Special election to be held on April 5th to fill the vacancy of Assembly Member Autumn Burke
By Nick Antonicello
Lawndale Mayor Robert Pullen-Miles is a “man with a plan” and believes his healthy mix of private and public service makes him uniquely qualified to succeed his boss, former Assembly member Autumn Burke who stepped down recently sparking an April 5th special election for the rest of her unexpired term as Venice’s representative in Sacramento in the General Assembly.
A former three-term council member in Lawndale, Robert made history becoming the community’s first African-American mayor, as he has since been reelected twice with no opposition.
Mayor Pullen-Miles was Autumn Burke’s legislative director who has seen first-hand how the legislature works inside the district as well as in halls of Sacramento.
“I served as a hands-on district director. I have traveled to Sacramento and I know the players as well as the Democratic Caucus leadership. My diverse background as a first responder, someone who has personally experienced a degree of homelessness when I first arrived here and my time as a local councilman and mayor has rewarded with me with a record and resume to hit the ground running.”
The father of three daughters aged 21, 18 and 13, Pullen-Miles is married and his wife is a homemaker.
Robert’s journey hasn’t been easy for at the age of 19, he migrated to California from Oklahoma with just $25 and a dream to enter the world of entertainment.
Those times were a struggle as he “couch surfed” with friends until he got himself on his feet in a new place far away from family.
Robert earned his BA and MA from California Southern University where he participated in student government while later becoming a first responder (EMT), then worked for the late Jenny Oropeza, a former state senator and then went on to become a staffer for former state Senator Ted Lieu, now a member of the United States House of Representatives.
Congressman Lieu has endorsed Mayor Pullen-Miles in this special April 5th election contest for the Burke vacancy.
The Mayor spoke passionately about making government accessible for average people and working families first.
“At the local level we bring the resources to the community. That means in some cases getting the homeless off the streets. The general public looks to local government to get things done and the legislature needs to assist local government to make things right. Some of my current constituents are living from paycheck to paycheck. It’s important to build that local trust,” noted the Lawndale mayor which represents a population of roughly 32,000 residents and an annual municipal budget of some $25 million dollars.
Bordered by Redondo Beach, Hawthorne and Torrance, Lawndale is just six miles southeast of LAX and was originally part of “Rancho Sausal Redondo” and became incorporated as a municipality of California on December 28, 1959.
The motto of Lawndale is the “Heart of the South Bay.”
Now a candidate for his boss’s job who has endorsed him, Mayor Pullen-Miles offered three major initiatives:
- COVID-19 relief
- Tax Credits
- Small Business Opportunities
“Business revitalization and workforce development are important priorities. In Lawndale we secured $2 million for infrastructure improvements and $4 million for the construction of a new Youth Development Center. These are real results people can appreciate, touch and use.”
The Mayor stressed that having connections within the district with his fellow mayors and elected official’s matter. He pointed to a plethora of accomplishments he was a part of working for Autumn Burke such as creating a task force to end child poverty, a Child Tax Credit initiative that awarded working parents an additional $1,000 and while organizing food drives and getting access to unemployment benefits from EDD.
The Mayor is the only candidate in the race to have worked for four members of the California legislature, two in the assembly and two in the senate.
The Mayor is proud of his time as a legislative staffer, not-for-profit executive and years as both a chief executive and council member in which services were delivered and progress was made.
In some ways that makes Mayor Robert Pullen-Miles the “good hand’s” candidate.
This special election will be held on April 5th and you can visit his website at www.robertpullenmiles.com
Nick Antonicello offers opinion and commentary on issues of local politics that effect the Venice Community. He can be reached at email@example.com