With Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts, Jr. and City Councilmembers Dionne Faulk and Alex Padilla in attendance, Lawndale Mayor Robert Pullen-Miles officially launched his campaign to fill the 62nd Assembly District Seat vacated by his boss Autumn Burke at a rally in Hawthorne on May 19.
“It is important, vital that we make sure that he is elected to this seat. The assembly seat is so important because he is going to be our voice when we go for our share of the surpluses for the transportation projects. We are working on a $1.2 billion People Mover that will go over Market St., over Manchester and over Prairie to get people from the Crenshaw Line at Florence and Market. We are gathering the funds for that and we got about $323 million so far, but we need a voice in Sacramento and I’ve known Robert Pullen-Miles and he is a hard working good man who is Autumn’s chief deputy and he knows the people and would be just a smooth transition so I am just honored to support him and he will get others to support him, and I can see him as the next person for the 62nd Assembly District,” said Butts.
The 62nd Assembly District, includes Venice, Westchester, Inglewood, Hawthorne and Lawndale and represents 494,227 residents, but was vacated by Burke when she abruptly resigned Jan. 31 and the seat became open the following day.
Burke had been representative for the 62nd since 2014, and reelected three times. She chaired the Committee on Revenue and Taxation and the Select Committee on Career Technical Education and Building a 21st Century Workforce, but on Feb. 1 joined an influential Sacramento government affairs firm.
The April 5 primary will feature four Democratic candidates and if no candidate receives the majority than the special election will occur on June. 7.
The field includes Pullen-Miles, Los Angeles Times endorsed Tina McKinnor, a longtime political activist and campaign manager who also previously worked under Burke; Angie Reyes English, a City of Hawthorne’s City Councilmember since 2009; and Nico Ruderman, a Venice Neighborhood Council member.
Bukes has endorsed Pullen-Miles and he has far outpaced his rivals in campaign financing, offers voters a wealth of experience in the private and public sector and most believe he is most qualified to succeed his boss.
After serving on the Lawndale City Council for three terms he then was voted in as the first African-American mayor, and was reelected twice with no opposition.
Among the many in attendance in support of Pullen-Miles at his launching were the Carpenters Union, Lawndale City Councilmembers Pat Kearney and Sirley Cuevas, Los Angeles Commissioner Gail Willis, and Inglewood Chief of Police Mark Fronterotta.
“We’ve been very good friends I’ve known Robert for 16 years and been on the council with him for 12 and a half and with his leadership the city (of Lawndale) is thriving, we have balanced budget, we have a surplus, we have new business coming in, we have green space and hopefully a new teen center being built,” avowed Kearney.
Councilwoman Faulk served as the mistress of ceremonies for the event and applauded those in attendance for coming out early on a Saturday morning, then pointedly added because; “We know this is what it takes to get you elected.”
Pullen-Miles has been credited with protecting Lawndale’s green open space and investing in the next generation of leaders while improving infrastructure. He has been instrumental in opening three new parks, proposed and successfully secured a $4 million budget allocation for the City of Lawndale from the state for the construction of a new youth development center. He also championed the creation of an affordable housing unit project.
“We know that in Sacramento he will be a champion like Mayor Butts said for all of us as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and create high paying jobs and fight to ensure that we are combatting homelessness in all of our cities throughout the 62nd District. We all can agree that he is the right man at the right time for assembly member,” elaborated Faulk.
Pullen-Miles concluded by thanking those in attendance, especially Mayor Butts for his support and then projected that he looks forward to representing the 62nd District including all of the wonderful projects that have transformed Inglewood.
“As Mayor Butts outlined we worked well together on the South Bay Council of Governments as well as on the Sanitation District, we have been friends and colleagues for a while and I appreciate his support,” Pullen-Miles said. He also pledged to support the People Mover project in Inglewood.
Joined at the event by his wife Lena Pullen, he reflected on his journey from Oklahoma when he was 19 and moved to California with $25 in his pocket and became homeless, a circumstance he overcame, but not forgotten and is a strong advocate for homeless.
Chief among his campaign pledges is to initiate a rent relief trust fund that would be similar to Employment Development Department, but as he stated more efficiently ran.