Endorsement: Rick Chavez Zbur for Assembly

Two dynamic and passionate community activists are running in the November 8 election to represent the Westside’s 51st assembly district, which includes Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Hollywood, Hancock Park and Westwood. Current region MP Richard Bloom is not seeking re-election, part of a wave of resignations and retirements this year that will reshape much of the legislature.

Democrat Rick Chavez Zbur is an attorney with extensive experience in environmental law, LGBTQ civil rights defense and California Democratic Party politics. As the former executive director of Equality California, a leading gay rights group, he is well versed in effectively enforcing laws in Sacramento. He has helped pass dozens of state laws, including legislation facilitates the procurement of medicines for HIV prevention and reduces criminal penalties for people exposing others to the disease. As COVID-19 turned life upside down in 2020, Zbur pushed for the passage of a new law oblige the state to track data shows how the virus is affecting the gay community. More recently, he has spoken openly push for more vaccines to prevent the spread of the MPX virus.

Zbur started his career as Lawyer in a renowned law firm, Latham & Watkins, where he worked for some 30 years on air quality and coastal development. For two decades on the board of directors of the California Environmental Voters, the political arm of the state’s environmental movement, he demonstrated his commitment to promoting clean energy and environmental justice. His political resume dates back to 1996 when he ran unsuccessfully for Congress but broke new barriers for gay candidates.

His opponent is Democrat Louis Abramson, an astrophysicist who sits on the Central Hollywood Neighborhood Council. Abramson entered community service after Donald Trump was elected president in 2016, and realized he wanted to get more involved in solving societal problems than studying the ultraviolet emissions from galaxies. He organized a coalition to reach out to people living on the streets and try to put them in touch with housing and services. Amid widespread closures in the early stages of the pandemic, Abramson led efforts to provide food to the elderly and conduct censuses of the homeless when the county stopped doing so. His campaign is largely fueled by what he sees as the failure of existing bureaucracies to accommodate many homeless people.

Abramson and Zbur are both progressives who want to reduce homelessness, curb climate change and pass tougher gun laws. With similar positions on most issues, the question for voters is really a matter of experience. Abramson is a promising community leader and we encourage him to continue to build on his history of service. But in this election, voters would be better served by Zbur. His expertise in a range of policy areas and his experience of legislative processes prepared him from day one to be an effective legislator. Voters should feel confident sending him to Sacramento.

https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2022-09-30/rick-chavez-zbur-california-assembly-endorsement Endorsement: Rick Chavez Zbur for Assembly

Alley Einstein

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