A local civic and labor activist announced this week that she will be joining the race to represent Boyle Heights in Congress. Wendy Carillo was brought to the United States as a child by her undocumented parents from El Salvador but has since become a citizen. In Carillo’s announcement to run, she says she supports the Black Lives Matter movement, supports a $15 dollar per hour minimum wage, and opposes the anti-immigrant rhetoric that President-elect Trump campaigned on.
Carillo grew up in City Terrace, attended El Sereno Middle School, went to Roosevelt High School and East LA College before going to Cal State Los Angeles where she received a Bachelor’s degree and then to USC for her Master’s. She now owns a house in Boyle Heights. Carillo produced a radio program on Power 106 FM called “Knowledge is Power,” where Angelenos talked about the issues they face.
In 2012, Carrillo wrote about her life as an undocumented immigrant for Boyle Heights Beat.
The 34th Congressional District seat will vacate now that current representative Xavier Becerra has been nominated to become the next state Attorney General. Among those currently vying for the seat are Assemblyman José Gómez, former Green Party congressional candidate Kenneth Mejía, former aide to CD 14 councilman and Boyle Heights resident José Huízar Sara Hernández, former deputy director of the Bernie Sanders campaign Arturo Carmona and former LAUSD board member Yolie Flores.
Several local politicians have said they’ve considered running for the seat but have opted out, including former Assembly Speaker John Pérez, who announced his candidacy but dropped out for health reasons. Current Los Angeles City Council member David Ryu also announced his candidacy but quickly withdrew from the race. Huízar, a Boyle Heights resident, said he considered a bid for the seat decided he will not pursue it. Councilman Gil Cedillo who represents Highland Park, Lincoln Heights and other neighborhoods in the district has also said he will not enter the race for the Congress seat.
The 34th Congressional District represents parts of downtown, east, and northeast LA including Boyle Heights, Chinatown, and Highland Park.
This post was edited on Dec. 16 to update on new candidates and John Pérez dropping out of the race.
Photo above: Courtesy of Wendy Carrillo campaign.