Mark Takano of Riverside and Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii arrive Tuesday at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center for a press conference with new Democratic members of the 113th Congress, House Democratic Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rep. Steve Israel of New York. A dinner honoring the new members was held Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall. Gabbard, who succeeds Rep. Mazie Hirono, will be the first Hindu American and first Samoan American woman in the House.

RIVERSIDE — Democrat Mark Takano, teacher and congressman-elect in the newly redrawn 41st Congressional District, released the following statement on Nov. 8 after he was declared the winner against the Republican candidate, Riverside County Supervisor John Tavaglione:

“Last night, we won a debate about what kind of representation Riverside County deserves in Washington, and in this election, voters chose between two different sets of values, two different sets of priorities — extreme Washington ideology versus common-sense Riverside values. And the voters chose to stand with us, and to join us as we work together to create good-paying jobs, to ensure that college remains affordable and workforce training programs remain available, to honor the service of our veterans, and to make absolutely sure that the guarantee benefit of Medicare is never replaced by ‘Vouchercare.’

“We also ensured that the one-party dominance of the Inland Empire ended forever. Come tomorrow, the real work begins — we start anew, tackling our community’s high unemployment rate, and we have to win the debate in Congress to ensure that we don’t balance the budget on the backs of the elderly or the middle class, but instead ask the very rich to pay just a little bit more.

“We must take our turn standing guard to ensure that this nation never forgets the sacrifice of our veterans, never fails to provide young people with the opportunity to get a great education, and never breaks the sacred promises of Social Security or Medicare. I know that we will have struggles to face and obstacles to overcome.

“I know that if you stand with me, we can and will meet the challenges that lie ahead.”

A lifelong resident of Riverside, Takano was elected to the Riverside Community College District Board of Trustees in 1990 and won re-election to the board in 1995, 1999, 2004 and 2008. He is the longest-serving current board member and one of the longest-serving Democratic elected officials in Riverside County. Takano has worked as a classroom teacher in the Rialto Unified School District for the past 23 years. He previously ran for Congress in 1992 and 1994.

Pictured with House Democratic Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco are (from left) Mark Takano of Riverside, Tammy Duckworth of Illinois and Grace Meng of New York. The freshmen represent “firsts” among House members: Takano is the first openly gay person of color, Duckworth is the first Thai American woman and first disabled female veteran, and Meng is the first Asian American from New York.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *