On the one-year anniversary of his election as Speaker of the Assembly, Speaker John A. Pérez this announced wide-ranging support for AB 46, his legislation to disincorporate the City of Vernon and end decades of corruption and abuse that threaten the community's ability to maintain jobs and business.The support highlighted by Speaker Pérez includes 92 bipartisan Assemblymembers and Senators who have signed on as coauthors of the bill, more than three-fourths of the Legislature, and a 12-0 vote by the Los Angeles City Council Tuesday in support of AB 46. "For years, officials in Vernon have operated with a lack of transparency and accountability that has led to a history of corruption allegations, beginning early in the last century and continuing today," Pérez said. "By dissolving the government in the only city in California that exercises direct influence over its voters, AB 46 ends the cycle of corruption and abuse in Vernon - while protecting the jobs of the thousands of people who work there." Pérez stressed that there is no independent electorate in Vernon, that what voters there are live in city controlled houses, work in city controlled jobs or have relationships with city officials. City Council elections have consistently been cancelled - including the one slated for next month. The Speaker also cited news reports that officials in Vernon have been spending millions of dollars of taxpayer money on legal fees, and are now spending thousands more weekly on consultants and advertising to protect the status quo in the city. "In any other city in California, the situation in Vernon would not be tolerated by the voters - but in Vernon there are no real voters," Pérez said. "AB 46 is the only real solution to this situation, and I am gratified to see such strong support already building for this responsible remedy." Among those joining Speaker Pérez at a news conference in support of AB 46 were Supervisor Gloria Molina, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Sheriff Lee Baca, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Monsignor John Moretta of Resurrection Church in Boyle Heights. Following the news conference Speaker Pérez addressed the Los Angeles City Council regarding AB 46. The Council voted 12-0 in favor of the bill. Pérez noted that with 92 bipartisan Assemblymembers and Senators signing on as co-authors of his bill, more than three-fourths of the Legislature has already come on board. In addition, Pérez pointed to local support from the Central City Association, a key advocate for business and jobs, LAUSD Board President Monica Garcia, and the Mayors of the three cities that border - and are impacted by Vernon - Mayor Villaraigosa, Mayor Edward Varela of Maywood, and Mayor Mario Gomez of Huntington Park. Contributed by the office of Assembly Speaker John Perez.
********** Published: March 3, 2011 - Volume 9 - Issue 46