April 11, 2013
By KENNETH MILLER
Assistant Managing Editor
Six weeks from the most significant election for Los Angeles since the past two presidential elections, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-43) has launched her support for Controller Wendy Greuel in the race for the next mayor of Los Angeles.
Waters is considered to be one of the most powerful women in American politics, having gained a reputation as a fearless and outspoken advocate for women, children, people of color and the poor.
Earlier this week, Waters stood side by side with Greuel at City Hall, both wearing matching bright red jackets as the 12-term congresswoman made her endorsement of Greuel official.
“Wendy Greuel is a woman of honesty and integrity, someone with the leadership, experience and toughness to get Los Angeles back on track,” Waters said. “I have fought my whole career to empower Angelenos, and that’s exactly what Wendy will do as mayor. She’ll fight to grow our middle class and bring good jobs and opportunity to every part of the city, with special attention to the areas with the greatest needs. And she could make history by becoming Los Angeles’ first woman mayor. I’m proud to be a co-chair on her campaign, and I am excited to join Wendy’s efforts to reach out to voters across the city.”
The 37-year public servant who is iconic in the Black community will also be joining Greuel’s campaign as a co-chair and has pledged to do ‘whatever it takes’ to secure Greuel’s mayoral bid to become the first woman in city history to serve in that capacity.
Waters 43rd Congressional District includes a large part of South Los Angeles that has increasingly become a key battleground region for the two candidates.
As the ranking member of the House Committee on Financial Services and as co-chair on Greuel’s campaign, Waters will help lead outreach to African-Americans, Latinos, Asian Pacific Islanders and women throughout the city.
Waters also praised Greuel as a leader who will fight for equality and equal pay for women. Her endorsement comes the day before Equal Pay Day, which highlights the pay gap between men and women. Women continue to make just 77 cents for every dollar made by men. The disparity is even greater for women of color.
“Maxine Waters has dedicated her life to service. As one of the most powerful women in American politics and a tireless advocate for women, children, people of color and the poor, she’s fought her entire career fighting to bring economic opportunities to South Los Angeles,” Greuel said. “I’m proud to have her endorsement, and together we will partner to invest in jobs and job-training programs, spur economic development and support the creation of small businesses in Los Angeles so every Angeleno has an opportunity to succeed.”
The congresswoman joins prominent leaders including President Bill Clinton, Leader Nancy Pelosi, Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas, West Angeles Church of God in Christ Bishop Charles E. Blake, basketball legend Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson, The Rev. Cecil ‘Chip’ Murray and Sentinel Publisher Danny J. Bakewell Sr. in endorsing Greuel.
In addition to Greuel’s long tenure of being an advocate of the Black community, Rep. Waters is equally encouraged to support a woman of stellar credentials for the city’s high office.
It was Waters who was instrumental in the 2008 presidential campaign for Hillary Clinton. After a combative primary and subsequent loss to eventual President Barack Obama, she gave her full support to the Democratic ticket for president.
Waters has been on the cutting edge, tackling difficult and often controversial issues. She has combined her strong legislative and public policy acumen and high visibility in Democratic Party activities with an unusual ability to do grassroots organizing.
Prior to her election to the House of Representatives in 1990, Waters had already attracted national attention for her no-nonsense, no-holds-barred style of politics. During 14 years in the California State Assembly, she rose to the powerful position of Democratic Caucus Chair.
She was responsible for some of the boldest legislation California has ever seen: the largest divestment of state pension funds from South Africa; landmark affirmative action legislation; the nation’s first statewide Child Abuse Prevention Training Program; the prohibition of police strip searches for nonviolent misdemeanors; and the introduction of the nation’s first plant closure law.
Congresswoman Waters has long been highly visible in Democratic Party politics and has served on the Democratic National Committee (DNC) since 1980. She was a key leader in five presidential campaigns: Sen. Edward Kennedy (1980), Rev. Jesse Jackson (1984 & 1988), and President Bill Clinton (1992 & 1996). In 2001, she was instrumental in the DNC’s creation of the National Development and Voting Rights Institute and the appointment of Mayor Maynard Jackson as its chair.