#Pride58 is a campaign I am launching to highlight the positive contributions happening every day in our community, the 58th Assembly District.

I will honor a deserving individual, organization, or business each Sunday throughout the year with the "#Pride58” Award, which recognizes service and dedication to the betterment of the community.

If you know of an inspiring person, organization or business who has served their community with distinction, I want to know about them. Please join me by submitting your nominees for consideration. Nominees will be accepted year round and evaluated on an ongoing basis.


October 8, 2015

Daisy Gomez

Daisy Gomez lives in the City of Montebello and is the owner of Llama Violeta Outlet store. At a young age she has already demonstrated not only personal success, but also a compassionate heart. At the age of 25 and despite the tough economic conditions, Daisy decided to open her own business. After just one year in business, the Llama Violeta Outlet is succeeding against the odds, proving that hard work and determination can pay off. Daisy is also very community oriented. Her small business is near the Montebello Riverbed, so she encounters many homeless people. Showing her kind heart and extraordinary generosity, Daisy often makes her surplus sweaters and blankets available to the homeless. Daisy not only contributes to the economy of Montebello, but looks out for the less fortunate in her community.

Congratulations Daisy Gomez on your success as a business person and thank you for your big heart and the compassion you show for others every day.


October 4, 2015


Nancy Valencia grew up in the City of Commerce and has a long history of community service. Growing up in Commerce she played sports and has participated in dance since age 3. As Nancy grew older, she volunteered her time as a dance instructor and then earned her way up to becoming an advisor for the dance team. She has always had a passion for dance and by sharing her expertise she is giving back to the community where she received so much. Given Nancy's experience she could very easily work for a professional team or pursue her own dance business, but instead she has chosen to invest in her community. Nancy works at the City of Commerce Parks and Recreation Department teaching dance to children. Nancy is truly a classic example of someone paying it forward. From a preschool dancer, to the Queen of the City of Commerce, to today, 18 years later, she continues to encourage youth to be positive and participate in their community. Nancy and her family are firmly settled into their community and love the City of Commerce where they plan to stay. Thank you Nancy for your loyalty and the inspiration that you bring every day to the young people of Commerce.


September 27, 2015

Over many years, Elaine Burdick has dedicated countless hours to her duties as a teacher and as Curriculum Director for grades K thru 12, with the ABC School District. Upon her retirement from the school district, Elaine did not slow down; she became a highly valued volunteer for the Artesia Historical Society. Through her leadership, a program of 3rd grade student tours began, with Elaine coordinating the schools, buses, and docents. Excited students from surrounding cities are now coming to the Artesia Historical Museum to learn about the early life in Artesia, and how Artesia was once a very large community encompassing, Dairy Valley, Hawaiian Gardens, parts of Bellflower, Buena Park, Lakewood and Norwalk. Because of Elaine’s many efforts, over the past 7 years approximately 7,000 students have come through the museum and the Old Station #30 Fire Station. Elaine has built a wonderful reputation as someone who puts children first and today is highly respected by the ABC School District, the Artesia Historical Society and by so many throughout her community. Elaine is a prime example of someone who gives back so much to their community and many people feel blessed to have her in their lives and in the lives of their children. She a special person, with a big heart and through her commitment fuels the hopes and dreams of the many children she touches every day.


September 20, 2015

Clothes The Deal, (www.clothesthedeal.org) a non-profit organization, assists low income adults and at risk youth by providing them with business attire for job interviews and work etiquette workshops to assist in obtaining employment.

Operating out of Downey, CTD serves the local communities including Bell, Huntington Park, Lynwood, Paramount, and South Gate.  Two of CTD’s employees Katherine Ruckman and Lupita Villegas were born and raised in Downey.  Both Katherine and Lupita find CTD’s work fulfilling, and enjoy helping client’s find the right outfit.  Since 1995, because of Clothes The Deal efforts, 52,000 people have secured employment.

Through corporate clothing drives and donations directly from manufacturers and retailers, CTD collects approximately 34,000 ready-to-wear pieces of clothing in a year.  In 2014 more than 90 organizations and government agencies were served, providing clothing to 4,558 jobseekers. CTD also offers a clothing boutique in the City of Downey, which enables jobseekers to try on and select their perfect interview outfit.

Currently in its 20th year of service, Clothes The Deal continues to make a positive impact in our communities by providing services for jobseekers that have proven to boost their self-esteem and assist them in obtaining employment. Overall, the organization provides an “enriching experience” for their clients and clothing donors, who see the benefit of the donations they make.

Thank you CTD, the work and what you do to uplift people is greatly appreciated.  The simple gift of clothing is the helping hand that is giving people hope and support for a brighter future.


September 13, 2015

Christine grew up in South Gate and moved to Pico Rivera in 1997 after she graduated from Bellflower High School. She is a mother of two boys 8 and 9 years old. They both attend Birney Elementary. She also has two goddaughters, one at The Steam Academy at Burke and one at El Rancho High School. Her sister, mother and brother live in Pico Rivera.

Christine started working for SA Recycling located in Pico Rivera in 2001, became involved with the Chamber of Commerce in 2014 and has been an active participant in Chamber events, such as mixers and business expos.

At the suggestion of her son, Christine began volunteering at Birney Elementary in 2011 and has been heavily involved as a volunteer for the school and the district. Always one to lend a hand, Christine as a mom, is the current president of the Birney Dad’s Club. The Dad’s Club started as an offshoot of the original PTA and has been around since the early 1950’s. The group participates in “Santa Runs” with local fire stations, where they ride along with Santa and on the fire truck delivering gifts, courtesy of the Dad’s Club, to students with special needs. They also raise money with food truck nights and by selling fireworks to raise funds for the Birney Alumni scholarship fund. Last year Christine presented $6,000 in scholarships to deserving students at the El Rancho Awards night.

Christine is driven by her children. She says “My children give me the best feedback. They like seeing me at their school. They like that other teacher’s know me. Because my son is in special education, I try to make myself as approachable and helpful to his teachers as possible and volunteering makes that possible.”

On a district level, as a member of the District Advisory Council, Christine knows firsthand what’s going on and what direction the district is moving in. She uses Facebook and Twitter to reach out to parents and families to keep them aware of available resources and activities occurring in the community.

Thank you Christine for all that you do and for what you mean to families in Pico Rivera.

You started as a mother working to do the best for your own children and now you have become a valued advocate for all children. You do everything possible to improve their lives and everyday make your community a better place.


September 6, 2015

Robert Lopez is an inspiration to everyone in our neighborhood and a role model for the City of Montebello. Robert Lopez’s friend, De Anne Susino, lives half a block away from him on Bluff Road which is adjacent to the riverbed and has a fence and strip of land that runs parallel to the street. Weeds grow, and trash accumulates. According to de Anne, thanks to Robert, the neighborhood barely notices the mess. Each Saturday morning, Robert walks along Bluff Road all the way to Washington Blvd., an entire block, and picks up trash. In addition, he is often seen pushing his lawnmower down the strip to make sure weeds don’t accumulate.

Neighbor De Anne Susino summed Robert up  in these words, “I’ve lived on Bluff Road most of my life, and I can honestly say, Robert Lopez is the only person I have ever seen who cares enough about our neighborhood to singlehandedly keep the land strip clear of trash and free of weeds. He is a great example to all of us.”

Robert, as you see, your persistence in nurturing your small corner of the earth is greatly appreciated.  It shows that one person with a lawn mower and some pride in his community is making his neighborhood a better place and is a great example to all of us on the importance of serving others.


August 30, 2015

Sandra was raised in Bell Gardens and comes from a tight knit family who supported her dream to be successful and be able to give back to the community. While Sandra was a young adult attending college, her sister Jeannette, whom at the time was attending Cal State Dominguez Hills and was diagnosed with cancer. Two months away from graduating cancer took her life. This personal tragedy inspired Sandra to pursue her dream of higher education in remembrance of her sister. Her goal was to one day go back to her community, Bell Gardens, a place that had given her and her family so much. Completing college and aspiring to work in a place where she could honor her sister and motivate students and parents, Sandra earned a position with ICES Education. ICES Education is one of California’s longest-established providers of After School and Out-of-School learning programs. She has now become the Site Director for the after school program at Garfield Elementary in Bell Gardens.  In that role, Sandra organizes music, dance, and sports programs for the students. Her staff also helps out by teaching study skills and assisting students with their homework. Going the extra mile for her students, Sandra aggressively raises money to be able to take the students on field trips throughout the year. In a very short time, Sandra has done so much for her students. She strongly represents the passion and pride that all educators should possess.

Thank you Sandra for coming back home and serving your community. Every day, you teach and inspire young people to excel and to become be better students and better people. You are making a difference and Bell Gardens is a better place because of your commitment.


August 23, 2015

Melissa is a high energy role model for children living in the city of Cerritos. She acts as the Wittman Elementary School PTA president and has been the chair for the schools social media program and the yearbook. She is also a valued substitute teacher for the ABC School District. Outside of the school activities, Melissa has been, since 2008, an American Youth Soccer Organization coach since 2008 both girls and boy teams. For the last two years she has also been the Administrator for girls/boys teams under 8 years old and even makes time to be a soccer referee. All of this would be more than enough for most people, but Melissa isn’t most people! She is tireless and continues to contribute to her community by setting up her Neighborhood Halloween event, the 4th of July Bike Parade, Mother’s Day Flower Distribution and tops it off by volunteering with Girl Scout Troop 5233.

Melissa, you are an incredible role model for our boys and girls. Your commitment and energy to succeed is contagious. Thank you for being there and stepping up for Cerritos and for our future – the children, whose lives you touch every day!


August 16, 2015

Barbara Jean Frampton Applebury was born in Artesia in 1938. Her parent’s Harvey and Wilma Frampton, owned and operated Artesia Ice Service until Harvey’s death in 1977. Barbara attended the Norwalk school system and graduated from Excelsior High School. Barbara has lived in Artesia since 1961 and continues to live in the same home where she raised her family. Barbara retired from Cerritos College after 22 years and today spends time as a volunteer at the Cerritos- Artesia United Methodist Church, where she has been a member since 1975. Always serving others, Barbara uses her talents, every year, to hand make lap quilts for the residents of Winsor Palms in Artesia. Dedicated to her city Barbara is the former City of Artesia Beautification and Maintenance Commissioner and is a current trustee for the Artesia Cemetery, where she coordinates their annual Memorial Day Celebration.

She is also the current Vice-President of the Artesia Historical Society, where she organizes all activities to inform surrounding cities about the wonders of the City of Artesia. During the school year, Barbara oversees twice a week Museum tours for local students. And to make sure that Artesia’s history stays alive for all of the community, Barbara directs the Annual Artesia Historical Gala, a major fundraiser for the museum.

Thank you Barbara for your hard work and your dedication to the people of Artesia and to those in surrounding communities. Your talents and your heart are leaving a lasting impression on so many and making your community a better place to live.