Sorry, I missed last week. I was out of the office ill all week and no matter how hard I tried, I just could not get focused enough to complete "Talk to Danny".
Thank you to all of the people who wrote in, called and emailed me wondering what happened to "Talk to Danny". Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined I would have so many people reading and responding to my column. Also, because I was ill our new FUN section is also behind schedule. It will kick off next week, but, again I needed time to get focused and get the ball moving.
Well, with all that being said, "Let's Talk".
While I was home sick in the bed, I had the opportunity to reflect on a lot of the issues that face the Sentinel on a weekly basis. 1) How do I keep the stories we report relevant; and 2) how do I not let the paper be so politics heavy? Unfortunately, right now with gangs, unemployment, education, poverty, homelessness and health care at the forefront of our communities issues it appears that everything in some way, shape or form has politics and who represents "US" entrenched into it and there is just no way to get around it.
That brings me to one of my major concerns. Who do we elect to replace our beloved Congresswoman – Juanita Millender-McDonald? Early on in the race many of us discussed the fact that the African American Community MUST get behind ONE candidate. We all knew that the Latino Community was going to get behind State Senator Jenny Orpeza and it appears the L.A. Times is doing the same. This however, just proves the point more over that we must come together and as the President of the Congressional Black Caucus [Congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks-Kilpatrick], put it so eloquently at Juanita's Funeral, "we want, we need, and we must send another strong Black representative capable and willing to do the business of our community".
Well, I believed then, as I believe now that, this candidate is Assemblywoman Laura Richardson. Laura's Assembly District crosses over 60% of the 37th Congressional District Juanita so graciously represented. Laura and Juanita were friends and Laura currently holds the very assembly seat that Juanita came from when she got elected to congress in March of 1996. Laura, has also proven to be a seasoned politician, first rising up as a leader within the Long Beach City Council and then beating the hand picked candidate of Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez to win her assembly seat and even winning favor after the race with the speaker to move up and be the 3rd highest ranking member of the state assembly.
Now I know there are those individuals who support Valerie McDonald who are not going to be happy with my commentary. However, we must remain focused in order to retain the political power that the congresswoman fought so hard for us to have. The original plan was for our community to get behind one candidate and I pray that we some how come together to do just that.
We must learn that we will always be stronger united, than we could ever be divided.
WE MUST UNITE to hold on to this seat. We cannot let our vote be split. My biggest fear is that we as a community will learn our lesson of being divided on June 27th when we lose this seat, rather than learn it in victory by retaining this seat.
That is why both the Sentinel and I (Danny Bakewell, JR.) personally encourage everyone to stick to the original game plan and the original candidate who many of us agreed to support, Assemblyperson Laura Richardson. I am doing this because Laura has put her time in as a public servant and has demonstrated that she has and will continue to do what it takes to serve our community. I am asking all of you to stand in support of Laura Richardson for the 37th Congressional seat. We cannot afford to let our divisiveness cost us this critical place in the halls of the U.S. Congress.
So, whether you agree or disagree, now more than ever I really need your input. I need to hear from you now more than ever. I need to know what is going on in our community. I also need to know what other stories we need to tell, and what is on your mind. I really do want to hear from you, I want you to "Talk to Danny."
Danny J. Bakewell, Jr.
President & Executive Editor