Thursday, June 27, 2013

Sunday, June 23, 2013

TODAY--Sunday June 23!!

This annual event is always a great time for all. To get to the Phillips Mansion see map below (click to enlarge):

Thursday, June 13, 2013

What is Cinco de Mayo?
@ Palomares Adobe Sunday!!

 Cinco de Mayo:  Made in California Play performance

The Historical Society of Pomona Valley and the Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture at UCLA present a special encore performance of our highly popular play, with special guests Global Motion World Dance Company, Flor de Mayo Folklorico, a mini Cinco de Mayo exhibition, a theatrical production, a presentation by author and professor Dr. David Hayes-Bautista, and MC Comedian Ernie G.

Pomona, CA – June 16, 2013 
El Cinco de Mayo:  Made in California performance

Adobe de Palomares

491 E. Arrow Highway, Pomona CA, 91767
Sunday, June 16, 2013 5:00PM - 8:00PM
5:00PM-6:00PM Cinco de Mayo
Teatro Presentation
6:00PM-8:00PM Children’s workshops on Californio history
Special Californio history exhibit
Free and open to the public.

The Cinco de Mayo, as it is known in California, is not a Mexican holiday.  In fact, in Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is scarcely noticed.  El Cinco de Mayo is an American Civil War commemoration, created by Latinos living in California as a public statement about where Latinos stood on the key issues of the Civil War:

  • Latinos supported freedom, and opposed slavery.
  • Latinos supported racial equality, and opposed white supremacy.
  • Latinos supported democracy, and opposed elitist forms of government. 

Why do we in the United States celebrate the victory of an obscure battle that took place in Mexico 150 years ago? Cinco de Mayo is not celebrated as a national holiday in Mexico because it was created and first celebrated by Latinos living in California. Learning that the Mexican army in Puebla had defeated invading French troops on May 5, 1862, Latinos in California were overjoyed that freedom and democracy had won a victory over forces of slavery and oligarchy. Latinos all over the state rejoiced and celebrated with fireworks, patriotic songs, and impromptu speeches.

Dr. David Hayes-Bautista’s book El Cinco de Mayo: An American Tradition details the real history behind this American Civil War holiday and how it originated. Dr. Hayes-Bautista has stated, “Cinco de Mayo is important to California because it was invented here.” He goes on to say, “It provides a collective identity for all Latinos, whether they were born here in California or immigrated from Mexico, Central America, or South America. It binds them together in an identity.”

Dr. David Hayes-Bautista is Professor of Medicine and Director of the Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture at the School of Medicine at UCLA. He graduated from U.C. Berkeley and completed his MA and PhD in Medical Sociology at the University of California Medical Center, San Francisco. Dr. Hayes-Bautista’s research focuses on the dynamics and processes of the health of the Latino population using both quantitative data sets and qualitative observations. The Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture combines these research interests with teaching of medical students, residents, and practicing providers to manage the care of a Latino patient base effectively, efficiently, and economically. His publications have appeared in Family Medicine, American Journal of Public Health, Family Practice, Medical Care, and Salud Pública de México

Ernie G is one of the hottest, multi-talented, young Latino entertainers in the country today. His comedy has been seen by millions of TV viewers on shows, such as Comedy Central’s “Make Me Laugh,” B.E.T.’s “Comic View,” Ed McMahon’s “Next Big Star,” & Sí TV’s “Funny is Funny!” He is one of the original stars of Galavisión’s hit comedy show “Qué Locos!” hosted by George Lopez, - appearing six times, along with two appearances on “The Best of Qué Locos!” He has appeared on HBO Latino’s “Habla Again,” MUN2’s “Loco Comedy Jam,” as well as Sí TV’s “Latino Laugh Festival!” and their hip new show, “Inside Joke!” Currently, you can catch him on MTV Tr3s’ “Los Super Icons” and you might also remember him as the “Angry Angelino” from the Channel 13 News in Los Angeles!

A graduate of Loyola Marymount University with his B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Chicano Studies, Ernie has developed his own unique form of Comedy he calls “Latino Edutainment Educating and Entertaining with a Latino Flavor!” and has performed for many of the country’s top organizations and corporations, including Disney, Pepsi-Co, General Mills, U.S. Armed Forces, National Council de la Raza, Latin American Educational Foundation and the Hispanic College Fund. He was honored by the City of Los Angeles with the 1st-ever Mario Moreno “Cantínflas” Award for “...representing the Latino community with the same humor and distinction as the legendary Mario Moreno Cantínflasand who, like Cantínflas, utilizes his power to help those most in need.

Ernie performs his rip-roaring, high-energy comedy as Host and Producer of “Ernie G’s Comedy Fiesta!”- a National Comedy Tour featuring the country’s top Latino comedians performing in venues, colleges and universities throughout the nation. He was the Key Note Speaker at UCLA’s 32nd Annual RAZA Graduation, and continues to spread his message of Empowerment & Transformation through Laughter as the National Spokesperson for the Hispanic College Fund and Inspirational Comedian nationwide! For more information, or to order his first Comedy CD entitled, “Mama’s Boy!” please visit:      

Adobe de Palomares, Historical Society of Pomona Valley

What is the Palomares Adobe's historical significance?

Adobe de Palomares was the 13 room home of Don Ygnacio Palomares and his wife, Dona Concepcion Lopez de Palomares. The Palomares and Vejar families owned the Rancho San Jose, which covered eastern Los Angeles county, some 150 years ago. The land now covers many cities of the Pomona Valley of Southern California, including Pomona, LaVerne, San Dimas, Diamond Bar, Azusa, Covina, Walnut, Glendora, and Claremont

A Gold Rush Home: The home was started as the new home of a successful Mexican rancher. Its construction phase was from 1850 to 1854. This was the period of the great California gold rush, that was accompanied by California statehood . The house represents the meeting of two cultures: Mexican-era adobe construction combined with American influenced technology, seen in the use of milled roofing and flooring.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Freddie Rodriguez builds momentum, but signs show otherwise

First, I hope that no one tried to vote for a Democratic endorsement today... as this was a closed vote (although open to the public to view). You had to be one of the 72 individuals enumerated in the Democratic Party's bylaws (Article VIII, Section (3)(e)(1) to be specific) in order to have a vote - so I stand corrected.

With that said, it was not a surprise that Freddie Rodriguez gets the endorsement. Considering that the Torres slate won handily in the Assembly Democratic Caucus in January (disclaimer: I was part of that vote), had members of her slate win nomination to the County Central Committee, and controls a certain number of seats by virtue of being an elected official, the only question was whether he would surpass the 60% threshold, and Rodriguez did with 70% of the vote.

Rodriguez has the backing of the Democratic establishment in Sacramento and likely will be a middle of the road, reliable vote for Democratic leadership in the State Assembly that will not lead to embarrassing headlines, politically or personally. To his credit, he is the only candidate who has come up with a list of issues on his website. The Torres family has opened a lot of doors for Rodriguez - Robert Torres serves as press spokesman, his lead fundraiser is Torres's, and having a mentor in the State Legislature will help ease the transition greatly. Having the phrase "Endorsed by the Democratic Party" and a picture of Torrres and Rodriguez together on a mailer will open doors to a lot of residents who may not know much about the candidates.

But looking at the surrounding environment, it is interesting to note that out of the people Rodriguez served with - fellow City Councilmembers - none have endorsed Rodriguez. Three have endorsed Manuel Saucedo. Two have endorsed Jason Rothman, although it would be questionable if the dad didn't endorse the son.  And Paula Lantz is a former Republican so her endorsement doesn't mean that much. (Most recently her registration was changed to Decline To State, as Pomona's Republican heritage faded away.) Rodriguez's endorsement speech was unusually targeted at comparing himself to "opponents" who, among other things, voted to reduce fire services - a clear reference to Soto. But don't count Soto out since she obtained the endorsement of Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, the only statewide elected official to weigh in on this race, along with Congresswoman McLeod and San Bernardino County Supervisor Josie Gonzales. (I still count Haughey out, because he still doesn't have a working website.)

Overall, this is a race which will be decided by a few thousand votes, if not less. With a registration of 177,000 and an estimated turnout of below 10% - if the senate special election was any indication - the nine candidates are chasing after 17,000 votes. If you voted in the last election, and your phone number is on the voter file, it may be a good time to avoid the phone and the door this summer.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Assembly District 52 - Candidates and Endorsements

First, a brief note. Did you know that if you are a registered Democrat, you have a say in who gets the endorsement of your party? Fill out the form here and snail mail or scan and email it to the address shown. This is part of the little known caucus system that doles out endorsements, since primaries were made into a "top two" system by a recent California ballot proposition. Or attend the caucus on Sunday at 3 pm, at the Ontario teachers union offices - this will be the best opportunity to meet all viable candidates. If I attend I'll make sure to tweet my thoughts and impressions, and maybe even vote on a candidate for my personal endorsement. (Disclaimer - I am a registered Democrat who has no idea who to pick at this point.)

Now onto the final list of candidates (if you missed my preliminary look, click here) and my capsule impressions of them.

Paul Vincent Avila
Ontario City Councilmember, former school board member, perennial candidate - has interesting ideas but has a tendency to speak off the cuff. Endorsed Paul Leon in the State Senate election, which caused grumblings from some Democrats that wanted to kick him out of the party (he is running as a Democrat). No website or social media presence.

Tom Haughey
Chino councilman. Runs an insurance agency. No other information available. Chino elects their councilmembers at large. Web site does not work, which is not a good sign.

Freddie Rodriguez
Pomona councilman, southwest Pomona district. Paramedic by training. Endorsed by Norma Torres and a bunch of other Latino Democrats. Touts business friendliness which may not actually be the case. Fundraising a possible concern - not very much for his mayor's race.

Jason Rothman
Pomona school board member and instructor at Cal Poly Pomona. Well liked by students. Endorsed by Faculty Association, California Teachers Association next? (Was endorsed by Pomona teacher's union in school board election.) Liberal/progressive - former Green Party member.

Manuel Saucedo
Engineer by training, former district director for Norma Torres. Worked to help high school kids enter university, and legislative staffer dating back to the Nell Soto days. Endorsed by Joe Baca, three Pomona councilmembers (the most out of any candidate), and supported by former Senator and champion of immigrant rights Gil Cedillo. Nothing on the web site about any issues he might focus on or support - even vaguely.

Danielle Soto
Former Pomona councilwoman. Currently public affairs specialist at the South Coast Air Quality Management District, and has a legislative interest in environmental issues. Granddaughter of Nell Soto. Endorsed by Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod. Lost council election by 2:1, possibly due to trash station issue. But, at least had the decency to finish her term.

Doris Wallace
Union organizer. Not much known about her - I don't even know if this is the same person that ran in a Rancho Cucamonga district over a decade ago

Dorothy Pineda
Business owner. The only Republican on the ballot, which might be good for at least a few percentage points on its own, but has no Internet presence.

Paul Leon
Mayor of Ontario. Website doesn't work. The Facebook works, although the campaign seems to like to tease its viewers like the local TV news. The Senate website works though, which gives you insight in his issues. Thinks that going "decline to state" may help get more voters, because he is not tarred with the scarlet "R" next to his name, but has pledged that his values remain the same, which are "Christian Conservative".

It may be helpful, from a pure positioning perspective, to rank the candidates from left to right, or from "progressive" to "conservative". After talking to various individuals and doing some research, you generally could rank the candidates in the following order from left to right: Rothman, Soto, Rodriguez, Saucedo, Leon - with Avila on an orthogonal compass to this and not enough information on Haughey, Wallace, or Pineda (and neither of those three likely to make the runoff).

The problem with Sacramento lobbyists analyzing the ground game here is that they often get it wrong. Rudy Favila and Kenny Coble never qualified; while her grandma might have called her "Dani" no one I know calls Danielle Soto that, professionally or personally; and there are nine candidates, not ten, and two on the list did not qualify (Paul Vincent Avila was the person omitted.)