The Star-News


Know their faces, know their names

Sat, May 04 2013 12:00 PM Posted By: Carlos R. Davalos

They call me an executive editor. Among other tasks, I decide what stories go into this newspaper and I edit those stories (complaints, comments and insults can be sent to carlos@thestarnews.com).

Cops respond to criminal com­­plaints and they roam the streets looking for bad guys.

Doctors treat sick people.

The list of jobs and people who perform them goes on and on. While some professions are easy to define, others not so much.

Take, for example, legislators.

At the local level council members draft laws about barking dogs, loud parties and strip clubs. They also decide which housing developments get built, what city service is funded and which public employees are fired.

By and large the person sitting on the city council dais has a greater effect on your daily lives than, say, another legislator — the member of the state Assembly.

Chances are if you ask the average person — you know, the one who is probably not going to vote in the May 21 special election — they’d have a hard time telling you what an Assembly member does, much less who they are.

Sure, if you press them a little they might remember that Nuñez guy who asked former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to let his son out of prison early.

Or if they think real hard they might be able to name Nathan Fletcher because he’s the one who wrote Chelsea’s Law and eventually lost his bid for mayor.

But other than those two, Joe and Jane Voter might have a hard time telling you who is in the Assembly and what they do. Heck, they might even be able to tell you all the names of their city council people before they can even correctly guess who currently represents them at the state Assembly, and that’s saying something.

But members and would-be members of the Assembly aren’t just law-passing suits who should be ignored while they are collecting their $90,000 annual salary.

When they’re not doing their best to earn their single digit approval ratings, they are working hard at passing a state budget anywhere from three to six months after it’s due, all the while bickering with each other about whose special projects will be funded and whose district coffers will be raided.

And that’s a shame because there are important issues facing this state that do affect us in our day-to-day lives.

Everything from funding for education — which impacts how well your kids do in school — to environmental regulations that influence business practices and smog fees that are decided at the state level.

The Northwest Civic Association is hosting an Assembly District 80 candidate’s forum at 6 p.m. May 15 at the Chula Vista Civic Library. Those with an interest in their future should check it out. The next person you do or don’t vote for might be the one to make a difference. 


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