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#AD63 youth leaders
Issue 38

Speaker's Note

Happy May!

In this month's R-Guide, we discuss the history of Cinco de Mayo and the importance of protecting habitats and endangered species. We also highlight SELA's Little Libraries and Lakewood's Veterans History Project in honor of Memorial Day.

Finally, I share some of my favorite April social media moments from my Instagram, @Rendon63rd.

Cinco De Mayo: Celebrating Mexican American Resiliency

Cinco De Mayo

Representing a highly Latino district, I find it important to share with others the history, culture, and values that are significant to many in our community. In May, the Mexican American holiday, Cinco de Mayo, gives us the opportunity to shed light on common misconceptions attached to the holiday and allows us to share the real history.

Cinco de Mayo is more than just wearing a sombrero or drinking cheap margaritas. A survey by NationalToday.com has found that only 10% of Americans know the true reason behind the holiday.

In 1862, during the U.S Civil War, the French Army led by Emperor Napoleon III traveled towards Mexico City. The goal was to take over and establish a second Mexican empire that favored the French. This would serve as a "station" in the New World to replace all the French land that Emperor Napoleon's uncle decided to sell to Thomas Jefferson in the Louisiana Purchase.

He continued on his mission and sent a fleet to attack Veracruz and head to Mexico City. He failed quickly. Before he reached Mexico City, at the City of Puebla a young Mexican general named Ignacio Zaragoza beat back the French troops in battle.

In Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is a celebration that honors this battle, the first battle of Puebla. Here in America, it's become a time to enjoy Mexican culture, but it should not be an excuse to simply party.

This Cinco de Mayo holiday, I hope you take time to celebrate by honoring Mexican American culture, heritage, and history.

Endangered Species Day - The LA River

The LA River

On every third of May, we also celebrate Endangered Species Day.

Led by the National Wildlife Federation, the day is used to share the importance of wildlife conservation and restoration efforts for all threatened species. Also, it's a time to learn and celebrate the advancements made to protect wildlife since the Endangered Species Act of 1973. A place close to home where we can see the impacts on wildlife is the Los Angeles River. In the early 20th century, the LA River was home to and supported a diverse ecosystem. As the city grew, the river became more problematic and as a result of many devastating floods, a lot of the river's ecosystem suffered.

This article showcases LA River species that have become endangered: www.hcn.org/issues/50.11/photos-an-inventory-of-loss-on-the-los-angeles-river

In 2015, I successfully led the effort to get AB 530 signed by the Governor. This bill allowed for us to create a coalition of community partners to create an LA River Revitalization Plan, which has led to efforts to envision habitat revitalization. Habitat is an important part of the river and its function. Habitat provides food, shelter, and rest space for the birds, reptiles, and small mammals living in the LA River watershed.

One of the first projects to come out of this bill was Parque Dos Rios. Parque Dos Rios is a 7+ acre habitat enhancement and rest stop project located along the Lower LA River at the connection of the Rio Hondo and the City of South Gate. This project includes river and habitat overlook, shade structures, trash receptacles, raptor perches and much more. It's set to begin really soon! Read about the Parque Dos Rio project here: www.wca.ca.gov/parque_dos_rios.

I'm glad to see these efforts. Habitat restoration and the creation of new habitat in the river, parks, and even in our backyards can enhance biodiversity and be a home for plants and animals. All of which allows for our community to reap the benefits of these natural areas.

This Endangered Species Day, I hope that you take some time to learn about the species and ecosystems that live in or near our communities. Also take some time to go visit the LA River, national or wildlife parks or simply take a walk to see who you can find.

Memorial Day - Lakewood Veterans History Project

military jet plane on display

I'm wishing everyone a peaceful Memorial Day!

If you didn't know, when Lakewood was founded in 1954, many of its residents were veterans and their families. The city's appreciation and support for the military has been strong since. In 2015, the city laid commemorative bricks around the Veterans Memorial Plaza to honor veterans with a connection to Lakewood.

They have also created an online Veterans History Project where stories of Lakewood veterans are shared for generations to remember.

Please take some to read some of their inspiring stories this Memorial Day!


AD63 Little Libraries

REMINDER: SELA has new Little Libraries!

I'm really excited and proud that I was able to accomplish this project. The Little Libraries has already given our community a chance to share the books they love and has encouraged parents to spend some time reading with their children.

I'm excited to continue to see this project grow within our district!

Click here for a map of where all the Little Libraries are in #AD63.

Make sure to visit one and take or drop off a book.

Little Libraries

@Rendon63rd in April

Assemblymember Lori Wilson on Assembly floor

Congratulations and welcome to our newest Assemblymember - Lori Wilson of Assembly District 11!

Assemblymember Wilson brings a wealth of local government experience that will make her a huge benefit to the State of California. The Assembly is lucky to have her!

#AD63 youth leaders

Our #AD63 youth leaders from our Youth Leadership Program were able to get a campus tour and a lecture from Sonja Diaz, who is the Executive Director of the Latino Policy and Politics Initiative.

I'm thrilled we're able to provide opportunities like this to our #AD63 students!

Speaker Rendon at Dodgers Dreamteam Opening Day Ceremony

I know spring technically started back on March 20, but to me this is the real kick-off for spring - baseball season is back in #SELA!

So much fun at the Dodgers Dreamteam Opening Day Ceremony in Lynwood! Thanks to everyone who signed up their kids to play. I love to see hundreds of kids in #DodgerBlue ready to play some ball!

Speaker Rendon's daughter

One of the big highlights of #SpringRecess - spending time at the beach with my daughter Vienna.

Have an idea or topic for a future R Guide?
Send your suggestions to Julian.Gonzalez@asm.ca.gov!