LANCASTER — Vice Mayor Marvin Crist is running for re-election in Tuesday’s mail-in municipal election to continue to build on the progress the city has made since it was first elected in April 2010.
Two full-term seats are up for grabs, those held by incumbents Crist and Councilor Raj Malhi. Crist and Malhi have seven challengers: Kevin Baikie, Ayinde Frazier, Leslie Underwood, Shawn Cannon II, King Moore II and Fran Sereseres.
As the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, Crist hopes voters won’t come after him and Malhi for following public health orders from Los Angeles County and the California Department of Public Health regarding mask and vaccine mandates.
“I hope the community realizes that we’re like them – we have to follow the rules and not necessarily make them,” Crist said.
Crist has many roles as a member of the city council in addition to vice mayor.
He is Chairman of the Board of the Antelope Valley Transit Authority. AVTA recently celebrated becoming the first all-electric transportation agency in North America. AVTA has done this while allowing seniors, students, veterans, and people with disabilities to ride for free while being the nation’s only cost-effective transit agency.
“When you allow your seniors, disabled, students and veterans to travel for free and you’re still profitable, we’re doing something right,” Crist said, when asked to name one of his accomplishments including he is the proudest.
Crist also cited the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds. The city, working with community partners such as Kaiser Permanente Antelope Valley and High Desert Medical Group, turned it into a mass vaccination clinic site.
“There are so many things in the city right now that are going right,” Crist said.
The city of Lancaster is also doing well financially; he has $72 million more than he should have in reserve.
“There’s a lot of money, which tells me we’re doing it right,” Crist said. “We have done a lot of things. We fed a lot of people. We did a lot of COVID related issues.
Crist led the city’s efforts to protect jobs and small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 shutdown.
In terms of public safety, Lancaster spent approximately $1.5 million to assist with the June 2021 multi-agency law enforcement operation to clean up numerous illegal marijuana grow sites operated by cartels in Lake Los Angeles.
The city works with Antelope Valley Healthcare District on the Lancaster Health District, also known as Medical Main Street.
The proposed mixed-use development includes medical and general offices, retail and commercial, housing and hotel/conference space. The project would be part of an overall master plan that would also allow for the construction of a new Antelope Valley Medical Center.
“We’re working on putting a VA component to it,” Crist said of the AV Medical Center project.