(June 3, 2006) -- LB Councilmembers Tonia Reyes Uranga and Laura Richardson have endorsed Bob Foster for Mayor in the June 6 showdown runoff election...in which he faces Councilman Frank Colonna.
Councilwoman Reyes Uranga, reelected to a second term in LB's 7th Council district on April 11, joined Mr. Foster for the announcement June 2 in WLB's Admiral Kidd Park (Santa Fe/21st St.)
The announcement come less than 24 hours after Councilwoman Reyes Uranga was elected (by representatives of southeast area cities) to become a member of the South Coast Air Quality Management District's governing board, the region's clean air monitoring and enforcement agency. (Separate coverage coming on LBReport.com).
Councilwoman Richardson, reelected to a second Council term in April 2004 without a runoff despite a multi-candidate race, is now seeking the 55th district Assembly seat in the June 6 Democrat primary. Her endorsement of Mr. Foster was announced at a June 1 event on central LB's Atlantic corridor attended by members of LB's Ministerial Alliance.
Alongside Councilwoman Reyes Uranga in Admiral Kidd Park were several veteran WLB activists including John Cross and Nick Sramek (the latter now a Planning Commission member).
(Photo left: Foster campaign manager Becky Ames snaps a digital shot showing attendees Gloria Cordero [early Foster campaign supporter], Mr. Sramek, Councilwoman Reyes Uranga, Mr. Cross, Mayoral candidate Mr. Foster and Patti Sramek among others).Mr. Foster:
I'm really pleased that the Councilwoman has endorsed me. She happens to represent an area of the city that I'm most concerned about to deal with the Port and the 710. The residents around here have had a pretty severe environmental impact. I think they need more attention from City Hall, more attention from the state and Port. Tonia and I have talked about these things and I'm really pleased and proud to have her endorsement and if I'm elected I'm going to spend a lot of time out here and concentrate a lot on this area, particularly on the environmental side.
Councilwoman Reyes Uranga: We have a lot of work to do here on the westside of the city and I'm convinced that Bob will be a fighter for our community and for our neighborhoods, and that's why I endorsed him.
LBReport.com (to Councilwoman Reyes Uranga): Did Mr. Foster give you any commitment on the SCIG project?
[Editor note: The Southern California Int'l Gateway project is a proposed BNSF "near dock" container transfer facility with the Port of L.A. as the lead agency on the project abutting/overlapping part of WLB. If approved by L.A. authorities, the facility would result in more trucks going through parts of WLB and vicinity, creating local negative environmental impacts...but project proponents contend these would be offset by regional environmental benefits (more containers by rail, fewer trucks on area freeways). Councilwoman Reyes Uranga and WLB residents have testified in opposition to the project citing its local negative environmental impacts.]
Councilwoman Reyes Uranga: We toured the BNSF proposed area as well as the present Union Pacific intermodal transfer facility and so he's aware of what the impacts to the neighborhood area. You can ask him but I think overall what he heard loud and clear from the community was anything that would negatively impact this community is going to have to be slowed down or totally stopped because we just can't live with that.
LBReport.com: [Asks the Councilwoman a second time] Did he give you any commitments on the SCIG project?
Mr. Foster: [Replying] No, actually we did. I actually toured that area, Bill, some time ago with the Councilwoman, probably three or four months ago...and I've looked at the BNSF plans. I understand what's going on over there and I'm troubled by the development because this area already has a substantial environmental impact and I'd like to find alternative ways of being able to handle this cargo, including the inland container port in Victorville which is proposed and the completion of the Alameda Corridor...
LBReport.com: My recollection is that when they had the public meeting [in WLB's Silverado Park] on the SCIG project, the Councilwoman spoke against it and you were there...
Mr. Foster: I was there...
LBReport.com: ...and the Councilwoman opposed it.
Councilwoman Reyes Uranga: What I am happy about is Bob's relationship with the Port of L.A., you know it's a Port of L.A. project, and if we're going to get anything done in terms of trying to stop the negative effects to the neighborhood we're going to have to really do some convincing and some conversing with the Port of L.A. and I think his relationship with them is going to go a long way.
LBReport.com: ...I'm trying to get whether you [the Councilwoman] oppose but you're [Mr. Foster] stopping short of that.
Mr. Foster: No, I have said that I oppose that development in the manner it's now being proposed...The impact on the neighborhoods is too great and I've said that for quite a while. I said that at one of the [candidates] forums and I came to Silverado Park...when they [PoLA] presented it, and I wanted to hear the applicant and see what they had to say. I wanted to judge the community's reaction and also the community's questions and I'm still looking at that...
Mr. Foster's Mayoral bid is also endorsed by LB City Council incumbents Bonnie Lowenthal and Patrick O'Donnell...and the campaign website lists the endorsements of former Councilmembers Doug Drummond and Ray Grabinski along with Dr. Tom Clark and Jeff Kellogg (the latter two both members of LBCC Board of Trustees)...but no longer lists Councilman Dan Baker (who vacated the 2nd district Council seat prematurely in February). His name still appears on some Foster walk-pieces currently being used (printed earlier in the campaign) but not some of the newer ones. So why the omission, we asked campaign manager Becky Ames? "It's a non-issue," she replied.
Councilman Frank Colonna's Mayoral run is endorsed by 8th district Councilwman Rae Gabelich, who cited his Council actions regarding LB Airport and his campaign stance on neighborhood quality of life in supporting him.