By Brian Hews
Downey Mayor Guerra has been elected president of the Independent Cities Assn. at their annual meeting this past weekend held at the Ranch Bernardo Inn.
The association is made up of over 50 Southern California cities that run their own police and fire departments, hence the “independent” designation. Combined, they represent more than 7 million people.
“I am very honored to represent the association and will work very hard to advance the goals of the organization,” Guerra told the Downey Community News.
Guerra is campaigning for state Senate from the 32nd District in next year’s election. He already has landed a number of prominent endorsements from elected officials, including Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe, whose district includes several cities in the southeast part of the county.
Guerra, who has been a member of the ICA board for a number of years, will take over the position in September from president Juventino Gomez, an El Monte city councilman.
Gomez stated, “Mayor Guerra’s leadership on our board of directors has been nothing but stellar. He understands the importance of having local public safety and fire services as well as how to create jobs. I could not be more proud to pass the baton over to Mario.
Guerra, owner of one of the largest insurance brokerages in California, emigrated from Cuba with his family when he was six years old and grew up in southeast Los Angeles County.
He was elected to the Downey City Council in 2006 and is serving his second one-year term as mayor.
Several others also are planning to run for the 32nd District senate seat, including three former state legislators. Democratic Assemblyman Tom Calderon, whose younger brother, Ron Calderon, currently holds the state Senate seat but is leaving due to term limits, and Tony Mendoza former California State Assembly member.