40 Year Advocacy
Benito served his community for over 40 years as a volunteer and community leader, family, and youth advocate. The majority of those years have been focused on the youth, seniors, and veterans.
Benito started his political career in the year 2000 when he stepped up to be the voice for hard-working, middle-class families as an executive board member on Valley Vote. Valley residents felt they were not receiving their fair share of services, there was no transparency in local government, and they wanted more and smaller districts to represent each community. When the Democratic Party and the unions threatened the Latino board members to remove themselves or never be endorsed by the party and unions, Benito rejected their threats because, in his opinion, the northeast San Fernando Valley needed a voice at the table, even though Tony Cardenas and Alex Padilla chose the party and unions over its people.
Benito helped create youth sports programs to keep kids out of gangs, training them to compete at the highest levels, which allowed them to compete before D1 and D2 colleges for the opportunity to obtain a scholarship to college.
Benito worked with seniors who lost their spouses and found themselves in financial situations but needed training to return to the workforce. Benito connected our seniors with organizations that would help train and eventually hire them. He also helped veterans by connecting them with organizations that provide the necessary services available to them. Benito has led the fight against politicians and government agencies that wanted to violate religious and parental rights, take away homes, and force toilet-to-tap water into the water wells that serve our communities.
Benito was a leader in police reform in the 1980s. He requested that our officers represent the community they serve, build bridges for the youth with first responders, and create several programs to provide options. He fought to protect youth athletic fields from local and grassroots politicians who care more about developers than the opportunities for our youth. He served on many youth boards, representing their needs and protecting facilities from developers and politicians.
As the elected vice president for SEIU Local 99, Benito led the fight against the leadership to strip them of their power and give it back to the rank and file. Benito exposed the corruption that forced the entire SEIU Local 99 board members to resign and be charged with federal violations, while also forcing an LA City Councilman to resign. Benito has spent the last 40 years identifying, educating, organizing, and mobilizing the citizens of Los Angeles to take back what belongs to them, fight for their rights, and get involved in the political process.