A Special General Election to replace our Congressperson of the 34th District. The seat vacated when our Congressman Xavier Becerra became California’s Attorney General. Kamala Harris resigned that position, as she became our Junior US Senator. Kamala Harris is one of only 21 female Senators – a record for the US Senate.
Harris replaces the career civil servant, Barbara Boxer. Boxer’s service to the people of California is legendary – 10 years as Representative in the US House and 24 years as our State Senator.
California has a long history of women in Congress. The Senate team of Boxer and Diane Feinstein lasted all of Boxer’s 24 years and spearheaded some of the most important legislation our country has seen. One of Boxer’s last efforts before she retired in November 2016 was the introduction of legislation to amend the US Constitution and eliminate the Electoral College.
California has a long history of Democrats.
I am very proud to call California my adopted home. It is a state of action.
I am proud of our governor, Jerry Brown. Not only because he announced that California will join the states of New York and Washington in forming the United States Climate Alliance.
I am proud of our Los Angeles mayor, Eric Garcetti. “…L.A. will lead by committing to the goals of the (Paris) accord — and will work closely with cities across America and the world to do the same,” Garcetti said in a statement.
The man whose seat I voted to fill today, Attorney General Xavier Beccera, said, “California will continue to lead the way on protecting our planet. We will fight …tooth and nail anytime it tries to roll back our progress. The stakes are simply far too high.”
I was proud today to be from the community of El Sereno.
As I entered our polling place, the Senior Center, I was enthusiastically welcomed. Delectable aromas from the afternoon meal filled the air. Wails and strums from the Tuesday Afternoon Neighborhood norteño band echoed through the halls. A young man waiting to pick up his auntie napped on the lobby couch.
A tiny Vietnamese woman jumped up and scurried across the floor to check my Official Sample Ballot “Green Table!” her Chinese counterpart confirmed after checking notations. A seemingly ancient African-American lady diligently paged the roles with gnarled arthritic hands to find my name and address. She kindly instructed me to sign from in front of her table. The Mexican election judge handed me my ballot and explained this day’s procedure.
The little voting booth held only a light and a black marker. There was only one item on the ballot, only two names from which to choose. The outcome of this election is for all intents and purposes a given. One candidate is backed by virtually every important organization in the State. But I’m not taking any chances. Congress is where we must make our stand. My vote is my voice. And I can’t complain if I don’t use it.
I made my mark, then kibitzed with the darkly beautiful lady offering my receipt, “About as Old School as you can get!” We laughed.
She then stood with great concern and painstakingly witnessed my ballot slide into the ballot box.
I purposefully thanked the poll workers for their time and effort and they graciously thanked me for voting. It was a sincere exchange – eye to eye, Mano a mano. We shared respect, the gravity of our actions, our commitment to each other, our patriotism.
I left the Senior Center to strains of ‘Alla’ En El Rancho Grande’ with tears in my eyes.