When the coronavirus hit Los Angeles, Mark Ridley-Thomas went into action.
Almost immediately he led the Board of Supervisors to create new work safety standards and deliver resources for frontline essential workers; MRT saw that grocery workers and those who could not work from home had proper protective equipment, and he held employers accountable for their safety.
As we know, not all communities have been equally affected by the virus and MRT not only insisted the County collect this demographic data, he then made sure Latinos and all other underrepresented communities received their fair share of County public health services.
“This is what we’ve come to expect from MRT – that he will always act in the best interest of our community – but we don’t take him for granted,” said Irma Munoz of Mujeres de la Tierra. “There’s never a time when I call that he doesn’t deliver.”
The same level of service and allyship by MRT applies to numerous issues affecting Latinos. These include immigration, healthcare, environmental social justice, education and employment.
“Los Angeles is a city of immigrants, and the Latino community is our largest and most substantial population of both immigrant and native Angelenos. So, there is no healthy, thriving and prosperous Los Angeles if Latinos are not healthy, thriving and prosperous too,” MRT said.
MRT has been a staunch ally since he first joined the City Council, and that is why he’s endorsed by prominent Latinos and Latino organizations and associations such as the United Farm Workers, Latino Coalition of Los Angeles, Attorney General Xavier Becerra, former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Secretary of State Alex Padilla, State Senator Maria Elena Durazo, City Council President Nury Martinez and the region’s largest Latino newspaper, La Opinión.
In its endorsement, La Opinion touted MRT’s support for raising the minimum wage and expanding access to quality health care, but it also noted it was he who urged the County to join the state of California’s lawsuit against the Trump administration’s action to annul DACA, which protects 700,000 young immigrants throughout the nation from deportation.
MRT also led the County’s legal appeal to overturn the Trump administration’s decision to place a citizenship question on the 2020 Census – a blatant attempt to discourage many in the Latino community from being county. Lastly, he worked to create the LA Justice Fund, which assists with financing the legal representation of those facing deportation.
“Mark Ridley-Thomas has stood with Latinos through thick and thin – and now we’re going to stand with him,” said Hugo Soto Martinez, an organizer with Unite Here Local 11. “He fights for our families, our jobs our community – and that’s why he has my support.”