My good friend and my congressman, Representative Xavier Becerra, was named last month by Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi to the senior leadership position of Assistant to the Speaker. Already an influential member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee that guides tax policy, Rep. Becerra will now be the highest-ranking member of the house from Los Angeles and the sole Latino member of Speaker-elect Pelosi's leadership team. I am very proud of Xavier and this can only be good news for the 13th Council District (a majority of which is represented by Rep. Becerra) and for Los Angeles. Combined with a California speaker, Los Angeles is in a much better position to lobby for our fair share of Washington dollars than we have been in decades. I feel very well represented by Xavier and his great staff. We work very closely with his district office, which has successfully helped bring federal dollars to supplement projects in the 13th Council District, from the renovations of the Echo Park boathouse, our new street lights in Elysian Valley (the first phase of which are nearly finished), and the streetscape improvements along Temple St. in Historic Filipinotown. Congratulations, Xavier, and here's to a great 2007 for Los Angeles in Washington DC!