Written by Alex Betts
Photo by Alicia Alderete
The South Pasadena Democratic Club hosted a Town Hall meeting Thursday for Assemblymember Chris Holden (who represents the 41st district) in the library’s community room. Holden presented a short speech to the sixty attendees/local residents before a question-and-answer session.
Holden responded to audience members’ questions on national and local issues from healthcare to immigration to the release of voting information. The Assemblymember revealed his intention to commit more money towards sustaining Covered California, which has insured 2.5 million Californians since its inception in 2014. Ultimately, Holden supports a single-payer healthcare system.
Holden also advocated on behalf of the people of the San Gabriel Valley, specifically the controversial 710. The battle over whether to extend the 710 Freeway with a tunnel under South Pasadena had been alive for nearly 50 years. In February 2017, Holden introduced a bill to forbid the construction of the extension which later failed in April. Finally, on May 25, the Metro board quashed the idea of extending the 710 freeway through a unanimous vote.
Holden has hosted multiple constituent events for the 41st district throughout his office term. However, this Town Hall was the first one done by Holden in South Pasadena in front of members of the community.
“Having [the Town Hall] more out in the community worked really well,” introducing speaker Marina Khubesrian said of the Town Hall. “We had a lot more people in attendance. I’m so impressed by the turnout. I love to see how involved and engaged our residents are in the political process.”