Eric Sunada, who lost to incumbent candidate Stephen Sham in the Alhambra City Council race by 369 votes, announced Wednesday his new activitist group, Grassroots Alhambra. The nonprofit organization will work to increase community participation in local government, he said.
"Its mission will be to inform residents and hold accountable elected officials to bring more community participation and transparency to local decision making," Sunada said in an email to Alhambra Source.
Despite his defeat, Sunada will stay involved in local government, he said, focusing on development, green space, the environment, walkability, bicycling, and public infrastructure.
Sunada thanked his supporters for "stepping up" to the challenges facing his campaign, and said he considers his small margin of defeat a victory. "This is a remarkable feat given we were up against an absurd amount of funding from special interests, the combined pooling of resources from the other four council members, the help of an outside attack PAC, a Chinese press that facilitated divisions along racial lines, and the special treatment and access afforded the incumbent," Sunada said.
"We put a lot of people on notice," he continued. "But the way I see it, we're just getting warmed up."
A Grassroots Alhambra introductory meeting is scheduled for Dec. 15 at 7 p.m. at the Alhambra Civic Center Library, 101 S. First St. The inaugural meeting will include a presentation from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Alhambra's groundwater.