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U.S. Sen. Padilla Joins Local Officials for Worship at South L.A. Churches
By Sentinel News Service
Published June 2, 2022

Pastor John E. Cager III offers prayer for Sen. Alex Padilla during services at Ward AME Church. (Ian Foxx)

U.S. Senator Alex Padilla joined long-time allies and friends in South Los Angeles on May 29, as he visited churches returning to in-person services.

Accompanied by Los Angeles City Councilmember Herb Wesson, former City Councilmember Martin Ludlow, and Ed Sanders, Padilla stopped at services held at West Angeles Church of God in Christ and Ward African Methodist Episcopal Church, where he spoke about the recent shootings in Uvalde, Texas and Buffalo, New York.

Padilla, who is himself a person of faith, delivered heartfelt remarks about the tragedies in Uvalde and Buffalo. Calling the tragedies “senseless,” he poignantly noted that the vast majority of the victims in both shootings are Black and Brown individuals. In addition to being driven by hatred, he noted, too often these mass shootings are committed by White supremacists who are increasingly radicalized, violent, and armed.

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Speaking not just as a Senator, but as a father of young children, Padilla sounded off on politicians who lack the political will to enact safer gun laws. Noting that he is just as frustrated as the parents who fear sending their children to school every day, he urged the congregation to take the fight for gun reform to the ballot box. The power of the vote, he proclaimed, is the way forward.

Padilla worships at West Angeles Church of God in Christ on May 29. (Rickey Brown)

Padilla has fought tirelessly to ensure that voters can still use the ballot box for change, both here in California and at the national level. As the former California Secretary of State, Padilla protected and expanded the right to vote—passing reforms that led to the largest voter turnout in California since World War II.

Now he’s taken that fight to Washington D.C., where he quickly became a leader on federal voting rights reform. Despite setbacks to key legislation that he authored and advocated for — he has made clear that he’s not giving up. His name is listed on the ballot twice this year to complete the Senate term that he was appointed to and to fulfill a new six-year term. He has told voters that he’s seeking to return to the Senate to continue the fight for voting rights.

Following his call to action, Padilla closed his remarks at Ward AME with words from future Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, whom he helped confirm as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “Persevere,” he said. “We can, and we will, persevere. We will prevail.”

 

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