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Election 2013: Enrique Aranda takes city council campaign to Norwalk voters, door by door

Norwalk City Council candidate Enrique Aranda listens to voter during a recent campaign event.  Randy Economy Photo

Norwalk City Council candidate Enrique Aranda listens to voter during a recent campaign event. Randy Economy Photo

By Brian Hews

Enrique Aranda has been pounding the pavement in Norwalk for months in hopes of being able to convince voters that he has the right stuff to get elected in next week’s heated Norwalk City Council election.

Some consider Aranda as a “political outsider,” but he likes to tell voters and friends that Norwalk is his “hometown” where “he was raised” and where he wants to raise his new child that is expected to arrive later this Summer.

“I am homegrown.  I graduated from Norwalk High School and Cerritos Community College,” Aranda said.

He earned his B.A. at UC Berkeley and recently an MBA and has also completed graduate coursework in Urban Planning and has been active in advocating for environmental conservation and smart growth.

During a series of debates between the candidates, it was Aranda whose booming voice stands out in the compact field of candidates that includes challenger Candy Martinez and Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District Board of Education Member Daryl Adams and incumbent city councilmembers Cheri Kelley and Mike Mendez.

His life partner is Dr. Sandra Salazar, MD who also scored a huge political upset last November when she clobbered incumbent Tina Cho to win a seat on the Cerritos College Board of Trustee.

“No one gave Sandra much of a chance of winning, but the voters and people of Norwalk realized that Cerritos College needed to change and well, now Cerritos College is indeed headed into a new era,” Aranda told Los Cerritos Community Newspaper.


His main rival, incumbent Mayor Cherie Kelley has tried to cast Aranda as being a “outsider politician” who is “looking to run for higher office after being elected to the Norwalk City Council.”

“I have no intentions of running for any higher office, period.  Sandra and I are looking forward to raising our child here in Norwalk,” Aranda.  “Norwalk is still has a small town atmosphere, and it is hard to keep secrets from one and other,” Aranda said.

Aranda and Salazar are expecting the birth of their first child later this year.  “Sandra and I are blessed to have each other and even more fortunate to be able to give back to the community we both love so very much,” Aranda said.

Aranda tells LCCN that he is “supportive” of incumbent City Councilman Mike Mendez, but will let the voters be the final judge on who should guide the city of nearly 110,000 residents for the next four years.

“I am working hard on this campaign.  Nothing is ever guaranteed in life.  You have to work hard, and have to be open and honest with the voters.  Being a public servant is about trust, and being able to make bold, hard decisions that affect the lives of tens of thousands of people who are in Norwalk each and every day,” Aranda said.

Aranda is known for his experience in community and economic development, creating public private partnerships and for a steadfast commitment to community and public service.

Aranda is Director of Marketing and Development for a Private School Consortium and a small business owner of New Economy Strategies in Norwalk where he is a member of the Chamber of Commerce.

“We need to stop talking about how to rebuild Norwalk and just get the job done once and for all,” Aranda said.

“I strongly feel that Norwalk is ready to embrace a new spirit of working together as a community.  Our local economy is not just the basis of jobs but also underpinning of our ability as a city to provide quality services for our seniors, youth and hard working families,” Aranda concluded.

Aranda said that he was talking to voters who live next to Norwalk City Hall this past Saturday.

“Voters were telling me that Mayor Kelley needs to stop blaming Sacramento for all the problems she created here in Norwalk,” Aranda said.

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