Senator Gloria Romero at Cityhood for East LA Car WashToday, East LA is one step closer to self-governance! Thanks to your support, reinforced by our state and national leaders, East LA's fiscal study to officially determine Cityhood is underway. One of the strengths of our movement has always been that we are volunteer-led. Our campaign is only possible because East LA residents talk to their neighbors and family, and because we've planned events to help raise funds while spreading the word.

Our state and national leaders have also recognized just how hard we've worked, and how much East LA deserves to know its viability as a city. Yesterday, Governor Schwarzenegger signed AB 711 into law. (See the LA Times article and other Cityhood news). This measure, authored by Assembly Majority Leader Charles Calderon will help us with expensive application and processing fees.

It isn't the first time our state leaders have gone to bat for us -- in 2008 Senator Romero successfully passed SB 301 to make sure local municipalities across the state would have the necessary startup funds while transitioning to a city. We thank these and many other state leaders for recognizing that East LA's rich history and valuable future should be invested in, and that local residents are leading the charge.

After dedicating 2008 to collecting petition signatures from over 11,500 voters, we've kept busy throughout 2009 until now working to raise the $134,000 necessary to fund our CFA. Through organizing car washes, menudo breakfasts, and a 250 person dinner at the East LA Community Center, we've held community-engaging, momentum-building fundraisers to help meet the deadlines. From partnering up with a local electronics recycling business to encourage residents to donate old TVs and computers, to supporting our local artists with a yellow school bus tour of famous local murals, our supporters have been creative about looking for ways to always raise awareness for our campaign while meeting more people, and talking about issues in East LA.

We received a big boost in March when Pan American Bank, founded and headquartered in East LA, hosted an incredibly successful casino night fundraiser. Also over the past year, our national leaders have stepped up and hosted two receptions in Washington DC to support East LA, with more than seven members of Congress attending, along with a multitude of former East LA residents who support our community's cause. Congresswoman Grace Napolitano provided monumental leadership in these efforts, with full backing from fellow East LA Congressmembers Roybal-Allard and Chu.

And today, like every day, we're proud to be a part of and support East LA -- and we thank you for your continued support too. Our movement is built on civic engagement and community empowerment, and we invite you to join us for the next steps. Our next volunteer meeting will be on Thursday, June 17th at 6pm. Email info@CityhoodForEastLA.org for more information!

Many Thanks,
The Board of Directors and Volunteers of the East Los Angeles Residents Association

PS -- Don't forget to vote today, and remember those leaders who have stood with us for Cityhood! You can find your polling location and sample ballot at http://lavote.net/locator/.