URBAN PERSPECTIVE - The stage is being set for one of the most interesting candidate’s forums in Los Angeles. Although this Los Angeles 9th District race is not among the popular talk of open seats on City Council, it is by far part of the table and coffee shop discussions in South Los Angeles circles.
The sentiments about this 9th District race may be telling of who may come off as the victor.
Residents and businesses are tired of the status quo politics of candidates seeing the 9th, and its complementary district 8, as launching pads for political careers or endorsement deals to maintain the old political guard.
It is what some have alluded to as political rape and sell out of CD 9 constituents. And, it’s an abomination that the people of the 9th have avowed to stop for the sake of fair and equitable representation.
The candidate with knowledge of the community typography and its assets as well as a strategic vision for radical change may resonate well with locals. As the poorest council district with crown jewels, USC, Staples Center, and the Convention Center in the north, it is also an oasis for business and economic development expansion past its King Boulevard southern portion.
“Si, Se Puede! Yes, We Can!” is the empowerment mantra for Council District 9 citizens who are stepping up to showcase their grassroots political power and leverage to determine the District’s next councilperson.
The South Los Angeles Power Coalition is hosting a candidates forum to introduce the candidates to the community and learn more about them. The candidates are: Manny Aldana, Ana Cubas, Mike Davis, Ron Gochez, Terry Hara, State Senator Curren Price, and David Roberts. All have confirmed to attend.
Kokayi Jitahidi, one of the event organizers explains the forum’s importance, “This is the first opportunity for 9th Council District residents, business owners and other stakeholders to hear directly from the candidates how they plan to address critical issues in the district, such as persistent unemployment, lack of city of services and safety.”
More than anything, this election is historical compared to prior elections. Jitahidi offers, “This is the first election in over forty years where it’s not assumed an African American will win the seat. As a result of demographic shifts and redistricting, Latino voters are a solid majority in the 9th. This means that the 9th will establish the model on how Angelinos deal with political power and demographic shifts. We hope that the 9th will serve as model on how African American and Latino residents can come together and push a collective agenda for change and empowerment.”
The sponsors for the Council District 9 Candidates Forum are prominent community organizations made up of Neighborhood Councils, grassroots organizers, and business associations. They hope that likely voters will leave the forum with an idea who will be the best representative to serve all of the 9th and not just the northern end of the district.
Attendees are asked to bring their absentee ballots and for unregistered voters to register at the forum.
INFO: The Los Angeles 9th District Candidate Forum will be held Saturday, February 16, 10 am, Maya Angelou School, 300 E. 53rd Street (on the corner of 53rd and San Pedro). For more details, call 424-240-8510 or email [email protected].
(Janet Denise Kelly is a CityWatch featured contributor. She offers more than a decade of accomplishments in the housing and nonprofit sector. Janet brings valuable insight in the areas of community and economic development. Additionally, she brings knowledge regarding the leadership and management challenges faced by large and small nonprofits that are struggling or growing organizations. She blogs at jdkellyenterprises.org and can be reached at: [email protected]) –cw
Vol 11 Issue 13
Pub: Feb 12, 2013