Benito Benny Bernal’s life journey commenced as the youngest of 10 children, with 7 siblings born in Michoacan, Mexico, while Benny and his two older brothers were born in Los Angeles. Benny lived in the Pacoima Projects and eventually settled in Arleta with his family. During his early years, Benny and his siblings contributed to the family income by picking cucumbers in Stockton, Lodi, and Modesto during the summers. Additionally, before school, they engaged in collecting cardboard from dumpsters behind storefronts to be recycled.
As a young man, Benny attended Mary Immaculate Church where he and other youth from his community played baseball against local churches. Benny went on to be youth pastor with Shepherd Praise Chaple and continues to attend Shepherd of the Hills Church.
Benny’s work ethic was instilled from a young age, at 14 Benny worked at the Valley Green Sheet and had a paper route delivering newspaper. These experiences shaped his understanding of the values of hard work and responsibility, exemplified by his parents. Benny attended Sharp Elementary, and began his journey in leadership by serving as Class President at Pacoima Middle School and San Fernando High School.
Subsequently, Benny worked at Gemco in Arleta while concurrently dedicating himself to community service. Recognizing the importance of providing alternatives for the youth to keep them from joining gangs, he focused on teaching sports and helped to create youth programs, ultimately paving the way for underprivileged youth to secure scholarships for higher education.
With the opening of Arleta High School in 2006, Benny coached baseball with his nephew and several childhood friends. Benny also coached softball at Valley Academy of Arts and Science High School.
Benny dedicated 29 years of service to the Los Angeles Unified School District, initially serving as a School Bus Driver and advancing to the role of Supervisor. Regrettably, he faced an early retirement due to the COVID mandate, a decision rooted in his commitment to uphold his religious beliefs.
In the year 2000, Benny joined the Executive Board of Valley Vote as a representative for the NESFV and Union families. His motivation stemmed from the community’s sentiment that they were not receiving their fair share of city services. Notably, Benny displayed an unwavering commitment to the community, standing firm in the face of threats from the Democratic Party and the Unions regarding potential withdrawal of support or endorsements if he did not recuse himself from the board. In this crucial decision, Benny prioritized the interests of the community over partisan or union pressures.
In 2006, after exposing corruption within the union leadership, Benny was elected by the rank and file as the Vice President for SEIU Local 99 serving as a VOICE for the working class while stripping the power from the leadership and giving it back to the members.
Benito continues his journey challenging local politicians in School Board, City Council, and Congressional seats to expose their hidden agenda that many witness and live every day.