The battle for Congressional District 44 is heating up. The little covered district spanning some of the poorest cities in Los Angles County is gearing up to be the election of year. The seat has long been held by an African-American until the 2016 election of Democrat Nanette (Barba) Diaz Barragan. Surprisingly, members of the Black community have turned their backs on the two Black candidates, despite one of them being a member of the Republican Party.
As Barragan continues to rack up the Black endorsements, in every level of government, this author is catching a case of deja vu.
This is the exact same space former Sen. Isadore Hall found himself in when heading into the 2016 primary.
|U.S. House, California District 44 Primary, 2016|
Related: Is Compton Mayor Aja Brown delusional
Residents call Barragan a “smart lawyer” with credentials but those credentials are currently inactive according to the State Bar of California who lists the Congresswoman as “Nanette Barba Barragan”.
After some residents in Compton began to publicly complain about the lack of Rep. Barragan’s presence, she ramped up efforts to be photographed and more visible by opening her Compton City Hall offices to a late night Q&A earlier this month and is being featured on flyers touting her one hour appearance at an upcoming health and wellness fair at Gonzales Park.
It is no secret Compton Mayor Aja Brown is meeting mixed reviews in the Hub, yet, her late decision to enter the congressional race has sparked dialogue across the nation of her making the seat “Black” again. Brown will also have to face tough questions related to the city of Compton finances.
As racial tensions almost flared, when mainstream media and some political observers made remarks alluding to such, this is actually an opportunity for the community to come together and elect the person best suited to represent them in Congress.
Rep. Barragan left Hermosa Beach City Council after serving a couple of years, after defeating “Big Oil’s” intention to drill 34 water injection wells in the city. Barragan was named mayor in June of 2015, then a month later she promptly resigned and moved to the 44th District to run for Congress. Barragan used the Hermosa Beach residents and environmental concerns to elevate her status to Congress.
Barragan first stated she came to Hermosa to stop drilling then turned her attention to the districts high school graduation rates as her reason for wanting to run for Congress:
“The district is one where only 60 percent graduate from high school and 10 percent go onto college,” she said. “That’s how people live. I’m one of those 10-percenters who beat the odds. … I’ve achieved the American dream. Now I’m coming home to make sure that others have the same shot at the dream.”
Residents have yet to see her at any of the local workforce organizations assisting with creating job opportunities or steering funding their way. She sits on no educational committees while in Congress and we only hear of her publicly supporting DACA and the rights of dreamers to remain in the states.
According to the Congresswoman’s official Facebook events page, she has only attended three events in the city of Compton. She was at a grocery store in April 2017, hosted a Town Hall the following month and held a legislative briefing in December. Zero appearances at any of the Compton Unified School Districts schools.
CUSD Board President Micah Ali, who led the endorsement of Barragan’s re-election press release from CUSD trustees, was not available for comment on her direct efforts to help Compton schools or visit them for that matter.
When three students from the Compton Early College, were selected as the winner of the 2017 Congressional App Challenge for the 44th district, she didn’t show up. She sent a representative from her office.
With Compton Mayor Aja Brown entering the race, the community speaks of her “abandoning” the city for higher office. Brown is currently in her second term and more visible in the district than the incumbent, however, Ms. Stacey Dash has to Photoshop pictures of herself in front of district landmarks in attempts to deceive voters.
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