Hutchison Seeks Chino Mayoralty With His Maiden Political Foray

The motivating factor in his run for Chino mayor, Christopher Hutchinson said, is what brought him and his wife back to Chino Valley five years ago, after seven years of living in Los Angeles. He and his wife moved to the megalopolis to the west shortly after they were married because of the entrepreneurial opportunity there.
Having made some money and created some businesses which he has since sold, Hutchison returned to Chino in 2015.
He said he and his wife made the decision to return to Chino because they did not feel that Los Angeles offered a healthy environment for raising their family, which now includes children who are 8, 6 and 4 years old.
“I’m running to improve my community,” he said. He said he is distinguished from the incumbent, Eunice Ulloa, and better suited for the role of mayor than she is because she is no longer actively engaged in raising a family, and he is. Ulloa is out of touch with the challenges and reality of current family dynamics and the actual lives of the more prevalent young demographics in Chino, he said.
“I have a family that I am raising in modern day Chino,” he said. “The mayor is not raising a family. If she has a family, her children are now grown. She is 74 years old. She is at a different stage in life than I am. I am raising kids and the immediate thing for me in my outlook is for my children and how the city is going to run and what it is to become for them. What is best for my children is going to drive the changes I would make as mayor.”
Hutchison said he believes he is qualified to hold the position of mayor “through my successes and failures at business and the experience I have gotten through the businesses I have run. I have had a lot of successes and a lot of failures,” he said, which has refined his approach to how he functions professionally. “Failures were important because I learned through failure why I was failing,” he said. “I made the adjustments I needed to make in order to succeed. There is a learning curve. A lot of what I went through taught me how to not fail and how to succeed with the tools and the resources I have been given.”
The major issues facing Chino, Hutchison said, are “a lack of affordable housing, the lack of leisure attractions, a lack of shopping centers. We need to invite business, be they large or small, and give our residents the convenience of shopping in their own city. We need growth in the city, economic growth, more development, more schools. Our schools are impacted. Kids aren’t getting the necessary attention.”
He elaborated, “What we are doing is spending our leisure money, shopping and dining dollars in the neighboring cities, Chino Hills, Eastvale, Ontario. These other cities are thriving off of our residents. We need more places where our residents can spend their money in our own neighborhoods and in our own city.”
In making his pitch for votes, Hutchison went beyond the normal purview of City Hall, extending his analysis of the city’s woes to issues bedeviling the Chino Valley Unified School District, the jurisdiction for which includes Chino and Chino Hills. A major social struggle played out in the district over the last decade, after three born again Christians who attended Calvary Chapel in Chino Hills – James Na, Andrew Cruz and Sylvia Orozco – were elected to the school board. The pastor at Chino Hills Calvary Chapel, the Reverend Jack Hibbs, evinced a denominationalist philosophy, which holds that Christians have a duty to take over public office and promote their religious beliefs from the positions they occupy. Na, Cruz and Orozco ratified a district policy for Bible study classes to become a part of the district’s high school curriculum and they incorporated the inclusion of prayer, i.e., specifically Christian prayer, as a feature of school events. Moreover, both Na and Cruz worked religious homilies and constant reference to God into the discussions of the school board at its public meetings.
This triggered a lawsuit that was lodged by the Freedom From Religion Foundation of Madison, Wisconsin in Riverside Federal Court in November 2014 on behalf of two named plaintiffs, Larry Maldonado and Mike Anderson, along with 21 unnamed plaintiffs who asserted they were alienated or intimidated at school board meetings because of overt and constant references to Christianity, including “prayers, Bible readings and proselytizing.” In the suit, the plaintiffs sought the cessation of religiosity as an element in the district’s conducting of business. Penultimately, the case went before Federal Judge Jesus Bernal, who on February 18, 2016 issued his own encyclical in which he rejected the argument that the district’s policy of celebrating the beliefs of a majority of the board did not violate the plaintiffs’ rights to attend district board meetings and participate in other district and school functions without being subjected to an intensive round of religious advocacy. Bernal ordered the Chino Unified School District Board to discontinue its overt and constant references to Christianity during its public meetings and refrain forthwith from inserting religion into official proceedings. Bernal awarded the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s legal team $202,425 in attorney’s fees and $546.70 in court costs to be paid by the district. The district appealed Bernal’s ruling to the Ninth Circuit Court, which in July 2018 upheld in its entirety Bernal’s 2016 ruling. The Freedom From Religion Foundation’s legal team was awarded another $200,000 in legal fees to cover its work in answering the appeal to the Ninth Circuit. Shortly thereafter, after contemplating an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, the school board abandoned doing so. In 2018, Orozco opted against seeking reelection. Joe Schaffer and Christina Gagnier were elected to the school board. Schaffer and Gagnier then joined with incumbent Board Member Irene Hernandez-Blair to end the district policy of allowing school prayer and Bible instruction.
Hutchison envisions rallying the Chino City Council and the City of Chino to reassert the Christian values he believes are intrinsic in the community to influence the school district policy with regard to undoing the intrusion of liberal concepts and policies in local schools once he is in position as mayor.
“We should begin by working with the school board to make sure the curriculum is appropriate when it comes to sex education,” Hutchison said. “My wife and I have a conservative view on whether or not children should be exposed to certain curriculum. We want to make sure the appropriate material is put in front of our kids. I don’t think our kids should be encouraged at a young age to choose their gender or explore their sexuality. I don’t think that’s appropriate.”
Hutchison said the city should similarly resist liberal anti-development sentiment and efforts by no-growth advocates to block economic development that the city can use to defray the cost of community improvements he advocates.
“We need to make the city appealing to investors, builders and businesses,” Hutchison said. “If a project meets the criteria and falls within the guidelines of the state, county and local government, the project should be approved even if it is opposed by a group of people in the community who want to keep things as they are. If a project meets the zoning and land use criteria, it should be approved as proposed.”
The fashion in which the city can pay for the improvements it needs to make, Hutchison said, is through spurring commercial development. “We need more businesses, more big businesses and more small businesses,” he said. “The city will receive more tax revenue. We need to make it so we appeal to people to come and engage in business in our city.”
Hutchison said he had previous experience relating to government but “I never worked for the government. I’ve run multiple businesses that had government contracts,” he said, but stopped short of describing that work. “I’d prefer not to say,” Hutchison said.
Hutchison grew up in Chino, attending and graduating from Ontario High School. He had college experience at Los Angeles City College where he studied economics. He dropped his educational aspirations when his professional commitments intensified, he said.
His forays into the business world, Hutchison said, entailed “real estate development. I owned a retail cabinet shop and a cabinet fabrication shop.” He was further engaged in the sale of tile, which he said included a “showroom for tile in Beverly Hills. I’ve done a lot of higher-end construction, and that included design, the type that is featured in design magazines.” His mainstay, Hutchison said, is specialized residential development. “I do custom homes,” he said.
Hutchison has been married 13 years.
Asked what more about him or his candidacy he wanted the Sentinel’s readers to know, he said, “I attend Cavalry Chapel in Chino Hills. I am a born again Christian. I hold those values to be true, and I live that.”

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