CHULA VISTA, Calif. — A South Bay leader is heading to Sacramento to bring forth legislation that repeals cruising bans.
State Assemblyman David Alvarez will be accompanied to Northern California by members of local lowrider clubs.
“I’ve been involved with cruising down Highland Avenue since I was 14 years old. My first car was a 1964 Chevy Impala,” said Jovita Arellano, the president of the United Lowrider Coalition.
Arellano has known a life of low riders and cruising for decades.
“I was also a part of the girls’ car club, called the ‘Specials.’ We went out there every single Sunday night and cruised with everybody else,” Arellano said.
Since 1992, California has allowed cities to ban cruising and drop vehicle suspensions. Arellano said at that time lowrider cruises attracted crime and violence. However, Arellano said she felt the bans showed bias.
“It’s an injustice, it’s a racial discrimination against the Black and Brown communities. We were Latinos, it’s like ‘why aren’t you stopping a regular car going up and down? Why are you targeting the lowriders? Why are you targeting us?’” Arellano said.
“I think the time has come the times have changed,” said Assemblymember David Alvarez.
Alvarez wants to encourage communities to do away with the bans.
Assembly Concurrent Resolution 176 passed in the state assembly in 2022, which showed support for removing the bans.
“I think it’s appropriate now that we make sure that people can freely, and normally go about their lives enjoying these old cars,” Alvarez said. “Without any possibility of being involved in illegal activity as it currently states.”
Arellano and Alvarez will go to Sacramento on Monday to introduce the “Alvarez Bill.”
The bill looks to repeal sections of California Vehicle Code 21100 that allow cities to ban cruising and low vehicle modification seen for many classic cars.
“The city is ready. San Diego County is ready. Low rider community is ready and waiting. It’s history, this is going to go into the history books,” Arellano explained.