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What it do with Lue

Rialto Mayor Deborah Robertson Runs for Second Term

As Deborah Robertson moves from table to table greeting folks at Mary Stewart’s Southern Soul Food, the Mayor of Rialto looks as comfortable as if she was in her own kitchen.  

In a way, she is. Mayor Robertson has called Rialto home for nearly 30 years and has served in its local government for 16 years, including three terms as a councilwoman and one as Mayor.

As she campaigns for re-election – Election Day is Nov. 8 – Mayor Robertson’s reason for wanting a second term is simple. “I’m not done.”

“I feel the role of the Mayor is a calling, not just a title,” said Mayor Robertson, who is running against current councilmember Ed Palmer. “We keep it real in Rialto. Our foundation is in a common belief of community. We’re middle class, salt of the earth people.”

In her first term, Mayor Robertson accomplished much of what she wanted. Her focus was on keeping Rialto financially sound, moving forward on commercial and business development, generating jobs in Rialto and enhancing open space for healthy recreational usage.

“The community as a whole is concerned about safety and lowering crime in the city,” said Mayor Robertson. Cutting down on crime was also a major focus in her first term as Mayor. 

“I am very proud of the part the city’s police force played in response to the terrorist attack nine months ago in San Bernardino,” said Mayor Robertson.  Rialto’s SWAT Team was one of the first responders in support of San Bernardino’s units.

During her time as Mayor, Rialto was also one of the first cities to have its police force wear body cameras. “As the result of a research project, the Rialto police agreed to wear the cameras for one year,” said Mayor Robertson. The results were positive and Rialto decided to keep the cameras. Robertson said it gave citizens a new perspective into law enforcement.

“It gave us empirical data, not just anecdotal,” Mayor Robertson said. “The number of complaints from citizens went down drastically. It brought about a different level of respect for the police.”

Statistically, both violent crime and property crime have gone down in each year of Robertson’s first term as Mayor. 

In 2014, Rialto dropped below the national average in violent crime rate for the first time in 12 years, according to City-Data.com. Mayor Robertson is also one of four Mayors in San Bernardino County that have been very vocal about the illegal gun problem.

For more information about Mayor Deborah Robertson go to www.DeborahRobertson.org

About Rialto Mayor Deborah Robertson

Deborah Robertson was elected Mayor of Rialto in November 2012 – the latest achievement in a distinguished public service career that has included 12 years on the Rialto City Council, leadership positions at the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), the San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG), and more than 20 years with the California Department of Transportation.

Under Mayor Robertson’s leadership, Rialto has gained regional and national recognition for innovation in the areas of public-private partnerships, business development and job creation. The City’s refinancing and restructuring of its water and wastewater operations has become a model for other communities in California, pumping millions of dollars into the local economy.

A leading voice on regional and national infrastructure issues, Mayor Robertson chairs the Public Health Subcommittee for SCAG’s 2016 Regional Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy, is a member of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Water Council and Metro Economies, and member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

She is a founding board member for the NFL/AFL Youth Life Skills Camp, has hosted the annual State of Women event in Rialto for the past seven years, and was recognized by Assembly Member Cheryl Brown as 47th District Woman of the Year.

Mayor Robertson retired from Caltrans in 2012, most recently serving as Deputy District Director of External Affairs. A native Californian, she holds an undergraduate degree in Urban Planning from the University of California, San Diego, a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the City University of New York Bernard Baruch College and is a National Urban Fellows recipient. She is also a scholarship recipient and past participant of the Southern California Leadership Network.

Mayor Robertson was instrumental in developing Rialto’s Transportation Commission and coordinated a transportation summit for the region.  Her wielding influence and determination have helped bring new businesses and housing to the City of Rialto.

With all that she has done Mayor Robertson still has the time for family, two children and six grandchildren, that are the joy of her life.


Lou Coleman

Lou Coleman

By Lou Coleman

“Many times we talk about being hurt and broken, and we believe the saying that time heals all wounds, we believe that a few comforting words, a little sympathy will make everything alright, and we don’t understand when people don’t seem to bounce back from something the way we think they should or as soon as we think they should. We believe that time should have healed their hurt by now, but what we fail to understand is that there is a difference between being hurt and being broken. And since we don’t understand that, we cast judgment on them and say things like they just need to get over it; let it go;…..Hmm… I’m going to be direct and even a bit cynical at points. But I really want to get my point across.

Children are growing up in a society that has pushed them aside, cast them off, and rejected them as normal, acceptable, and viable members of the social order, they have even classified them as being called “Generation Z and Generation Alpha” the unknown. They are becoming adults that have no direction in their lives, wondering aimlessly, bound, confused, and perplexed. Some have been mentally, physically, and sexually abused. Feeling rejected, dejected, and alone, they are hopelessly waiting to die, imagining that everything will be over if what they have experienced to be life would just cease from being.

Many people in society are being incarcerated mentally, physically, and spiritually. Although free from the human judicial system, are regretfully imprisoned in a far crueler and ultimately eternal prison. They are sentenced with a life sentence of emotional emasculation, depression, anxiety, low/no self esteem, and phobia’s; some are on the habitual death row of deadly narcotics, alcohol, and careless, unsafe, and uninhibited sexual activity. Others have been placed in a solitary confinement of physical pain, discomfort, and disease. They are being held captive behind these seemingly impenetrable bars and inescapable walls, being made to believe that this is all there is to life. Mentally messed up, emotionally emasculated, and spiritually lost, they are aimlessly wandering through life busted, disgusted, and broken.

Their lives are shattered, their dreams are non-existent, their hope is gone, they are being battered by the angry sea of sin, tossed to and fro, bouncing from relationship to relationship, being drug down through the gutters of degradation. Their self respect has been broken, their esteem has been broken, their reputation has been broken, and their innocence has been broken. They are disappointedly unable to see that God has a far more excellent and abundant life. They are struggling trying to break free unable to come into the freedom that is promised to them. They are unable to understand that the price of their freedom has already been paid. And people who try to encourage those who are hurting can’t seem to say the right thing. So how do you begin to heal? How can the hole in your heart that is gaping open begin to close?

First and foremost, understand that it’s okay to hurt. Secondly, realize that each new day of your life is a gift from God that He wants you to live fully. But know that if the pain you’ve suffered in your past is still impacting your life now, you can’t fully embrace the new life God offers you because you’re stuck in a frustrating cycle of brokenness that leaves you feeling hopeless. So just like you tell a doctor your symptoms, tell God how much you were wounded and need His healing touch. He will hear the cries of the broken. [Psalms 56:8], tells us that God was so aware of David that He even collected his tears. Ask God to break the hold that your past has over you and show you what useful lessons you can learn from it so you can begin moving forward. I tell you, God is much more powerful than your history, and when you trust Him, God will start to transform your pain into healing and wisdom in your life.

Lots of people are hurting in our world, including God-fearing, Bible-believing, Jesus-loving Christians. I hope you are not hurting right now, but if you are, be encouraged. God wants to give you His fellowship, His forgiveness, and a fresh start in life….Broken but I’m Healed” [Byron Cage Lyrics]

From Homelessness to Hairstylist — Early Struggles Spur Beautician to Success

img_45536By Avis Thomas-Lester, Urban News Service

Evalyn “Evie” Johnson has traveled the world to share the hair care techniques she’s honed over 20 years as a stylist. 

She’s taught natural hair styling in Los Angeles and hair-loss prevention in Australia. She’ll be featured in New Zealand next month at the International Association of Trichologists’ Hairdressing Conference. 

“I do a lot of speaking engagements, so I travel a lot,” said Johnson, 38, of Bowie, Maryland.

It is ironic that travel plays such a significant role in Johnson’s life now as a celebrated stylist and co-owner of the E&E Hair Studio in Mitchellville, Maryland. She and her family were once so poor that her parents, Julius and Elizabeth Peterson, couldn’t afford to send Johnson or her 11 siblings on field trips around Washington, D.C. 

“We were homeless,” Johnson said. “We slept in cars sometimes. We ate syrup sandwiches and mayonnaise sandwiches. We lived where there was no power…I knew there was so much money out there, but we couldn’t get any of it. I didn’t understand.”

Johnson attributes the family’s poverty largely to her father’s heroin abuse, which led to his incarceration at D.C.’s prison in Lorton, Virginia. In his absence, the Johnsons lived on public assistance, she said.

When she reached adolescence, little Evie rebelled. At 13, she got pregnant by her boyfriend, Antonio Reed, Jr., then 15. They both lived at the city’s homeless shelter at 14th and Park Street, NW.img_45516

Her mother dispatched her to Lorton to inform her father, the only time she visited him behind bars. Julius Peterson made her promise not to get pregnant again until marriage. In return, he promised to kick heroin.

When her son, Antonio Reed, III, was 2 months old, he became ill with Kawasaki disease, which causes inflammation of blood-vessel walls. He spent seven months at D.C. General Hospital.

Each day, Johnson attended school, then took Metro or two buses to the medical facility, where she studied and nurtured her baby.

“It was important for me to do well for him,” Johnson said. “I didn’t want him to think that his mother wasn’t smart.”

The Washington Post highlighted Johnson in 1994 for graduating with a 4.0 GPA from then-Kelly Miller Junior High School. She was 15. 

“I was on Cloud Nine,” Johnson said. “I was accomplishing things…It was a matter of proving – against the odds and what people said – that I could accomplish everything that I was supposed to accomplish.”

Johnson had dreamed of becoming a stylist since she was very young. She braided her sisters’ hair, kept her brothers shaped up, and styled her mother, relatives and friends.

After beauty school, Johnson worked at area salons before she and Earlisa Larry, who met as stylists at a J.C. Penney salon, opened E&E Hair Solutions in Largo in 2006. They moved a few blocks to the current salon earlier this year.

Johnson specializes in natural styles, hair bleaching and hair loss reversal.  She co-founded Stuart Edmondson Hair Loss and Restoration, which makes products to improve thinning hair.

Johnson also is a master stylist for Mizani, a L’Oréal hair products company, and works as a platform stylist at hair shows. She has coiffed such entertainment notables as Tasha Smith, Ari Nicole Parker, and Trey Songz. She has styled artists for the Grammy and BET awards.

Johnson was scheduled to be a featured stylist at the Washington/Baltimore Area Beauty Expo on Sept. 26 at the Martin’s Crosswinds banquet center in Greenbelt. The program was emceed by Johnny Wright, First Lady Michelle Obama’s hair stylist. 

“I love Evie!” said Wright, who toured several cities and educated stylists with Johnson as the “Dynamic Duo.” 

“She is a premiere educator and very talented at her craft,” Wright said.

Clients also sing Johnson’s praises.

“If I had enough time, I’d come twice a week,” said Shaina Taylor, 41, of Upper Marlboro, admiring her “wheat blonde” faux hawk moments after Johnson styled her hair recently. “I get tired of people stopping me talking about my hair.”

Johnson and her husband, Joe, a transportation project manager, have four children in their blended family: Taquan, 24, a writer and actor; Antonio, who recently graduated from the University of Pennsylvania; Taleya, 17, a high school senior who answered phones at the salon one recent afternoon; and Jordan, 15, an accomplished basketball player. 

Johnson said memories of the hard times keep her moving forward.

“I’m excelling, but I’m still growing,” she said.