California Gubernatorial Candidate Antonio Villaraigosa will be the featured speaker as the Inland Valley News in collaboration with California Black Media, Inc. hosts its first in a series of Local and State-Wide Candidate Forums. The forum will take place on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 from 11:00am – 1:00pm at the Inland Valley News; 2009 Porterfield Way, Suite C, Upland, CA 91786.
A host of Southern California’s most influential business, political, faith-based and community leaders are expected to attend this community forum and press conference that is designed to provide an opportunity for local and state-wide candidates to address critical issues that pertain to African American communities throughout the Inland Empire.
“Making our state work for everyone starts with making sure everyone has a voice,” says Villaraigosa, via his campaign website. “I’m running for Governor to do big things—starting with rebuilding our middle class by investing in our schools and repairing our infrastructure. But we’re never going to make this state work for us again unless we give voice to the people who are all too often not heard in Sacramento. That’s what my campaign is about—giving voice to everyone. That’s what my service as governor will be about—making sure the people are heard in Sacramento and their priorities are addressed.:
Villaraigosa grew up in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles and was raised by his mother. He was a high school dropout until a public school teacher, Herman Katz, gave him a second shot. “That’s why I know firsthand how an education can open doors and change the course of a life, said Villaraigosa. “My mother raised us with a passion for justice. I volunteered with the farm workers’ movement and led student walkouts.”
He was one of those kids they didn’t think was going to make it, but was blessed to live in a state that gave kids like me a second chance. With a life-changing college degree in my hand, he then went to the People’s College of Law, a school dedicated to the public interest.
In his mid-twenties, he was elected President of the American Federation of Government Employees, a local union representing employees who enforced civil rights laws in five states. Over the next fifteen years, he continued to work as a union organizer for the Service Employees International Union, United Teachers Los Angeles and then served as President of the Southern California chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.
In 1994, he was elected to the California State Assembly and three years later, he was elected Assembly Speaker. While serving, he brought together environmental and business groups for a $2 billion park bond, the largest in California’s history, authored the Healthy Families program for nearly three quarters of a million uninsured children and passed a $9 billion school bond measure, the largest to that date.
In 2001, he ran for Mayor of Los Angeles and lost, but was successful in his bid for the City Council in 2003.
In 2005, he was sworn in as the 41st Mayor of Los Angeles. As Mayor of Los Angeles, he led an effort to make Los Angeles one of the safest big cities in America, while building a 21st century transportation system, achieving fundamental and far-reaching education reform, spurring economic development by eliminating government red tape, streamlining the city bureaucracy and making Los Angeles a national model of sustainability and green growth.
Under Villaraigosa’s leadership as Mayor, Los Angeles doubled the number of high-performing schools and graduation rates went from 44% to 72%, expanded the public transit system and, with Measure R, raised $40 billion for transportation projects, including new rail and bus lines. Los Angeles was also the first big city to set a goal to become independent of coal by 2025 and during his tenure, they reduced overall greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 30 percent.
“I want to be California’s next governor because I believe that we need to bring this state together around a shared vision—lifting more families into the middle class and creating high wage jobs by improving our schools and investing in our infrastructure like roads, bridges, transportation, ports and waterways. We can rebuild a California that gives every family the chance to succeed,” says Villaraigosa.
“Hosted by the Inland Valley News in collaboration with California Black Media, Southern California Black Business Expo and the Urban Philanthropy Institute, this forum is the first in a series that will provided opportunities for the community to hear the plans and ask questions of local and stage-wide candidate, said Tommy Morrow, Publisher or the Inland Valley News. “Through our partnership with the California Black Media and their network of African American news outlets, which include such Greater Inland Empire newspapers as Westside Story, San Bernardino American and the Black Voice News, local and state-wide candidates can reach hundreds of thousand African American households throughout the state of California.
This meeting is open to the public and is supported by local business and organizations that are concerned about their communities. For more information contact Inland Valley News at (909) 985-0072.