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We are more than 30 percent of the electorate.

But the leading Latino candidate running for mayor is polling behind.

Other leading candidates include businessman Rick Caruso, who is leading with 24% of likely voters, and U.S. Rep. Karen Bass has 23%, according to an April poll by the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies and The Los Angeles Times. 

City Council Member Kevin de León, who had 8% support in February, is now down to 6%, according to the Berkeley poll.

Only 15% of likely Latino voters in the Berkley poll said they supported De León, 16% said they would support Caruso and Bass had 10% of Latino voter support. Undecided voters are at 40% leaving the race still wide open.

Another poll from March by Loyola Marymount University Center for the Study of Los Angeles showed de León with 12 percent of voter support compared to Bass with 16 percent. But this poll was taken before Caruso entered the race.

We support City Council Member Kevin de León for mayor as he has a record of supporting immigrant rights, housing for the homeless, economic reform and protecting the environment.

He has shown his commitment to the Latino community. His parents are from Guatemala and he understands the immigrant experience. De León previously worked at One Stop Immigration Center, teaching English as a second language and U.S. history classes to immigrants. He helped organize one of the biggest marches in California state history against Prop 187 — a measure that would have prevented undocumented immigrants from using non-emergency health care, public education, and other services in the State of California.

He worked as a labor organizer for the California Teachers Association and with the National Education Association.

After serving four years in the California State Assembly, he was elected to the State Senate in 2010. His colleagues chose him to lead the Senate as President pro Tempore in 2014 — the first Latino to lead the Senate in over a century. He was elected to the Los Angeles City Council in 2020.

He has made housing a priority. He’s housed more residents than any other member of City Council. He passed his signature “A Way Home” plan that proposes building 25,000 units of homeless housing by 2025. In the California Senate, he advocated for Prop 2 to provide $2 billion in bonds for the construction and rehabilitation of permanent supportive housing for homeless individuals with mental illness.

He also has secured hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for Los Angeles River revitalization, toxic waste clean-up, and public park projects. He authored Prop 68 to keep drinking water clean.

He has a track record of working on the issues important to Los Angeles’ Latino voters. Top issues for Latino residents in L.A. County are the pandemic (54%), homelessness (50%), jobs and the economy (46%), health care costs (37%), immigration (25%) and police reform (23%), according to a survey commissioned by the Pat Brown Institute at Cal State Los Angeles and the California Community Foundation.

Caruso is a former Republican who is capitalizing with media ads focusing on crime in Los Angeles, a campaign based more on fear than fact.

Bass has long worked respectfully with the Latino community and has secured endorsements from important Latino leaders, including former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, labor activist Dolores Huerta and California state Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon. We will monitor the campaigns of Bass and Caruso for their commitment to the Latino community.

But Bass doesn’t have the track record that de León does on the most important issues that matter to Latino voters.

Latino voters can make the difference in this election. 32% of Los Angeles voters in the 2020 general election were Hispanic, according to a Univision poll.

Latinos make up a third of the more than 2 million registered voters in the city, according to Political Data Inc.

We need a mayor who truly understands our community and has demonstrated a commitment to fighting with and for us.