Former MEChA leader Antonio Villaraigosa with Mexican leader Ernesto Zedillo. The only one missing in this arrogant lot is Gray Davis. Villaraigosa has lauded a foreign leader for helping defeat the will of millions of California voters. Now foreign nationalist Villaraigosa has decided to run for mayor of an illegal alien bloated Los Angeles.
Tuesday, November 9, 1999
Hispanic politician plans to run for Los Angeles mayor
LOS ANGELES -- Growing up on the rough streets of East Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa was not the sort of guy who worried about maintaining his "political viability,'' as a young and ambitious Bill Clinton once put it.
Villaraigosa at 1996 "Marcha" in
Washington demanding amnesty for
millions of illegal aliens
(Clip From "Bonds of Our Union")
Mario Obledo said...
Villaraigosa dropped out of high school, spent time as a tattooed low-rider, fathered two out-of-wedlock children with different women and had a run-in with the law.
Since then, however, he has become a lawyer*, speaker of the state Assembly and one of California's rising political stars.
Now he is planning to run for mayor of Los Angeles, the nation's second-largest city. And he believes that his past -- and willingness to admit his mistakes -- gives him an edge.
"I think we're looking for real people again,'' said Villaraigosa, 46, a second generation Mexican American.
"The truth is so many people have been turned off by politicians who say, `I smoked pot, but I didn't inhale.' ''
If successful in 2001, he would be the first Hispanic mayor of Los Angeles since Cristobal Aguilar left office in 1872.
More important, Villaraigosa could emerge as a national Hispanic leader able to capitalize on the changing demographics of both California and the country. Nationwide, Hispanics will become the largest minority group -- ahead of blacks -- by the end of 2004.
The demographics already have shifted in Los Angeles, where Hispanics make up 54 percent of the city's 3.8 million people, but only a fifth of its registered voters.
"Getting one's ethnic group members elected is still the No. 1 indicator of political integration of any community,'' said Harry Pachon, president of the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute near Los Angeles.
"He would really become prominent on the national stage among all Latino communities.''
Despite growing numbers, Hispanics still have few national leaders with name recognition.
Henry Cisneros was one, but the former U.S. housing secretary fell from grace in a scandal involving false statements to the FBI about money he paid a former mistress in Texas. He is president of the Spanish-language television network Univision.
Other names mentioned are Aida Alvarez, head of the Small Business Administration; Energy Secretary Bill Richardson; and Miami-Dade Mayor Alex Penelas.
"At this moment in the country, we're blessed with a reservoir of bright, young Latino talent. Antonio is among the best,'' said Cisneros, whose election as mayor of San Antonio in 1981 catapulted him to national prominence.
MEChA Calls for the Liberation of Aztlan
Chicanos call the seven states of the Southwestern United States "Aztlan". Its roots stem from a mythical land which the Aztecs supposedly once occupied north of Mexico City. In the modern context, Aztlan is the territory ceded to the United States by Mexico as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo of 1848. Mexico agreed to the settlement and the U.S. paid for the land. Aztlan is the "A" in MEChA - Movemiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan - The student movement of Chicanos of Aztlan...one of the largest student movements in California...
The preamble of the MECHA constitution reads:
"Chicana/Chicano students of California must take upon themselves the responsibilities to promote Chicanismo within the community; as well as politicize our Raza (Race) and continue the struggle for self-determination of the Chicana/Chicano people and the liberation of Aztlan"
Villaraigosa is reluctant to cast himself as a Hispanic leader, which is partly a reflection of political reality. He has expressed interest in serving as U.S. senator or governor, neither of which he could win by catering solely to Hispanic voters.
"You're damn right I'm for Latinos, because for a long time nobody did, and I'm proud of that,'' he said. But he said he does not need to be reminded "every two minutes'' of his ethnicity.
To succeed Mayor Richard Riordan, a conservative Republican businessman who must step down after two four-year terms, the liberal Democrat might have to "be a lot more moderate than he's used to be being,'' said Bill Mabie, chief aide to state Sen. Richard Polanco, another prominent Hispanic from Los Angeles.
Villaraigosa opposes the death penalty and supports gay civil rights.
Of the seven candidates in the race so far, only City Attorney Jim Hahn, a Democrat, is widely known.
ELECTED IN '94
Villaraigosa was elected to the Assembly in 1994 from a largely Hispanic district that includes his birthplace.
He was booted from one high school and dropped out of another, fathered the two children before he was 25 and was acquitted of assault for a fight in which he said he was defending his mother. His alcoholic father left the family.
He eventually finished high school, graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles -- thanks to affirmative action, he notes -- and earned a law degree.
Villaraigosa was a community activist, then a labor leader, investigator for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and president of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California.
As a politician, Villaraigosa has demonstrated flexibility and gained a reputation for building coalitions.
He helped devise a record $9.2 billion school-bond ballot measure with the Assembly's former GOP leader that voters later approved.
* - From everything I have read, Villaraigosa failed the bar exam three times. He is not a lawyer. ---Glenn Spencer
Also see: Antonio Villaraigosa - Mechista for Mayor [Links, photos added by AmericanPatrol.com]