Former Downey City Council candidate Frine Medrano has once again stepped onto the campaign trail, this time setting her sights on California State Assembly District 58.
Currently, the 58th District seat remains empty after Cristina Garcia took a voluntary leave of absence due to multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, which Garcia has denied.
The 36-year-old Downey resident says she “has spent her entire adult career working as a public servant.”
“I worked four years in the assembly with Senator Kevin DeLeon (who was) at the time assembly member. Now as the President of California State Senate I’ve worked with him ever since,” said Medrano. “I worked as senior advisor working on different issues – education, immigration, women’s issues, small business development – and I’m just really disappointed in what’s happening in our neighborhood, in our area. It’s been turmoil after turmoil for the past decade; we just can’t get rid of that stain here in these communities.
Unfortunately, we are literally left with no representation. We have a senator who has resigned for sexual misconduct and an assembly woman who’s on leave for the same reason. With this administration we are currently under attack – our state of California – so we need leaders that are going to take this job seriously.”
Ironically, the senator which Medrano alluded to – Senator Tony Mendoza – gave her his endorsement during her previous campaign. However, things have changed.
“I do not have his endorsement; him and I have not spoken since the scandal broke,” said Medrano. “I respect very much the #MeToo movement and what they’ve done to bring these issues to light. I think that many of us were disappointed with the serious allegations, and so no I do not have his endorsement…I have no attachment, no communication with the senator.”
The primary election will take place June 5 later this year. The 58th District has become one of the more cluttered with candidates of all the seats up for election, however Medrano didn’t see anyone she felt she could stand behind.
“I actually waited a day before deadline because I was hoping to back a strong Democrat,” said Medrano. “Unfortunately, I don’t see that in the list of candidates. We have folks that are tarnished, and that’s not what we need more in the South East…We need to move forward. This is about having our district move into prosperity and that’s what we need; we need leaders that are going to be a strong voice.”
Medrano says that the district is being “choked by freeways.”
“A lot of the freeways around here are bare; there’s no green canopy, there’s no beautification projects going on with local government,” said Medrano. “I think that’s something I’d love to do in terms of protecting our children. We have one of the highest asthma rates because in fact we are being suffocated by all these freeways, so I would love to work with local government to create these beautification projects and plant trees all around the freeways because that’s something that can help capture some of these toxins, some of these pollutants that unfortunately we breathe every day in this district.”
Medrano also says she would like to create and advisory counsel for AD 58, inviting local community and business leaders to “have a voice at the table.”
“I went on a listening tour and a lot of folks felt like they were being bypassed, and some of them don’t agree with some of the policies that are coming down from Sacramento,” said Medrano.
Medrano also said she would keep pushing access to higher education and public safety.
This will be the second time in just about two years that Downey resident’s will find Medrano’s name on their ballot, as she unsuccessfully ran for the city’s District 3 seat in 2016. That election was ultimately won by Rick Rodriguez.
“I ran a very positive campaign. I ran on the issues that I wanted to tackle, the solutions I wanted to bring to the City of Downey…a lot of folks saw that as a threat. They spun my Sacramento connections as being corrupt,” said Medrano. “There was a lot of negative attacks throughout my campaign. Every week there was a hit on me because the fact I was labeled as an outsider. That was really upsetting because I consider myself a Downey girl everywhere I go. I’m from Downey. I’m proud to be from Downey. I graduated from Downey schools, I grew up here.
I didn’t belong to the traditional clubs here in Downey, and so because I didn’t belong to the traditional clubs in Downey I was labelled an outsider. Over the past year I’ve been trying to be more proactive in my community.”
Since her last campaign, she has really worked to establish her political identity.
“I ran in a very conservative seat, but Downey is Democrat…Assembly District 58 is Democrat,” said Medrano. “The fact that I now have the ‘D’ – the strong ‘D’ next to my name – it’s something that individuals are gonna be able to identify with that, with my party.
I spent over the last year and a half reaching out to folks; a lot of the different community members that wear different hats. I’ve become great friends with Tammy Ashton and our Mayor Sean Ashton, and they've gotten to know that I do have the best interest for our city and for Downey. They know that I want to work hard for what’s important for us here.”