Northeast L.A. mayoral forum draws a packed house

Photos by Martha Benedict

Left to Right: Eric Garcetti, Kevin James, Pat Morrison, Jan Perry and Emanuel Pleitez

With at least 30 debates and forums held so far,  some have argued that the mayor’s race may be suffering from debate-burn-out, with the Daily News arguing that the events have become a distraction and too narrowly focused. But, on Tuesday night, a standing-room crowd of at least 200 people jammed into Ramona Hall in Highland Park for the most recent mayoral forum moderated by columnist and Mt. Washington resident Pat Morrison. Almost all of the questions centered on Northeast L.A. issues, including the proposed extension of the 710 freeway, restoring the Arroyo Seco River, reopening the Southwest Museum, copper wire thefts and the preservation of open space for public parks, said Martha Benedict, who photographed the event.

“Loud applause and cheers burst from the audience when answers revealed insight into the hopes of the area. Very few people left early with the crowd focused and attentive for two hours straight.”

One of the two top candidates, Wendy Greuel was out of town and absent from the forum, which was organized by several groups, including the Highland Park and Arroyo Seco neighborhood council. But candidates Eric Garcetti, Kevin James, Jan Perry and Emanuel A. Pleitez took part.

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  1. So Wendy found it more important to be in SF than Highland Park? I have to admit I already decided I can’t vote for a panderer with a terrible commercial who demeans the office, the voters, and even herself in a campaign beneath all our intelligence that is full of platitudes and knowingly disengenous mixing the discovery of “waste” – isn’t that your job and should be a given for all? – with future savings that is not money returned to a budget, for shame Ms. Greuel, your promising career crashes to on abrupt end as you refuse to articulate any vision or commitment to anything. As far as Eugene, as much as I like and respect him, I don’t believe that even a genius gets to start at the top with no mere service on the school board, city council, lowly board, commission, or any other collegial body to mature and sharpen your skills. Eric, after years of hiding behind your finger to the winds of uncertain political climate, and your neglect of the Silverlake Dog Park in your own district, how can anyone believe you could lead anything? So that leaves me with a courageous Councilwoman Perry unafraid to stand up to the powers that be, developer, social worker, or council president, in accomplishing what others can only dream of, a revitalized district full of new economic opportunity and rebirth for all, young and old, straight and gay, student and elder, homeless, artist, enterpreneuer and or just us run of the mill worker or retired residents happy to be surrounded by cafes, art, life. I am voting for Jan!

    • Yes, you have it fairly well summed up, other than that you should have been somewhat harsher on Garcetti, and Perry isn’t exactly a pancea, but does appear to be the lesser of the evils. Unfortunately, the two who the Times has been calling the frontrunners for a couple years now — simply because they are sold out beyond all recognition (SOBAR), don’t even rise to the level of being puppets — manage to be the utterly worst, even most dangerous choice.

  2. Wonderful study of faces, Martha! Straight out of Norman Rockwell.

  3. The other candidates did well, but Eric Garcetti did best at sharing his vision for the city’s future – and generated the most applause.

  4. This mayoral (s)election should be shunned, just like the last presidential (s)election.

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