July 23rd was a big day for most of the first-tier candidates running for the 15thCouncil District race in Los Angeles. This was the deadline for them to move or “return” to the Harbor district and re-register to vote at their new Harbor district address. These candidates defended their extended absence from our district by stated how they were raised in the Harbor Area or how they have been professionally engaged in our district.
For life-long San Pedro resident Joe Buscaino, July 23rdwas just another Saturday. Joe did not need to find a vacant apartment, unpack boxes or double-check with the county registrar to confirm his new registration address. No one had to give Joe a tour of his new neighborhood to re-familiarize him with the local community. Every day or evening that LAPD Officer Joe Buscaino has finished his shift, when he wasn’t off to one of his numerous volunteer activities in the Harbor community, he was returning to his home … in San Pedro!
Other candidates who grew up in San Pedro did so because of their parents’ choice; not their own. Going off to college or military service is understandable, but when each had the opportunity to settle back in our community, they instead chose neighboring communities like Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach or Torrance. Now that they have political aspirations, they rush to return and learn the local issues. How many have been DWP customers long enough to know how badly reform is needed to protect ratepayers from excessive rate increases and intermittent service? How many have spent more than a few weeks researching the issues with the Rancho Tank facility as an affected resident? How many endured the increased parking meter fees to maintain long-time relationships with downtown San Pedro businesses? How many have significant experience working with our seven district neighborhood councils, a new requirement since former councilmember Janice Hahn was first elected? Candidates who lack such experience will have a very difficult time working with the local communities of this district.
Only one first-tier candidate in this race has collaborated extensively with every Harbor district neighborhood council to make their communities safer. Only one candidate has issued a public call for significant reform at the Department of Water and Power. Only one first-tier candidate has called on the Rancho Tank facility to be a “better neighbor” through increased outreach and education of their facility. Only one first-tier candidate was born & raised in the district AND has always called San Pedro and the Harbor District home. Joe and his family have chosen EVERY TIME to make San Pedro their home when looking for their next residence.
There is no doubt that, like my family, Joe Buscaino and his family will continue to live in San Pedro regardless of how this election turns out. How confident are you that the other first-tier candidates have also made San Pedro or the Harbor district their final residence?
Our choice for our next council member must be one who did not move here to become our council member. We need to send someone to the city council who has already lived and fought side-by-side with ALL of us; not just those they worked with or did business with. We need someone not afraid to be the lone vote against the other 14 members if that lone vote is in support of the communities of San Pedro, Harbor City, Harbor Gateway, Wilmington and Watts. We need someone who we know will be here not only during their term in office, but after their terms are complete to continue working with our communities.
It is for all of these reasons that my family and I have endorsed life-long local resident, neighbor and friend Joe Buscaino. The Harbor District does not need to import its next city councilmember; we’ve already home-grown our own with no outside influences! Vote local! Vote for Joe!