It’s a year of change in Sacramento.
After several years without much fluctuation in the state parliament, there were an unusually large number of resignations and retirements in 2022. Several lawmakers resigned before their terms expired, while others chose not to run for re-election or are unable to run for re-election due to term limits. The decennial process of redefining political boundaries to reflect shifts in population also played a role in the brain drain, as some legislators were drawn to less favorable counties and chose not to run.
All this is an opportunity for voters. The November 8 election will usher in a new group of lawmakers who could serve in the legislature for the next decade. We believe these three candidates should be included.
Senate District 20: Caroline Menjivar
Menjivar has an impressive track record, combining hands-on experience serving her community with academic training in public policy.
She served as a U.S. Marine, paramedic, field worker at City Hall of Los Angeles, and now director of new program initiatives for MEND (Meet Each Need with Dignity), a Pacoima nonprofit organization that provides food and support to families in need. Menjivar, the child of Salvadoran immigrants, has organized vaccination clinics, helped renters apply for rent subsidies, and worked to make Mayor Eric Garcetti’s “Green New Deal” a reality, leading campaigns to promote community gardens and electric car rentals for brought Spanish speaking residents into being. As a member of the LGBTQ community, she also volunteers with gay rights and veterans organizations.
Menjivar demonstrates knowledge on a variety of policy issues and is eager to work on mental health legislation, which she says is her top priority. On housing, she supports the construction of more units along the transit corridors and says she would work to encourage better use of vacant lots and more mixed-use developments.
Much of the political establishment and many powerful interest groups support Menjivar’s opponent, fellow Democrat Daniel Hertzberg. He has less public service experience but benefits from a name that is well known in the San Fernando Valley. His father, Bob Hertzberg, represented the area in the Assembly and Senate and is now running for representation on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
But experience counts for more than a family name, which is why Menjivar deserves the support of the voters.
Assembly District 39: Juan Carrillo
Palmdale City Councilman Juan Carrillo has valuable experience that has prepared him to tackle two of California’s most pressing issues: housing and education.
He’s an urban planner who wants the state to produce more housing by allowing semi-detached homes in neighborhoods, make it easier for homeowners to build additional housing units on their lots, and give the state more power to ensure cities meet goals for achieve housing. As a Democrat, he’s pushing for more housing in his own city and understanding that California’s fight against climate change is related to how homes are built and cities designed, calling for more rooftop solar panels and better public transportation to take cars off the streets .
When it comes to public education, Carrillo has a track record of resolving conflict and improving communication when tensions arose in his community over a charter school. His impartial leadership of the Palmdale School Board earned him the support of two organizations that are often at odds: the California Teachers Assn. and the California Charter Schools Assn. – an indication that as an MP he would be able to listen to all sides and work in the best interest of the public.
Carrillo’s opponent, Republican Paul Marsh, is a mortgage broker who lacks public policy experience. Voters would be best served if they sent Carrillo to Sacramento.
Assembly District 61: Tina McKinnor
McKinnor won a seat in the convention in a June special election when voters on the west side of Los Angeles and parts of the South Bay elected her to succeed former Rep. Autumn Burke, who left the legislature at midterm to join a lobbying firm. McKinnor has only been in office for two months and is now running for her first full term.
During her brief stint with the congregation, McKinnor has proven to be a solid progressive voice. She backed ambitious climate legislation being enacted by Gov. Gavin Newsom, including a law mandating buffer zones around new oil and gas wells and a law setting clean energy production targets in 2035 and 2040, before the state meets its all electricity must be from renewable sources by 2045. She also voted on gun control and environmental laws that have failed in the assembly over opposition from moderate Democrats, including a major gun safety bill that introduces a new system for licensing concealed carry permits and legislation to increase California’s targets includes reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
These votes showed that Democrats are not all the same. McKinnor’s opponent, fellow Democrat Robert Pullen-Miles, has received campaign funds from oil companies that normally go to politicians weak on the fight against climate change. McKinnor is the better choice.
https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2022-09-19/endorsement-assembly-senate-caroline-menjivar-juan-carrillo-tina-mckinnor Endorsements: Send Menjivar, Carrillo and McKinnor to Sacramento