My name is Sam Pedroza and I am a candidate for the Claremont City Council. One of my reasons for running is that I am motivated by the importance this community places on open space. I too, value open space and believe that these open spaces are a defining characteristic of our town. I also appreciate the work that involved individuals have made towards open space preservation, including the work by the Friends of Bernard Field Station.
I was supportive of our hillsides long before it became the popular thing to do. As a six year board member of the Claremont Wildlands Conservancy, I advocated for the preservation of our hillsides and worked to acquire recent additions to the Claremont Wilderness Park. Our crowning achievement was the successful passage of a bond for the purchase of Johnson’s Pasture. I also served as a member of the Citizens’ Committee for Hillsides/Open Space/Conservation for our General Plan. I am proud of our General Plan’s sustainability features and for our citizens’ collective vision for our city for the next 20 years. It is a city council members’ vision that will continue to acquire and value our open space.
Advocating for open space, for me, goes beyond the borders of Claremont. As a member of the Sierra Club San Gabriel River Conservation Committee I co-founded an organization called Amigos de los Rios (Friends of the Rivers). Amigos is an organization that now is its own non-profit environmental organization targeting open space opportunities along the banks of the San Gabriel and Rio Hondo Rivers. Amigos is helping to redefine what it means to be an environmental advocate to a Latino population that typically does not identify itself with environmental causes, but values open space for health, culture and quality-of-life. Amigos is the inspiration for an innovative and ambitious program called the Emerald Necklace. The Emerald Necklace is a vision for a 17 mile loop of parks and greenways connecting 10 cities and nearly 500,000 residents along the Rio Hondo and San Gabriel Rivers. I foresee an opportunity to connect our own Thompson Creek Trail to the San Jose Creek and ultimately to the San Gabriel River. This could make Claremont an Emerald City as well. Linked to the Emerald Necklace is the San Gabriel River Discovery Center. A LEED Platinum education facility planned in the Whittier Narrows Nature Center, it is a facility that I helped to envision. It is a project that I have worked on as an Environmental Planner for the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County and my previous job at the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District.
I strongly believe that I am the candidate that will bring the farsightedness and realization for open space to the Claremont City Council. I am proud to have the endorsement of the Sierra Club and the Claremonters Against Strip Mining. My education and experience provide me with the training and my goals and strong environmental ethic give me the motivation. I ask for your support and vote on March 6.