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politics

Chavez vs. Romero (vs. Berry vs. Rowe). Fight!

By Carolyn Carlson [ Wed Jul 15 2009 4:24 PM ]

Mayor Martin Chavez announces his candidacy at the Taylor Ranch Community Center on Sunday, July 12.
Carolyn Carlson
Mayor Martin Chavez announces his candidacy at the Taylor Ranch Community Center on Sunday, July 12.

To get a preview of the upcoming city races, this weekend I set out to visit former state Sen. Richard Romero’s campaign HQ and then headed over to the Westside for Mayor Martin Chavez’s “official” announcement. (R.J. Berry and Donna Rowe did not have any announced public appearances over the weekend.)

Richard Romero (right) talks with campaign volunteers.
Carolyn Carlson
Richard Romero (right) talks with campaign volunteers.

At Romero’s mid North Valley headquarters there were about 60 volunteers who were pairing up to hit the hot neighborhood streets and knock on doors. Romero said in a short interview that he was running because it was time for a change in the city’s leadership. He said he has four priorities: public safety, job creation, education and transparent government. We did not have time to get into the specifics of each priority, but we will. Working for the underdog made Romero’s volunteers a bit on the serious side as they hoofed it through neighborhoods to spread the word about his qualifications.

On the Westside at the Chavez gathering, there were at least a couple hundred people packed into a hot community center room to hear what they already knew. There were a number of city employees and mayor appointees present. Chavez said to the jovial crowd that he is an agent of positive vision and change for the city. Chavez has the advantage as an eight-year incumbent to point out his own mayoral successes. He cited programs like quick graffiti removal, the 311 city information line, Rapid Ride, putting more cops on the streets and, of course, dog parks and other perks for Fido and Kitty.