Suzette Martinez Valladares | Your Vote Holds Tremendous Power

Suzette Martinez Valladares, Right Here, Right Now
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The most common phrase I’ve heard lately: “Oh there’s an election?” Tuesday, March 5, California holds its Presidential Primary Election, and while those running for the highest office in the land receive the most attention, Los Angeles County voters, and that includes Santa Clarita, will be selecting the next district attorney for the county. 

I have made no secret that I believe the current District Attorney George Gascón has made our region a more dangerous place. Gascón’s blatant disregard for public safety, adherence to incompetent policies, and willingness to put murderers and rapists back out on the streets is devastating. Gascón’s actions have created new victims, and caused countless families pain and suffering. And while he has something of the worst public opinion ratings of any elected official, he survived a recall attempt and is fighting to remain in office. 

Los Angeles County voters are presented with the opportunity to kick George Gascón out of office and move past this dark period in Los Angeles County history, and elect a new district attorney. There are several suitors vying for your vote and the job, and on or before Tuesday, March 5, you can return your ballot and make your voice heard. 

Your voice does matter. The Office of Los Angeles County District Attorney isn’t some far-off legislative body or politician. The person in this role literally decides which criminals should be prosecuted or not prosecuted, which laws they will hold people accountable for when they are broken, and whether our system of justice truly works for the people of this county, and protects victims and their families. 

For about a month every registered voter in California has had their ballot. It was mailed to everyone and you have the option to return it by mail, no postage is necessary by the way, or drop it off at a vote center on or before March 5. The process ensures that everyone has the opportunity to cast their ballot. 

Unfortunately only about 10% of voters in Los Angeles County have cast their ballots to date, and voter participation is low. Like I wrote in the beginning, I often hear people remark that they didn’t know any election was coming up. 

My point in this is that there are important choices faced by every voter in the election, especially voters in Los Angeles County. In my opinion, the opportunity to officially retire current DA George Gascón is a can’t-miss. I want to encourage all of you to consider this important question and the chance to have your voice heard by voting and returning your ballot. 

Ask yourself the question, “Are you or your family safer now than you were four years ago?” If that answer is a resounding no, like it is for me and my family, then please check that ballot and return it with a new choice for Los Angeles County District Attorney.

I’ve witnessed Jon Hatami and his wife Roxanne’s unwavering commitment to our community for over a decade. Jon’s local advocacy and his relentless pursuit of justice for the most vulnerable, like Gabriel Fernandez and Anthony Avalos, epitomizes his character. I wholeheartedly trust that he would be a fair and just district attorney. With numerous outstanding candidates vying for the DA position, each offering a stark contrast to Gascón, your vote holds immense power.

Suzette Martinez Valladares is Santa Clarita’s former assemblywoman, wife, girl mom, avid DIY’er and a monthly contributor to The Signal’s “Right, Here Right Now,” which appears Saturdays and rotates among local Republicans.

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