14 Mar 2006

(58TH Assembly District) - Citing his leadership, effectiveness, and strength of character, dozens of organizations from law enforcement, labor, business and education, representing hundreds of thousands of Californians, have enthusiastically given their support to Charles Calderon’s bid for the 58th State Assembly seat.

"Your understanding of what we do on a daily basis makes you a valuable and respected resource," said Mark Muscardini, president of the California Association of Highway Patrolmen (CAHP). The association has endorsed Calderon’s candidacy and noted his "concern for the welfare and safety of peace officers," one of Calderon’s key areas of focus during his 16 years as a state legislator.

CAHP is joined by a number of organizations and elected officials statewide in endorsing Calderon’s candidacy. Endorsers include the California Federation of Labor, the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, the California State Council of Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the California School Employees Association, Crime Victims United, Peace Officers Research Association of California, California Union of Safety Employees (CAUSE), California Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, Los Angeles Sheriff Lee Baca, and many others.

"SEIU is proud to endorse Charles Calderon for Assembly in the 58th District. The choice was clear," said Jeanine Meyer Rodriguez, spokesperson for the SEIU State Council. "He is a seasoned veteran with superior skill and experience. He will be great to have back in the legislature."

Calderon, a Democrat, served the community of the 58th Assembly District for 16 years. He served in the Assembly for eight years and in the Senate for eight 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 Park 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 the 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, such as the Loma Prieta earthquake.

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