By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
46th District: Gil Cedillo
The invaluable Mr. Cedillo persuaded his legislative colleagues to pass some of the most humane and progressive legislation of the past session: expanding prenatal care to undocumented women; expanding Medicaid to 250,000 working adults; extending food stamps to legal immigrants; prohibiting state contractors from using state funds on union-busting activities; requiring hospital chains to get the attorney general’s approval when they take over nonprofit facilities, to assure that patient-care standards don’t decline; authorizing the issuance of drivers’ licenses to undocumented immigrants. Unfortunately, he failed to persuade the governor to sign the last one, but Cedillo’s a wily and determined guy. We support him wholeheartedly.
47th District: Herb Wesson
Freshman legislator Wesson was plainly out of his depth when he was sent in to mediate the recent bus drivers’ strike — which, admittedly, often seemed a riddle wrapped in a mystery cloaked in an enigma. By all accounts, though, in Sacramento Wesson is regarded as an accomplished legislator, a rising star. Maybe he should stay up north.
49th District: Gloria Romero
With Antonio Villaraigosa and Gil Cedillo, Romero has formed a trio of Latino electeds who’ve all done serious time in the labor movement. The three, along with Hilda Solis, are at the epicenter of the most dynamic force in L.A. politics, the labor-Latino alliance. Romero is a conscientious progressive, and she has our unalloyed backing.
51st District: Jerome Horton
Horton, a CPA with the State Board of Equalization and a member of the Inglewood City Council, waged a dismally unimpressive but nonetheless victorious campaign in the March Democratic primary to succeed Ed Vincent in this Assembly seat. The slim hopes we hold out for his coming tenure in Sacramento are occasioned by his efforts on behalf of workers, which includes forming a community group that supported employees organizing a union at the Hollywood Park Casino.
53rd District: George Nakano
Like Jane Harman (running in a congressional district that overlaps the 53rd Assembly District), one-term Assembly member George Nakano is a painfully moderate Democrat in a painfully moderate (South Bay) district. He is, nonetheless, distinctly preferable to Gerald Felando, his Republican opponent.
54th District: Alan Lowenthal
In his first term representing this Long Beach–San Pedro–Palos Verdes district, former Long Beach City Councilman Alan Lowenthal distinguished himself as a fighter for environmental justice and economic revitalization in this heavily industrial, largely working-class region. He’s championed stricter pollution standards on the harbor’s petroleum coke piles, and authored legislation banning gun sales in residential neighborhoods — one reason the Republicans, in the person of L.A. City Councilman Rudy Svorinich Jr., are coming after him. Lowenthal is a dedicated progressive who is fighting exactly the right battles for his district, and he has our unstinting support in what is shaping up as one of the tightest Assembly races in the state.
55th District: Jenny Oropeza
Suddenly, the Long Beach area has become home to a number of dynamic progressive candidates — none more dynamic or progressive than Long Beach City Council member Jenny Oropeza, who won the March Democratic primary to succeed the bizarre and bombastic Dick Floyd. Oropeza seems a perfect fit for this multiracial, heavily Democratic, working-class-to-the-core district. Now in her second term on the Long Beach City Council, she secured funding for the city’s first new park in 20 years and for badly needed affordable housing. She played a key role in persuading the owners of the Long Beach downtown high-rises to recognize the union their janitors sought to join, and has assisted the various unionization campaigns in Long Beach hospitals. Oropeza is the most effective politician and organizer on behalf of economic-justice issues we’ve met in some time, and we endorse her avidly.
56th District: Sally Havice
Havice, a moderate Democrat, faces her usual biennial tough fight in this Cerritos-area district, which has a huge Democratic registration edge but dismal Democratic turnout. Her opponent, Cerritos Mayor Grace Hu, is running a very well-funded campaign, and Havice needs all the help she can get.
Assessor: Rick Auerbach
District Attorney: Steve Cooley
We were cautiously hopeful when Gil Garcetti was elected District Attorney in 1992. The city was still reeling from rioting that followed the not-guilty verdicts of police officers charged in the Rodney King case and from the light punishment of a Korean grocer given probation after killing an unarmed black girl in his store. Garcetti, the ambitious son of working-class Mexican immigrants, seemed at least not so clueless as Ira Reiner about the city and its needs. He promised to use the office as a bully pulpit. He would speak out for crime prevention rather than just for locking criminals up. He would put office resources into prosecuting political corruption and hate crimes and deadbeat dads.
And in his eight years in office, Garcetti has done some decent things. He’s appointed more women and deputies of color; he’s gone after perpetrators of domestic violence. He established the country’s first hate-crime unit. But it all falls short in light of Garcetti’s failings.
We could go on and on about his special treatment of campaign contributors; about his bullheaded refusal to apply three-strikes judiciously, instead insisting the law demands that pizza-thief and murderer alike should face the same 25-years-to-life; about his dismantling of the rollout unit that investigated police shootings (something he brought back only after significant public pressure).
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