JOSE GASPAR: Surprises and more in local election results | Jose Gaspar – Bakersfield, California

Bakersfield, California 2020-11-22 15:03:00 –

Political activity associated with this year’s elections has had some unexpected consequences at the local level.

Start with Irvine, the vulnerable Olivia Trujillo, defeating the incumbent Jose Glora and being elected the new mayor of the city. Breast cancer survivor Trujillo won 55% of the votes and 44% of Glora.

The results were surprising as Glora is considered an up-and-coming star in the local Democratic Party. Trujillo is not as politicized as Glora, but the immigrant woman is primarily self-taught and active in community issues. When you ask her a question, she gives a straight answer without dancing around the problem. Her three grown-up daughters are also professional women, doctors, lawyers, and business people. She lived in the same Langford Avenue home as her brother and parents arrived from Mexico in 1962, and the family relied on fieldwork to survive.

“I learned to drive a tractor when I was 12 years old,” said Trujillo.

She was elected to the Irvine City Council in 2018 and will now be mayor two years later. Her top priority is to tackle the ever-present water problems that cities never seem to control. Due to the high levels of arsenic in water, Arvin residents need to boil the water for safe use. But financing remains a problem. Her other pet project is to make Arvin more business friendly.

“We need to rethink the city’s business permit process. There is too much bureaucratic formalism,” she said. She wants to attract more businesses to increase the city’s financial resources, which in turn will be able to give police officers salary increases. Good luck.

Now let’s move on to Delano. The Delano City Council had three seats. The first to come was Veronica Basquez, followed by Joe Arinda Jao and Salvador Solorio. The surprise here is that two long-time incumbents, Grace Vallejo and Joe Aguirre, were not reelected.

“I’m still embracing it,” said Basquez, who grew up in Delano, went to college and returned to her beloved city in 2007. She is a smart woman currently working as a social worker in Kern County. He is a human service and chairman of the Kern County Chapter of SEIU Trade Union Local 521. She also grew up in the agricultural labor movement with her parents who joined the United Farm Workers Union under the late Cesar Chavez. As a kid, her parents couldn’t afford a babysitter or no one saw her, so she took her to work.

“My family will work in the fields and I will play there,” Basquez said. “I’m grateful that I grew up in the environment I did because there are so many tools and skills I didn’t realize I had.”

She wants to tackle COVID-19-related issues and find ways to improve the lives of older people who are afraid of being exposed to the virus and cannot leave home. Two of her priorities are to develop youth programs as a way to keep young people away from gangsters. The city continues to face gang violence, with innocent people killed in shootouts. Earlier this year, two girls, 11 and 12 years old, got out of the car, approached a dwelling where several people gathered outside, and were shot by someone who fired randomly. The case remains unresolved. Basquez also wants to set up a support group to help sad parents receive emotional help and other services they need. She will take office in December.

At Shuffter, a well-crafted campaign to expel two of the three Latin councilors seems to have been successful. The targets of the removal were Mayor Gilbert Alvarado of Schaffter and Manuel Garcia, a city council member. As of November 17, the latest results show Pete Espinoza, Chad Gives, and Kris Lawrence as the top three voters. Espinoza and Lawrence were newly elected when Givens was reelected.

“Manuel Garcia and I were definitely targeted,” the mayor said. Alvarado, Garcia, and another Latin councilor, Cesar Lopez, rebelled against the power structure established last year. The five councilors elect the mayor and pro tempore. So when Alvarado, Garcia and Lopez voted for Alvarado as mayor and Lopez as pro tempore last year, the proverbial fertilizer struck fans. The trio also had plans to use more urban resources and services on the poor side of the town, rather than concentrating on the Wonderful Industrial Park area. Opponents named them “voting blocks.” The collaborative effort included a Facebook video featuring a family on a shuffter farm for many years.

“This race is about power and how to use or abuse it,” said longtime peasant Larry Star, sitting on his front porch and putting his wife aside. Said in a video that looks like petting a dog. He continues. “I think the city of Shuffter is blessed with the legacy of the architects of the people who have built it on a wonderful foundation,” he further supports Espinoza, Givens and Lawrence. Alvarado, a 12-year veteran of the Schaffter City Council, is the second Latin mayor, 83% elected in Latin cities.

“Is it because of our culture that they regarded us as a voting block?” Alvarado asked. There are rumors that Cesar Lopez will also be removed at the end of his term. stay tuned.

Residents of Kern County were found to have contributed to the vote in Arizona. Local resident Connie Perez Andreson volunteered for a month in Maricopa County, Arizona, to knock on the door to encourage people to register and vote.

It was a call for the awakening of the mothers of these two young girls. With jet-black hair and a disarmament smile and dark skin, she and her white partner knock on the door, and if the resident only speaks Spanish, Perez Andrison speaks. Both wore baseball caps and T-shirts labeled “Vote” and dropped in at a particular home. A white woman opened the door and stared at the dark-skinned woman.

“It’s the gaze I’ve experienced, the gaze of hatred,” said Perez Andreson. “She started saying very terrible ugly things about Hispanics and blacks, and I was just standing there in shock.”

The woman closed the door and the two went away.

“I started crying. I couldn’t believe there were people in this world who hated me because of my color and hometown,” she said. Later that night she cried again and wondered what she was doing there. But she decided to stick it out and understood what was at stake in this presidential election.

Immediately after returning to Bakersfield, Arizona’s votes finally entered. Voters chose Joe Biden over President Trump.

“I did it!” Said Perez Andreson.

As I said, surprises and so on.

Contribution columnist Jose Gaspar is a news anchor / reporter for Telemundo Bakersfield and KGET. Email him at The views expressed here are his own.

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