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        Guest Opinion | In the Midst of a Housing and Homelessness Crisis, Jed Leano Is the Leader District 41 Needs in Sacramento

      GUEST OPINION

      a grandiose building

      California State Capitol in Sacramento (Photo – Coolcaesar)

      Pasadenans have seen rapidly rising costs of living and increasing numbers of unhoused community members in our region. Two years ago we stepped up by locally passing rent control at the ballot box. While an important step to keep people housed, there is still much to do to increase housing affordability.

      By Jess Rivas

      Coming up on March’s ballot is the District 41 race for the California State Assembly, with contenders stepping up to vie for the seat soon to be vacated by Assemblymember Chris Holden. Among them, Claremont City Councilmember and former Mayor Jed Leano stands out for his unwavering commitment and strong track record of results serving his community.

      I wholeheartedly support Jed Leano for State Assembly because Jed not only has the bold leadership and innovative ideas we need to tackle significant challenges like economic inequality, housing affordability, homelessness and climate change, but Jed also has the acumen to understand the complexities of where all of these issues intersect and how to get the work done.

      Jed is a tireless advocate for increased access to mental health care services, aiding individuals experiencing homelessness toward stable housing, promoting safe streets, addressing climate change, and creating affordable housing.

      In contrast to others who may be more comfortable with maintaining the status quo, Jed embodies authentic leadership.

      Jed launched his immigration law practice in Pasadena 15 years ago. Since then, he has continuously strived to improve his clients’ lives while keeping his ear to the ground on community needs across the San Gabriel Valley.

      The pillars of Jed’s campaign are housing and homelessness, and that’s because he already knows what to do to tackle two of our state’s greatest crises.

      Under Jed’s leadership, Claremont reduced their homelessness population by 41% during Jed’s first two years on the city council. This was largely due to Jed securing $2 million in Los Angeles County Measure H housing funds for initiatives such as a homelessness services navigator program, a shower program, a homelessness prevention fund, and providing shelter beds and interim housing for those in need.

      As Chair of the San Gabriel Valley Regional Housing Trust, Jed oversaw the funding of over 500 units of permanent supportive housing and over 50 units of interim housing for people experiencing homelessness, as well as creating a workforce development program for adults and at-risk youth.

      Jed’s history of collaboration to protect renters’ rights and support small businesses further illustrates his commitment to the well-being of his community. His creation of a team of mental health responders to handle behavioral crisis calls and his recent appointment as the San Gabriel Valley Regional Housing Trust’s representative to the Los Angeles County Affordable Housing Solutions Agency show his proactive approach to addressing the complex issues facing his constituents.

      Jed has proven himself a level-headed leader in Pasadena and throughout the region. His willingness to prioritize constituent needs over political rhetoric embodies the qualities of the representative District 41 deserves.

      Without a doubt, Jed Leano will serve the residents of District 41 with integrity and heart. We could use much more of that in Sacramento.

      Jess Rivas is a Pasadena City Councilmember.

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