Meet and greet
Schwarzenegger has spent the last week visiting several California communities to talk about his vision for moving the state forward, according to his spokeswoman, Julie Soderlund. He recently visited with officials in Eureka, Redding, Modesto and Fresno before making his way to the Los Angeles area. “He’s talking to real people about real issues,” Soderlund said. “The governor’s goal is to talk directly about his vision and hear back from them about what they want to see happen in Sacramento.” Earlier this month, the governor “reluctantly” agreed with President Bush’s request to send California National Guard troops to the Mexican border to help federal agents. He supports reducing illegal immigration, but not using the Guard to do it. Making his final stop at Mario Jimenez’s taco shop, the Austria-born Schwarzenegger spoke of his connection to an immigrant-rooted population. “You have made unbelievable contributions to America and to the state of California, and there is no one who can relate to you more than I do,” he said. The governor also highlighted his plans toward improving the state’s education and public safety systems, as well as incorporating more after-school programs for California youth. In a largely Democratic city like Pico Rivera, Schwarzenegger’s message may ring favorably with residents, said Luisa Acosta-Franco. “At the end of the day, we all want the same things for out kids and family – a sound economic state, safety in our community and to be economically viable,” the 39-year-old Whittier resident said. “The more he does this, the more chances he has to get people’s support.” firstname.lastname@example.org (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3024160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You're all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2Schwarzenegger spent a little more than an hour courting several small-business owners. He visited a barber shop, flower shop and another Mexican food venue, telling merchants they are the “backbone of the economy.” “You are helping to keep the California dream alive,” he said “\ are all here to make their dream become a reality.” Along the way, Schwarzenegger was met with plenty of fanfare from motorists and pedestrians who joined the caravan that followed close behind him. Irene Spathes was among those who stood along the sidelines. A “dedicated Democrat,” Spathes said she delayed her manicure appointment to see Schwarzenegger, saying she was impressed by his gesture of visiting Pico Rivera. “He should go out in to the community and see the little people that made him who he is today,” added the 54-year-old West Covina resident. “In politics or on the big screen, we’re the ones who keep him there.” PICO RIVERA – It’s a long way to go from Sacramento for some Mexican food, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger stopped by Mario’s Tacos on Saturday for some local flavor. The Republican governor, running for re-election in November, didn’t order any food, however. Instead he told the restaurant full of visitors – mostly Latinos – that he wanted to meet their community. “I’m not here to look for votes,” Schwarzenegger said. “I am here to show you my support. I’m here to tell you personally that I care about you.” The politician’s visit to Pico Rivera – a largely Democratic city – is his first ever, according to Mayor Pete Ramirez, who toured a stretch of Whittier Boulevard with the actor-turned-governor.