BELL CITY ELECTED OFFICIALS
Bell City Mayor
Bell City Vice-Mayor
-Fidencio Joel Gallardo
For over 20 years, Fidencio Joel Gallardo has guided and inspired high school students to become civic leaders. In 2015, Fidencio offered the best possible lesson to his students by conducting a political campaign and winning a seat on the Bell City Council.
Like many Bell residents, Fidencio was galvanized into action by the 2010 scandal. Joining BASTA (Bell Association to Stop the Abuse), he took part in all the hard work of the recall election and helped to usher in a new city council determined to rebuild a devastated city.
However, long before the scandal, this high school teacher of 26 years noticed that something was not right in Bell. Back in 2000, Fidencio was disturbed by the many empty lots and decaying businesses in the city. He started going to council meetings and asking questions about the city’s problems, while expressing an interest to run for office. The response from public officials at the time was swift and menacing. Fidencio was threatened and intimated by those that have since been convicted and jailed for the 2010 scandal. In hindsight, this all makes sense, but at that time, it was truly shocking for a young resident wanting to help his community.
Today, Fidencio has the opportunity to accomplish what he set out to do 15 years ago. One of his top priorities is economic development. “I want residents of neighboring cities to come to Bell often to eat at our cool restaurants and shop in our stores. I want to revitalize our image by developing downtown Bell. I want people passing through Bell on their way to work or school to smile as they witness Bell’s renaissance and to stop because they want to be a part of the big changes.”
A lifelong resident of the Southeast and a graduate of Bell High School and USC, Fidencio knows how difficult it will be to revitalize the city and create a new and positive image for Bell, but he is ready and eager to tackle this huge challenge.
-Ana Maria Quintana
Bell City Council Member
Ana Maria Quintana is a proud product of the Southeast community. She attended local public schools including Elizabeth Street Elementary School, Nimitz Junior High and Bell Senior High School before going on to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree at Yale University, a Master’s Degree from the Universidad de Navarra in Pamplona, Spain, and legal studies from Columbia Law School.
As the daughter of Mexican immigrants from Durango, Ana Maria values her parents’ lifelong commitment to provide her family with a better life. Although her father has since passed, it is a direct result of both her parents’ tireless sacrifice that she has learned to give nothing less than her personal best.
Ana Maria’s professional experience working with families has shaped her understanding of her community’s needs. As a union organizer with the United Farm Workers (UFW), AFL-CIO and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) she understands the importance of providing just wages for their labor. By working in education with LAUSD’s Parent Community Services Branchand as a substitute teacher at both Bell High School and Southeast High School, she recognizes the critical role both parents and teachers play in a student’s future success.
After graduating from law school, Ana Maria participated in a litigation fellowship with the American Board of Trial Advocates. She then focused on real estate brokerage and development, having served as Legal Counsel and Director of Development for Maya Cinemas North America, Inc. Her specialization in development and acquisition has helped in reviewing and negotiating cost-effective contracts for the City of Bell.
Ana Maria opted to run for Bell City Council in 2010 to reform and bring transparency to Bell City Hall with the ultimate goal of creating good government. With the aid of friends, family and the Bell community, she was successfully elected to office in 2011. She was re-elected to the Council in 2013 for a four-year term.
Since then, Ana Maria has set out to make a difference in her community by using both her technical skills and professional experience to examine the City’s public service contracts and help address the pending litigation the City currently faces.
During her term she has been an ardent advocate for education by organizing community meetings on Charter Reform and Immigration. She has led efforts to save Adult Education in the Southeast and has promoted transparent government by hosting live City Council meetings on her website. She has proposed the creation of citizens’ committees for the I-710 project and review of the City Charter. Lastly, she is currently encouraging civic engagement amongst Bell youth and community by bringing the Girl Scouts and other civic organizations like the Rotary Club and Kiwanis Club to the City of Bell.
Vice Mayor Quintana is Vice-Chair for the League of Cities’ Employee Relations Policy Committee and is a member of the I-710 Project Committee, Southern CA Edison Government Advisory Board, Council of Gateway Cities and Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG). She is also a member of NALEO and serves as Treasurer of the Yale Latino Alumni Association.
Bell City Council Member
Bell City Council Member
It is no surprise to those that know Ali Saleh that he opted to run for public office in the City of Bell. Not only was he born in Bell, but he attended local schools and is a proud Eagle and graduate from Bell High School. Saleh grew up playing sports in the local parks and would often be found playing baseball and football along Brompton Avenue with neighborhood kids. Today, Saleh shares his love for sports with his sons; they are regulars at the school’s football and basketball games.
The Southeast is also where he learned his strong business sense. In the 70s his parents immigrated from Southern Lebanon to the United States chasing the American Dream and they settled in Bell, raised 3 sons and started a successful business. After high school, Saleh followed in his father’s footsteps and dedicated himself to growing the family business.
Today, Saleh and his brothers co-manage a successful wholesale and retail clothing business that includes a chain of apparel stores throughout the southeast area.
It is his professional business perspective that Councilmember Saleh draws from in his elected role when reviewing Budgets and Municipal Services. Yet, it is his love of family and his commitment to his community that fuels his passion for public service. He believes that authentic good government changes—not only include ethical reforms—but laws that protect working families from unfair fee hikes in water, utility, property taxes and sewage rates. He also strongly believes in creating incentives for local businesses to spurn economic development.
Councilmember Saleh continues to call Bell his home. “In Bell, it doesn’t matter if your roots are from Tennessee, Lebanon, or Mexico, it doesn’t matter if you’re Christian or Muslim,” states Saleh. “Bell is a place where hardworking people of all walks of life live together. Where our differences give us sabor, but our similarities give us strength. These are the types of values I grew up around and want my children to grow up around, which is why I am proud to continue to make Bell my home.”
Councilmember Saleh is also an active member of his local mosque, a proud father of three sons and a daughter, a founding member of the community group BASTA (Bell Association to Stop the Abuse), and has been recognized as Democrat of the Year.