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Local Black Leaders Announce Support of Villaraigosa for Governor 
By Kimberlee Buck, Staff Writer 
Published May 10, 2018

Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa receives support from local leaders during his run for Governor. (Mesiyah E. McGinnis/ L.A. Sentinel)

On Thursday, May 3, 2018 a press conference was held at the Los Angeles Sentinel Newspaper announcing the support of former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for Governor. Villaraigosa was surrounded by faith and community leaders, and local prominent political leaders from the City of Carson, Inglewood, and Compton.  

The press conference began with an opening prayer from Xavier Thompson, President of Baptist Ministers Conference. The event continued with remarks from Los Angeles Sentinel Executive Publisher, Danny J. Bakewell, Sr., Los Angeles City Council President, Herb Wesson, Compton Mayor Aja Brown, Inglewood Mayor James Butts, and Carson Mayor Pro Tem, Jawane Hilton.  

Next, Wesson alongside Councilmembers Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Curren Price, took to the podium to pledge their support for Villaraigosa.  

“On behalf of Marqueece, Curren, and I, it is an honor to be here in the midst of such great leaders and activists in the community where we live and the community that we love,” said Wesson. 

Community leaders, faith leaders, and city councilmembers and commissioners during Villaraigosa’s press conference for governor. (Mesiyah E. McGinnis/ L.A. Sentinel)

“In life you don’t agree with people all of the time and Lord knows I have not always agreed with Governor Brown. But I can say this. This state is much better off since he has been here. He was the kind of governor who doesn’t read polls. He doesn’t check the temperature as to how the wind blows. He was a leader and it’s important for us to ensure that we have an individual in Sacramento that is not afraid to lead. I submit to each and every single one of you, that that person is Antonio Villaraigosa.” 

Wesson goes on to say, that friendship has nothing to do with his reasoning for supporting the former mayor. 

“I have friends that I love that I wouldn’t send to the store to get a loaf of bread,” he said.  

“I support him because Antonio realizes that governing is not about doing what you want to do. Governing is about doing what you have to do. Leadership is about taking people places where they don’t think they want to go. Leadership is about telling people the things that they need to know, not the things that they want to hear. So, I’m proud to stand here with Councilmen Curren Price and Marqueece Harris-Dawson, from the great city of Los Angeles, to pledge our support to Antonio Villaraigosa.” 

In closing, Price urged residents to vote and stated that he believes the people of Southern California, the City of Los Angeles, and Blacks, hold the key to this election.   

From left-to-right: Danny Bakewell, Sr., Councilman Marqueece Harris Dawson, Former Los Angeles Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, Councilman Curren Price, and Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson at Villaraigosa’s press conference for governor. (Mesiyah E. McGinnis/ L.A. Sentinel)

Inglewood Mayor Butts, accompanied by his two councilmembers, George Dotson and Ralph Franklin spoke next. Followed by Compton Mayor Brown and her delegation from the City of Compton, Councilmembers Janna Zurita and Tana McCoy, and Satra Zurita from the Compton School Board.  

“He is a man who wants results,” said Butts.  

“When I came to the airport we were one of the lowest entities in safety and when I left, we were rated number one by TSA. There are so many cities in this country that are now on the verge of bankruptcy because of unfunded liabilities. Because elected officials don’t have the guts to do what needs to be done to right the ship. Antonio Villaraigosa, and I know from personal experience working for him, that he is a results oriented person that will continue the legacy of Governor Brown in righting the ship here in California. More importantly, he will make sure that everyone in this state gets to enjoy the fruits and the prosperity of this state.” 

Mayor Brown stated that she wants a governor who has walked the streets of Southern California and understands the issues of Black and Brown people. 

“Homelessness is at an all-time high and economic development is threatening the viability of our state. When affordable transportation and accessible transportation to our region is something that’s critical to our future, we need someone who understands the Southland. Someone who has had boots on the ground, that can empathize with our community and is not afraid to walk our streets and understands our issues and will fight for Southern California. I am pleased to offer our support from the City of Compton, to the future governor of the great state of California, Antonio Villaraigosa,” she said. 

Hilton, accompanied by his delegation from the City of Carson, Councilman Cedric Hicks, spoke next. 

“We will do everything in our power to make sure Antonio gets elected,” said Hilton.  

“[Sometimes], when people get elected, they don’t remember who got them there. Antonio is the one who always remembered who got him there and we will do everything we can, everything possible, to get him that seat.”  

Other community and faith leaders who were also in attendance to show their support for Villaraigosa included:  Sweet Alice Harris from the Parents of Watts, Kalid Shaw from Stop the Violence, Increase the Peace, Tracy Mitchell from Mother’s in Action, Rev. Chip Murray from FAME (retired), Bishop Blake from West Los Angeles, Minister Tony Muhammad from the Nation of Islam, Pastor Wade from Mt. Moriah (retired), Rev. J. Edgar Boyd from FAME, Marc Little from Faithful Central, Rev. Daryl Barnes from Paradise Baptist, Bishop Noel Jones from City of Refuge, Rev. Bernard Jackson from Phillips Temple CME,  Rev. Rank Oliver from Power of Faith, Commissioner Cheryl Turner, Commissioner Felicia Brannon, Commissioner Gail Willis, Commissioner Bill Funderburk.  

Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (Mesiyah E. McGinnis/ L.A. Sentinel)

The press conference continued with a campaign speech from Villaraigosa. 

“Over the 25 years I have been in public office, I [have] received a lot of endorsements. Some of them I knew very well, some of them not so well but they took a chance on me. But what I am so proud of today, is the fact that these are the people that I have worked with, not for one or two or three years. Many of the people here I have worked with for three and four decades. Not just when I was in office but in 1980 when Mark Ridley-Thomas, we started the Latino-Black round-table,” said Villaraigosa. 

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.”  

If elected into office, some of the issues Villaraigosa plans to tackle are homelessness an affordable housing.  

“If you notice one of the things about this campaign and they have talked a lot about it in the debates, is that I show up. I’m present and accounted for. You don’t see me in this neighborhood and this community and I’m running for governor,” said Villaraigosa in response to why residents should vote for him as opposed to one of his opponents, Lieutenant Governor of California, Gavin Newsom. 

“You see me in every part of the state that needs a leader that says, ‘I value you, I respect you.’ I believe if we are going to be great, we have to grow together.”  

Visit www.lasentinel.net to check out our one-on-one interview with Villaraigosa. For the latest election news follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and download our mobile app. 

Categories: Crenshaw & Around | Local | News | Political
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