It’s election season in America—not just at the presidential level.
In Eagle Rock, some intriguing last-minute, behind-the-scenes efforts are underway to solicit votes for Saturday’s Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council elections, which are being conducted by the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment and held in Eagle Rock City Hall from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
According to an e-mail sent out Thursday evening by Rigoberto Valdez, Jr., the vice president of UFCW Local 770, a branch of the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union, so-called “factual basis stakeholders” are being encouraged to vote in the Oct. 13 elections for “a group of candidates that believe[s] in bettering this community.”
The e-mail, forwarded to Eagle Rock Patch by an anonymous source and addressed to “Freinds (sic) and Aliies (sic) of UFCW Local 770, and Union Medical Cannabis Workers,” refers to a slate of election candidates known as “Progress & Collaboration,” led by presidential contender Nelson Grande II. The two-paragraph message is followed by an e-mail communication from Grande to Valdez, which starts out with this paragraph:
My name is Nelson Grande. I’m currently running for President of the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council within a Compassionate Slate and we need your help.
Grande’s e-mail goes on to say:
In various articles, you have been written in as a counter to Mr. Michael Larsen’s steadfast stances on Medical Marijuana. Mr. Larsen, as President, has led a vigorous campaign to ban all dispensaries in Los Angeles, leading the current ERNC to vote for full support of Jose Huizar’s recently failed ordinance and going as far as requesting Federal assistance to shut down local dispensaries.
The second paragraph of Valdez’s e-mail advises factual-basis stakeholders—that is, people who don’t live, work or run a business in Eagle Rock (see attached pdf for details)—that they can vote in Saturday’s election if they fulfill certain requirements:
All you need to do go into Eagle Rock and purchase gas, coffee, or whatever. Use a local service in Eagle Rock and keep a receipt as proof of your patronage and then go Saturday with that proof and vote as an "at-large-stakeholder" in the Eagle Rock Neighborhood City Council Election.
Asked whether—and why—he had been in touch with Valdez, Grande e-mailed Eagle Rock Patch the following note late on Thursday night:
I am proud to have the support of The United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW 770). The very union that supported Councilman Jose Huizar, is now supporting the P&C slate. Not only do they represent hundreds of hardworking Eagle Rock stakeholders at VONS, Super A and one of our CVS stores, they are leading negotiations with the city on the issue of regulating and limiting the number of dispensaries. Like us, they support safe access for patients and, like us, they realize that regulation is necessary. If their current plan gets approval, it will limit the number of dispensaries in Eagle Rock to three. I feel that the UFCW and our city leaders are very close to a compromise that all compassionate Angelenos will be proud of.
With the dispensary issue being settled, and we look forward to it being settled in the next few weeks, we will be able to concentrate on the issues that everyone in this community cares about: fixing Colorado, picking up the litter, and unifying the citizenry. I will continue to reach out to organizations that represent Eagle Rock's stakeholders as I believe working with, not against, the interests of Eagle Rock and said stakeholders will be the key to revitalizing our town.
From the start of my campaign, it has been my goal to form Collaborative solutions by talking to all Eagle Rockers and local organizations. I am now fulfilling that goal.
Asked what he had to say to Eagle Rock residents who have expressed misgivings about the prospect of factual-basis stakeholders voting in their neighborhood council elections, Grande told Patch Friday morning:
All folks coming to vote on Saturday are, in fact, bringing business to Eagle Rock. This is a wonderful opportunity for our valued Eagle Rock businesses to earn new repeat customers.
Our stakeholders are a crucial element in revitalizing Eagle Rock's local economy. We welcome them to visit our beautiful neighborhood now and after we've reached our goal of rebuilding Colorado Blvd.
Meanwhile, ERNC President Michael Larsen told Eagle Rock Patch that he had “just got word that DONE is sticking to their ‘Starbucks Stakeholder’ rule, so anybody with a receipt can vote in the election.”
Click here to read the Eagle Rock Patch *Topic Page* containing past articles about the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council.