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
Drug police say that many drug shipments crossing the Mexican border make two stops in San Diego and head straight for Cudahy. Drug runners from Cudahy return from Arizona and Texas and bring new guns into the community, police say. Meanwhile, 18th Street is engaged in violent conflict with a group called Just Blazing It, and the Clara Street and Cudahy 13 gangs remain active.
Nothing is likely to change in Cudahy until elected officials and appointed City Manager George Perez take a different approach. That seems unlikely. Perez is campaigning for the longtime incumbents he appears to influence — and he is guaranteeing victory on March 6. “We’ve already won,” he declares.
Former councilwoman Araceli Gonzalez is concerned that upstart city council candidates Danny Cota and Luis Garcia, seen as challengers not to their rivals running on the ballot but to Perez, don’t stand a chance because they refuse to raise money for their campaigns.
Garcia says he doesn’t want to owe anyone. Cota seems like he’s just enjoying the thrill of an election. Despite the thuglike tactics that scared off their friend Tony Mendoza, Cota and Garcia are not intimidated.
Still, Garcia confides he has misgivings about life in Cudahy. “Our parents left Mexico to have a better life here,” he says, implying that Cudahy is falling short of that dream.
Gonzalez, who left Cudahy after George Perez took over as city manager, has moved back. She says she is interested in teaching people how to stand up to the city’s bullying. But she too knows her limitations. As a longtime resident of Cudahy, she seems to sense the darker forces at play. “Some things are not worth getting ?killed over.”
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