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Fit for Office and Unfit for Office: Cerritos Has a Clear Choice, Vote for Hong and Yokoyama

Editor’s note: HMG-CN erroneously reported on endorsements for Jennifer Hong, the information has been corrected.

April 8, 2022 ~ We are approaching the last week of the City Council campaign, and Cerritos residents have a stark choice to make between candidates. HMG-CN is endorsing Frank Yokoyama and Jennifer Hong.

As usual, there are candidates running just to pull votes away from others; HMG-CN will not give them much ink. Nishii just gave the impression [to HMG-CN] he was unorganized, and this paper endorses only those who have served on a Cerritos commission.

Another, Sam Desai, vehemently opposed the badly needed ABCUSD School Bond BB, which should tell parents of children in Cerritos that he is somebody who is not informed and is unfit for office.

But not many remember that another candidate, Lynda Johnson, opposed a school bond also, casting a no vote while she was VP of the ABCUSD School Board.

It cost her the presidency and a strong rebuke from Board President Maynard Law in the Press-Telegram, “she [Johnson] was basically negative. I think there are some feelings that she certainly was not a positive factor.”

Law and five other board members thought she was unfit for office.

In addition, Johnson abstained from voting for Prop. 55, earmarked money that went to increasing instructional days, adding technology, you know, things that enable students, teacher and staff to become a better school district The Editors of the Sacramento Bee, the Fresno Bee and many others endorsed Prop 55.

Out of the seven members only Johnson voted no; unfit for office.

Many people think Hong is fit for office. An experienced businesswoman, she has successfully run her multi-million dollar business for decades. And she knows the inner workings of the city, holding the position of planning commissioner since 2017, including as Vice Chair and Chair.

Johnson has never served on any one of several Cerritos’ commissions even though she lives in the city.

While a field representative for Supervisor Janice Hahn, Johnson assumed a position on the Artesia Cemetery District Board and handed a lucrative construction contract to a questionable company that was not the lowest bidder; that violated California’s Public Contract Code.

Once this newspaper revealed all the information, supervisor Hahn demanded Johnson resign from the cemetery district board, which she did.

Supervisor Hahn thought Johnson was unfit for office.

Yokoyama is the other clear choice. He is always engaged, traveling around the city, donating goods, attending events, and advocating for the city. Yokoyama wants to protect the full-service Cerritos Sheriff’s Station from being closed; Bruce Barrows wanted to close the station, and he is endorsing Lynda Johnson.

Yokoyama also continues to lead burglary suppression efforts, working hard for the past five years in partnership with the Cerritos Captain and Deputy Sheriffs to prevent residential burglaries. As a result,  crime has dropped by 81% from 2017 to 2020.

He has supported and fully funded the City’s Neighborhood Watch, Volunteers on Patrol (VOP), and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) programs.

And he knows the city’s finances, balancing the budget every year in office.

Johnson does not seem to care about budgets; a few years ago, HMG-CN revealed that Johnson took $7,500 in cash to pay for ABCUSD health insurance even though she already had insurance working as a paralegal.

Fleecing taxpayers and taking cash from the then cash-strapped ABCUSD; unfit for office.

Just recently, she took $21,000 in special interest money, including $4,500 from the Cerritos Auto Square and $1,000 from embattled LASD’s Alex Villanueva; both donations will cause a conflict of interest with the Cerritos City Council.

Taking money while throwing Cerritos under the bus; unfit for office.

The choice is clear, go with the old-guard endorsed candidate who will take an anti-city stance to pander for votes and garner thousands of dollars in campaign donations, or bring new blood into the City Council, those who are more open-minded and more inclusive of residents, who advocate for safety, infrastructure, program improvements, and Senior services… while keeping an eye on the city’s finances.

Whatever your choice is, please exercise your right as an American and vote.