Skip to main content

I am writing to you not as a past supporter and friend of the former Assemblymember, Raúl Bocanegra. Rather, I write to you as a concerned constituent.

Assemblymember Patty Lopez

They are troubled by your lack of experience and by the beliefs of those whom you have chosen as your political counselors.

Furthermore, as with anyone else in this situation, you simply cannot run away from your personal history. You have consorted for years with hate groups such as the Minuteman Movement whose primary purpose is to focus negatively on people of color, particularly on the Latino community. And why? Because such ethnic minorities pose a perceived threat to the life style to which these haters feel comfortable and safe.

Your closest advisor is David Hernandez, who is himself deeply involved with the Minutemen and is notorious for his bigoted opinions. Ricardo Benitez, your staffer, and Eugene Hernandez, an ardent and outspoken supporter, are far-Right “Tea Party” conservatives who seem to be unsure of their own party allegiance and have earned a reputation for their mercurial personalities and their inflammatory explosiveness. It is said (and rightfully so) that we are judged by the friends we keep!

A while back, when you were working in an organization designed to teach people good parenting skills, in the heat of anger you allegedly hurled the “N” word in both Spanish and English at a Black female co-worker. Your constant outbursts eventually drove her away from the effective role she was playing in the group. This woman has been so hurt by your unrelenting behavior toward her that she is more than eager to confirm my assertions. Such words as yours and the thoughts behind them are simply unacceptable and intolerable by the strong and caring body politic which you actually represent

What is so disturbing is what instigated that disagreement in the first place. It was an argument over diversity. You were perceived as only wanting to help the Latino community. Conversely, the woman in question wanted to address the needs of the broader demographics of the entire community (which includes Latinos). That is what is called coalition-building and is fundamental to any functioning democracy. It is therefore concerning that, as an Assemblymember, you seem only to want to focus your energy on a portion of your constituents. Real leadership demands otherwise.

Similarly, you have demonstrated intolerance when you fired your initial Chief of Staff when you learned that he is gay—a preference which apparently you believe is abnormal and repugnant. No, Ma’am. To me it is your response that is repugnant!

Furthermore, you have neither been candid nor honest with your community about who you are and where you really stand on any number of issues. You led voters to believe that you are an educator—a teacher or administrator—and many voted for you on that basis alone. In fact, you have never taught nor have you had the college education which would authorize you to do so.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

The truth is, from the start, you misled those who voted for you by presenting a résumé which you cannot legitimately claim in its entirety. It is because of your self-descriptions that this Assembly District electorate expected much more from you from the very beginning.

Indeed, we need more women in politics, and increasing the participation of people of color is of equal importance. Years ago, I must admit I voted for a woman (in part because she is a woman) to fill a legislative post but regretted my choice for as long as she was in office. It turned out, that despite her initial appeal, she did not represent my values of tolerance and equal opportunity, and neither do you! Obviously, voting for someone simply because of her gender or ethnicity can prove to be a mistake and in this case you seem, unfortunately, to fall short in your capacity as a lawmaker.

I would commend you for your community involvement, but it seems when one looks closer, you were not advocating for a stronger, more engaged community. Instead, you hold a narrower view of what that means.

I can only speak for myself, but I know there are thousands who are already disappointed with you and the values you represent. They are frustrated and discouraged.

Thus, it is for all these reasons that I urge you to resign from office in a timely manner before the possibility of a recall effort is pursued.

Please consider the ramifications of any decision you make. I trust you will make one that is beneficial to our community. Please, have the courage to do what is right for your constituents.


We shall all respect and thank you then!


Rosemary Jenkins