SAN JOSÉ — Assembly Member Luis Alejo (D-Watsonville) received one of three Legislator of the Year Awards from the League of California Cities® today during the organization’s 2015 Annual Conference and Expo in San José. The top honor was given to Assembly Member Alejo for his commitment in passing legislation that would restore a redevelopment tool for disadvantaged communities and establish a 25 percent set-aside for affordable housing.
Along with Assembly Member Alejo, the League also recognized Sen. Jim Beall (D-San José) for his long-term commitment to transportation issues and his efforts in the most recent legislative sessions to provide a new, sustainable source of funding for California’s state highway and local streets and road system and Assembly Member Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) for his leadership in the passage of legislative package to create a regulatory framework for medical marijuana that protects local control, public safety and patient access.
Assembly Member Alejo has consistently championed policies and legislation that improve California’s most struggling communities. Gov. Jerry Brown on Sept. 24 signed AB 2, which is supported by a wide coalition of business groups including the California Chamber of Commerce and the Western Center on Law and Poverty, authorizes the creation of a new entity at the local level called a Community Revitalization Authority. This will provide a redevelopment option for the most disadvantaged and poorest areas of the state and the newly created entity would be empowered to invest the property tax increment of consenting local agencies (other than schools) and other available funding. The result will be greater employment opportunities, lower crime rates, more affordable housing and the repair of deteriorated and inadequate infrastructure.
League President and Scotts Valley Council Member Stephany Aguilar presented Assembly Alejo with the award. “I want to thank Assembly Member Luis Alejo on behalf of California’s cities for his incredible dedication to our state’s most disadvantaged communities. He understands how tax increment financing can be effectively used to transform communities and revitalize the areas that need the most investment.”
Assembly Member Ajejo’s upbringing shaped his views and inspired his public service. Through this background, he brings perspective on the challenges poor communities face and what the redevelopment tool meant for them.
“I’m truly honored to receive this award from the League of California Cities,” states Assembly Member Alejo. “For the past three years I have been working diligently to create policy that will serve as a new effective tool to help and uplift disadvantaged communities throughout the state. I am grateful to have had the support of the League of California Cities and work side by side with them to help the state’s most disadvantaged communities.”
With a background in local government, Assembly Member Alejo understands how AB 2 will benefit California communities. A former mayor of Watsonville, Assembly Member Alejo is currently a member of the Assembly Local Government Committee, a committee he previously chaired. In addition, he serves as chair of the Legislative Latino Caucus.
Founded in 1898, the League of California Cities is an association of California city officials who work together to enhance their knowledge and skills, exchange information, and combine resources so that they may influence policy decisions that affect cities. The League’s mission is to restore and protect local control for cities through education and advocacy to enhance the quality of life for all Californians.