Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, and Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez, D-Los Angeles, are swapping places for three days next week during the legislature’s summer recess.
No, it’s not an idea for a new reality television show. It is, however, an idea that started out, according to Gomez, as baseball “trash talk” and ended up as a coordinated effort by Chiu and Gomez to gain insight into the successes and challenges of the San Francisco and Los Angeles communities.
Chiu and Gomez will both travel to each other’s assembly districts Tuesday through Thursday. They will tour neighborhoods, meet with local leaders including San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, observe how the other city is addressing issues, and even take in a baseball game at their rivals’ stadiums.
“In the [initial] conversation we both mentioned that, despite the longstanding rivalry, our districts are more alike than people actually imagine,” said Gomez.
Chiu agrees, noting that San Francisco and Los Angeles share a great deal of similarities. “Both [districts] have wonderfully unique urban neighborhoods, emerging new industries, thriving communities,” Chiu said. “But both face similar challenges, such as a lack of affordable housing and a broken public transit system. I am especially looking for innovative
Both assemblymen expressed a similar goal to take what they learn from this experience and apply it not only into their own communities, but California-wide as well.
“They hope to be able to collaborate on a state level to benefit all Californians,” district director at Chiu’s office Jennifer Kwart said.
Rachel Matsuoka, Bay City News