With basketball hoops and backboards suspended overhead, residents of Elysian Valley gathered inside the gymnasium of the neighborhood recreation center Tuesday night to hear Council District 13 candidates discuss the revitalization of the Los Angeles River and community concerns about the nearby Metrolink maintenance yard. The dozen candidates seeking to replace termed-out Councilman Eric Garcetti in the March 5 election seemed to share common views and responses to questions collected by the forum organizers.
For example, many favored greater community involvement in efforts to increase public access and use of the Los Angeles River. Many also supported studying the impact of the Metrolink maintenance center, located across the river in Cypress Park, on the health of residents and to eventually relocate the facility to address concerns about noise and air pollution.
“It’s no longer compatible” with surrounding communities, said Mitch O’Farrell, former senior adviser to councilman Garcetti.
Former Public Works Commissioner John Choi said he was not ready on taking a position on moving the maintenance center but was in favor of study its impact on the health of nearby residents. UCLA teacher Octavio Pescador was also in support of dealing with the yard but said it was not clear where the money would come from to relocate the facility.
Mitch O’Farrell making a statement in yellow.
Emile Mack meeting-and-greeting before the forum begins.
Candidates Roberto Haraldson (left) and Robert Negrete squeeze in a pre-forum chat.
Candidate Jose Sigala works the crowd.
Candidate Alexander Cruz De Ocampo poses with friend in front of election displays.
Political Game: The forum was held in the gymnasium of the Elysian Heights Recreation center.