I owned and operated my business, Robin’s Wood Fire BBQ, for 38 years before retiring in August of 2020. I have been a resident of Pasadena for most of that time. In 1982 I considered East Pasadena to be the Siberia of Pasadena but an optimistic choice to make an investment and it was a good move. East Pasadena is now the choice of Home Depot and many major chain restaurants and retailers. I’ve watched Old Pasadena reinvent itself from a blighted avoidable area into what is arguably one of the most desired food and beverage destinations in Southern California. Sadly since March 2020 due to COVID-19 I’ve watched commerce decelerate and jobs disappear in Pasadena. Numbers don’t lie and the Governor’s shutdown is taking its toll on both sustainability and patience.
The City of Pasadena, in fact the entire State of California, is at a critical and pivotal junction as we head into the November 3rd election. On March 3rd the residents of District 2 elected a stellar replacement for outgoing councilmember Margaret McAustin by electing Felicia Williams. On November 3rd we have the opportunity to elect a Mayor that has the compassion, commitment and the consensus building capability and competency to lead our city back to economic vitality and sustainability.
It is for these needs and reasons that I am enthusiastically endorsing and supporting Victor Gordo as the next Mayor of Pasadena.
I have personally known Victor for more than 25 years and have witnessed first hand his love and commitment for not only District 5 but for the entire City of Pasadena. His commitment to protect and support our neighborhoods by supporting the Pasadena Police and Fire Departments is unparalleled and unyielding. As a vendor at the Rose Bowl I have witnessed Victor’s “Pasadena First” philosophy of employing both local Pasadena vendors and local residents. Victor’s mission has always been about what’s best for Pasadena and what can he do better for Pasadena. This service before self mindset probably harkens back to his first job as a busboy and waiter at the beloved Rose City Diner many years ago. Now more than ever we need more customer service put back into public service.
When the pandemic hit the world this past March and as businesses and schools were forced to close panic hit small business owners unlike anything they ever experienced. Leadership was needed and practically begged for by my friends and former colleagues in the Pasadena restaurant community. While Mayor Tornek was in our sister city Dakar, Senegal on a visit with a group from Pasadena Vice Mayor Tyron Hampton did a fantastic job filling in but we needed our Mayor back in Pasadena. Businesses were shutdown and employees were either furloughed or layed off. Our health department didn’t have any guidelines in place because this was a generational once in a lifetime worldwide pandemic. Had I been the Mayor I would have been on the first plane back to the United States upon hearing this news. I wasn’t, he was and he didn’t. Victor Gordo stepped up in the Mayor’s absence and to this day continues to guide our small businesses forward through this pandemic. With the help of city staff and support from former Mayor Bill Bogaard and colleagues Steve Madison, Andy Wilson, Gene Masuda, John Kennedy, Vice Mayor Tyron Hampton and others we now have street, alleyway, sidewalk and parking lot dining without additional permit encumbrances. We now have a direct line of communication not only to Victor Gordo but also city manager Steve Mermell and Eric Duyshart from the office of business development. Victor Gordo held safe social distance meetings with Pasadena restaurateurs at various locations and with Zoom meetings from the outset of the pandemic and it continues today.
The bottom line is this. Leadership is defined not by what you say you will do but rather by what you have actually done. One look at the history of Victor Gordo’s city council commitment to closing neighborhood liquor stores, reenergizing the Villa Parke Community Center, his work to insure stronger public safety in every Pasadena neighborhood and his 24/7 personal involvement of working hands on with reassuring and revitalizing Pasadena restaurants and commerce shows his will and dedication. This should give every resident in Pasadena a very clear indication of the type of strong compassionate team building leadership that we all can expect from a Mayor Victor Gordo from day one of his first day on the job.
With a new Mayor, a new Council Woman and a new consensus building commitment let’s together rebuild and redefine a Pasadena that puts its people, neighborhoods and businesses first. Let’s make this the start of the true “Pasadena Way”.
I ask that every registered voter and all of my friends, neighbors, Republicans and Democrats to exercise their right to vote and to vote for Victor Gordo for Mayor of Pasadena.
39 year Pasadena Resident
Former City Commissioner
Former VP of the San Rafael Neighborhoods Asso.
Founder of the Pasadena Hot Meals Program