Meet the Congressional Candidates – 28th District

By Julie BUTCHER and Mary O’KEEFE

This week CV Weekly will introduce readers to the eight candidates running for the Congress – 28th District. They will be presented in the order in which they appear on the March 3 ballot. More information on the candidates can be found at or on Facebook.

Democrat Chad Anderson emmigrated from Sweden with his family to Chicago, Illinois. He said running for office is a “rich man’s game” referencing organizations like Citizens United and “dark money” flowing into campaigns. He describes his campaign as an “everyman’s campaign.”

Anderson is in favor of imposing term limits of 20 years for members of the House of Representatives  and 24 years for members of the Senate.

“A lot of politicians are out of touch. I want to inspire other regular business-minded people to run,” he said. “There are tons of waste in the federal government and [the funding] we get back here in California is very low.”

He feels homelessness is an important issue to address.

“LA can’t be a world-class city where people are paying crazy rents and mortgages with people living on the streets like they are here, especially in Hollywood,” he said.

Anderson has heard stories of crimes being committed by people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol.

“I have female friends [who] are scared to walk at night and young families don’t want to live in the area [Hollywood],” he said.

Focusing on issues that are most important to people in the district, like healthcare costs, Anderson said he would like to legislate against “surprise” hospital bills and fight homelessness.

“My campaign is about bringing regular Americans together regardless of party to help solve the local issues we face and keep America safe in the world,” he said. “There is so much division these days and we need to get back to being a united country so we can face our challenges with bold bi-partisan support to truly work for our citizens.”

Democrat Sal Genovese was born in New York but has lived most of his life in Los Angeles. Genovese has worked in an eclectic series of careers, from teaching preschool to working at Amtrak.

When he sees a career he is interested in he has applied for that job. He has spent many years working with people addicted to drugs and alcohol and, for the last 10 years, worked in a hospice.

He believes the number one issue is homelessness. He said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is trying to do something to help with the homeless crisis but feels that it is also a federal issue.

“And you don’t hear the presidential candidates talking about it,” he said.

He added that helping with homelessness is not only about providing housing but also providing services, both medical and psychological.

“It needs to be a one stop,” he said of how to attain medical and psychological support.

Genovese said it will take everyone working together, including churches, to make a difference in the homeless crisis.

“Can you imagine what would happen if we didn’t have the Midnight Mission?” Genovese asked.

He feels that Congress can work with community awareness programs and that there is more that can be done.

“[If I am elected] my community awareness program will be a once-a-month meeting with my constituants,” he said.

Genovese wants more focus on mental health programs and helping the homeless with vocational service training. In the battle against wildfires, he said that brush clearance is important and he would like to see the federal government have a hiring program for people to clear the brush from U.S. forests.

“I think we need to hire more social workers,” he said. “We seem to only talk about mental health when a shooting happens. We need to talk about it every day.”

When speaking of the atmosphere in Washington, D.C., Genovese thinks he would be able to work across the aisle with Republicans.

“Can you imagine today’s Congress writing the Constitution? Imagine these men sitting down to write,” he said. “[Our forefathers] didn’t agree on a lot of things but they knew there were things more important.”

Ara Khachig Manoogian did not respond to attempts by CVW to contact him. The information below is taken from his website

Democrat G. “Maebe A. Girl” Pudio has lived in Los Angeles for seven years. She was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and grew up in Chicago. While in Chicago she worked as a tour guide but the winters were slow so she moved out to LA to see what it was like.

“I fell in love with [LA],” she said.

She made LA her home and it was here she began performing drag. She found that it became less about the costumes she wore and more about who she was and how she wanted to express herself. Pudio is “gender fluid under the trans umbrella.” She identifies as male and female, sometimes more one than the other, and prefers the pronouns she and her.

She said she thinks the number one issue is homelessness and how that relates to everything. She wants more diversity in government and more progressives in office.

“I became known as a political queen,” Pudio said.

She got that title at the beginning of the Trump administration when she began doing political impressions.

“As the ‘political queen’ I found I could not only entertain but educate people as well,” she said.

She felt the Trump administration was unfair not only to trans people but also to others and wanted to bring those opinions to her audience through her performance.

Pudio then found that she wanted to do more.

“There is a lot of activism in the queer community but what I would like to see is more queer people in office in positions of influence, not just influence legislation but write it,” she said.

She ran for the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council and joined a group of 11 progressive candidates; all of them won. Once on the Council she realized she did not have the influence she wanted. Neighborhood Councils are advisory boards for local city councilmembers.

The decision to run for Congress District 28 was mainly due to timing. She thought about LA City Council but when the Congress seat presented itself she decided this was the challenge she wanted to undertake.

She wants a more progressive slant for representation and wants more diversity, including trans people, in positions of political power.

“There are only 10 openly queer people in Congress, and there has never been a trans person in Congress,” she said. “I’m not saying elect me because I am a trans person but I am saying give a trans person a chance.”

Congressman Adam Schiff, Democrat, is up for reelection on March 3. He is well-known to the Crescenta Valley as well as to most in District 28, which he represents. He has led and been part of several community outreach events, including discussions on affordable housing, earthquake early warning systems and the science of climate change. In addition he has attended local events for veterans and schools. His office helped over 1,200 constituents on a variety of issues including issues with the Veterans Administration, immigration, the State Department and the IRS.

There are many issues the Congressman sees as important for the area including homelessness and affordable housing and mental health, not only for the homeless but also for veterans and youth as the number of suicides in these populations increases. He also wants to see changes in fire mitigation to prevent wildfires and more research into climate change.

Although from media reports it might appear that there is little getting done in Washington, D.C. as the divide between the parties widens, Schiff said they have been able to come together to vote on important issues.

“The Armenian Genocide Bill passed in the midst of the impeachment hearings,” he said. That bill passed with a large bipartisan vote.

Schiff has been working to get the Armenian Genocide recognized by the United States for many years. This was a very personal issue for him and many of his constituents. The stories of survivors struck a chord with him.

“It was a combination of my own background having relatives who perished during the Holocaust,” he said. “Then meeting [those in] the Armenian community and knowing the pain they felt – not knowing [what happened] to certain members of their family.”

Homelessness and housing are issues that he has been working on since he was in the California State Senate. He recently introduced legislation, the Affordable and Homeless Housing Incentives Act, which will try to improve the stock of affordable housing and housing for the homeless. The bill would exempt building owners from having to pay capital gains tax if they sell to an affordable housing operator, like the government or a nonprofit. Property owners would also have to reinvest the proceeds in another property within three years.

He added he has worked to increase Section 8 help for others, including homeless vets, in addition to creating other programs.

“It is going to require an all hands on deck [to provide] wrap-around services,” he said.

Mental health is also something Schiff said is a priority.

“The epidemic of suicide with teens and veterans is a huge challenge,” he said.

He added that making sure that schools and agencies have the resources they need is another priority. He recently held a workshop in which hunger issues suffered by college students were discussed. He introduced the Food for Thought bill to provide free meals to those students in need.

Schiff worked to get the U.S. Forest Service to resume nighttime water dropping flights after the Station Fire.

“I am going to continue to fight for resources for the Forest Service to do fire mitigation,” he said.

He disagrees with the present apparent “solution” of just clear-cutting the forest but to invest in mitigation and maintenance.

Climate change is another issue that is “enormously important.”

“I am so proud of the [Earth science] work that is being done at JPL [Jet Propulsion Laboratory],” he said.

He added he agrees with much of the administration’s new budget, especially the generosity extended to NASA, but is concerned about the “ruthless cuts” to Earth science.

“We are going to try to restore [that funding],” he said. “It is distressing to me that my generation is pillaging the planet for resources, filing the air with carcinogens and water with poison, melting our ice caps, raising our sea levels and threatening species including our own.”

He added that it is essential to make climate change a priority.

William “Bill” Bodell is a Republican La Crescenta resident. He has lived in La Crescenta for over 20 years and all three of his kids attended schools in the Glendale Unified School District.

“I was in Kiwanis and used to be the Key Club mentor for Clark Magnet, Crescenta Valley and La Cañada high schools,” he said. “I was also with the Boy Scouts when my son, who is an Eagle Scout, was in Boy Scouts.”

His son now works for the Orange County Sheriff’s Dept.. Bodell was also on the Crescenta Valley Town Council; it was there he learned about grassroots politics and how local government works with state, county and federal agencies.

“We had contact with then-LA Supervisor Michael Antonovich. We had some contact with [Congressman] Adam Schiff, so I was able to see how local government worked at the federal, state and county levels,” he said, “[as well as see] the differences between the unincorporated areas and cities.”

He does feels “unchecked” immigration is at the base of several issues in America including homelessness, housing and criminal elements like arson as they pertain to wildfires.

“We have to do something to stop the flood of immigration,” he said. “In the past we had quotas, and I support quotas … In the past you had to have a sponsor or employment to come to the [United] States.”

He said those provisions are no longer in place, adding that unchecked immigration, if not controlled, makes it difficult to impossible for city officials to plan their housing programs.

“We had an issue when I was on town council,” he recalled. “There were issues with zoning in Montrose with [an area] that was zoned for multi-unit building.”

The residents wanted the land to be rezoned for single-family housing. Bodell was against that request stating owners had bought the property with multi-family housing and it should stay that way.

“I told them they needed to talk to their congressman, senator or President,” he said.

Regarding climate, he does believe that the climate is changing but feels humans play a minuscule role in that change. There has been climate change during the times reaching back to the dinosaurs, with no humans, he said.

“This Earth is very strong and it does regenerate,” he said.

He does feel that Earth science is important and that studies on the climate should continue.

He is against any new taxes, and is against abortion of any kind, but realizes that an outright ban may not happen.

“But there has to be limitations,” he said.

Candidate Eric Early is a Republican and a lawyer whose office is in Los Angeles.

“I started this law firm…with four other lawyers about a decade ago,” he said.

The firm now boasts 35 lawyers who work in courtrooms in many states including Florida and Arizona as well California.

“As far as politics, I’m not a politician,” he said.

He had worked in the private sector until he decided to run for California Attorney General in 2018. He was not successful in that campaign and turned his sight to Washington, D.C. He presently lives within the 28th District but was born in Michigan and raised in New York.

“I support President [Donald] Trump and I’ve been pretty vocal about that even when I was running for attorney general,” he said of why he wanted to get into the race.

He added there are not many politicians in the State of California who are as vocal as he is about his support of the President.

He said he never met Congressman Adam Schiff but said he does like him. He has made his personal feelings clear about how he feels about the Congressman, which can be seen in a number of other publications and video interviews.

CVW wanted to know what he would do if elected.

“Number one is homelessness,” he said. “It is obviously the biggest issue of the day.”

He spoke of driving in Los Angeles and seeing the increasing homeless population.

“It is an epidemic,” he added.

He said he has concerns about the deaths and illnesses related to homelessness.

“The [federal] money has disappeared into the system,” he said of funding promised for homelessness. He thinks funds are not being used correctly and wants to see more done for housing and for those with mental illness.

“It’s a huge issue for me,” he said. “[We] have to focus on and address the severe mental illness problem.”

Other issues of concern are increasing crime and he wants to do what he can from the federal level to stop the rise in crime. He also feels there is a need to cut taxes. If elected he would look into U.S. Forest Service land/fire management. He feels the system has been over-regulated.

“I believe climate change exists, I just don’t believe that it exists to the extent that the Democrats say it exists,” he said. “I think we need to look at climate change and the experts on both sides of the aisle. We should stop just relying, like the mainstream media does, on the people who say the sky is falling … I am glad President Trump pulled us out of the Climate Accord.”

He added that other countries would not follow the Climate Accord rules and doesn’t feel it should all fall to the United States. He did not have kind words for Greta Thunberg, the now 17-year-old who started an environmental awareness movement that has reached people around the world to educate them on the changing climate.

[“The Climate Accord or Paris Agreement brought nations together in a common cause to undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change and adapt to its effects,” according to the United Nations. In 2019, President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement, which 200 countries signed in 2015 and made national pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.]

Jennifer Barbosa is listed as her party preference “none.” She grew up in Florida but has lived in Los Angeles for about 20 years. She presently lives in Hollywood.

Barbosa served as vice chair for her Hollywood Neighborhood Council and through that experience learned about local politics.

“I learned there was a tremendous disconnect from the local politicians all the way up to what [residents] really wanted,” she said.

The number one issue that needs to be addressed, she said, is homelessness.

“What Congress has done is pour tons of money into housing and thinks that is going to solve the [homeless problem],” Barbosa said.

She disagrees with that process and instead feels that more emphasis should be placed on mental health and drug and alcohol abuse programs.

She has worked as a consultant for local neighborhoods that are fighting via lawsuits to save their area from real estate developers.

“In my neighborhood there is a big push for more real estate [development] and for changing the zoning. Unfortunately in my area [sometimes] the only way to get the attention of the [city is] to [file] a lawsuit,” she said.

She has worked with others to stop development that often has been found illegal.

Barbosa would like to see development that respects the integrity of the neighborhoods.

She has been campaigning throughout the district and, although grueling at times, has found it to be a positive experience. She has gone door-to-door, focusing on those who are most likely to vote.

“We have found a receptive audience whether they are pro [Congressman] Adam Schiff or not for him,” she said. “Even people who are pro Schiff are not rude, they naturally are not going to vote for me but they say thank you and I am voting for Adam Schiff. I think that says so much about our district, the basic civility of people.”

She does want to continue the study for climate change and agrees it is real. Barbosa added that not all regulation is bad.

“It [seems] like [many] Republicans want to roll back the environmental regulations,” she said. She pointed to the California regulations that required vehicle emissions be reduced.

“It reduced particulates in the air and now we have blue skies,” she said.