First published on Robert D. Skeels for School Board on November 28, 2012.
For many years the people of Los Angeles City Council District 9 (CD9) have not been represented. Instead, deep pocketed developers have had virtually unfettered influence and access, and we've seen tragedies like the razing of the South Central Farm, the victimization of the homeless under Safer Cities Initiative, and intentional blight to displace low income families of color to make way for gentrification and development greed. Indeed the past dozen years have seen the residents of CD9 subjected to all manners of indignities, exploitations, and oppressions, including environmental racism.
Community members and groups asked long time community activist Ron Gochez to run for the CD9 seat. While Ron has never had aspirations of running for political office, he has always been responsive to the needs of his community. He is backed by a diverse, multiracial, multi-ethnic coalition of working class peoples, many of whom are immigrants, who are tired of their voices being utterly ignored on City Council.
I've known Ron for many years. He is a man of conviction, principle, and integrity. He has spent countless hours in selfless service to his community, and most importantly, to those who are the most vulnerable in our society. He is never afraid to speak truth to power, and he alone is the only candidate for CD9 that will represent the families and working peoples of such an underserved and exploited community.
Ron is a social justice educator both professionally in his role as a teacher, and in his every interaction with his community. We need more people of conscious to take a stand like Ron has. His campaign is known as the "People’s Campaign," and that is truly what it is. That is why I have contributed to his campaign and wholeheartedly endorse Ron Gochez for Los Angeles City Council District 9.
Robert D. Skeels
Education writer, social justice activist, and District 2 candidate for the LAUSD School Board