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Guerra, Mendoza, Havice, Perez, Arvizu Square Off in Senate Debate

By Tammye McDuff

The League of Women Voters of Whittier was host to a candidate forum for the five Senate hopefuls for the newly created 32nd District. Margo Reeg, President of the Whittier Chapter, acted as moderator.

This election has four Democrats running Carlos Arvizu; Sally Morales Havice; Tony Mendoza and Dr. Irella Perez. The single Republican is Mario Guerra. Hews Media Group has brought to the readers an up close and personal interview with each candidate, focusing on the platforms and issues most relevant to this district. Each candidate was given 2 minutes to introduce themselves and give opening statements.

Carlos Arvizu is a Real Estate Broker and published author. Arvizu calls himself a self made man and is also a Viet Nam veteran. He is new to public office, but says “Frankly, I got angry and upset at some of the nonsense that has been going on in politics. I decided that I needed to do something.” The issues Arvizu is concentrating on are the Metro and HOV; Water shortage; Continuing and improving the school system.

Mario Guerra would rather not be labeled a Republican or a Democrat, he would rather be called a ‘Citizen’ or an ‘American’. Guerra supports Immigration Reform; he believes that there should be less government intrusion in local cities and lower taxation. Guerra will tackle the outdated laws that need to be looked at, amended or changed all together, with his concerns being quality of life, jobs, public safety, and education.

Sally Morales Havice has taught English composition and literature for over 30 years. Havice has been instrumental in establishing California’s landmark anti-bully law; enhanced child privacy laws; created the Rivers and Mountain Conservancy for the San Gabriel Valley and southeast Los Angeles County cities. In 1989, Havice ran for and was elected to the ABC Unified School District, where she served until her election in 1996 to the California State Assembly. Havice was overwhelmingly re-elected to the Legislature in 1998 and 2000.

Tony Mendoza has been in office for 16 years, supporting many issues and standing for what he believes to be in the best interest of his constituents. Mendoza states “I have done my homework and paid my dues. I know the issues.” Mendoza bill AB 97 made California the first state in the nation to ban the use of Trans Fats; AB 1291, passed in 2007 allows judges to sentence the parents of children with first-time gang offenses and he also passed AB 22 which prohibits the use of Credit Checks in the hiring process.

Dr. Irella Perez says she will listen to the people stating “I want to represent all people as best as I can. I am just a regular Mom trying to make things better for my family and those families that I represent. I am a Latina-Chinese American woman”. Believing that education can transform the lives of Californians, Perez is running a one issue campaign. She believes in the power of education. The major issues are safety and national security; gun control and job security. A major mandate for her election would be incentive to major companies more to stay here in California as opposed to moving out of state to avoid high taxes.

The redistricting in 2011 by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, now has the new district encompass much of the Gateway Cities region in south east LA County.  The district consists of several inner Los Angeles suburbs. The cities represented by this new district are Artesia; Bellflower; Buena Park; Cerritos; Commerce; Downey; East La Mirada; Hacienda Heights; Hawaiian Gardens; La Habra Heights; La Mirada; Lakewood; Montebello; Norwalk; Pico Rivera; Santa Fe Springs; South Whittier; West Whittier-Los Nietos and Whittier proper.

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization encouraging the informed and active participation of citizens in government. It influences public policy through education and advocacy. This particular chapter serves the communities of Serving the people of Hacienda Heights, La Habra Heights, La Mirada, Pico Rivera, Santa Fe Springs and Whittier.


To obtain more information about the candidates visit www.smartvoter.org.

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