Sunday column preview

I had a farewell lunch with Norma Torres, the assemblywoman-elect and outgoing mayor of Pomona, on Wednesday. When we set it up, I wasn’t sure if I would actually interview her or just talk with her privately to pry loose the inside scoop on City Hall. For better or worse, by the time I pulled off the freeway in Pomona I decided to interview her. (City Hall: “Whew.”)

You can read the results Sunday. We talked about all sorts of topics, including Barack Obama, whom she met twice in early 2007, introduced by a campaign consultant. “We couldn’t get anybody to talk to him. It was all about Hillary,” Torres said. And about the Assembly, where as a Democrat she is pleased to be in the majority, while lamenting the rigid party structure that makes reaching out to the other party difficult. And about her time as mayor, where she admits she didn’t accomplish all that much, in part because she didn’t have much support on the City Council, even after replacing two members with Torres-friendly newcomers.

But space didn’t permit me to go into any of that. In fact, her tenure as mayor gets only two sentences! (Torres: “Whew.”) Rather than rehash her time in Pomona in superficial fashion, I opted to focus on aspects of her personal story, the most compelling thing in my notes and of the most interest to a general audience.

People in Pomona have their minds made up on her, anyway. I did, however, give her a letter grade. Feel free to leave your own grade below. But be nice.

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