Four candidates vie for council seat held by Calaycay
The city of Claremont will hold its first district-based election this year. Seats in Districts 1 and 5 are up for grabs. Councilmember Larry Schroeder is stepping down, leaving one open seat in District 1.
The District 1 boundary begins at Arrow Highway on the south, between Indian Hill and Mountain Ave., then extends north to Base Line where it extends west to Towne Avenue, continuing up to the foothills.
Candidates in November include Corey Calaycay, Zach Courser, Christine Margiotta and Ethan Reznik.
Councilmember Corey Calaycay was first elected in 2005, and is seeking his fifth term on council. In addition to serving on the council, Mr. Calaycay works as the advanced sales and ticket promotions manager at Fairplex.
“As the only candidate who possesses institutional memory and the only candidate who has served city wide, I am well positioned to continue serving the entire city, not only the district,” Mr. Calaycay said in his candidate statement.
With a relatively new council—four of the five members will have less than two years experience—and a new city manager, Mr. Calaycay believes his years of service will provide the stability the city needs.
“While newcomers to the process can be revitalizing to an organization, maintaining a balance of historical knowledge and experience is equally important, especially in uncertain times,” his statement read.
Zach Courser, a professor at Claremont McKenna College, will also run in District 1. He ran in the last two elections, losing by only 53 votes in 2018.
Since that time, Mr. Courser has served as a board member at Pilgrim Place and Claremont Heritage, and is a former traffic and transportation commissioner. He is also president of Housing Claremont, a nonprofit he launched to address local housing issues and homelessness.
“I am passionate about our community, and want to use my experience to serve you as a councilmember,” Mr. Courser’s statement reads. “I want to help us see the road ahead, close the widening city budget deficit, provide services our residents depend on, and help our city live up to its core values of inclusiveness, respect, and equality.”
Mr. Courser first moved to Claremont in 1995 as a student at CMC and with his husband recently purchased a home in District 1. He said he is committed to working to build Claremont’s future.
“I believe now is the time we must all care for each other. This unprecedented moment requires new leadership, ideas and a renewed sense of shared purpose,” he said.
Christine Margiotta grew up in Claremont and graduated from Scripps College before working in the nonprofit sector, where she created United Way’s Home for Good initiative in partnership wit the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce.
She is executive director of SVP, where she said she works to “bring people together across the political spectrum to invest in social justice and anti-racism initiatives.” She and her wife recently returned to Claremont with their two children.
If elected, Ms. Margiotta aims to bring collaborative leadership to focus on using regional partnership to solve local issues.
“I’ve spent 20 years building broad coalitions to strengthen communities, and I’m ready to bring my experience and commitment to Claremont’s City Council,” her statement read.
Ms. Margiotta emphasizes that she will help create “a collaborative budget process,” while listening to residents, “lifting the voices of Black and Indigenous residents, people of color, immigrants, low-income residents, youth and seniors.”
Ethan Reznik is a lifelong resident of Claremont and a graduate of The Webb Schools and Occidental College. He is running so that he can help to “restore and preserve the city.”
In his statement, Mr. Reznik notes that we are six months into the pandemic and the council has yet to enact a mask ordinance, which has “exacerbated a public health catastrophe that isolates our seniors, erases jobs, and destroys local business. The time for action is long passed.”
Mr. Reznik believes the council’s highest priorities should be to protect seniors, preserve neighborhoods and to care for the trees and environment.
“Extremism, greed and ineptitude threaten the health of our parents, grandparents and the most vulnerable among us,” his statement read. “Swift, fundamental change is our best and only hope.”