In an effort to remember Governor Gavin Newsom, who has now been firmly rejected, this week’s attention is turning to the race for Los Angeles Mayor. And with the actual vote still 13 months away, there remains a lot of wrangling over the position for the post that retired Eric Garcetti will be leaving.
The week began with another new candidate joining the fight, the last of more than two dozen so far. Jessica Lall, CEO of the Central City Association of Los Angeles, announced her candidacy on Monday, September 20.
Lall wants to expand her coalition-building skills to find political solutions to deal with homelessness. She announced a seven-point plan to address the issues, from getting more recreational homes to help people in mental crisis stabilize, to creating a city-wide health department.
“It is time to address the systemic failures that feed the homeless pipeline. If someone finds themselves on the street, they have fallen through layers of government security nets, ”she said from a neighborhood in Mar Vista.
Lall’s focus on homelessness confirmed that the crisis is perhaps the most pressing issue in the elections.
She joins this long list of candidates – Los Angeles City Councilor Joe Buscaino, City Attorney Mike Feuer, and San Fernando Valley Business Leader Mel Wilson, among the most prominent – who have planned their campaigns on the matter.
In June, Buscaino, who represents a district that includes Watts, San Pedro, and the LA Harbor Area, announced his campaign proposing the elimination of the county’s homelessness service and pushing for an election in June 2022, the camps would prohibit.
Feurer has also visited camps and touted a plan to declare homelessness in the city a state of emergency that would give its leaders the authority to take over property in order to clear camps.
On Monday, Fire said the city council should be doubled, with each council member receiving half their salary of $ 223,829. “By halving the ward counts, ward council members will be much closer to and know about the wards they serve. The residents will compete less for the time of their elected representative, ”said fire in an opinion piece on the online publishing platform Medium.
However, amid the current campaign, experts are waiting for news of some big names, and those announcements could come as early as this week.
Among them: Kevin de Leon, LA councilor. His camp did not want to publicly confirm a run on Monday. But an upcoming announcement is expected either way.
When De Leon steps in, it will please many proponents who have been looking for a high profile Latinx leader.
Such hopes were dashed last week when LA City Council President Nury Martinez, who represents the heavily Latinx northeast of the San Fernando Valley, announced after much speculation that she would not run for mayor. Instead, she reaffirmed her “commitment” to her role as President of the Council.
“I’m focusing on myself right now and I know that as President of the Council I can best serve the hard-working people and families of our city,” Martinez said in a statement.
Their decision preceded Councilor Mark Ridley-Thomas, long considered a contender who also chose to stay on the sidelines.
The biggest name of all is also waiting in the starting blocks. Rep. Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles, did not want to say if an announcement was due on Monday. But she said she was “seriously” considering a run.
Supporters say the time is right for bass and that if it does happen, it will likely be in the next week or two.
“This town is ripe and ready for it,” said activist Jimmie Woods-Gray, a longtime Bass supporter who noted Bass’ leadership experience at the local federal level.
“There is a call for leadership by women and for a woman of color,” he added. “It just seems like the right time for a woman to become mayor.”
Rick Caruso, developer of the Grove and the Americana at Brand, should also think about a run.
Even with all of these big names stepping in, Wilson, a San Fernando Valley real estate agent who launched his campaign in August, said his campaign would move forward.
“The recall took up a lot of California politics,” he said, noting that when he introduced himself to voters, the first thing they thought was he was going to call Newsom back. “But what I found out is that while the recall was a big deal on the minds of a lot of people on both sides of the aisle, people were just mad at the city.”
Clean streets and homelessness are still a big problem for people from Lemert Park to Chatsworth, he said, citing homelessness as the main problem.
Wilson, a former board member of Metro, said he wanted to fight homelessness, help small businesses and create “smart transportation routes and affordable housing corridors.” And he laments the latest city policy decisions that have harmed companies.
So he thinks whoever wins the job “will be an outsider”.
“Voters will ask, how did that happen? Who’s in charge? They are really going to look at what people’s answers are, “he added,” to the complex housing challenges we have. “
He said even if new big names might jump on the recall, the opportunities to get the message across would expand.
“I think now that the recall is behind everyone,” he said, “this will give us new energy.”
In the meantime, no one has officially emerged as the front runner, although that landscape could change in the coming days.
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