Endorsement: Pilar Schiavo for Assembly
Three years ago, when parents at her daughter’s school began protesting development of a new apartment building to house homeless people in Chatsworth, Pilar Schiavo took a different tack.
She questioned the project developer, wrote up a fact sheet and passed it out — at a counter-protest to make the case that the other parents were wrong and the suburban community needs transitional housing.
“There are seniors and veterans and people who want to get off the streets,” Schiavo told a Times columnist in 2019. “We can’t keep saying ‘not in my backyard.’”
It was an act of courage that demonstrates Schiavo’s willingness to fight for solutions, even when problems feel entrenched and impossible to solve.
After advocating for housing and healthcare for many years, including two decades working in the labor movement, Schiavo is now running for state Assembly on the Nov. 8 ballot. She’s a Democrat aiming to flip the newly redrawn 40th District from red to blue.
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The district, which includes Chatsworth, Northridge, Santa Clarita and Castaic, is currently represented by GOP Assemblywoman Suzette Martinez Valladares. In her one term in office, Valladares has proved to be an independent legislator willing to break from her party’s leadership. She voted in favor of putting Proposition 1 on the ballot to let voters decide if they want to enshrine abortion rights in the California Constitution, even though she said she is personally against abortion. She voted for Democratic legislation to regulate “ghost” guns, even as she voted against several other gun safety measures that were before the Legislature this year. She supported important housing bills that many Republicans opposed.
It’s refreshing to see lawmakers go against party orthodoxy to take positions that they believe best represent their communities. The Republican Party desperately needs to embrace a broader range of ideas and more candidates like Valladares if it’s ever going to be viable in California.
Although Valladares has not been in lockstep with her party, she has also cast too many votes that go against the interests of this state, such as opposing bills to curb climate change and improve the criminal justice system. She supported the ill-conceived efforts to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom and Los Angeles Dist. Atty. George Gascón.
Schiavo has a solid record of community service and a passion for solutions that will serve Santa Clarita Valley residents well. In the Assembly, she wants to prioritize developing more job training programs, ensuring all Californians can access healthcare, reducing the risk of wildfires and bolstering the state’s efforts to save and reuse water. The Times endorses Pilar Schiavo.
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