Author argues it is time to clean house on the Paramount City Council
In approximately 6 months, the Paramount taxpayers and voters cannot be shut down in the first even year election for City Council by the exclusive club of 4 current Council members that are members of the Paramount Chamber of Commerce. No other City Council in the State of California has as many Council members that are affiliated with a Chamber of Commerce than Paramount. Over $60,000 from the taxpayer funded budgets of the City of Paramount and the Paramount Unified School District is allocated annually to the Paramount Chamber of Commerce. Why so much money set aside for the Chamber? Shouldn’t the Chamber of Commerce be funded by the members it serves? The businesses that are its members? Why through the Paramount City and School District budget? The answer is that 4 members of the City Council are members of the Chamber of Commerce and the Superintendent of the School District is on the board as an advisory member. In addition, 30 plus year school board member Vivian Hansen is married to Mayor Tom Hansen, a member of the Chamber of Commerce. You have heard the phrase: “You pat my back, and I will pat yours!”
The largest financial backers and members of the Paramount Chamber of Commerce are the metal related companies named in the February 18, 2017 Class Action Lawsuit filed by Paramount residents for endangering the community by willfully releasing toxic levels of Chromium 6 (Cr6) and other dangerous toxins. Case Number: BC652102. Next Court hearing: Sept. 6, 2019 at 10 a.m., in Department 6 at 312 North Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90012. All but two of the companies named in the lawsuit are members of the Paramount Chamber of Commerce and these companies are the primary sponsors of Chamber functions and mixers. The pollution crisis is far from over. Over 88 of these companies operate within the City of Paramount. Too many for decades too long.
Let’s end this rigged system once and for all on Tuesday March 3, 2020. Chamber of Commerce members Tom Hansen, Daryl Hofmeyer and appointed (not elected) Brenda Olmos are up for re- election to the Council. One member of the Council is not a member of the Chamber, Laurie Guillen who defeated two Chamber members Peggy Lemons and Gene Daniels in 2017 in her first run for public office. This is the mandate that we issued then and must issue again in 6 months. No more Council members with close ties to corporate polluters that put their profits before the health and well- being of all Paramount residents, children, and persons that work daily in our community.
Eco-friendly, environmentally conscious candidates have an outstanding opportunity to sweep the 3 Council seats on March 3, 2020 and end the two decades rigged system in Paramount of cronyism and partiality especially in politics between elected officials, corporate polluters, close friends and supportive organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce. You Vote Matters In Our Community!
Martin La Magra is a Paramount resident.