By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
44th District: Carol Liu
The Democratic nominee to succeed Jack Scott in this Pasadena-centered district is Carol Liu, a longtime Bay Area schoolteacher, administrator, teachers-union officer and Democratic activist who moved to La CaĂ±ada–Flintridge 16 years ago. She’s been a City Council member there since 1992, twice serving as mayor during that time. On the council, she’s focused on balanced-growth and environmental-protection issues, but her urban-activist past gives her a broader, more progressive perspective on social issues than you might expect from the mayor of an upscale suburb. She’d be a thoughtful and accomplished legislator.
Her opponent is one of the genuine gargoyles of L.A. life — Susan Carpenter-McMillan. Carpenter-McMillan first shlopped into public consciousness more than a decade ago when she assumed the role of designated anti-choice spokesperson on every local TV talk show. She only truly found her mĂ©tier a few years ago, however, when she attached herself to Paula Corbin Jones as public spokesperson and all-around handler. No more local talk shows for Suzie; now there was a national audience before whom she could revile Bill Clinton and regale us with Paula Jones’ every burp. She is a self-aggrandizing fruitcake, Matt Drudge in drag, and her tenure in the Legislature would be as ridiculous as Liu’s will be distinguished.
45th District: Jackie Goldberg
Antonio Villaraigosa is termed out of this Echo Park–to–East Hollywood district, and Jackie Goldberg — herself termed out of her L.A. City Council seat next spring — is the only candidate on the ballot to succeed him. Sometimes bumptious, sometimes difficult, but a brilliant organizer, a canny strategist and the most far-sighted, dedicated officeholder in city government, Goldberg has put her mark on her city in her seven years at City Hall. She authored and steered, stunningly, to unanimous passage the city’s landmark living-wage ordinance; she also authored the city’s worker-retention ordinance, which bars new city contractors from sacking the workers they inherit. It’s hard to think of another official who’s done more to revive urban progressivism during the ’90s, and we expect she will be just as creative and diligent in Sacramento.
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.