African-American Leaders Gather in South L.A. to Endorse Antonio Villaraigosa in California Governor’s Race

Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa meets African American leaders at the Los Angeles Sentinel on May 3, 2018. (Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa meets African American leaders at the Los Angeles Sentinel on May 3, 2018. (Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

A group of prominent African American political, religious and civic leaders gathered Thursday to endorse Antonio Villaraigosa for governor, arguing that the former Los Angeles mayor has a history of working to lift their community.

“It’s important for us to insure we have an individual in Sacramento that’s not afraid to lead, and I submit to each and every one of you that person is Antonio Villaraigosa,” Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson said. “Now a lot of people say, ‘Herb, he’s your boy, your friend, that’s why you support him. I’m saying to each and every one of you, friendship has nothing to do with this. I have friends that I love who I wouldn’t send to the store to get a loaf of bread. Antonio realizes governing is not about doing what you want to do. Governing is about doing what you have to do.”

Wesson was joined by elected officials from Los Angeles, Compton, Inglewood and Carson; leaders of the First African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Nation of Islam and other houses of worship; and community activists.

They pointed to Villaraigosa’s efforts as mayor, including obtaining funding for a Metro stop in Leimert Park and improving graduation rates for minority students.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.