Lee Insists She Is Grass Roots Candidate In 8th District Race

(April 7) Odessia Lee said her candidacy for Congress in the 8th Congressional District is a campaign for social change and the rejection of the status quo.
“I feel there is a need for change,” she said. “We need a level playing field. We need improvement in education. Our schools are doing better, but things need to be done differently and we need an emphasis on different types of education. We need to have more vocational emphasis in our junior colleges. Everybody is not geared for attending a four-year college. Why not have an educational system where our high school graduates can go into trade schools or into community colleges for training where they can earn a living wage so they can take care of their families? We need to accept the fact that not everyone is made to go to college.”
Lee said the district, state and nation were now too heavily reliant upon service industry jobs and that past policies had resulted in better-paying manufacturing jobs being lost overseas.
“In our current economy we have a lot of people now working in retail and in restaurants and general commerce but our state and local officials are more interested in final sales for the sales taxes that generates instead of manufactured goods creation and job creation. We should commit to bringing back the manufacturing jobs we have lost. Those were decent-paying jobs. Here in the Victor Valley we had a glass factory and a paint factory. All of that is gone. We have the capability of becoming a viable, competitive community if we focus and put our minds to it.”
Lee said the national issue she is most animated about is “war. I really don’t think we need to go to go to war with everyone who ruffles our feathers. We have our boys and young women over there being shot and wounded and killed. I think a little more diplomacy is needed. Let’s talk. Let’s communicate. There is no need for us to take up everybody’s chores.”
Lee, a Democrat, is running against the incumbent, Congressman Paul Cook, a Republican. Two others, Paul Hannosh, a Republican who promotes himself as more conservative than Cook, and Bob Conaway, an attorney and liberal Democrat, are also running. She said she is distinguished from others in the race by being the 8th Congressional District’s true “grass roots” candidate. “I have identified the demographics of this district and I am the one candidate who best reflects the people who live here,” she said. “There has been change in the economy and change in the level of housing. People here are losing ground in this economy. I am seeing my own property losing value. My property value has dropped nearly to half of what it was and under what I paid for it. I am the definition of grass roots. I identify totally with what people in this district are going through and living with.  I have talked with people from one end of this community to the other. I understand. I have been poor. I have been middle class and I have been well off.  I can identify with people just by talking to them and listening. You try to express yourself to our leaders and explain what you want, and they are saying, ‘yeah, yeah,” but nobody is doing anything about it. Where do you go when you are not getting the help you deserve? No one is listening. I care. That is all people need to know.”
Born in Okehma, Oklahoma, Lee lived with her family in Arizona and California in her youth. She attended Jordan High School and later transferred to Compton Union High, from which she graduated. She obtained an A.A. degree from Southwest Junior College in sociology and studied childhood development at USC for two years. She worked as a victim’s advocate and family support officer with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. Divorced, she had two children, one of which survives. She has lived in Victorville for 15 years.

Leave a Reply