for failure to report income from a failed real estate transaction.


   While representing the California Latino Caucus, Mendoza was forced out as chairman after members of the caucus grew concerned over his leadership and agenda. And early in Mendoza's career the then Assemblyman posed in his state office as a gang member for no apparent reason.


   There is a pattern here where one can argue that Mendoza has lost sight of his purpose as an elected official and has gone off the rails. It could be further argued that Mendoza's inability to stay out of the cross hairs of allegations, conspiracy and negative press are more than just coincidence or political schemes to harm him and his reputation.


   The bottom line here is the constituents of the 32nd Senate District are not being served properly and have already undergone the fiasco of former district representative State Senator Ron Calderon and his brother Tom Calderon and the horrendous mishandling of the Montebello Unified School District.


   Mendoza's take on these new allegations of sexual misbehavior: "It is most unfortunate that some media have looked to capitalize on the national climate and chosen to generate news that is controversial in order to gain rating shares allowing them to sell expensive time to advertisers."



   This total dismissal of the sexual harassment claims and blaming the media for "generating" news is a clear example of the lack of leadership Mendoza has shown for years. Mendoza has quipped about the fairness of the review process before it began and now is shifting blame on what he claims is a national fervor by the media to sell advertisement by reporting allegations of male aggression against women.


   These women have clearly wrestled with their decision to come forward with warranted fears of backlash in their professional work, personal reputation and public scrutiny. Mendoza is not in an election, has no high profile legislative package or bills and would otherwise be a nonfactor in the capitol, making his political scheming assertion to be far fetched.


   We agree there should be a process to review and process all allegations of sexual misconduct, while at the same time we don't believe this is a "climate" but rather an exposure and reckoning of historic patterns of certain men.


   Mendoza's prior actions and missteps alone were cause for concern, if not a recall. Knowing that he has replaced a convicted felon who was charged and found guilty while in the state senate, Mr. Mendoza should have kept his nose to the grindstone and worked tirelessly to resurrect the dignity of the office to rebuild trust with constituents in the ability to represent.


   Instead they received a holiday letter blaming the media and "fake news". Where have we heard this before?