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Excerpted from Daily Breeze

Democratic Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi beat out Republican Frank Scotto in elections for the South Bay district considered one of the most competitive in Los Angeles County.

With all precincts reporting Wednesday, Muratsuchi led with 57 percent of the vote in the 66th Assembly District, which includes Torrance, Gardena, the Palos Verdes Peninsula, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach.

Muratsuchi stopped short of declaring victory in a brief phone interview at 11:30 p.m. He credited his victory to “fighting for South Bay priorities.”

“The one message that i heard consistently throughout the South Bay is that people want a representative who will stand up to (President) Donald Trump, and I think we’re seeing that not only in the South Bay but throughout our country, with Democrats retaking the majority in the (U.S.) House,” Muratsuchi said. “That was a message that I emphasized throughout my campaign.”

First elected in 2012, Muratsuchi, D-Torrance, lost the seat to Republican David Hadley in 2014 but won it back in 2016, when the presidential election-year voter turnout was more favorable to Democrats.

This time, the Republican challenger was especially formidable. Scotto, who owns a gas station and a towing service, is a former Torrance city councilman and two-term mayor and had received strong financial backing from the California Republican Party.

But Muratsuchi, a one-time state prosecutor and Torrance school board member, went into the election with several advantages. Democrats’ advantage over Republicans in voter registration has grown to double digits percentage-wise, and Democrats pulled in a majority of the votes in the June primary.

A Republican victory in the 66th District could dent Democrats’ dominance at the state capital in Sacramento. Going into election day, Democrats held 55 of 80 seats in the Assembly, one more than they need to enjoy a two-thirds supermajority, allowing the party to pass tax legislation without cooperation from Republican members.

Trying to persuade voters to change their minds about Muratsuchi for a third time, Scotto’s campaign has emphasized differences on the issues by focusing on Republican opposition to the California gas-tax increase to fund highway upkeep, the state bullet train project, prison realignment widely blamed for rises in crime and changes in Proposition 13 property-tax limits.

At an Oct. 9 debate in Manhattan Beach, Muratsuchi defended himself, saying road and bridge repairs would be good for the economy and earthquake safety, that he approved a public audit of the bullet-train project after blocking an “emergency” audit, that a Legislator of the Year award from the California Police Chiefs Association proved his commitment to public safety and that he opposes removing Proposition 13 protections for homeowners.

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An API Mobilization Weekend was held Oct. 13 and 14 for two Democratic candidates: Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi of the South Bay, who is seeking re-election in the 66th Assembly District, and former Assemblymember Mike Eng, who is running for the State Senate in District 22.

The mobilization was hosted by the Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus, California Democratic Party API Caucus, California Young Democrats API Caucus, and Korean American Democratic Committee.

At his Torrance campaign headquarters, Muratsuchi was joined by fellow members of the Assembly from both Northern and Southern California: Speaker Anthony Rendon (Lakewood), API Legislative Caucus Chair Rob Bonta (Oakland), David Chiu (San Francisco), Luz Rivas (Arleta), Laura Friedman (Glendale), Monique Limon (Santa Barbara), Sydney Kamlager-Dove (Los Angeles), Ash Kalra (San Jose), and Wendy Carrillo (Los Angeles), plus Torrance City Councilmember Tim Goodrich.

During the rally, Muratsuchi filled in one eye of a Daruma doll, a tradition in Japan. If the candidate is victorious, the other eye is filled in.

In the Nov. 6 election, Muratsuchi will face off with Republican Frank Scotto, a former mayor of Torrance. Muratsuchi, a former deputy attorney general and Torrance school board member, was first elected in 2012, lost to Republican David Hadley in 2014, and defeated Hadley in 2016.

Muratsuchi’s latest endorsements include the California District Attorneys Association, the California Environmental Justice Alliance, and SameSide, a platform for grassroots political engagement through fun experiences in music, arts and culture.

A similar rally was held at Eng’s campaign headquarters in El Monte.

In Senate District 22, which includes West Covina and City of Industry, Eng is facing a fellow Democrat, Susan Rubio, a former city clerk and councilmember for Baldwin Hills. In addition to three terms in the Assembly, Eng has served on the Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees and as mayor and councilmember in Monterey Park.

The winner will succeed Ed Hernandez, who is running for lieutenant governor.

Other API candidates on the ballot include:

State Controller — Incumbent Betty Yee (D) vs. Konstantinos Roditis (R). Yee, who previously served on the Board of Equalization, has been in office since 2015.

State Treasurer — Fiona Ma (D) vs. Greg Conlon (R). Ma is currently a member of the Board of Equalization. The winner will succeed John Chiang (D), who unsuccessfully ran for governor.

27th Congressional District — Incumbent Judy Chu (D) vs. Bryan Waitt (D). Chu, who chairs the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, has been in office since 2009.

33rd Congressional District — Incumbent Ted Lieu (D) vs. Kenneth Weston Wright (R). Previously a member of the Assembly and State Senate, Lieu has been in office since 2015.

34th Congressional District — Kenneth Mejia (Green) vs. incumbent Jimmy Gomez (D). Mejia is a board member of the Wilshire Center/Koreatown Neighborhood Council.

39th Congressional District — Young Kim (R) vs. Gil Cisneros (D). Kim has served in the Assembly and as director of Asian affairs for Rep. Ed Royce (R), who is not seeking re-election.

24th Senate District — Peter Choi (D) vs. Maria Elena Durazo (D). Choi, a nonprofit director, previously ran for the seat in 2014. The district is currently represented by Kevin de Leon (D), who is running for U.S. Senate.

34th Senate District — Incumbent Janet Nguyen (R) vs. Tom Umberg (D). First elected in 2014, Nguyen previously served on the Orange County Board of Supervisors.

49th Assembly District — Incumbent Ed Chau (D) vs. Burton Brink (R). Chau was first elected in 2014 and re-elected in 2016. He previously served as a board member of the Montebello Unified School District.

53rd Assembly District — Kevin Hee Young Jang (D) vs. incumbent Miguel Santiago (D). Jang is principal attorney at Kevin H. Jang, A Law Corporation, and a Democratic State Central Committee delegate.

55th Assembly District — Incumbent Phillip Chen (R) vs. Gregg Fritchle (D). First elected in 2016, Chen previously served as a school board member for the Walnut Valley Unified School District and ran for Assembly in 2014.

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Excerpted from Easy Reader News

Following Saturday’s mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Manhattan Beach resident Charlie Raker reached out to his uncle Martin, who lives in New York City and is a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp. His uncle, in turn, pointed to a story he had recounted in his memoir. When they were being sent to Auschwitz, his uncle’s father had said to Martin that, if Martin survived, he had to honor his ancestors the only way he could: keep on living.

Raker related the story at the foot of the Manhattan Beach Pier Monday night in an emotional candlelit vigil prompted by the shooting, in which suspect Robert Bowers is accused of killing 11 people. The impromptu ceremony came together after local religious leaders reached out to city officials, and hundreds of people gathered to sing, light candles and attempt to regroup from what authorities say was a homicidal attack fueled by anti-Semitism.

Bowers posted anti-Semitic rants on social media shortly before entering the synagogue, authorities said, underscoring the simple but dark truth at the heart of Raker’s comments to open the vigil: “Hatred of Jews is real,” he said, several times.

Mayor Steve Napolitano was joined by fellow city council members, MBUSD Superintendent Mike Matthews, and Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi. He told those gathered that, although they had to recognize the horror of what had transpired, they could not let it prevent them from going on with their lives. The best way to prevent hate-fueled violence, Napolitano said, was to demonstrate that “kindness is strength,” and led the crowd in a chant of resilience.

“Say it again, because that was not nearly loud enough: We are not afraid,” he said.

Various leaders of different faiths in the South Bay were also gathered, to provide a spiritual counterpart to the guidance of elected officials. Rabbi Yossi Mintz of the Jewish Community Center pointed out that next week marked the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht, considered the beginning of the Holocaust. But instead of despair, he and others urged those gathered to focus on ways to bring the community together to prevent these tragedies from recurring.

Alluding to the 11 candles, one for each of the deceased, that he would later ask children in the audience to light, Mintz said that one person could make a difference.

“Even one light has the power to evaporate darkness,” Mintz said.

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Excerpted from Rafu Shimp
Posted On OCTOBER 29, 2018

Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) on Oct. 22 released a statement on the boycott of Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes by women’s rights groups due to allegations of sexual harassment:

“I fully support the boycott against the Terranea resort to fight back against women being sexual harassed on the job,” he said. “Women should feel safe while on the job. Housekeepers, many of whom are working-class immigrants and are often alone in a room unsupervised with hotel customers, are especially vulnerable.

“That’s why I proposed a bill with common-sense protections for them, including requiring panic buttons to summon assistance in an emergency situation. I want to make sure the #MeToo movement leads to safer workplaces for all women.”

On Oct. 18, eight women came forward in a news conference to allege they were sexually harassed while working at Terranea, according to KTLA. One of them, Jasmin Sanchez, accused a supervisor of sending her offensive text messages.

Sandra Pezqueda, who worked as a dishwasher for Terranea, was named a person of the year by **Time** magazine along with other “Silence Breakers” who galvanized the #MeToo movement. She alleged that an employee tried to kiss her while at work and that management terminated her after she complained. Her lawsuit against the resort was eventually settled.

Pezqueda, who praised the coruage of her former colleagues at the news conference, helped put forth a proposal to require panic buttons.

The company said in a statement, “Terranea vehemently denies the allegations being leveled against it by former employees and one current employee that have recently been reported. Terranea has a zero-tolerance policy toward harassment of any kind. We do not comment on pending litigation.”

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As excerpted from The Guardian

"A statewide bill was introduced in early 2018 by the California state representatives Wendy Carrillo, Bill Quirk and Al Muratsuchi, but was held up in the state senate appropriations committee where the bill is now essentially dead after getting passed in the state assembly in May 2018.

“I was very disappointed,” said Muratsuchi, the leading author of the bill, in an email to the Guardian. “This bill proposed some commonsense protections from sexual assault and harassment, such as requiring panic buttons be given to housekeepers to summon assistance in an emergency situation. I want to make sure the Me Too movement leads to safer workplaces for all women, including hotel housekeepers, many who are working-class immigrants. I intend to reintroduce this bill and keep fighting next year.”

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Rafu Shimpo

TORRANCE — As part of his bus tour in Los Angeles and Orange counties, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom appeared with Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi at his Torrance campaign headquarters on Sept. 11.

Both Democrats are on the November ballot. Newsom is vying with Republican businessman John Cox to succeed Jerry Brown as governor, while Muratsuchi’s re-election bid is being challenged by Republican Frank Scotto, a former mayor of Torrance.

Newsom, accompanied by his wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, was traveling the state last week aboard his “Blue California” bus, campaigning with six Democratic challengers in top “red-to-blue” congressional districts who are part of the fight to win back the House and 15 candidates in close Assembly and State Senate races.

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Fort Bragg Advocate

 

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. last week signed legislation – SB 834 by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) and AB 1775 by Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) – to block new federal offshore oil drilling along California’s coast, and announced the state’s opposition to the federal government’s plan to expand oil drilling on public lands in California.

“Today, California’s message to the Trump administration is simple: Not here, not now,” said Governor Brown. “We will not let the federal government pillage public lands and destroy our treasured coast.”

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Easy Reader News

Democratic Party gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom was carrying pizza boxes, seven deep when he stepped off his campaign bus at lunchtime on Tuesday at Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi’s Torrance campaign headquarters.

Both Newsom and Muratsuchi are thought to have comfortable leads in their respective races. Nonetheless, Newsom is barnstorming through Southern California this week, in support of Democratic state legislature and Congressional candidates.

“Don’t take the next 56 days until the November 6 elections for granted. Don’t run a 90-yard dash. Don’t dream of regretting,” the current lieutenant governor cautioned, with a characteristic play on words.

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First responders and city officials in Manhattan Beach gathered at the city’s 9/11 Memorial on Tuesday to honor those who lost their lives related to the terrorist attack on the country 17 years ago.

Mayor Steve Napolitano said it was a day to remember those police officers, firefighters and paramedics who responded that day in 2001, including a group from Manhattan Beach who traveled to New York City after the attack to help with the cleanup.

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Daily Breeze

Rolling in on a big blue bus, gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom joined Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi, a fellow Democrat, for a campaign visit in Torrance on Tuesday.

Newsom then headed off to Seal Beach for a rally with State Senate candidate Tom Umberg and Assembly candidate Josh Lowenthal.

He spent part of Tuesday in Long Beach, commemorating victims of 9/11 with city officials, first respondents and residents.

He planned to end the day in Costa Mesa for Assembly candidate Cottie Petrie-Norris’ office opening.