Recognizing he has a tough fight on his hands, Christian Daly wants to represent South Pasadena in Congress.
A young, independent hopeful, the 31-year-old Daly has a desire to win the 27th Congressional seat currently occupied by incumbent Judy Chu, who has been in office since 2009.
Daly launched his campaign after leaving in November as a deputy supervisor for Kathryn Barger, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisor in the 5th District.
“Some have cautioned how difficult going up against an entrenched incumbent can be,” said Daly, whose name will be on the March 3, 2020 primary election ballot. “I knew this would be a fight, but a fight that can be won. It is not impossible as some make it out to be. We are building a growing coalition of liberals, independents, and conservatives as my campaign reaches across the district. The people of the 27th District are ready and looking for a change in leadership and direction and I am the choice they are looking for. I have received thanks from all spectrums for giving them a choice in the coming election. The opportunity is there, data reflects it.”
Prior to working with Barger, Daly served as a District Representative for the California State Assembly (62nd District) and an Administrative Coordinator for Pepperdine University before transitioning to the L.A. County.
Aside from meeting the technical requirements to run for Congress and being a lifelong citizen of the U.S., Daly says it’s his experience, education and heart that qualify him to seek a high office in U.S. government.
“I have worked in the public sector for much of my career,” he said when asked about his qualifications. “I worked as a District representative for the California State Assembly wherein I was a conduit between constituents of the 62nd District and the state. Each day, I made it an objective to meet the residents and let them know about the services and resources that were available to them. I took pleasure in bringing solutions to various problems on behalf of the Assemblyman (current State Senator Steven Bradford) that were presented to me by the constituency. I was able to professionally represent the assemblyman within and outside the District among the diversity therein, both ethnic and economic.”
With Barger, Daly represented the supervisor and the County of Los Angeles in nine diverse communities, including South Pasadena, La Crescenta, La Cañada Flintridge, Altadena, Pasadena, Sierra Madre, San Marino, Alhambra, and San Gabriel.
“I was again a conduit between the constituents and their government and I sought to solve each problem as it came my way,” he said of his role. “I fashioned a new daily goal while working for the county: ‘Let’s change a life for the better,’ noting, “he able to see and hear the effects of policies as well as having a seat at the table as both offices crafted policies for their respective jurisdictions.”
While earning his masters in public policy from Pepperdine, Daly said he was instructed to create effective policies and ultimately solve problems.
“My training within that academic institution has given me unique insight on how to look at a problem from all angles so I can understand the issue and provide a viable solution,” explained Daly. “I was trained to make efficient and conscious decisions based upon unbiased facts and data and to craft policies with said focus.”
In addition, the Congressional candidate has always had a passion to help others “which led me to a career of service,” he explained. “I wanted to be an attorney when I was eight years old so that I could help people and stand up for those that had no one to advocate on their behalf. After experiencing hardships in life, I worked to see how I could help others overcome those hurdles or lift them out of their predicament. In between by undergraduate and graduate degree, I gave back to my community.”
He created College Youth Network, a program designed to help young people and their families learn about higher education and emphasized how to finance the pursuit with as few loans as possible.
Through the organization Operation Makeover, Daly worked with his church, New Hope Church of God in Christ in Duarte, to repair a neighborhood by providing free landscaping efforts for those in need.
During the process, “we were able to see the individual needs of certain households and work to bring them resources,” said Daly. “This passion rolled over into my work with the State, County, and now my congressional run.”
He has also worked in the nonprofit sector in the area of communication and earlier got the “acting bug” at USC and was a member of an improve comedy troupe. “I let my parents know I wanted to spend a year after school to check that off of my bucket list,” he said, as his life has become much more serious.
Daly is the youngest of four siblings – two brothers and two sisters. His father is a Latin American immigrant, a disabled veteran of the U.S. Army, and entrepreneur. His mother, born in Louisiana, is an educator and author. “My parents instilled in me the importance of service as well as standing up to fight for justice,” Daly said.
Southern California has always been his home, growing up in the Altadena/Pasadena community, attending both Eliot Middle School and Blair High School, respectively, in those communities.
“I remember times walking from Blair to Alhambra to visit my sister – a long but enjoyable walk through communities I would work in and one day look to represent in Washington D.C.,” recalls Daly. “I graduated from Covina High School at the age of 16 and decided to attend Pasadena City College, because I didn’t feel ready to go to a university as yet. I’m glad I did, because it helped to save money and propelled me to a successful academic career.”
A solid education is on his side. Daly graduated from Pasadena City College with a degree in journalism, a bachelor of arts in English and creative writing from the University of Southern California with honors and received his masters in public policy from Pepperdine University.
He hopes to pull votes from South Pasadena when residents go to the polls. “I have enjoyed an enjoyable relationship with the City of South Pasadena, from its officials to the business community and residents at large,” he said. “I have a deep admiration for South Pasadena for not only the charm and character of the community, but for the beautiful community that is fostered among its residents. Each time I had the pleasure of working in South Pasadena, I remember smiling faces and passionate residents looking to enhance their community. I would be honored to join them in their efforts of protecting and strengthening the community and families therein.”
Daly says now is the time to put in the work and make a possibility a reality as he goes about his business as a nomine for the 27th Congressional District seat. “People will have a representative that will actually work for them,” he answered. “Being a true independent (NPP), I am looking to work directly for the people and not for a party. As such, the people will have a representative that will legislate and fight for the issues that are important to them and not be dictated to by a party. My platform (the three E’s) and legislative focus is meant to uplift the family (seniors to youth) to a place of opportunity where they can pursue success as they define it. The three E’s are Economics, Education and Equality.”
Daly stressed he’s investing much of his time leading up to the primary getting to know communities within his district during the campaign.
“I am listening to those that I am speaking to, so that I can be effective in Washington D.C. and write legislation that will benefit many in the community,” he said. “People will have a representative that’s experienced hardships as well as the struggles that many identify with today. I have been on the receiving end of corrupt actions within government, which led my father to fight a legal battle that followed me into my adult life. I saw the need for justice for all people and that pursuit of justice led my family to be without a home. I didn’t quite understand it then, but I do now. I am a millennial that is priced out of the American dream of buying a home, especially in a neighborhood that I grew up in. I am constantly reminded about the degrees I have received as student loan payments come due each month. I am reminded of what most people are experiencing, because I am experiencing it myself. People will have a representative that will work to solve these issues that we are facing today, so that future generations won’t have to endure the same problems.”
Come March, Daly hopes to be successful in the primary. “Yes, I can win,” he insists confidently. “In all, my education, experience, and passion for service provides an interwoven qualification that will serve as a benefit for the constituents of the 27th Congressional District.”