Get to Know: David Luna

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We’ll talk to David Luna, District 5 Councilmember for Mesa. Luna is the first Latino to be elected to the Mesa City Council.

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Jose Cardenas: David Luna became the first Hispanic elected to the Mesa city council when voters elected him in August of 2014. He was appointed to fill the vacant district 5 seat in September of 2013. Here with me now is Mesa council member for district 5, David Luna. David, welcome back to Horizonte. You've been a guest before. Congratulations on your victory.

David Luna: Thank you.

Jose Cardenas: And it was a big victory, all the more significant not only because you are the first Hispanic, but the district you represent is only 11% Hispanic.

David Luna: That, so I was able to convince a majorities of the people living in that district that I was the right candidate for that position, so I am very appreciative they decided to vote for me.

Jose Cardenas: There was a margin of victory about 20%, and from what I understand of the news, it was very much a gentleman's race. You said nice things about your opponent.

David Luna: He was a great guy, and we met several times to talk about the issues relative to our district, and it was a cordial race, and we were, you know, I was able to be successful.

Jose Cardenas: Now, I think given some of the more recent issues in Mesa, people would be surprised to hear about a cordial race involving a Hispanic and what are the issues, though, that are facing the city and why do you think that people came out in such strong numbers to vote for you?

David Luna: I think people came in strong numbers to vote for me because they knew of my record and my past history. I've been very involved in the Mesa community for many, many years. I've been involved in many nonprofits. I was named the citizen of the year in 2012. I had a lot of community experience. I am well acquainted with many members of the community, so they understood my community service, and I think that they favored that. They felt well, he's the right person, plus my educational credentials, I think, helped to get me to that level, so I am very I was very fortunate to be able to get where I was at, in terms of the voting.

Jose Cardenas: And we also have a new Mayor.

David Luna: Yes.

Jose Cardenas: And John Giles replacing scot Smith.

David Luna: Yes.

Jose Cardenas: And a new initiative, tell us about that.

David Luna: The one Mesa initiative is from the human relations advisory board to promote diversity within the city of Mesa. As you know, they conducted the human relations board conducted a survey and determined through the Morrison institute from Arizona state University, determined there was some level of individuals that did not feel part of the community. So, this is an effort to try to bring diversity, to bring the entire community together. So that we are a city that is welcoming to any member that wants to come and reside and work within the community. So, I am very excited about the Mayor's office initiative to try to get that and to move that forward.

Jose Cardenas: That's an initiative to reach out to Hispanics within Mesa. But, as I understand it, you are, also, spearheading some efforts to reach out to Arizona's largest trading partner.

David Luna: Absolutely, absolutely. I've been working with the VENA initiative through the Maricopa association of Governments, and in fact, I went to talk about trading commerce between them and the city of Mesa. Phoenix and Tucson have a center located in Mexico City, so I felt incumbent that we need to look at Mexico as a potential trading partner. Certainly in the area where I live, in falcon field area, something that I am very interested in trying to advance and to move forward, so I am very excited about that. We had some wonderful conversations when we went there, and in fact, next week I am going to be hosting the consulate from Mexico to come into Mesa and let them know that we are a welcoming community. We want to work with Mexico. We want to continue to spur economic development and commerce and trade.

Jose Cardenas: One of the issues you got to deal with is finding a new police chief. The Governor appointed yours.

David Luna: Yes.

Jose Cardenas: What's involved there and what are you looking for in terms of the chief law enforcement there?

David Luna: Certainly we want someone that is sensitive to the needs of the community. We lost Frank Milstad, and we have John Mesa who will serve as the interim, and certainly we want to continue to promote the city of Mesa and let the incoming police know that we want somebody that represents the entire community and can work well and can understand the sensitivity of the needs of the entire community.

Jose Cardenas: Councilman, again, congratulations on this and thank you for joining us.

David Luna: It's a pleasure being here.

David Luna: Thank you very much.

David Luna:District 5 Councilmember, Mesa;

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