by Bonnie Corwin
On May 27, Los Angeles Mission College presented the 39th District State Assembly Forum at 13356 Eldridge Avenue in Sylmar. It was sponsored by the Associated Student Organization and by Residents for a Better San Fernando. At the podium were Incumbent Assembly Member Patty Lopez, and Candidates Joanne Fernandez, Joel Fajardo and Kevin Suscavage. Raul Bocanegra and Mina Creswell were noticeably no shows. Several in the audience voiced their disappointment. Newly elected members of the Sylmar Neighborhood Council, Tammy Flores, Maria Silva and David Rodriguez facilitated the meeting posing prepared questions of the four candidates. Several local neighborhood council members attended.
High speed rail, crime, education, homelessness and mental illness were addressed by all four candidates. When it came time for questions from the audience, some of the questions indicated the audiences’ lack of knowledge in some cases about what an assembly member in California does. What was of concern though was the lack of knowledge some candidates answered regarding what the job entails and rather than answering these questions from a district/state level, they answered them from a strictly local point of view.
The Assembly member is elected for a specific district in California. Four days out of the week are spent in Sacramento in committee meetings until September, during which the Assembly will introduce and debate the more than 5,000 bills that could become law in our state. The primary election is June 7. Everyone is urged to vote as it could mean the difference between an elected official fighting the high speed rail route in the Northeast San Fernando Valley, or not. It could make a difference on the type of bill(s) presented in areas that affect the many ignored veterans, the evergrowing homelessness issue, improving education, and the several health and welfare programs. Researching each candidate and deciding what is important to you helps for an informed voting decision. See you at the polls!