Candidacy not about high-profile

Woman running for City Council suggests campaign donations go to causes instead.

September 13, 2010|By Michael Miller,

During the dog days of summer, a few dried fronds fell off the palm tree in Andrissa Dominguez' front yard.

To some, they might have looked like fodder for a compost heap. To Dominguez, they looked like campaign signs.

The City Council candidate, who lives downtown, set up a work table in the front yard with the same cans of paint — red, yellow, blue and green — that she used to coat the exterior of her house. Then she summoned her ex-husband, two sons and friends and set to work painting "Andrissa 4 HB" on each frond.

To date, Dominguez and her team have painted about 30 of the signs, and several of them now line the front yard of her house. With its bright colors and "Hakuna Matata" inscribed over the window, it's already a tourist attraction on the block, she said — to the point where strangers sometimes pose for pictures in front of it.


"It's OK," Dominguez replied with a wave when promised that her address wouldn't appear in the Independent. "People know the 'Hakuna Matata' house."

Given that Dominguez's campaign budget is close to zero, the palm fronds and paint came in handy. The candidate, who works as a playground supervisor at Smith Elementary School, is intentionally keeping her push for the council as simple as possible — refusing to take monetary donations, print professional signs or create a campaign website.

Instead, Dominguez hopes to build her candidacy through word-of-mouth, using Facebook because it's free and encouraging people to e-mail her at to share concerns about city issues. And if they want to contribute money, she urges them to give it not to her campaign, but to a cause around town.

"My whole campaign is based on [the fact that] I really want to represent the citizens of Huntington Beach and let people get to know me," the 40-year-old said. "I'm not accepting any campaign donations because I'd rather people take that $20, $50 or $100 and put it back in the community."

It's that everywoman image that Dominguez hopes will endear her to voters Nov. 2. Still, she's intentionally kept her campaign low on specific platforms. When the Huntington Beach Downtown Residents Assn., a local activist group, sent every candidate a questionnaire this summer about more than a dozen city issues, she responded only with a single sentence on the group's website:

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