John Chiang. Courtesy of State of California

State Treasurer John Chiang will begin what is being billed as a statewide listening tour for his campaign for governor Tuesday in Boyle Heights, one day short of a year before the primary election.

Chiang will tour Mariachi Plaza, where mariachi musicians have gathered since the 1930s in hopes of being hired by visitors, visit the Libros Schmibros Lending Library, and dine at Al & Bea’s Mexican Restaurant. He will also receive an endorsement from Los Angeles Councilman Jose Huizar.

Chiang chose to start the tour in Boyle Heights because of its rich history as a multi-ethnic community of immigrants that reflects the “vibrant and rich diversity throughout California,” according to his campaign.

The second stop will be in San Francisco Wednesday.

Chiang officially began efforts to run for governor on May 17, 2016, when he opened an account to raise money for a campaign.

“I’m running for governor to make sure the future my parents provided for my family becomes a reality for the future of all California families,” Chiang told City News Service in February response to a series of questions emailed to his campaign.

“As a child of immigrant parents, me and my siblings grew up in a much different time. My parents arrived in this country, each dreaming of a better future. While their determination and relentlessness led to a middle-class neighborhood with better schools, we still experienced bigotry, as the first Asian-American family on the block, but my parents never gave up on a better life for my family.”

Chiang promised that if elected he would “be a strong fiscal leader who will govern with inclusiveness” including “offering real solutions to issues like improving our infrastructure, nurturing our booming renewable energy sector and protecting our immigrant neighbors.”

“The people of California deserve to live in a state that provides them with an atmosphere of growth and prosperity, job creation, protecting retirement savings, easing the burden of education costs across the board, harboring continued innovation, access to universal health care and protecting the cultural diversity that makes California the special place it is,” Chiang said.

To attempt to reduce California’s poverty rate, which is the nation’s second-highest behind the District of Columbia when adjusted for the cost of living, according to figures released by the Census Bureau, Chiang said he would “invest in infrastructure assessment and investment that would lead to job creation,” and “invest in affordable housing options to get the thousands of homeless we have off the streets.”

California is “coming back from the greatest housing collapse and economic crisis since the Great Depression, and making distressed communities healthy and whole again through more affordable housing options and job creation,” Chiang said.

The field to succeed Gov. Jerry Brown, who is barred from running for re- election in 2018 because of term limits, also includes Chiang’s fellow Democrats Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and former State Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin.

Chiang was elected treasurer in 2014 after two terms as controller. He was first elected to the Board of Equalization in 1998. He began his career as a tax law specialist with the Internal Revenue Service and later was an attorney in the State Controller’s Office.

—City News Service

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