Catalina will have new representative in Congress

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When Catalina residents head to the polls for the June 7 Primary they will find themselves in a new Congressional District and without the familiar name of Congressman Alan Lowenthal as the Representative for Catalina Island. Lowenthal announced in December that he would not seek re-election in 2022. Lowenthal represented Catalina in the 47th Congressional District since first being elected to the seat in 2012.

Catalina now falls within the 42nd Congressional District, which still includes much of Long Beach, but lost its section of Orange County. The district now moves northwest to include parts of Lakewood, Bellflower, Downey, etc.

In the Secretary of States certified list of candidates now vying for the new 42nd District, there are eight candidates, six Democrats, one Republican and one green Party member. The top two candidates, regardless of party, will move on to the general election in November.

The following is a snapshot of the eight candidates, listed in the order they appear on the Secretary of State’s certified list.

Joaquín Beltrán (Democrat)

Beltrán’s occupation is listed as Engineer/Community Organizer on the Secretary of State candidate listing. According to his website, he grew up in Downey as part of a large extended family. His parents both emigrated from Mexico where his mother worked as a seamstress and his father worked as a machine operator and they also started a small business.

Helping his parents navigate the governmental processes needed to operate a small business gave him his first experience in dealing with politics and bureaucracy, which led him to make a move into running for office.

“The experience gave me renewed purpose to continue helping my community and I’ve been doing that ever since through politics, engineering, and community organizing,” he states in his website message.

For more on Beltrán visit joaquinbeltran.com or email him at joaquinbeltran4congress@gmail.com

Cristina Garcia (Democrat)

Garcia is the current State Assembly representative for the 58th District. She first won election in 2012 after being a key protester of the City of Bell corruption scandal of 2010. She authored several bills aimed at increasing transparency and accountability in city government and with regards to campaign contribution use. “Cristina’s landmark legislative victories span the reformist spectrum, from environmental justice (EJ) to ethics and best practices in government to the issues that affect the lives of women and families,” her website states.

For more visit, cristina4congress.com or email her at info@cristina4congress.com.

Robert Garcia (Democrat)

Garcia is the current Mayor of Long Beach, having won election in 2014 and re-election in 2018. According to his website, Garcia is running on a platform that includes Medicare for All, creating new jobs and transitioning away from fossil fuels. He is also in favor of cancelling student debt and making college free. He also stated that defending our democracy from the extreme far-right is paramount. “I support the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act,” Garcia states. For more visit robertgarcia.com or email robert@robertgarcia.com.

J. Nicole Lopez (Democrat)

Lopez grew up with a large extended family in the district cities of Huntington Park, Bell, Bell Gardens and Downey. According to her website, she is running on ideals such as Medicare for All, Quality Education and Small Business Support. She states that people like the ones who make up much of the communities in the district have been kept out of politics by politicians who uphold racist, sexist, classist systems. “We can prove the gatekeepers wrong by showing them that our community will speak up and demand change that will help all of us thrive, not just survive,” she states. Her website offers content in English, Spanish and Vietnamese.

For more on Lopez, visit nicolelopezforcongress.com.

Peter Mathews (Democrat)

Mathews is a professor of Political Science at Cypress College, and an adjunct professor of Sociology at Long Beach City College. His subjects include U.S. Government and Politics, Political Theory, and Chicano/Chicana Politics. He too, is running on platform that includes support for a Green New Deal, Medicare for All and cancelling student debt/providing tuition-free college. He also supports a $20 per hour minimum wage. He states that a system like the one Canada has provided for more than 50 years costs only about 2/3 of what it costs in the U.S. “The Medicare for All non-profit, government funded insurance system, has much lower overhead costs, unlike our present unwieldy, wasteful, and inadequate for-profit system,” Mathews states on his website. For more information visit petermathewsforcongress.org or contact him at go2mathews@msn.com.

William Moses Summerville (Democrat)

Reverend William Summerville is running for office after serving as a District Delegate for the California State Democratic Party through the 2018 midterms. He got into politics as a delegate for Senator Bernie Sanders during his 2016 presidential run. Summerville’s platform page on his website includes promises to serve traditionally marginalized people such as African Americans, Native Americans, Latinos and women. He also promises to keep up the fight for the rights of the LGBTQ communities. “Protections of marriage rights were landmark legislation in the country, yet it did not ensure the safety of different sexual orientations and identification,” Summerville states in his platform.

For more visit summervilleforcongress.com or contact him at info@summervilleforcongress.com.

John Briscoe (Republican)

Briscoe is a current Board of Trustee member for the Ocean View School District in Huntington Beach. Briscoe was the Republican candidate in the 2020 election for the 47th, which then included Avalon. He lost to Alan Lowenthal by more than 26 percentage points.

According to his website, Briscoe is a sixth-generation Californian and has an Masters in Business Administration from Claremont Graduate University and an Masters in Public Policy from Cal State Long Beach.

For more on Briscoe, visit johnbriscoe.us or email him at john@johnbriscoe.us.

Julio Cesar Flores (Green)

Flores is running as a Green Party candidate because, according to his website, he wants to fight the “corporate democratic political establishment endangering continuously our global environmental/ecological environment.” His platform includes goals such as “Medicare for All,” “lower tax brackets for $150k/ yearly,” earners and “Green New Deal,” to create middle class jobs. According to his bio, he was born in East Los Angeles and raised in Huntington Park.

For more on Flores, visit juliocesar4congress.com or email him at juliocesar4congress@gmail.com.

Catalina will have new representative in Congress