Fontana Council Candidate Eric Lopez

Erick Lopez is competing against five others to represent Fontana’s residents in the city’s Third Electoral District on the city council in order “to give the power back to the people. As a 9-year resident of Fontana, I have grown up in this community and for too long I have witnessed our elected officials often ignoring the demands of the people they are supposed to serve in favor of corporate and self-interests. We deserve a loud, bold, and unapologetic voice in the chambers of City Hall that puts people first and that is not afraid to push for change. I intend to be that voice.”
It is his commonality from which he draws his greatest strength as a candidate, Lopez said.
“While I have studied government and have experience in positions of leadership, I think the most important qualification that I have is that I am an average Fontana resident,” he ventured. “Talking to community members, they have been very receptive to me as someone who is a product of the community. They are tired of voting for politicians and they are excited for me as a candidate who they know will be their advocate because I have experienced their struggles firsthand.”
Lopez’s reference to politicians harkens to Jesse Armendarez, the incumbent whom the top vote-getter among the six now running in Fontana’s Third District – Lopez, Lashunda Martin, Linda D. Richardson, Peter Garcia, Amy Malone and Dawn Dooley – will replace later this year. Armendarez has ambition for higher office. He has forsaken remaining on the council to run for county supervisor in the Fifth District, and has so far invested a substantial amount of the money he makes in his real estate business – a total now exceeding $91,076.83 – to propel his campaign. Lopez is intent on moving into the council slot Armendarez will be leaving in less than four months.
“I believe what distinguishes me from my opponents is that I am a progressive,” Lopez said. “If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that our social safety nets are fragile. Families are one paycheck away from poverty while wealth continues to accumulate at the very top. While these broader issues will have to be addressed at a national level, there is a lot of work that can be done locally. The need for bold progressive ideals on education, economic development, and public safety has never been more apparent. We cannot afford to continue with business as usual and to continue to push for the same policies that have already failed us.”
Lopez said, “I am running on a platform that emphasizes education, sustainable economic development, and on re-imagining the public safety model. Educational attainment is low in our city and to address that I am calling to invest in teachers’ salaries, college preparation and vocational training programs, science, technology, engineering and mathematics education, and educational technology. Another issue that hits close to home is economic development. With little council opposition, portions of our community have been overrun by warehouse developers that bring low-paying jobs with no benefits and dismal working conditions on top of significant environmental impacts. I am running to diversify our economic development and to attract good paying jobs, professional working spaces, green jobs, and science, technology and  engineering, industries that will bring Fontana into the future. Lastly, in the face of George Floyd’s death, our community has overwhelmingly called on our elected officials to reform policing in our city, and they have repeatedly ignored our demands. I am running to advocate for a re-imagined public safety model that prevents crime by investing in homeless shelters, mental health resources, affordable housing, job training, education, etc.”
Advancing science, technology, engineering and mathematics education and pushing for economic development, Lopez said, can be achieved through the use and prioritization of available funding.
“For those solutions that have a cost, I propose the city pay for them by reallocating funds from what already exists within the city’s budget,” he said.
Lopez, who attended A.B. Miller High School and attended UC Davis where he studied political science with an emphasis in public service, acknowledged, “This is my first time seeking a position in government.” He has lived in Fontana for nine years. Lopez is unmarried and has no children.
Formerly employed as a teaching assistant, Lopez was displaced as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lopez is, nonetheless, taking advantage of his time off work to innovate new ways to connect to voters during an already unprecedented campaign season.

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