Let’s see…this is the first Tuesday of the month, so it must be – yes – it’s election day! Again!
For the fourth time since November, there’s an election on this first Tuesday…and today it’s a Special Election to replace former Congress Member Xavier Becerra (who was appointed the new California Attorney General a few months ago) in the 34th District.
So if you live roughly south of Melrose, north of the 10 Freeway, and east of Plymouth Blvd., chances are you are in the 34th District (see map below for more precise boundaries) and that you will be going to the polls today to vote for either Robert Ahn or Jimmy Gomez to be your new congressional representative.
The two candidates topped a field of more than 20 hopefuls in the primary election a few months ago, but the challenge for voters this time isn’t a choice between polar opposites, but to determine the most important differences between two at least rather similar candidates.
In fact, both hopefuls are running as Democrats and both have similar areas of interest…so the campaign has turned mostly on who is or isn’t slightly more or less progressive/conservative than the other, and whether or not Gomez’s status as an “insider” with legislative experience and Ahn’s relative “outsider” status are positives or negatives.
For the record, Ahn is currently a Los Angeles City Planning Commissioner, as well as a self-described “long time community activist, fervent environmentalist, successful entrepreneur and public interest attorney.” He is the son of Korean immigrants and, if elected, would be the first Korean-American Democrat in Congress. His areas of interest include health care, education, the environment, immigration, foreign policy and veterans.
Gomez, a current California State Assembly Member, is the child of Mexican immigrants, and touts his fairly progressive record on issues such as paid family leave, public health, environmental justice, water conservation, access to education, domestic violence and sexual assault prevention, campaign finance disclosure in the wake of Citizens United, LGBTQ rights and affordable housing.
Ahn is endorsed by the L.A. Daily News, former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, Los Angeles City Council Member David Ryu, former LA City Council Member Mike Woo, First AME Church Pastor J. Edgar Boyd, former First AME Pastor Rev. Dr. Cecil Murray, and AIDS Walk of Los Angeles founder Craig Miller, among others.
Gomez has received endorsements from Xavier Becerra, the Los Angeles Times, the California Democratic Party, U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, Governor Jerry Brown, Senate President Pro tem Kevin de Leon, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, the Sierra Club, a number of local unions, and the National Organization for Women (NOW), among others.
So if you live in the 34th District, please take a few minutes today to vote. To find your polling place, see https://www.lavote.net/home/voting-elections/current-elections/find-my-election-information