It’s time to give back power to the people. It’s time for a government that listens to everyone, not just those at the top. Ricardo will fight for all of us.
Housing insecurity, especially the inability of people to obtain affordable housing, has worsened in Los Angeles County over the past years. Los Angeles County is now the epicenter of our county’s housing crisis. In La Puente alone, where 83% of the population is Latino, around 65% of La Puente households are considered lower income, more than the reported percentage (52%) at the county level. There is also large overcrowding in La Puente households because of low income and rising housing costs. For example, according to the City of La Puente’s most recently approved housing element plan, 35% of owner households and about 34% of renter households had five or more members in their homes.
I believe that housing is a universal human right that all families deserve. In La Puente, I will advocate for affordable housing for all of our residents. Housing costs should never be a burden upon a family’s future. I strongly disagree with the City Planning Commission’s recent decision to construct a market-rate 34-unit apartment condominium right in the heart of downtown La Puente – Martin Paz was the sole commissioner voting against this project. The project, which will use limited public parking spaces in order to meet a parking requirement, defies the needs of our community. Although I have asked the La Puente City Council to reconsider this regressive decision that will negatively impact our residents, the City Council is moving forward to construct this unaffordable apartment complex. If elected to La Puente City Council, I will work to increase affordable housing, increase protections to tenants who may face eviction due to rising housing costs, establish a mechanism to provide counsel to tenants in our city during eviction court proceedings, work with homeowners to understand their needs, protect and expand the current four affordable housing projects within La Puente, and support community land trusts (CLTs) in our city.
A government is supposed to serve its people, not corporations and those at the very top. Residents should not have to worry about whether their government will do right for them – a government should always do right for its people. If elected to La Puente City Council, I will regularly inform residents about the work of the city council and create spaces for open conversations from residents about their needs and wants. I will put our working families in La Puente first. City Council meetings should also be easily accessible online for everyone to watch, comment and provide recommendations from the public. I will also push for the city council to provide Spanish translations during its meetings, something yet to be done in a city where the majority of the population speak Spanish. Moreover, I will organize town halls and bring the city’s budget directly to the public, working hand-in-hand with the entire community about where our taxpayer dollars should go. City governments, including La Puente, have countless contracts where we are paying extremely high amounts of money to consultants. As a recession approaches, we need an austere city government that focuses its dollars on helping its people and that invests directly into the future of our community.
Our small-businesses in rich La Puente are in desperate need of support from the La Puente City Council. The COVID-19 pandemic has made the situation even more worrisome and our city government should be there hand-in-hand with our small businesses lending them assistance at every turn. In particular, our historic downtown area remains abandoned. We need a business plan that includes community input to bring investment to our historic downtown area. The La Puente City Council needs to fortify already existing businesses and also provide grants and support to new businesses who want to contribute to our city.
If I am elected Councilmember of La Puente City Council, I will work with our small-businesses and entire community to bring investments to our downtown area and transform it. I will also work to protect our street vendors who are working hard to provide their families financial stability. City governments should never criminalize street-vendors, many of them hard-working immigrants. I will work to make it easier for street-vendors to operate, not harder. The increase in inflation and the response from the Federal Reserve to increase interest rates also hugely impacts small-businesses. At City Council, I will work to ensure our small-businesses and those with ideas who want their projects to thrive in our city are afforded the necessary protection & assistance during these difficult times in our country.
Workers and unions are the bedrock of our communities. My grandfather was a long-time member of Teamsters Local 360, and because of that union our family was able to move forward. In a big way, it is because of the support and protection Teamsters Local 360 offered to my grandfather that I succeeded and attended the University of California, Davis, and now have the privilege to run for office. That is why I will always stand with the Labor Movement and workers across our country demanding employers respect their human dignity and pay workers living wages. Because it is essential we support workers in healthcare, grocery, school, service, retail, and other industries that keep our city running.
If I am elected Councilmember of La Puente City Council, I will actively support all workers in their fight for better working conditions. I also plan to ensure projects in out city are done with union labor and that all unions have the support of the city. Moreover, I will work with the community and the City to begin a program to hire local residents for public sector jobs in our city because I believe our residents know what is best for our community.