Candidates vie for 23rd state Senate District seat

Special election will be held March 25

3/20/2014, midnight
Ameenah Fuller

Located directly east of Los Angeles, the Inland Empire is a formidable metropolitan area in its own right, boasting a land mass of some 28,000 square miles, and a population expected to reach upwards of 4.9 million citizens by 2015. The 23rd Senate District specifically cuts a wide swath across Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties, and as such reflects much of the same demographic shift witnessed in the United States as a whole. A few short years ago, the region was largely White; with the arrival of the millennium, Hispanics have taken the majority, with a sizable population of African Americans (an estimated 4.6 percent of the voting aged population, out of a total of 899,067 residents according to the 2010 Census), largely fueled by migration from the L.A. metropolitan area.

The district presently is in a unique position as a special election approaches on March 25, with five candidates vying for the seat vacated by Bill Emmerson, who abruptly resigned his position in December of 2013, citing frustration with bi-partisan bickering that impeeded his ability to effect change through the legislative process.

Ameenah Fuller Democrat

Maybe the third try will be the charm. Ameenah Fuller is running on the democratic ticket for the state’s 23rd district. She is the only candidate endorsed by the state democratic party and ran for the 31st state senate seat in 2008 and tried again for the 25th seat in 2012. She said she can best serve the district by promoting job creation via “green” tax credits that would apply to teachers, medical personnel and to veterans. The other democrat in the race is Ronald J. O’Donnell, a lawyer and anti-forclosure activist from Highland.

Fuller, from Rancho Cucamonga, said she is running this year to promote good policies for small businesses and displaced workers. Tax credits, she said, can be extended to homeowners who install solar energy panels, and these credits can spur new jobs and economic development. She has received endorsements from many voters in the 31st senate district and even Emmerson in 2008 told her to continue her political quest noting he’d like to see her “...in the future of the California state senate.”

If elected, Fuller said she will propose immediate legislation for the “green” tax credits. “We can get people into affordable homes and reverse the economic blight,” said Fuller, a health care/government consultant who began her political climb 20 years ago while a college student in Oklahoma where she worked briefly as a legislative aid. “We can promote a more global presence in the Inland Empire by building attractive cities and bring in more events to promote small business.”

As a government consultant, Fuller in 2012 helped return $140 million to the Medicare fund and she champions the efforts to root out fraud, waste and abuse of government programs. She also worked in a state senator’s office researching legislative issues regarding housing, economic growth, education and healthcare. While working to resolve constituent issues relating to education, healthcare and housing, Fuller once received a commendation for her accomplishments. She has a Master of Arts in Public Policy.