Press Release | Huntington Park Council Member Jhonny Pineda Appoints Undocumented Community Leaders to City Commissions

HUNTINGTON PARK, CA (August 3, 2015) - Today, Huntington Park Council Member Jhonny Pineda appointed Mr. Julian Zatarain to the Parks and Recreation Commission and Mr. Francisco Medina to the Health & Education Commission. Zatarain and Medina both are undocumented Huntington Park residents that did not meet the requirements of President Barack Obama’s Executive Order of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Regardless of this fact, per City Ordinance No. 939-NS, Zatarain and Medina are eligible to serve on the city commissions as long as it is solely volunteer work and both individuals do not receive financial benefits from the city.

“I am proud to appoint both Julian and Francisco to the Parks and Recreation Commission and Health and Education Commission, respectively, “said Pineda. “Huntington Park is a city of opportunity and a city of hope for all individuals regardless of socioeconomic status, race, creed, or in this case, citizenship. Both these gentlemen have accomplished a great deal for the city. For that, on behalf of the city council, mayor, and our city, I want to say thank you to them both and I am confident they will do an excellent job on their commission posts.”

Julian Zatarain arrived to the United States on September of 2007. After living two years in South Central, Los Angeles, Zatarain’s family decided to move to Huntington Park. He attended Huntington Park High School where he accomplished many things for his high school and the community. Zatarain acted as campus representative for ESL (English as Second Language) students. He also created the “Wise Up Club” that helps ESL Students find college preparation resources. Zatarain organized immigration workshops, created the Huntington Park Red Cross Club to make sure the community is ready in case of any emergency, and as as president of Red Cross, organized multiple blood drives. He was able to graduate as ASB President with the highest GPA in his class, despite English being his first language. He currently attends Santa Monica college and wants to attend law school in the future.

Francisco Medina has been working in the public sector and dedicating himself to help and improve the lives of those who are the most marginalized in our society. Medina graduated from California State University Dominguez Hill (CSUDH) with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Chicana/Chicano Studies. He was an intern in the office of then Assembly Member Gil Cedillo specifically assisting students from the community by helping provide them with information regarding college admissions requirements, financial aid opportunities, and the different university systems. Medina also occasionally organizes immigration forums free of charge that help working class communities.

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