Published : Thursday, February 9, 2017 | 4:37 AM
As our fellow voters review their ballots for the upcoming March 7th municipal election, we strongly recommend endorsement of Victor Gordo for Pasadena City Council District 5. Victor has been an effective leader on the Council for the families in District 5, a dedicated advocate City-wide, and a great asset to the Council’s decision-making and overall success. He is compassionate and caring. He has responded to his District’s needs and desires, and critically, he consistently delivers tangible results.
Victor has been a fierce fighter for programs and services in his District that improved quality of life. One example is his leadership in removing—by demolition—nuisance liquor stores from various neighborhoods, thus removing blight from District 5 and our City. This was a difficult, long-term and sustained effort that required an ordinance empowering City Hall to reign in nuisance liquor stores, advocacy with City staff to enforce the ordinance, and support on Council to defend the liquor lobby lawsuits that followed.
But Victor did not stop there. With his deep roots in our community and his awareness of community resources, he shepherded redevelopment of two affordable housing projects to replace the nuisance liquor stores, thereby replacing blight with a sorely needed community resource. Many leaders struggle to achieve results like this once in a career, but Victor accomplished such results first in 2006 (Washington Classics project at El Molino Ave. & Washington Blvd.) and currently (demolition of Andy’s liquor store at Summit Ave. & Orange Grove Blvd.) with the soon to be completed Summit Grove project.
These are only two examples of Victor’s innovative and persistent leadership in improving the lives of District 5 residents, but it typifies his active and effective leadership.
As District 5 representative, Victor has demonstrated leadership in managing gentrification. Early on, he worked to organize long-term residents on block by block neighborhood improvement projects that eventually were joined in by new residents. This helped break-down barriers between longterm and new residents throughout Victor’s service on the Council. This past year, he engaged the Pasadena Playhouse to sponsor a neighborhood-based play and block party that prompted a community conversation on gentrification. In this critical discussion, the voices of long-term residents, new residents, and those in-between were all equally represented, making this an experiment that other communities are
now seeking to emulate.
Victor also has a demonstrated a commitment to affordable housing in District 5 and City-wide which is home to Orange Grove Gardens, Union Station’s Family Center (transitional housing), Fair Oaks Court, Herkimer Gardens, Hudson Oaks Senior Residences, and the recently opened Marv’s Place (permanent supportive housing). Victor remains committed to increasing affordable housing City-wide and improving the City’s Tenant Protection Ordinance.
As a long-term advocate of Early Childhood Education, Victor recently led our City Council in adopting the City’s first Early Child Development Policy and fought vigorously to fund our City’s Office of the Young Child to insure the success of this critical policy.
As chair of the Council’s Economic Development & Technology Committee, Victor worked with a broad-based coalition of community leaders in a City-wide discussion on the minimum wage and led the effort for the Council’s adoption of a minimum wage ordinance last year to better support our working families.
We also should not forget that Victor led our City’s effort to restore and re-energize our iconic Rose Bowl Stadium to ensure it is a resource rather than drain on the general fund and that it continues as an icon for generations to come.
Recently, in vigorous Council debate, Victor demonstrated his commitment to public safety and strong police services. The recent criticism that Victor would reduce vital services in favor of police staffing is simply wrong. He has consistently supported parks, senior programs, youth activities, and fire and life safety support. In this term alone, Victor fought to save funding for senior and youth services and
expand programming in our parks.
The criticism that Victor “waffles” on immigrant rights is simply false, even ridiculous. Since the November election, on several occasions, he has shared his personal story as an immigrant growing up in a garage, and voiced strong support for keeping our police from cooperating with Federal ICE. In the past, he was a leader on Council in achieving a Resolution opposing Arizona’s infamous and shameful SB 1070 law. He is compassionate and caring. His commitment to immigrant rights has never faltered, and it never will.
We hope you will not be swayed by these false assertions and will join us in supporting Victor Gordo to continue his exceptional leadership for Pasadena’s District 5.
California State Senator Anthony Portantino
Mayor Bill Bogaard (former)
Julianne Hines (District 5 resident)
Tim Wendler (District 5 resident)
Pablo Alvarado (District 5 resident)