Councilman Isaac Galvan is running for re-election in the City of Compton. He has served on the Compton City Council for the past 4 years and is very proud of the work that he and his colleagues have been able to achieve during his first term in office. “ We’ve done some great work over the past four years. We’ve brought tree cutting and graffiti removal contracts to the city, We’ve brought major big box retailers to the city and we passed a sales tax initiative that guarantees that every one of our streets in the city get repaired,” said Galvan.
The councilman has done a great job in helping lead the city as well as the residents of his district. Every park in District 1 which he represents has been rehabbed and the city has passed an initiative to provide free sports programs for the youth of Compton. “I was the son of a single mother and have four other siblings. My mom always wanted us to participate in sports, but my mom didn’t have the money to sign all of us up.”
That is why the councilman was so passionate about providing free sports programs, so that every child has the opportunity to participate no matter what their financial situation may be.
When asked why the voters should re-elect him to another term in office he said, “we’ve accomplished a lot since I have been in office, however the work is not finished yet, we have more to get done”. Over the next four years Galvan wants to focus on jobs, education and safety. He believes that the next four years will be great because he and his colleagues on the city council have been able to move the city forward. When he was first elected the city of Compton was overwhelmed with a 45 million dollar budget deficit. Since then, they have been able to decrease about one third of that deficit and he believes the best is yet to come.
Galvan says that he, along with Mayor Aja Brown and the other members of the council, have eliminated the wasteful spending that the city was engaged in. The council personally shared in the cost cutting measure and decreased their own personal salaries by 80% to insure that everyone shared in getting the city operations back on solid ground.
“Our streets are in desperate need of repair and we didn’t want to tax the residence of the city by passing a bond measure. That is why we put forward a sales tax measure and with that I believe we will be able to complete our street repairs over the next 4 years,” he said.
As the only male and the first Hispanic elected to the city council, Galvan takes great pride in his leadership role, but also enjoys his working relationship with all of his colleagues.
“I think it’s great being the only male on the council and I take a lot of pride in working with 4 strong African American Women,” he said.
The councilman believes that being the son of a single mother helps him to draw a perspective in working with his colleagues to keep Compton on the rise.
“We just opened Walmart in my district,” he explained.
“We now have the world’s largest retailer in our city. We also have a lot of new businesses opening up in the city. We just opened a Jersey Mike’s and a Steak and Shake in the city. Businesses in Compton do well. Burlington, TGI Friday’s, Ross and Best Buy’s Compton stores are all some of the highest performing stores for sales in their regions…”
One of the biggest challenges Compton faces is its stigma but Galvan knows that this stigma is changing. People talk about not wanting to come to Compton and not wanting to open businesses in Compton because of the gangs and crime. But Galvan says that is not the Compton he sees.
“The Compton I see every day is a Compton that is attracting big business, that is bringing new business constantly. We just have to continue to enhance the services for our residents and highlight some of the successful things we are doing.”
Compton was once a city that was predominantly African American, but the Hispanic population has grown by over 70% in the past several years. The councilman says he doesn’t see a great division along race lines in the city. He believes that the biggest division amongst the people is strictly the result of the language barrier.
“We have a lot of community events in the city and I am constantly asking my constituents why they don’t attend the events and they say because we don’t understand English,” he said.
Beyond that barrier the councilman believes that for the most part the Blacks and Browns of Compton are together.
“Our kids go to school together, we attend church together and our kids play in the parks together,” he said.
“We just have to work at resolving the language barrier; our similarities outweigh our differences.
“Compton is my hometown, I love it here and I am very passionate about the work I do. I am very serious about making a difference in the community and I think my actions over the past four years proves it.”
The councilman lights up when talking about the work he does for the youth in Compton. Growing up the son of a single mother on a fixed income, they never had enough money to participate in city programs.
“When your mother is on a fixed income you don’t have 45 or 50 dollars to participate in programs for one kid let alone if you have 3 or 4 kids that all want to participate,” said Galvan.
“I work very hard to provide free opportunities for the young people in the city. Over Christmas we provided over 10,000 toys for kids. My good friend Oscar De la Hoya provided all the toys, we also give a way about 20,000 turkeys for needy families and our Back To School Event provides free haircuts for kids and provides backpacks full of school supplies to needy children.”
The councilman also has a shoe give a way program where he provides 100 shoes to each elementary school in the district.
“The principal at each school selects the 100 kids who get free shoes because they understand the needs of each child and help us to select the individuals who need them the most.”
Galvan says that over the past four years has been in office he has and plans to continue to provide free services to the people in Compton. He says he remembers the help he received from others as a kid and that is what drives him to continuously work to serve all the people of both his district and the City of Compton. He works tirelessly because “people just need a little help and if you provide them with the help they need. They will never forget it”.
At the end of the interview Councilman Isaac Galvan had to go back out into the community, knock on more doors. Yes, he is going to ask them for their vote, but more importantly he is going to ask them what they need? And there is no doubt he is going to then go out and find a way to serve those needs.