Presione aquí para leer en español.
Ricardo Reyes, candidate for South Gate City Council, was not able to obtain an endorsement from both the South Gate Police Officers Association (POA) and the Police Managers Association (PMA).
Below are Reyes's written responses to the questionnaire that the police associations provided to every candidate who asked for their endorsement.
Reyes's answers are in italics.
Local Issues and Campaign Endorsements
Have you ever been convicted of any crime? Are there any criminal or non-criminal cases currently pending against you or your campaign?
What position are you interest in running for and why have you chosen this position?
My commitment to our community and working families is unending and I take the call to service very seriously. I served my country honorably and running for city council is an extension of that service.
Please include any former offices or campaigns you have either held or participated in before and how would this former experience help you in the position you are seeking?
I have worked on several issue based campaigns and many electoral campaigns. From presidential campaigns as co-chair for California Veterans & Military Families for Obama. To canvassing for local city council races. I have a lot of electoral and legislative experience.
Tell us what you know about South Gate politics and what have been some of the concerns of the public regarding South Gate politics in the past?
South Gate is still recovering from a past afflicted by corruption and gross mismanagements in 2003. After Robles was appointed by the council to deputy city manager. He was recalled in 2005. Robles was convicted in of federal corruption charges.
How did you hear about the selection committee and do you feel an endorsement from this committee is important?
Through participating in the Santa Cop Program. This committee is a staple in the community and I would be extremely proud to earn its endorsement.
What are your views, both either positive or negative of running for office on a slate with another candidate? Could running on a slate interfere with your views and how will you vote on issues if elected?
I am running by myself on my own merit because I believe standing on my own record and experience is enough to demonstrate I am viable candidate committed to doing what is in the best interest of my community and its stakeholders.
Do you know the voting demographics of South Gate? If so, how important is it to be bilingual in this particular race?
With over 90% of residents being Latino/Hispanic, over 80% of voters Latino/Hispanic and over 40% foreign born - being bilingual is extremely important.
What do you believe the requirements of a candidate for office in this race should be?
Courage, experience leading and being decisive under extreme pressure, and commitment to service before self.
Do you belong to any work unions, associations, or special interest groups? If so, what would be their commitment or participation on your behalf for this race?
I am a member of the Communication Workers of America Local 9003 and I work for SEIU United Long Term Care Workers. These organizations are committee to helping elect champions for working families.
What goals do you wish to accomplish while your tenure if elected to office?
Bring back good paying jobs that were once abundant, increase transparency and limit the influence of special interest, and improve neighborhood safety by expanding after school programs that keep our kids safe.
What other public safety association endorsements have you obtained or seek to obtain for this race?
Seeking to obtain law enforcement and fire.
List the current and anticipated major financial contributors to your campaign:
Max contribution per individual allowed is $1000.00. My plan is that anyone who believes in my vision for South Gate will make a max contribution to my campaign.
Please describe your key issue priorities if (re)elected to local office.
Good jobs that will lift our communities and strengthen the local economy. Improve the quality of life for everyone, that works and lives in South Gate, and maintain a high standard of public safety.
What distinguishes you from other candidates in this race?
I have insight and experience that does not compare. From serving in hostile environments with minimal stability, to working on national and state policy. I understand that in or to move South Gate forward, we must build coalitions with state and federal representatives, with private and public investment, with for profit and non-profit sectors, with neighboring cities, and with everyone that lives, works, shops, and drives through South Gate.
What organizations and notable individuals do you consider your base of support and why? Have you ever had an endorsement withdrawn?
Assembly member Anthony Rendon, Senator Ron Calderon, Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters. They understand they are my strong base because they know the importance of having strong representation at the local level, and because I prioritize the creation of good quality jobs.
Pension compensation and negotiated healthcare for public safety employee retirees have been under attack for several years. What is your public position on public safety employee retirement costs?
I am opposed to scaling back hard earned benefits to plug budget gaps.
What can you do to help educate taxpayers and citizens of South Gate of the benefits and costs of having city funded services verses contracting services out?
Build partnerships between residents public safety association and other labor organizations to help educate.
State and Local Budget Priorities, Public Safety Issues
What is the highest current budget priority in your city? If elected, would you change that?
We need to get our fiscal house in order, balance our budget and get out of deficit. But I am opposed to the idea of balancing budgets our budget on the backs of residents and city employees.
What is your position on civilianization of sworn personnel or trained specialized non-sworn positions such as Custody Officers, Community Service Officers and replacing them with outside contract services in return for savings?
I am opposed to the idea of contracting out any service.
We recognized that open communication between elected officials and POA/PMA have proven to be very beneficial in order to achieve common goals and a commitment to service for the city of South Gate. How often do you think you can dedicate in maintaining that commitment of open communication with members of the POA/PMA?
Please tell us of some thoughts on how to better secure the financial status of the city in order to ensure financial progress and growth in South Gate in order to maintain its services.
By incentivizing responsible business growth that is mindful of the community it conducts its business in, by fostering, entrepreneurship, and innovation, and by building partnership with private and public investment.
Please list the names of POA or PMA members – up to 6 – working in your community who can provide reference for your endorsement.
Please list any other thoughts or concerns that you feel we have not covered that are important and essential topics for your candidate endorsement consideration from POA/PMA.
The city is not financially solvent and it is going to make a new approach and fresh ideas to ensure the city meets its responsibilities. Cuts should always be the last resort, and if cuts are the only option, I will advocate that cuts begin at the top.
Keep up with South Gate - Lynwood Patch Latino by subscribing to breaking news alerts, liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter. Have an event or announcement you'd like to publicize? Submit them for free.