ELECTIONS 2013 - Many have asked me why I am running for Los Angeles City Council in the 9th District. After the re-districting, the 9th District has become the poorest in the city. The residents of South Los Angele are faced with broken sidewalks, illegal dumping, high unemployment rate and higher crime rates than the rest of the city.
Our business corridors are vacant and only half of our students are graduating from high school. The majority of the residents in the 9th District live at or below the poverty level. The problems seem insurmountable.
I would be lying if didn’t say that it was going to take a lot of hard work, but I actually thrive on hard work. For over 30 years, my career with the LAPD has been serving the public and working hard at improving the lives of the residents in the 9th District. Day after day, I would patrol the streets, meeting with the community and starting programs to ensure public safety. I worked at Southeast, Southwest, 77th and Newton Division for the majority of my time with the LAPD so I know the hardships and challenges facing our community.
I have spent the last three months knocking on doors, talking with my potential constituents and gaining a greater understanding of their wants and needs. I truly believe that by working together these things are achievable.
I will not treat this position as a stepping stone for higher office. I am not a career politician. I am simply looking to extend my career in public service. I want to collaborate with the business owners, community based organizations, stakeholders and residents to establish a legacy where we will have rebuilt the Great 9th District and improved the quality of life for the entire community. I want to be the catalyst for change.
When the synergy and energy align with the community’s wants and needs, meaningful and positive things will occur. My goal is to be the instrument of those changes.
Many people have pointed out that I am an Asian-American running for a seat in a majority Latino and historically African American community. I paraphrase the great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., when I say that I also have a dream and believe as he did that we will one day live in a nation where we will not be judged by the color of our skin but by the content of our character.
(Terry Hara is a candidate for LA City Council … Council District 9. He was LAPD Deputy Chief for 33 years … most of which was spent in South LA and District 9.)
Pub: Mar 3, 2013