Antelope Valley Press - - FRONT PAGE - By JULIE DRAKE Val­ley Press Staff Writer

These are part of a se­ries this week on can­di­dates for the 25th Con­gres­sional Dis­trict seat.

PALM­DALE — Pro­gres­sive jour­nal­ist Cenk Uygur joined the now-crowded race for the va­cant 25th Con­gres­sional Dis­trict seat last Novem­ber.

Uygur is one of 13 can­di­dates for the seat, which has been va­cant since for­mer Rep. Katie Hill re­signed last Novem­ber.

Cenk, the founder and for­mer co-host of “The Young Turks” on­line talk show, had past con­tro­ver­sial com­ments about women and mi­nori­ties come back into fo­cus, some of which he apol­o­gized for.

“It’s lack­ing all con­text.

What I’m known for is be­ing a pro­gres­sive fighter for all those com­mu­ni­ties,” Uygur said in an in­ter­view.

Uygur, who lives out­side of the Dis­trict with his wife and two kids, ages seven and nine, said the fam­ily would move to the area af­ter the school year ends.

“We’re look­ing at some houses,” Uygur said.

Uygur, a Turk­ish-Amer­i­can, moved to the United States when he was eight.

Uygur’s home dis­trict, Con­gres­sional Dis­trict 37, which in­cludes Uygur’s West Los Angeles home, is repre

sented by Democrat Karen Bass.

Uygur said he didn’t chal­lenge Bass be­cause that would be re­plac­ing one pro­gres­sive can­di­date with an­other.

“The thing with me that will be dif­fer­ent than al­most any other politi­cian is I don’t mind any ques­tions,” he said.

Uygur added he will have open of­fice hours for con­stituents to come and talk to him.

“Since I don’t take the cor­po­rate donor money, no lob­by­ist money, you don’t need a check,” Uygur said. “I’ll have open of­fice hours in the Antelope Val­ley and Santa Clarita. You can take come by and tell me what you need.”

Uygur added he is tak­ing notes while cam­paign­ing in the dis­trict.

Uygur cited home­less­ness as one of the top three is­sues spe­cific to the Antelope Val­ley that he would want to ad­dress.

“In L.A. County 58% of the home­less can’t af­ford hous­ing,” Uygur said. “Only 42% have ei­ther men­tal health or ad­dic­tion is­sues, so the ma­jor­ity are be­cause they just can’t af­ford the houses.”

Uygur added the peo­ple he talked to all want a job and a house.

“That means we need af­ford­able hous­ing,” Uygur said. “I talked to a teacher who’s not home­less but she had to move in with her home be­cause she couldn’t af­ford a $1,200 apart­ment in Lan­caster.”

Uygur said wages have to in­crease over­all as well as cre­at­ing jobs here that will help keep peo­ple off the Antelope Val­ley Free­way.

“Higher-pay­ing jobs, but also do­ing things like get­ting rid of stu­dent debt. My god, that would just free a gen­er­a­tion of peo­ple and al­low them to af­ford the hous­ing,” Uygur said, adding the third thing is af­ford­able hous­ing.

Uygur wants to take cor­po­rate PAC money out of pol­i­tics. He founded the Wolf-PAC to do just that.

“Their job is de­feat­ing all other PACs by get­ting the money out,” Uygur said. “They’re fight­ing for a con­sti­tu­tional amend­ment.”

Uygur added if he gets to Congress he will show all the bribes Repub­li­can and Demo­cratic politi­cians are tak­ing.

“They’re go­ing to hate me,” Uygur said. “But the vot­ers are go­ing to love me be­cause I’m go­ing to show them, ‘Guys, they’re not rep­re­sent­ing you. These are the peo­ple they work for.’ ”

Uygur said every dol­lar he raises goes to­ward reach­ing the vot­ers.

“I am go­ing door to door,” Uygur said. “I’ve knocked on hun­dreds of doors. I’ve gone to dozens of events. It’s my job to rep­re­sent you and only you, so that’s why I’m here non­stop find­ing out what you want and how I can serve you.”


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