13 Feb 2006

Speaker Says Calderon's Experience is needed in Sacramento

The Speaker of the California State Assembly, Fabian Nunez announced today that he is endorsing Charles Calderon for State Assembly. "Calderon is a skilled and experienced legislator" said Nunez. Referring to Calderon’s record in closing the Monterey Park dump and Calderon’s pivotal role in recovery efforts after the Whittier Narrows Earthquake, Nunez observed "his leadership and steady hand helped guide the community in the 58th through two major crises in the ‘80s. Were it not for term limits, Calderon would still be in the legislature providing valuable leadership to his community and the people of California. I am glad he has decided to return to the legislature, and I will do all I can to support him in his election".

Reacting to the Speaker’s endorsement Calderon said "Fabian is one of the most respected leaders in California. I am honored to have his support".

Calderon, a Democrat, served the community of the 58th Assembly District for 16 years. He served in the Assembly for 8 years and in the Senate for 8 years, where he was the Senate Majority Leader. Calderon was termed out of the Senate in 1998. However, he can still serve in the Assembly for 6 years since the term limit law, which applied prospectively, was enacted while Calderon was in the Senate.

Calderon was first elected to the Assembly in 1982 promising to close the Monterey Landfill. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency called the landfill a "witch’s brew" of toxic waste. Calderon shut down the dump and help the federal government go after those responsible for the contamination.

Later in 1987, the community of the 58th was devastated by the Whittier Narrows Earthquake. The earthquake claimed eight lives and caused over $350 million in property damage. Most of the damage was sustained by Uptown Whittier, located at the epicenter. Calderon called for a Special Session of legislature and the legislature was convened to provide relief to the victims of the quake. Calderon drafted most of the key legislation that provided millions of dollars for assistance grants, and to rebuild homes, businesses, and community infrastructure such as the Whittier Boys and Girls club, and the YMCA. His legislation was later used as a model for earthquake victims of later quakes, like the Loma Prieta earthquake.

The filing period for state assembly opens February 13th. The 58th Assembly includes the communities of Whittier, Montebello, Pico Rivera, Downey, City of Industry, Hacienda Heights, Rowland Heights, San Jose Hills, East La Mirada and East Los Angeles.

Leslie Rodriguez, (310) 743-9845