The race for the District 2 seat on Whittier’s city council is crowded, as five candidates are all vying for a single seat. Compared to the District 4 race, which features just two candidates — Lizette Escobera and incumbent Fernando Dutra — District 2 is stuffed full of potential politicians.
The Quaker Campus met with all District 2 candidates to discuss their qualifications, platforms, and reasons for running. Despite some close competition, QC News Editors Autumn Dixon and Nathan Tolfa feel that Henry Bouchot is the candidate for the city of Whittier.
Bouchot admits that he is a new politician, but does not feel that will impede his ability in office. He feels that he can be a more transparent politician than previous Whittier city council members and has faith in the people of Whittier. “I don’t put on airs. I’m not a fancy guy . . . I’m pretty new to politics, and it’s a difficult world to navigate, but that doesn’t mean that you have to be false . . . the main takeaway is that I believe, fundamentally, that voters are smart,” said Bouchot. Bouchot feels that he can operate as a mediator between the people and the government of Whittier.
While Bouchot may be new to politics, he has worked in a variety of leadership roles over the years, serving as a Marine Captain in Afghanistan, and a prosecutor and defense attorney. He currently serves as a Whittier City Social Services Commissioner, and is a neighborhood watch block captain. He also started his own nonprofit organization that helps disabled veterans.
Bouchot is a progressive candidate whose vision looks toward the future. In his interview with the QC, he said, “I can picture a Whittier where there’s a tech incubator at the College, where there’s a biotech hub at the hospital, and where it’s all mutually enforced by [a] thriving Uptown live-work center.” He wants to make a Whittier that encourages businesses to stay and grow, where college students can remain and work in Whittier after graduating.
Bouchot is not the only candidate to reference the College, but his plans are not centered around the school specifically. Instead, he intends to work to revitalize Uptown, and he believes that making Whittier a city that encourages business growth will help provide students a place to work post-graduation. We believe that this indirect approach is more effective than convincing businesses to partner with Whittier clubs, as City Council does not have a say in how the college operates.
The Quaker Campus News staff feels that Bouchot is the best candidate for both the students of Whittier College, and the city as a whole. He is experienced in working with both citizens and government officials. He expresses his opinions with conviction, and speaks of his desire for a more transparent government. His economic proposals are forward-thinking, and promise to create a strong community for both citizens and students. For the above mentioned reasons, the Quaker Campus News staff wholeheartedly endorses Henry Bouchot as our candidate for Whittier City Council.