The Quaker Campus met with the incumbent candidate for the District 2 City Council race, Bob Henderson, on March 12.
Bob Henderson is a third-generation commercial and personal insurance broker at his family firm on Bright Avenue. Bob Henderson was first elected to city council in 1976, and he had originally planned to serve two terms. Henderson instead served until 1984. He was then elected as Mayor and served from 1980 to 1982. Henderson served again as Mayor from 1992 to 1994, 2009 to 2010, and 2013 to 2014. He was then re-elected as a city council member in 1990, 1994, 2002, 2006, 2010, and 2014. If re-elected, he says this will be his last term.
Henderson now has over thirty years of experience in local politics and feels he has learned many things from this involvement. “One of the things that’s great about when you are there a long time is you get to where you pretty much deal with anyone who is involved in local power,” said Henderson. “[I was] able to work very closely with legislators and talk to them on an individual basis, and get their help.”
Needless to say, Henderson has an extensive history with local politics. Most of his passion projects are related to environmental conservation. “We bought a couple little properties here [in the hills] locally with the Prop A money,” said Henderson. “I started negotiation on all of the properties, and today we own just under 4000 acres and manage [them] . . . we were able to buy all that property without any city tax money.” Henderson has also worked to create agencies to help protect wildlife including Hillside Open Space Education Coalition (HOSEC) and the Wildlife Corridor Conservation Authority (WCCA). He also assisted in the opening of the Greenway Trail. A subcommittee was established in 2002 to plan and talk to citizens living in the neighborhoods by Greenway to address any concerns about living near a public hiking trail. “I got appointed to that, and I’ve been appointed to the subcommittee one way or another since,” said Henderson. Due to the success and support of the development of the first half of the trail, the second half is currently being developed.
Henderson has also worked with the College during his time as a council member. “[The] most recent was getting the house moved out of Whittier College and put into a really nice subsidized housing project,” said Henderson. Guilford Hall was a house donated to the College during the Great Depression, when the College was struggling to find funds to build new halls on campus. It was used for many purposes including a music building, dormitory, and mail room until it was moved in July 2017. Henderson assisted in the process of repurposing the building. “We had a developer who specializes in taking buildings and incorporating them into properties that are subsidised housing,” said Henderson. “[We moved] it and put it on some property that the city owns . . . then reconditioned it, and then build eight condos. Those all became low income for first time home buyers.” Henderson encourages all students to think seriously about the election and vote.