To consolidate, disseminate, and gather information concerning the 710 expansion into our San Rafael neighborhood and into our surrounding neighborhoods. If you have an item that you would like posted on this blog, please e-mail the item to Peggy Drouet at pdrouet@earthlink.net

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Judy Chu for House in 27th District: Editorial


October 8, 2014

 United States Congresswoman Judy Chu, during the Glendora Military Memorial Dedication Ceremony, at the Glendora City Hall in Glendora, Saturday, June 22, 2013.

Judy Chu has been an elected official in the San Gabriel Valley for almost three decades, ever since she first joined the Garvey School Board in 1985. She moved up through the Monterey Park City Council, the Assembly and the state Board of Equalization before winning her first congressional seat in the old 32nd District. After redistricting, Chu ran and won in the Pasadena-centric 27th District, which makes up much of the San Gabriel Valley. The first Chinese-American woman in Congress, her district has the second-most Asian residents in the state at 37 percent.

It’s also one of the safest Democratic districts in California. Last time around, Republican challenger Jack Orswell got 36 percent of the votes to Chu’s 64 percent.

But Orswell is back again for this 2014 race, campaigning hard against Chu’s hope to have the Angeles National Forest become a national monument in order to secure more funding for the San Gabriel Mountains. The former FBI agent is currently a small-business owner and sensibly told the editorial board that “the best thing Congress could do for small businesses” is to “reduce rules, regulations” and high corporate taxes. He has a sensible and principled objection to the tunnel proposal for the 710 Freeway extension, whereas Chu’s support for the proposal seems knee-jerk and out of touch with contemporary planning and transit realities.

But Chu remains a better representative for the district, and one reason is Orswell’s lack of experience in government. Rather than starting at the council or school board level, or even by running for state office, the Arcadian instead is once again going right for Congress — and in a district where the registration numbers continue to be very much against him.

Chu is bright and capable and has thrown tremendous energy into the effort to shore up resources in the San Gabriels, either as a national recreation area or a monument. But she needs to do a better job of understanding why many in the area are turned off by manipulative efforts in that process — busing in folks from Pico Union, for instance, to pack the house at a town hall on the San Gabriels, which left many local residents fuming on the outside of the meeting.

 But Chu’s cause is a good one, and she can do a fine job for the district, especially if she adopts a more down-to-earth, less bureaucratic style.