The special election next Tuesday to fill the California Senate's 33rd District seat vacated by Paul Carpenter has lured money and platoons of political pros from Sacramento. Democrats and Republicans are pouring in dollars, each hoping to add a vote to their side when California election districts are redrawn after the 1990 census. The stakes may be high for Sacramento, but they are even higher for residents of the district, which covers communities in southern Los Angeles County--including Downey, Norwalk and Santa Fe Springs--and in northern Orange County--including Buena Park, Cypress and Los Alamitos.
For them, remote battles over the state budget will determine whether they have more money or less for public schools, medical care for senior citizens, environmental safeguards for workers and better freeways. The compromises made in Sacramento on a site for a new state prison in Los Angeles County affect everyone's public safety.
We do not agree with Cecil Green, a Norwalk city councilman, on some major issues, but on balance he is better qualified than his opponent to fill the seat that was left vacant when Carpenter was elected to the state Board of Equalization.
Green, a conservative Democrat, favors dipping into the state reserve to spend more on public schools, would vote against cuts in funding for the Medi-Cal program, and is in favor of building a new state prison in a sparsely populated area of Los Angeles County. Because he started his career as a carpenter and remembers the numbers of people he worked with who lost fingers in the days before worker safety became a public concern, he supports the continuation of Cal/OSHA, the state agency that promotes on-the-job safety and healthier work environments.