Rematriation for Indigenous People Past Present and Future in Tovaangar/LA

For Immediate Release

June 20, 2022

Contact: Gina Viola
(323) 855-7964


Eight weeks. In just eight weeks, with only about $45,000 raised, we have come together to show a vision of the city that has never once been presented on this scale. And it is now clear, across the city — in our council races, our controller race, and beyond — that we are far from alone in this, and that our message has taken root in ways never seen before, and our victories are happening now.

I want to first thank the tireless volunteers, all from different worthy and important campaigns in their own right, who came together to build this coalition of grassroots organizers seemingly overnight. I did not take my decision to run for Mayor of Los Angeles lightly, but once that decision was made, things had to happen quickly, and it is only through the work of these amazing Angelenos that so much infrastructure was built in so little time. Our work did not begin with this primary, and it will not end with it, either.

As the general election begins, it is now clearer than ever that our coalition is not an outlier that you can ignore. An LMU study showed that while there is much debate on the end goal of the budget, a large majority of Angelenos support reallocating money from the LAPD’s overwhelmingly bloated budget toward services that people need. Eunisses Hernandez, a proud advocate for abolition, just ousted an entrenched incumbent.

With our limited funds, we trounced an aggressive pro-police former Councilmember ($1.3 million), the current City Attorney ($2 million), and have come within breathing distance of a sitting Councilmember and former US Senate candidate ($2.5 million).

More are coming. Multiple pro-police candidates have crashed and burned. The city is speaking. Are you listening?

Do we not rail against Republican minority rule in this country? Do we not know the myriad of ways the people are blocked from enacting popular legislation by a wealthy few? How will ignoring these truths at the local level make you any different from the Mitch McConnells of the world? Having a D next to your name does not make you automatically one of the people or earn you the benefit of the doubt.

So what is it going to be, Congresswoman Bass? Are you going to continue to placate the LAPPL, who’ve spent over 77 times more than our entire campaign did just to bring you down, who actively spent money against Ms. Hernandez (and lost against her in embarrassing fashion)? Or are you going to remember the people who had your back when you were only starting your political career?

Are you going to acknowledge the massive survey run by Black and brown organizers that informs the People’s Budget LA, or are you going to allow the know-nothing consultant class to dictate Angeleno politics to you once more? A consultant class, that, by the way, is losing across the board to the grassroots progressive movement. Just ask Paul Koretz. Or Mitch O’Farrell. Or Gil Cedillo. They’ll all be looking for a new job by the end of the year, and we all know it. It’s time to acknowledge this truth.

We are not unsympathetic to the complexities of running for Mayor in the second largest city in America. The reality is that Los Angeles is a city from which many other places derive their own policies. If you change LA, then you can quite literally change the nation, and we know that this nation needs change.

Are you going to understand that, at long last, the unconscionable actions (and inaction) of Uvalde police are not confined to Texas? Are you going to understand, at long last, that the LAPD would have done the exact same thing, and that they have a similar cut of our city budget? Do you even know the name of Valentina Orellana-Peralta, who should’ve had her 15th birthday just a couple of weeks ago? Mely Corado? The countless unnamed Black and brown people who are stopped without probable cause, handcuffed, harassed, and traumatized by bored police? Are we going to forget the two former officers who ignored a robbery call to play Pokemon GO?

We now know that more children die by gunfire than police or active-duty American military. How many more millions must we shovel into the bonfire of police budgets before we realize that this isn’t working? Have you already forgotten the images of LAPD, unprovoked and in riot gear, attacking peaceful Black and brown organizers out in the streets for George Floyd? We have many minutes of video illustrating this if you would like to review it again.

I did not undertake this race for personal gain. I do not wish to become a career politician, and I have no ambitions that will take me beyond this city that I love. I already live in what can be the best city in America; I have no need to go anywhere else.

I joined the race because Black and brown organizers were unceremoniously dismissed and left behind by someone they once considered a friend, and I was encouraged by many to run. And if there is one thing that I will do, it is to listen to my Black and brown siblings as they tell me through their lived experience what will actually make this city a safe and prosperous place for everyone, and not just wealthy developers or the police, both of whom easily make multiple times more than what our teachers make and are not expected to lay down their lives for children the way our underpaid educators are (and will).

Congresswoman Bass, you have an opportunity to present a different vision for this city — but currently, you are only watering down your opponent’s talking points, and had to be actively hounded to come up with a climate plan (in LOS ANGELES!). You furthermore refuse to acknowledge 41.18 as a disastrous piece of policy that accomplishes little more than pushing our unhoused neighbors from commercial lots to people’s front lawns, as we have seen time and time again.

At long last, will you realize that a pivot to the center is not what Los Angeles wants? We have the only poll we need right in front of us. Are you finally going to acknowledge what it is the people want?

But there are many months left in this race. We believe that Congresswoman Bass has the capacity to recognize these truths in ways that can benefit this city. We are here for policies that actually help Angelenos, and not what’s focus tested by consultants who don’t care if you win or lose.

We do not care who gets credit for this work, so long as the work is done.

We are more than willing to discuss these issues, and we are willing to bring our organizing strengths to this race once more — strengths that have toppled powerful incumbents multiple times across multiple cycles, now. But we are not obligated to fight on behalf of those who are unwilling to fight for us.

Our door is open, Congresswoman. But we can’t force you to walk through it.

Thank you once more to our courageous team of volunteers. Thank you to my husband Scott, and to my children for their unyielding support throughout these months. And thank you to the people of Los Angeles, who make this place a wonderful hub of diverse culture, art, sports, inclusion, and love. You are the beating heart of this city that I love so much.

In Solidarity,

Gina Viola