By GWEN MURANAKA
RAFU ENGLISH EDITOR IN CHIEF
Two rising stars among Japanese American conservatives, Alan Nakanishi and Placentia City Councilmember Jeremy Yamaguchi, spoke last Sunday at a meeting of the Japanese American Republicans in Long Beach. A former assemblymember, Nakanishi is seeking a seat on the State Board of Equalization District 2 in the June 8, 2010 primary election.
Nakanishi, who is from Lodi, said he would be the taxpayers’ voice on the five-member board, which collects California state sales and use tax, as well as fuel, alcohol, and tobacco taxes and fees that provide revenue for state government. The district he is seeking to represent stretches from northeastern California down through Inyo, Kern counties and also includes Ventura and parts of Los Angeles County.
“People are hurting. People who have businesses are unhappy with the government and the fact that they’re spending more money, they’re unhappy about the deficit,” Nakanishi said.
“I’ll be fair and I’ll comply with the laws of the state. Where the laws are silent, I’ll always side with the taxpayer. I’ll be an advocate for less waste and improving jobs in California. I want to keep jobs here.”
Yamaguchi told the gathering of his experiences as one of the youngest elected officials in the country. At 19, he was elected to the Placentia City Council last November and became a big story in the local media
“The day after the election the media really picked up on the story. And they ended up sending a TV news van to our front door. Luckily my parents were home and they said, ‘Oh he’s at school,’” Yamaguchi told the audience.
Yamaguchi said he has enjoyed his time on the Placentia City Council. He is also a student at Cal State Fullerton, majoring in political science and music.
“I look forward to the future but I certainly see the problems and the different issues that are facing us today. We certainly have the city issues dealing with the budget, the construction projects, as well as trying to maintain the services that the community deserves,” said Yamaguchi.
While still new to politics, Yamaguchi wouldn’t rule out a run for the State Assembly seat, made open by the resignation of Assemblymember Mike Duvall. A special primary election will be held on Nov. 17.
“The media has been passing my name around as a candidate. I’m not closing the door on that. I’m also not signing up yet, but I certainly have a future in serving the citizens of our country,” he said.