GUEST COMMENTARY - The mudslinging, intimidation and extortion has begun in a passive aggressive way between declared and non-declared candidates vying for the upcoming 2024 Los Angeles City CD 14 Council race.
To date, there are at least 5 declared candidates and one non-declared candidate, namely current CD 14 Councilman Kevin Deleon.
Those who have declared their intent to run are: Wendy Carrillo, Miguel Santiago, Nick Pacheco and Ysabel Jurado.
It is no surprise that Miguel Santiago would throw his hat into the mix because prior to the release of those secret recorded tapes (which took place at the offices of the LA.County Federation of Labor), it was known to many that DeLeon was going to run for California Lieutenant Governor and Santiago for CD 14. They were two peas in a pod and close allies. DeLeon already has his war chest established to run for the Lieutenant Governor position.
Remember (publicity stunt) when DeLeon and Santiago both spent the night together in one of those Highland Park Tiny Houses.
What they both failed to disclose is that the LAPD parked a police vehicle with on-duty police officers close to where they spent the night and protected them both while being paid with taxpayers dollars.
Most recently, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla held a news conference in Boyle Heights with Santiago and Jimmy Gomez near his side. The topic of the news conference was that Padilla, along with US Senator Diane Feinstein and US. Rep Robert Garcia wanted to renew their requests to the Federal Environmental Protection Agency for financial aid and a declaration that the area around the now closed Exide battery recycling factory be declared a Super fund site. They want the federal government to pay for the massive cleanup of the contaminated soil. California residents remember the toxic Santa Susana area for more than 30 plus years and all of the broken promises made to clean it up.
For more than a decade, land surrounding the now closed Vernon Exide factory and residential homes and businesses located in Huntington Park, Maywood, Bell, Vernon and Boyle Heights have been declared contaminated both by fumes and excessive lead.
For the past several years the residents of Boyle Heights have called for a massive cleanup and removal of the contaminated soil (lead) from the yards and pathways that surround their homes. Unfortunately, the removal has been dismal. Recent studies show that the lead content remains at very high levels.
Recently, the LA Times has covered this mess, with the caption of “California’s biggest environmental cleanup leaves lead contamination and frustration”. You can see the article here.
Years back, DeLeon, Carrillo and Santiago all stated that they would do whatever was needed to have the state of California remove the lead contaminated soil.
But here we are getting ready for yet another election and all of these elected politicians want to obtain a positive face hoping to garnish upcoming votes for the upcoming CD 14 2024 election.
In reality, they all failed to follow-up on the progress (or lack thereof) of the removal of the lead contaminated soil.
Kevin DeLeon took over his current LA. City Council office (special election) representing CD 14 in 2020. He rarely sent out post cards announcing community events within the Northeast area of CD 14. But now, with the election looming, he has begun sending out post cards for various events with his CD 14 Kevin Deleon logo.
For the past 15 plus years (excluding last year) the Eagle Rock Chamber of Commerce has hosted the Community Fourth of July fireworks event. It would not be an exaggeration to state that more than 2-3 thousand people attended. There were a number of vendors (great food) and live music prior to the fireworks show. Last year it was only hosted by DeLeon and it was poorly attended with only a couple of vendors present. Again, this year DeLeon is hosting the Community Fireworks event.
For the past 15 plus years, the Eagle Rock Chamber of Commerce has hosted the Concerts in the Park. This year the Chamber is again hosting and is responsible for setting up 8 concerts commencing on Sunday July 8th. There will be live bands at each event and numerous food vendors. The concerts are held at the Eagle Rock Park and are free not only for the residents of Eagle Rock but also Highland Park, Glassell Park and Cypress Park. Many residents from outside of our immediate CD 14 Northeast area, i.e., Glendale, South Pasadena, and Pasadena have attended. Each concert event is sponsored by a local business of the Eagle Rock Community.
In past years, the current elected officials that represent the CD 14 were invited to attend and set up a table where their staff would hand out written materials to their constituents.
However, this year Alice Roth the director of CD 14 Eagle Rock office made it abundantly clear that Kevin DeLeon did not want any current elected officials attending who represent CD 14 and who have declared their intent to run for the upcoming 2024 CD 14 council.
Also, Kevin DeLeon's office has agreed to pay the City of LA for the opening and closing costs for the use of the Eagle Rock.
Is this not a form of extortion or at least of form of intimidation?
The Concerts in the Park is a Public Community Event. Therefore, anyone should be able to attend.
Do you recall when Kevin DeLeon held a community meeting at the Eagle Rock City Hall and demanded that a Field Deputy for current State Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo leave the event.
Just another example of the POLITICAL CORRUPTION and DIRTY POLITICS within our once great state of CALIFORNIA.
(Caroline Aguirre is a retired 24-year State of California law enforcement officer, LAPD family member, community activist and Neighborhood Watch captain. Aguirre is a CityWatch contributor.)