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    Ass'ywoman/Former LB Councilwoman Laura Richardson Enters Congressional Race Following Death Of Cong. Millender-McDonald

    (May 2, 2007) -- As first reported in a May 1 FLASH moved on, Assemblywoman Laura Richardson (D., Carson-LB) -- elected in November 2006 to her Sacramento post after six years as central LB's 6th district LB Councilmember -- has announced she will enter the race for the 37th district U.S. House of Representatives seat (covering about 80% of LB) now vacant in the wake of the death of Cong. Juanita Millender-McDonald (D., Carson-LB).

    In a May 1 release in which she calls the late Congresswoman her mentor" Assemblywoman Richardson said in part:

    "Although I am grateful serving in the Assembly, the untimely death of the Congresswoman has created a void in our community that must be filled. Because of the extraordinary mentorship and inspiration I received from the Congresswoman and after much prayer, I have decided to accept the call of service to the U.S. Congress."

    Assemblywoman Richardon foreshadowed her coming action on the Assembly floor on April 23 during her motion to adjourn the day's session in Cong. Millender-McDonald's memory in which she referred to the late lawmaker as her mentor and her "political Godmother."

    Assemblywoman Richardson...As the former member of the district that I now represent, I rise on behalf of those half a million Californians from Carson, Compton, Gardena, Harbor City, Harbor Gateway, Long Beach and Watts-Willowbrook. I knew the member personally and professionally for over twelve years and have many fond memories...
    07 PD/FD memorial May 1/07
    Screen save: State Assembly webcast

    ...[S]he took mentoring very seriously, something that's unfortunately very unique to most legislators, and in a very short period of time of ten years she leaves a legacy of fifteen young adults, both men and women, who went on to be elected within their own rights. She didn't mind being an underdog or even supporting one, which is how our relationship flourished. I'll never forget when I lost my first race and many people said I was finished, she looked at me and said 'You can't throw out the baby with the bathwater.'

    In my most recent election, her strength has never wavered, and I'm very thankful for having known and learned from Congresswoman McDonald. She is a wife, mother, sister, grandmother, Christian, friend, classy lady, mentor and my political Godmother... posts verbatim below the text of Assemblywoman Richardson's May 1 release:

    California State Assemblywoman and former Long Beach City Councilmember Laura Richardson today announced her candidacy for the U.S. Congress to continue the legacy of her mentor, Congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald.

    "Yesterday I joined family, friends, constituents and leaders as we thanked God for blessing us with the life and service of Congresswoman Juanita Millender- McDonald. Although I am grateful serving in the Assembly, the untimely death of the Congresswoman has created a void in our community that must be filled. Because of the extraordinary mentorship and inspiration I received from the Congresswoman and after much prayer, I have decided to accept the call of service to the U.S. Congress," states Richardson.

    A former field deputy to Congresswoman Millender-McDonald and two-term Long Beach City Councilwoman, Laura Richardson has first hand knowledge of the issues facing the constituents of the 37th district. As a local and state leader, Laura Richardson has a strong record on education and public safety having successfully fought for more police officers, crime prevention, after school programs and job training. As Congresswoman, Richardson says she will focus her priorities in Washington D.C. from fighting "self engaged" battles abroad to fighting and winning battles here at home.

    "It is appalling to me the billions of dollars America has wasted in Iraq while our schools are under-funded, gang violence is out of control, millions of children are uninsured, and Social Security for our senior citizens is threatened. Itís time to support our troops by bringing them home and with that bring home the resources we need to support our veterans, seniors, families and our children. It is my honor to take up this fight for the people of the 37th Congressional District and continue the remarkable legacy of my mentor, Congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald," says Richardson.

    Accompanying the release was a "37th Congressional District Demographics Fact Sheet." Its text follows below:

    An examination of past voter history within the 37th Congressional District indicates that African- Americans will outnumber Latino voters in a Special Election by a ratio of two-and-a-half to one.

    Statewide Information System (SIS), a Sacramento, CA-based political list vendor created a universe of likely Special Election voters based on past participation using the following specifications:

    • Voted in both the June 2006 AND June 2004 statewide primary elections;
    • Voted in the June 2004 statewide primary AND at least 5 of the last six other statewide primary and general elections held in 2000, 2002 and 2004
    • Voted in the March 2002 statewide primary AND at least 5 of the last six other statewide primary and general elections held in 2000, 2002 and 2004
    • Voted in the June 2004 statewide primary AND the October 2005 statewide special election, with no other past voting history (likely new registrants)

    This scenario creates a total universe of 55,686 voters, which is 21 percent of all registered voters in the 37th Congressional District. The table below shows some key demographic and geographic breakdowns provided by the SIS analysis which utilizes census data.

    of Special
    Election Voters
    Assembly District 55 (Richardson)41%
    Senate District 28 (Oropeza)23%
    City of Long Beach52%
    City of Carson22%
    City of Compton12%

    While the gap between Hispanics and African-Americans is less pronounced among all registered voters, levels of participation in recent past elections indicate that African-Americans will be a far more significant percentage of the vote in the June 26 Special Election to fill the seat of the late Juanita Millender-McDonald.

    At the local level, there is only one Hispanic City Council member in the 37th Congressional District, Tonia Reyes Uranga of Long Beach. In fact, Hispanic incumbent Carson City Council Member Julie Ruiz Raber was defeated for re-election earlier this year by an African-American, Lula Davis-Holmes.

    The 37th Congressional district (lines redrawn by Sac'to Dems in 2001) stretches from Willowbrook to ELB. The Dem approved lines erased the LB Congressional district held by Rep. Steve Horn (R., LB-Downey), effectively adding roughly 80% of LB to a formerly Carson-centered district held by Congresswoman Millender-McDonald.

    In Nov. 2006, LB Councilwoman Laura Richardson (who represented central LB's 6th Council district since 2000) was elected to the Carson-LB Assembly district which for the past six years had been represented by Assemblywoman Jenny Oropeza...who was LB's 1st district City Councilwoman from 1994-2000..

    In Nov. 2006, Oropeza sought and won the State Senate seat (lines likewise drawn by state Dems) that stretches from PV through several southbay cities.

    On May 2, Senator Oropeza announced that she's also entering the U.S. Congressional race.

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