Inland Valley News Hosts Gubernatorial Candidate's Forum
Upland, CA -- The Inland Valley News has joined the growing list of newspapers and political groups to endorse Antonio Villaraigosa in his bid for governor.
This meeting was open to the public and was supported by local business and organizations that are concerned about their communities.
Antonio Villaraigosa was the first Gubernatorial candidate to campaign in the inland valley. “I was thrilled and excited to not only host Mr. Villaraigosa but to publicly extend my support for him on Tuesday,” said Inland Valley News’ Publisher Ta Lese Shaterra. “Antonio Villaraigosa has heard the concerns of the African American community at large and spent time addressing our needs while laying out a clear plan,” she continued.
Villaraigosa goes on to say that without ongoing support from the city and local leaders, he would not have been mayor.
“My entire life, I have understood to whom much is given, much is expected. I have always acknowledged that whether I am in the African American community, at the Democratic Convention, in mostly Angelo communities,” he said.
“I’m here today because there was a Civil Rights Act. I’m here today because there was a Voting Rights Act. I’m here today because people fought for my right to be able to run, and I know that, and this community opened up a door for me. I never would have been Mayor of Los Angeles.”
Villaraigosa was surrounded by Inland Empire ministers and civic leaders during the announcement. Pastor Kevin Moreland of the Worship in Truth Church of God in Christ, San Bernardino described Villaraigosa as "a great leader in our community."
"We know what Anthony Villaraigosa has done," said Moreland. "His work speaks for itself."
In a brief speech, Villaraigosa said that although California had the fifth largest economy in the world, it has the nation's worst poverty. He said he wanted to create a California that worked for everyone.
"I think we can do better," said Villaraigosa.
He also touched on other pressing issues such as affordable housing, the cost of college and the importance of early childhood education.
"We should make it affordable for our kids to go to school," said Villaraigosa.
Although Villaraigosa served as mayor of Los Angeles, a survey by the Public Policy Research Institute (PRPI) shows that he lags behind former Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom in the gubernatorial race. The PRPI poll showed 33 percent of black voters preferred Newsom, while 16 percent voted for Villaraigosa. Newsom's political base is in Northern California. (He previously served as mayor of San Francisco.)
Fifty-two percent of the people more than 1,300 people surveyed reside in Los Angeles.
By Manny Otiko, California Black Media and Ta Lese Morrow, Inland Valley News