University of La Verne alumnus and West Covina city council member Roger Hernandez is running for the 57th District California Assembly seat this November.
The Democrat would replace Ed Hernandez, who is running for state Senate.
The 57th District of California includes nine complete cities and portions of others all within the east San Gabriel Valley, and represents roughly 500,000 citizens.
The primary election will be held in June; his campaign has been in full swing for nearly a month.
His campaign kicked off on April 10 at a barbeque in West Covina with Congresswoman Judy Chu and Assemblyman Ed Hernandez backing his candidacy.
Roger Hernandez’s undergraduate education is from UC Riverside, from which he received his bachelor’s degree in 2000. He attended ULV for the master’s degree in public administration, and he graduated in 2006.
“The University of La Verne offers a positive, small classroom environment,” Hernandez said. “I enjoyed and benefitted from the fact I was being taught by professors who were experts in the fields they taught me.”
ULV’s graduate program attracts working professionals and the discussions are rewarding, Hernandez said.
At the age of 27, Hernandez was elected as the youngest council member in West Covina history. He said it was a privilege to be elected so young and it then presented an obligation to produce measureable results during his term.
The city of West Covina traditionally leans Republican, which made it more difficult for Hernandez to be elected as a Democrat.
“I have been a Democrat my entire life and I have never been undecided,” Hernandez said.
However, during his two terms as being a lone Democrat, he said he has learned to be willing to negotiate and how to be more of an activist for the community.
“In a group of Republicans, I have been able to sharpen my collaborative skills,” Hernandez said, “In order to keep balance, I have been forced to compromise and make my community outreach more effective.”
During his time on the West Covina city council, he said he is very proud of his accomplishments.
“I am incredibly proud of our city-owned ambulance system,” he said. “Now that we own and run our own system, we have cut the response time from eight minutes to 3.5 minutes. We are saving more lives.”
Due to the new system, the city added three firefighters to its forces.
Another success of his terms was the addition of nearly 3,000 jobs in various fields as automotive, medical and public safety.
If he is elected as a member of legislature, he hopes to complete three main goals, all with the underlying theme of ensuring greater equity.
First, Hernandez wants to rebuild California’s education for children and those seeking higher education. He thinks the Cal Grant system needs to be re-implemented to expand the opportunity of college to many.
Second, he wants to break the Sacramento budget gridlock by suggesting long-term fixes.
“The San Gabriel Valley is underfunded and the freeways are terrible,” Hernandez said. “Due to idle cars in traffic, more pollutants are getting into the air.”
Of all the districts in California, the 57th has the youngest population and will have to deal with the dirty air effects for the longest period of time, he says.
Lastly, he wants to protect the San Gabriel Valley so residents can have the quality of life it has advertised for more than 100 years.
He believes he may have two unique advantages that his opponents do not have.
His former is one of his endorsers and has a large part of his campaign. Second, West Covina is the largest city in the 57th District, so he has many supporters behind him.
For more information, visit hernandezforassembly.com.
Kristen Campbell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.