Roybal-Allard has challenger for Congressional seat

DOWNEY - With just six weeks until the presidential election, the political future of many congressional incumbents around the country is in jeopardy. Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, however, is perhaps one of the few exceptions.

After easily outpacing her Democratic opponent during the open primary in June, Roybal-Allard is poised to claim yet another two-year term in the newly-drawn 40th congressional district this November.

However, Los Angeles college instructor and political activist David Sanchez is confident voters will choose differently this time around.

While Sanchez garnered just 34.6 percent of the vote against Roybal-Allard during the primary, the 62-year-old resident of East Los Angeles is campaigning for change after nearly 40 years of Roybal leadership in the district.

"[Roybal-Allard] voted to send 97 billion [dollars] to Afghanistan. This money will be used for pay offs and political kick backs. This is how many politicians remain in power," said Sanchez on his campaign website. "Lucille has been a war hawk for many years and supports war."

If elected, Sanchez said his first priority in Washington D.C. would be a four-letter word. "Jobs - we need community-based jobs," he said. "Jobs don't trickle down. Federal contracts should be given to local businesses administered by community agencies and organizations."

Sanchez proposes the creation of a community university in the 40th congressional district that would provide jobs for teachers, training for disenfranchised workers, and assistance for local students trying to acquire their diplomas.

He also hopes to champion the preservation of social security and the elimination of "bad investments" made by lawmakers.

"We need someone with oratory skills who can speak on the floor and get a message across," Sanchez said. "I want to present ideas - take measures to reduce violence and motivate our district."

Born and raised in Boyle Heights, Roybal-Allard is the daughter of the late Congressman Edward R. Roybal, member of the House of Representatives for 30 years.

In 1992, Roybal-Allard, who previously served three terms in the state Assembly, became the first Mexican-American woman elected to the U.S. Congress.

Last year, Roybal-Allard promptly announced her intentions to seek reelection after the final district maps were released for the 40th congressional district.

"I am thrilled that this district includes the southeast communities I have proudly represented for many years," said Roybal-Allard in a released statement. "I look forward to running for re-election and asking my constituents to grant me the honor of continuing the level of constituent service and representation that they have come to expect from me and my office."

As a member of the influential House Appropriations Committee, Roybal-Allard oversees the activities of several federal departments and helps delegate where money is spent.

In 2010, Roybal-Allard co-authored the controversial DREAM Act, which would create a pathway to citizenship for young illegal immigrants if they enroll in college or enlist in the military. She has also advocated for legislation that would increase access to vaccinations for children, curb underage drinking, and help reduce teen pregnancy rates in minority communities.

The new 40th congressional district includes the cities of Commerce, Maywood, Bell, Huntington Park, Downey, Bell Gardens, Paramount, Bellflower, Cudahy, portions of East Los Angeles, and the unincorporated community of Florence-Graham.

********** Published: September 27, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 24