Bakersfield College student running for Arvin City Council

Bakersfield College student running for Arvin City Council »Play Video
ARVIN, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — Between now and election day on Nov. 6, Jose Gurrola plans on going door-to-door, shaking hands and getting face time with the people of Arvin.

"My name is Jose Gurrola, and I'm one of the candidates running for City Council," the 19-year-old tells a man standing in a doorway.

The Bakersfield College student says he decided to run for Arvin City Council for several reasons. He loves the city where he was born and raised, and he wants to give back to his community, he says.

He's also dissatisfied, he says, by what he's seen at City Council meetings.

"I can tell that they're divided, but we need to work together," says Gurrola.

He wants to focus on uniting the City Council to tackle the city's serious problems, he says - problems such as the city's budget, increasing more recreational services for residents, as well as more educational options, such as a satellite college campus, says Gurrola.

He admits he's probably the underdog in a crowded field of six candidates who are running for just one open seat on the City Council. But that hardly stops him from campaigning, and his bilingual skills come in handy in a city like Arvin.

As he meets and greets people while walking, he listens to what they have to say about the city. One man, Jose Prado, mentions he would like to have police respond quicker to calls. His wife adds that city leaders "never take people like us into account."

Gurrola is the oldest of three children. His parents, Jose senior and Olivia Gurrola are immigrants from Mexico. His mother is a nurse, and his father is a production supervisor with Crystal Geyser Water.