Menifee substitute teacher and baseball coach Ricky Estrada launched his mayoral campaign at a gathering of friends and supporters at the Ponderosa Bar and Grill in Menifee, Thursday, March 12.
“The time for bold ideas is now,” Estrada said as an introduction to his campaign effort in running against incumbent Menifee Mayor Bill Zimmerman.
“We need new blood for the new generation to step up and take control of our government. There are many new families moving into Menifee with bold ideas and they need representation,” Estrada said.
He promised in his campaign speech that the older generation, who have lived in the city for a long time, “will not be forgotten as well.” He said those in Sun City who helped build the city have seen “their roads crumbling. Our foundation is falling apart and they helped build this city.”
He said he decided to run for mayor because he grew up “wanting to help others.” He said he had a strong Catholic religious upbringing and wanted to follow the commandment to “love one another.”
He cited the high taxes that California residents face.
“I want to push low taxes,” he said.
He said there is a problem with traffic congestion. He said there needs to be “more prayers with the country so divided, and we something to bring us together.”
Estrada said in gathering information from the people in Menifee that he personally has already knocked on more than 3,000 doors since announcing his intent to run for mayor. He asked residents what mattered to them. He said he found there were a lot of party politics represented by the respondents and chided the way it plays in selecting appointed government positions. He said he believed it was every citizen’s right, regardless of party, to run for elective office.
He said the millennial were being discouraged from voting because of the “old ways.” He said he wanted those of his generation to become more involved in the vote, and it was one reason he was running for mayor.
“My generation goes underserved,” he said.
Estrada told his supporters he was confident he could bring in the younger generation, the working class and fellow Spanish speakers. He said he will continue to go door to door during his campaign and introduce himself personally to residents and continue to gather their ideas for the future of the city.
He said as mayor he would never vote for a new state tax increase, and among his new ideas is a way to collect fees from businesses and others by having the name of their agency or business on street and park signs, while they maintaining the roadway or parks with their name; a video welcoming board on freeway entrances to announce special events and local advertising; more land preservation and hiking trails; a Menifee trolley with an independent traffic authority to relieve traffic congestion and branding or identifying the city with a “military theme” that would make the city “recession-proof.” He said he had other ideas for a bold, new city government if he becomes its mayor.
In conclusion, he said the change he hoped for would come from the residents, young and old. He encouraged residents to make more effort to come to the city council meetings twice a month to voice their opinions and their needs to the council. He said in the meantime he would continue to walk the streets of the city going door to door to meet and greet residents and learn of their needs.
“That is what makes my campaign different,” Estrada said.
Find “Estrada4menifee” on Facebook for more information.
Tony Ault can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.