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Commerce City Council

March 15, 1992

Commerce population: 12,135

Election: April 14

On the ballot: Five candidates for three at-large seats

INCUMBENTS

Ruben C. Batres

Age: 59

Occupation: Telephone installer

Remarks: "The biggest issues are graffiti, gangs and sheriff's response. Another issue that needs to be addressed is the traffic congestion on our streets. . . . We have several different streets that meet and are very congested during the heavy traffic hours." Batres said he is proud of helping develop the Citadel shopping center, initiating a new civic center and expanding the senior citizens center at Rosewood Park.

Robert J. Cornejo

Age: 57

Occupation: Transportation account executive

Remarks: "The big issues are public safety and the economy. Other issues are unemployment, gangs, graffiti, drugs and public safety. We need to watch the budget and make sure that we have the funds to maintain services and programs for the residents. . . . We are one of the few communities in California that are not experiencing a budget crunch, and we have no city property tax. We are currently constructing a new senior adult care facility for those who need medical attention or therapy. On the youth side, I helped to initiate the SANE program, where we teach second- and third-graders the idea that it is OK to say no to drugs."

Art Navarro

Age: 41

Occupation: Teacher at Suva Intermediate School in the Montebello Unified School District

Remarks: "My strongest accomplishments include the development of the Uniroyal building, which was turned into the Citadel Shopping Center, (and) the development of the anti-gang task force, which identifies youngsters who are involved in gangs and directs them." Important issues in this campaign are police services, gangs and graffiti problems, he said. "We have (added) seven retired police officers to be our eyes and ears throughout the city; they are working with the sheriff's office in order to offer better protection in the city. Some programs I am proud of are our home improvement program, which helps senior homeowners, the ambulance service, which offers seniors and anyone who can't afford ambulance services a one-time-a-year free service, and the dentist program, which offers citizens with no insurance coverage a dental checkup, which the city pays for."

CHALLENGERS

Jesus M. Cervantes

Age: 46

Occupation: Garment cutter

Remarks: "I want to give the city back to the people. The city is supposed to benefit the residents, and right now they are letting everybody who lives outside of the city work in the government and firing the people who live in the city. We elected the officials and they gave their power to the city administrator. The council is not running the city--it's the city administrator who is running the city. The council needs to make things happen. I have been involved in different organizations and clubs and have lived in the city for 19 years. These things help me to know what's going on in the city. I know what I want to do to help the residents of the city."

Regina Cruz

Age: 31

Occupation: Retail sales manager

Remarks: "I'm the only candidate that can say I was born and raised in the City of Commerce. I'm not a professional politician--I'm running as a concerned Commerce resident . . . to represent the people of Commerce." Limitations on campaign contributions and terms of office are issues she would like to see addressed, she said. "I'm not for career politicians. . . . I believe that any resident of Commerce should be able to campaign or have a chance to run for City Council. I'm raising my children in the City of Commerce, and it's up to us to decide their future." Addressing the concerns of residents is a priority, she said. "It's easy to serve in government, but it's more difficult to get out there and meet with the community and listen to their concerns."

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