Adriano Lecaros Begins Campaign for Assemblyman of the 46th District
By Rene Villaroman
PANORAMA CITY — Adrian Lecaros is upbeat about his nascent campaign for Assemblyman for the recently created 46th District of California. On Saturday, he is huddled with a small group of multi-ethnic campaign workers in the half-light of Bamboo Bistro, a popular Filipino restaurant and club along Van Nuys Blvd. When I greeted him, he called me by first name, and that bode well for an unscheduled interview.
Lecaros is a tall man, by Filipino standards, with an authoritative speaking voice that was honed by years as a lawyer in the Philippines. A scion of the political Lecaros family of the province of Marinduque, Adriano, or Adrian, as he is called hereabouts, is no greenhorn when it comes to elections. Although this is his first time to run for public office, ever, he tells this writer that he had been a veteran campaign worker both here and in the Philippines.
“This is my first time to run as a candidate,” he boomed. “But make no mistake, I’ve been involved in elections for the past 20 years,” he relates, turning to some of his campaign workers behind him and asking them to lower their voice in the interim. “I’ve been involved in three elections in the U.S., two for Assembly, one for Councilor,” he resumed. “Back home in the Philippines, I’ve run five campaigns; I’ve won three and lost two, campaigning for Congress and for Mayor. He added that he had always been involved in politics. “I come from a political family – the Lecaroses from Marinduque; my aunt is Governor, and my cousin is a Congressman.”
Now, he is candidate Adriano Lecaros, and he is confident that he would win the election in June 2012. “There are four candidates, including myself,” he said. “I’m not worried about them; I’m the only non-white. I’m the only Fil-Am running; there’s no Latino candidate,” is how he sizes up the competition. “So we have the best chance. “There are 25,000 Fil-Ams in this district, and it only takes about 6,000 votes to win the position,”
Lecaros revealed. Although he is running as an Independent, he had voted Democrat in the last election.
District 46 encompasses North Hills, Van Nuys, Panorama City, North Hollywood, Universal City, Hollywood Hills, and everything in-between, like Toluca Lake and other smaller cities. Adding to his advantage is the reality that there is no incumbent owing to the newness of the electoral district. He says: “It’s our best chance to getting a Fil-Am representative in the California Legislature elected.”
As to his legislative agenda, Lecaros points to what he calls the E-Jobs, that includes Education, Jobs, Peace and Order, Business, and Services. Lecaros would propose more laws that will target education in the fields of vocational and technical education. He would work for the creation of a jobs-friendly environment in this district to make it easy to start a small business. On the third agenda, Lecaros noted that the community has one of the highest crime rates, and he promised to work for more funding so that felons are not released before their sentences are fulfilled because of prison overcrowding.
With regards his fourth initiative, Lecaros said, “We should be sympathetic to small, medium, and family-owned businesses. We should be able to provide an environment that will foster small businesses and that will teach entrepreneurship.” He said that there is also a need to help private and non-profit sectors so that they could provide services needed by the community.
For the past couple of months since he filed for his candidacy, Lecaros has been making the rounds of the organizations in Southern California, reaching as far as Orange County to make his presence known to Fil-Ams. “In the United States, there are 4.7 million Filipinos, yet not a single representative; no one has been elected to a Legislative postion,” Lecaros lamented. “The other communities – Guatemalans, Latinos, Chinese, Vietnamese, they have their elected representatives. What about Fil-Ams? If we come together, we can truly elect one representative official.”