Activist and mother Angelica Dueñas vies for the 29th District representative seat against ten-year incumbent Tony Cardenas.
Opinion by Asher Miles, Staff Writer
The special-interest-free and grassroots-funded challenger, Angelica Dueñas, is growing a movement to oust corporate Democrat and incumbent Representative Tony Cárdenas in California’s 29th Congressional District.
Running a non-stop political campaign focused on San Fernando Valley residents’ accessibility to resources, she starkly contrasts her political rival’s impossible-to-contact staff. The Valley-raised and educated activist, whose progressive policies align with the needs of constituents, is a far better pick than the corporate-owned and funded Cárdenas.
The second-time candidate and Valley alumna lost her first race for candidacy in 2020 to the incumbent by 16 points. This time around, her campaign is sporting an increase in small-dollar donors while Cárdenas continues to receive large contributions from out-of-state corporations. The grassroots candidate is focusing on universal healthcare, a Green New Deal, and affordable housing to resolve LA’s homelessness problem.
“My plan is to declare a state of emergency across the nation,” said Duenas. “Refugees from other states and counties come to southern California for our resources, therefore, we have to loosen our resources for them. We have luxury housing, but not affordable housing. We have mismanagement of our resources across the board.”
According to the Federal Election Committee’s website, Cárdenas’ total campaign contributions cumulated to just under $1.5 million dollars. His top donors are the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Act Blue, and J.P. Morgan. Along with receiving millions from corporate and special-interest groups, the Pacoima native is running his campaign on Animal Rights, equality within the justice system, and providing affordable solar energies to communities in the United States.
The 29th District representative is a member of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, the New Coalition Democrats, and the Congressional Arts and Hispanic Caucus.
The Valley representative’s office did not respond to the Star’s multiple requests for comment.
The 29th district includes Arleta, Mission Hills, North Hollywood, Pacoima, San Fernando, Studio City, Van Nuys, and Valley Village.
While Dueñas has raised less than 10% of campaign funds compared to Cárdenas, she still has high hopes to win district 29 through progressive policies, by knocking door-to-door, and emphasizing that her campaign is not funded by corporate PAC money.
“I want to be beholden to the people and not special money,” the Sun Valley native proclaimed. “I was inspired by the likes of Bernie Sanders and I want to show Californians that grass-root funded campaigns may have a harder time winning, but can win. It’s time to create a new standard for campaigns around America.”
Duenas’ 30-plus years of Sun Valley residence garnered a comprehensive knowledge of the demands of the 29th district, earning her the endorsement of the Valley Star.