By Becky Oskin on December 16, 2020
"In an election year with record turnout among young voters, 22-year-old Hipolito Angelito Cerros took civic engagement a step beyond most of his peers. Cerros, a science and technology studies (STS) major at UC Davis, won a seat on the city council in his hometown of Lindsay, in California’s Central Valley.
'I couldn’t sit idly by and watch events unfold around me,' Cerros said. 'I wanted to make an impact.'
Ready to serve
Cerros and his fellow council members will face daunting challenges. Lindsay, a town of about 13,500, has teetered on bankruptcy for years due to loans for major projects and misuse of funds. City infrastructure is also in dire need of improvement, including major roadwork, water and sewer projects.
These issues drove Cerros’s desire to run for council. “This may sound a little harsh, but as much as I appreciate and respect the work that has been done, I was promised a future that didn’t happen,” he said. “The previous stakeholders in our community made decisions that were only a benefit to a handful. Corruption is evident everywhere, our streets are not the best and our downtown is abandoned,” he said. “It’s sad to see, but I’m excited now to have a seat at the table. This city has so much potential.”
Cerros said his classes and internships in STS have prepared him for local politics. In fall 2020, while learning remotely from home, Cerros researched gentrification in the Central Valley and its impact on communities. The project, led by Assistant Professor Lindsay Poirier, focuses on housing rate increases spurred by people moving from the Bay Area to the Sacramento region during the COVID-19 pandemic."