Assembly member Cheryl Brown has just announced her intention to seek re-election to represent the people of the 47th Assembly District. She has already received some impressive endorsements from local elected leaders including congressional representatives, county supervisors, and all five mayors who lead the cities that are located in her district. These elected leaders, along with key city council members and local school board members, are close to the people of the district and know the needs of the cities and county she represents.
These elected officials are tough leaders themselves and do not attach their names to other people just for the fun of it unless they have seen benefits to the communities they represent from the candidate seeking office.
Everything Cheryl has done since I’ve known her is to be inclusive of all people. She was a member of the Pan American Club at San Bernardino Valley College, she represented the Girl Scouts of America in Mexico to seek ways to include all people in Girl Scouts, she brought together young African-American and Latino women for the National Council of Negro Women’s Checkmate program where they were trained as nurse assistants to work in hospitals.
She carried that same spirit of inclusion into the work she did as a publisher and small business owner. When Graciano Gomez sought advice on how to begin his newspaper he invited the two of us to a meeting in Colton seeking answers to the many questions he had. Once Cheryl was satisfied that he was not planning to compete with her longtime high school friends Marta Macias Brown and Gloria Macias Harrison of the El Chicano, she shared her experiences. And she helped secure advertising dollars for not only African-American owned newspapers, but Latino and Asian-owned newspapers throughout the State of California and served on the Poynter Institute’s minority group committee to make their papers better.
I don’t have to brag about Cheryl Brown and what she has done for the people of the Inland Empire but wanted to share a few thoughts with you because there are a few dissenters spouting untruths primarily in the attempt to cause a rift between the Black and Brown communities. We have two names being tossed around as challengers to Cheryl’s seat with Eloise Reyes making it public at a LULAC Board of Directors meeting while Joe Baca is floating his name to see if he receives any traction. Baca has changed his party affiliation after losing several local elections, hoping to fool registered Republicans. I’m sure they’ll see through that ploy.
Now Reyes is seeking to run for the office based on what people outside of the district are telling her. She is listening to a wealthy environmentalist from the Bay area that wants to cut the Inland Empire’s fuel supply in half, with no regard for how that plan will affect the working people of the 47th. She is also listening to another group that promotes divisive politics between the diverse communities.
When Eloise ran against Congressman Pete Aguilar, she was urged by outsiders to run even though the Democratic Party was supporting Pete. I know this because I spoke with her at my home when she was campaigning for that position. If Eloise is so easily swayed in her decision-making, it is my opinion that she would not work in the best interest of the 47th Assembly District’s constituents, but will represent the interest of others.
Eloise also claims that unions do not like Assembly member Brown yet the largest and most influential union in the State of California just gave Assembly member Brown a 96 percent rating which is one of the highest in the state.
I can only conclude that there is a small — emphasis on the word ‘small’ — group that is trying to push a racial wedge between our communities and they have the ear of people like Eloise Reyes, Joe Baca, and Gil Navarro. It’s unfortunate that their rhetoric is not substantive or even true. I’m proud to support Assembly member Brown for her continued commitment to ALL the people of the 47th District.