By Nathan Guerrero
On August 19, 2019, I had the honor of interviewing La Habra Mayor Jim Gomez. Mayor Gomez was born at Saint Jude hospital in Fullerton, though the Gomez family originated from Jalostotitlán, Jalisco, Mexico. The history of the Gomez family is extremely interesting, Mayor Gomez’s grandfather walked from Mexico to California, and later ended up working for Fender Guitars. Tadeo Gomez (Jim Gomez’s grandfather) did the woodwork for Fender Guitars, and to this day the guitars he worked on could sell for up to $100,000. Mayor Gomez says that his grandfather is someone that he thinks of very highly.
Before becoming mayor he worked at his grandfather’s grocery store, and later worked in the catalog department at Sears. He also managed a Rite Aid drug store, and had his own radio talk show. Other jobs include working for a Korean church and tutorial lessons for a company called tvlesson.com. He says that he has done over 3,000 interviews with different people. Having just completed his 16th year on La Habra city council and his 4th year as Mayor.
Originally he did not have plans in politics, though before any of this happened there was a shooting in his neighborhood leaving one dead. This urged him to join the neighborhood watch program, the police chief and council recognized his work and promoted him to community service commission. After three years of working on the community service commission, a lady on the council retired and she (along with the rest of the council) supported him and he got elected to council in 2002. The major change was privacy he says “You have people digging into your business, where you’re going, where you’re at, who you’re with. The element of privacy is almost completely gone”.
He has one child and for the past 10 years he has been doing side work for a man in Korea town with property management. On his free time he and his Friend/Community events coordinator Marie enjoy going to see shows at the Pantages in Los Angeles.