Bipartisan Effort Between Democratic Supervisor and Republican Assembly Candidate Helps Secure Firetruck for Community in Mexico

Local Bipartisan Effort Sends Firetruck to Mexico

Jeff Gonalez, left, with Supervisor V. Manuel Perez on the right.

INDIO — Tuxtepec, a town of 160,000 people in Oaxaca, Mexico, have sometimes fought fires with buckets of water; sometimes they had to just let a fire burn itself out. The two firetrucks it had were not in good shape, with one used only for transportation because its water pumps don’t work. A bipartisan effort has changed the situation.

Riverside County Fourth District Supervisor V. Manuel Perez, a Democrat, and Jeff Gonzalez, a Republican, running for California Assembly in District 36, worked together to donate a fire engine that the Riverside County Fire Department eliminated from its fleet. The fire engine, a 2002 Saulsbury. The department was not using the engine, which had been designated for the County auction.

“We do this all this time for Sister Cities or nonprofits,” Steven Hernandez, Chief of Staff for Perez told Uken Report. “If   it’s the right thing to do, that’s what Manny will do.”

The engine was technically donated to the Indio Rotary where Gonzalez is a member. Rotary was responsible for transporting the fire engine to Mexico. The bipartisan effort was in the works for two years.

“This one is personal for me as that is my dad’s hometown,” Gonzalez said. “This place is special to me as it is my father’s hometown. My parents still live and farm the land there. Binational relations are incredibly important for both the prosperity and protection of our community. I am honored to have had the opportunity to participate in this wonderful event and to build a strong partnership with our neighbors across the border.”

When his parents retired, they relocated from New York to Mexico. Gonzalez said. Upon arriving in Mexico, my parents joined the local Rotary Club. The club identified that the local fire department fire truck was unserviceable, and the cities was suffering. many times, the fire fighters had to let structures, including local cinema, burn because of their lack of resources.

My father suggested they team up with my Rotary Club in Indio to see if we could help, Gonzalez said.

“It was a blessing to work with another Rotary Club, but an even greater blessing knowing it is my dad’s hometown, “Gonzalez said,

Perez, he said helped authorize the transfer of the fire engine and recommended the “best truck” in the yard, Gonzalez said, “If not for his help, we would still be trying to figure it all out.”

Not only were the Rotary Clubs involved, Gonzalez said, but so were active firefighters, retired firefighters, Indio City Manager Bryan Montgomery, local businesses, and countless staff participate in helping a community in need.

“This was an enormous undertaking delivered by ordinary people willing to accomplish extraordinary things,” Gonzalez said,

Gonzalez faces Joey Acuña, a Democrat, in November for the 36th Assembly seat. Perez has officially endorsed Acuña.

Image Sources

  • Gonzalez and Perez: Jeff Gonzalez
  • Firetruck: Jeff Gonzalez