What Say You? Wendy Greuel – U.S. Congress Candidate

Saturday, 19 Apr 2014, 8:56:00 AM

Susan Cloke

Wendy Greuel is a democratic candidate for the 33rd Congressional District.
Courtesy Photo
Wendy Greuel is a democratic candidate for the 33rd Congressional District.

“Henry Waxman served the people of the 33rd Congressional District

for 40 years. He changed the lives of individual people for the better

and he changed the future of our country with his legislative work: the

Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Affordable Care Act,” stated

Wendy Greuel.

“When I learned the Congressman had decided not to run I took a deep

breath and said to my husband, ‘I want to go to Congress to continue his

legacy.’”

There are 18 candidates on the ballot for the Congressional seat.

Here is why I think Greuel is the one to vote for in this very crowded

field, with other candidates often sharing values and also having name

recognition.

First, what are my criteria? I want a compassionate and caring person

who believes, as Waxman did, that being a member of Congress is an

opportunity to serve and protect the people of the District. I want a

candidate I can rely on. One that will be effective once elected. And

that means they have to be savvy in the ways of government and politics.

It also means they know how to compromise and how to build consensus.

They know when it’s a good idea to compromise and when compromising

would be a betrayal of principle.

So what do we know about Greuel that lets us think she is the best candidate for the job?

Greuel is the only candidate running with demonstrated know-how in

successfully maneuvering her way through the bureaucracy that is

Washington, D.C.

During the Clinton Administration Greuel was tapped by Andrew Cuomo,

the Secretary of HUD (Housing and Urban Development), to be the Deputy

Director of the Inter-Agency Council on the Homeless and then to be the

Regional Director for HUD.

Working in HUD she helped to develop a Homeless Policy that gave $75

million in grants to cities that worked in innovative ways to reduce

homelessness and to create a continuum of care. Santa Monica was the

fortunate recipient of some of this grant money.

With Greuel as the Regional Director, HUD gave the whopping sum of $1

billion to the Los Angeles area to help rebuild after the 1994

earthquake. Santa Monica was a recipient of part of those funds, as 5

percent of the City housing stock had been damaged in the earthquake.

When GLAD (Greater Los Angeles Facility on Deafness) was seeking

funding for a renovation of their building, Greuel brought the grant

decision makers from HUD to the facility and asked them to “look at what

will happen if you can’t find a way to give them the grant.” Because

she was able to bring them together and show the impact of their

decision, GLAD received the grant.

DreamWorks Studio then recruited Greuel from HUD to work for them on philanthropic and political issues.

“DreamWorks was a company that wanted to use its power in a way that would make a difference,” said Greuel.

Representing DreamWorks, Greuel was able to create new jobs in Los

Angeles, expand the philanthropic work of DreamWorks, and start

animation programs in local schools.

Greuel has demonstrated abilities as a legislator and a good

government advocate, first, early in her career, working for L.A. Mayor

Tom Bradley, and later, as both a Los Angeles Council Member and as Los

Angeles City Controller.

In her early years in government, as an assistant to Mayor Bradley,

Greuel was instrumental in securing a vacant building at the Veteran’s

Administration for use by homeless Vets. It seems an obvious idea, but

it didn’t come easy.

When the insurance company threatened cancelling the insurance of the

Gay and Lesbian Center at the beginning of the AIDS crisis, the Head of

the Center, Tori Osborne, called for help.

Wendy was there to speak on behalf of the Center and to propose a

course of action to Mayor Bradley. Bradley then called the insurance

company. The insurance was reinstated.

As a Los Angeles Council Member, Greuel sponsored, among other

actions, legislation that funded traffic and transportation

improvements, protected 1200 acres of public open space and supported

small business owners.

As L.A. City Controller, Greuel focused on ensuring fiscal

responsibility of the City Departments including the Department of

Transportation and the Department of Building and Safety.

Concerned that the Department of Water and Power wasn’t effectively

supporting renewal energy, she instituted an energy audit on their

renewable energy portfolio.

Greuel grew up in the San Fernando Valley and went to college at

UCLA, studying psychology and economics and political science. She found

her introduction to political work when looking for a summer job. There

was a listing for a position in the Office of the Los Angeles City

Representative in Washington, D.C. She applied and was accepted.

“I was the guide for Los Angles Council members when they came to

D.C.,” she said. “Part of my job, because I was low on the totem pole,

was to pick Council Members up at the airport. I thought it was great

because it gave me a chance to talk with elected officials. It was an

inspiration for me.”

Talking about the Congresswoman she wants to be, Greuel said, “There

will never be another Henry Waxman but I promise to be a fighter and a

doer. I’m going to fight to protect the environment and to address

climate change. I’m going to make sure we protect our beaches and our

mountains. I will work to reintroduce the Waxman Markey Cap and Trade

Bill. I will work to set a national carbon goal for the Country.

“I will speak out on women’s rights, education, on civil rights, on

LGBT rights. I will protect seniors. I will stand up for Medicare and

Social Security. I will work to pass immigration reform. I will never

give up on my principles,” she said.

“I will work to build consensus. I so admire the women leaders in the

Congress who came together to end the government shutdown and I look

forward to working with them.

“We knew Congressman Waxman had it in his gut to do the right thing.

We knew we could rely on him to stand up for people, stand against the

special interests.

“You can rely on me. I will see the big picture and I will be there for the people of the District.”

For all these reasons I think Wendy Greuel has earned our trust and our vote.

What Say You?

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