Ballot Box: Downtown debate focuses on transportation, housing; Times endorses Molina; Daily News backs Huizar; kudos for a “positive race”

Highland Park candidate forum  | Nathan Solis

Highland Park candidate forum | Nathan Solis


  • CD14Thursday night’s town hall and debate for Council District 14 in Highland Park featured Councilman Jose Huizar, Boyle Heights’ Nadine Momoyo Diaz and former county supervisor Gloria Molina. The debate covered issues on transportation, housing, gentrification, homelessness, arts and education. Diaz went on the offensive in her closing arguments while referring to Huizar’s special interest donors and sexual harassment lawsuit. Diaz said, “I am fed up. We need someone who is going to be a champion.”
  • During the Highland Park debate, Huizar was answering a question on bike lanes in Eagle Rock, stating that businesses on Colorado Boulevard have benefited from the change. Right in the middle of Huizar’s response, Boulevard Sentinel publisher Tom Topping shouted “BULLSHIT” and then began to laugh. Everyone gasped, but no one asked him to leave. So politics as usual.
  • At Wednesday’s debate in Downtown L.A. City Councilman Jose Huizar and former County Supervisor Gloria Molina revealed they have very different points of view on transportation. The Los Angeles Times reports that Huizar boasted of his implementation of road diets in Council District 14, while criticizing Molina’s support in the completion of the 710 freeway extension that would impact the CD 14 neighborhood of El Sereno. She later sent a statement to the Times clarifying that she no longer sees the project as a “feasible solution to our transportation needs.”
  • KPCC focused on the housing issues from Wednesday night’s debate. “It isn’t just about putting more high-rises in town. It’s making sure you’re getting the tradeoffs as well,” Molina said. “Do not strangle downtown.”
  • The Los Angeles Times endorses Gloria Molina based on her independence – “a characteristic that is sorely lacking in City Hall at the moment.” The endorsement points out that with Molina in the race she raises valid concerns and forces candidates “to talk about issues such as managing the transformation of downtown, the preservation of affordable housing in gentrifying Highland Park and Boyle Heights, and the backlog of street and sidewalk repairs.” Also with her experience as a former councilmember, the Times points out that Molina offers the right mix of leadership experience for Council District 14.

Nathan Solis is a Highland Park resident who writes about and photographs the L.A. music scene. You can find more of Solis’ stories, reviews and photos at Avenue Meander.


  1. Diaz said, “I am fed up. We need someone who is going to be a champion, not an asset.”

    Did she mean “liability” instead of “asset”?

    Once in office, can you imagine the decree: “ok folks, we need to get rid of all of our assets”

  2. It’s hilarious that Molina suddenly deems construction of the 710 tunnel unfeasible, one year after publishing an op-ed in which she says it should not only be built, but that “a tunnel will not cause more pollution or disrupt life for local residents. In fact it will do the opposite.” How would you vent the particulate matter and gases out of the tunnel without spewing out pollution? How would this massive project not disrupt life for the local residents in its path? Unbelievable.

  3. I support Huisar for his stance on the 710 Extension. The only only people that need it live in Alhambra, so have it go through their city.

  4. Can we get some different candidates please?

    • I couldn’t agree more- a slate of new candidates sounds like a great idea!

      And, who came up with the questions? What a waste of my time! It was fluff! Didn’t address key issues that affect my community.

      They should of talked about our city’s infrastructure, city finances, balancing the city’s budget, pensions, city employee lawsuits, workman’s comp abuses by city personnel, an ineffective D.A.’s office, and city departments that are poorly managed and inefficient. Such as, Building and Safety not enforcing city codes. Throughout Highland Park there are illegal room additions, people living in garages and sheds. How about DWP? Our city pipes are ready to pop with the next minimal temblor. We got a nice taste of it with the UCLA swimming pool at Pauley Pavilion. Mind you – there was no temblor associated with it. What about ensuring the Highland Park gets its fair distribution of LAPD policing and I do not mean by GHOSTcars!

      As for the 710 – it will be held up for years! We will all be dead and buried before they break ground! And, if they do…it will be a straight line through the very communities that will stall it for years to come!!! It’s a non-issue!!! The 710 is bigger than a lil ole councilperson! A councilperson has NO power over this issue!!!

      I may be an idealist – I’d like to see an honest, trustworthy person represent CD 14.

  5. “Downtown is too dense and needs more parking lots.” – Gloria Molina at Thursday’s townhall debate

    This woman is stunningly, SHOCKINGLY clueless at what makes DTLA special, what downtown residents want, and the most basic urban planning fundamentals. I didn’t even care about this election until I heard her remarks. Now I will be actively helping the Huizar camp get out the vote.

  6. Molina has my vote without reservation. Huizar is just such a sleazy man. What about the Godoy mess? He should be impeached. Lets get real, $47,000 to $132,000 inside of seven years! Who in their right mind can vote for this guy? What about the undisclosed settlement with Godoy? WHO is paying for that? What about the Lamar billboard give away? What about the car crash payout? Huizar is a man in total disrepute. He is without question a LIABILITY to the CD 14.

    • So TRUE!!!

    • Wow, $132k. Huizar has shepherded in billions (with a B) of dollars of economic development into CD14 during his tenure. Face it, its not the money you guys are concerned about. You just want to be the morality police so you can click your tongues, wag your fingers, get on your high horse and pretend you’ve never had an indiscretion on your lifetime.

      Eventually you’ll figure out that a politician’s personal life has ZIP to do with his competency as at their job. Its hard enough to find a politician that can actually do their job, and then you want them to be perfect, infallible human beings on top of that? Stop being naively idealistic and join the real world..

  7. Yikes!

    Gloria Molina sounds Comically out of touch when if comes to land use and the local economy. I mean how in the world is downtown LA “overdeveloped”. Compared to where… Detroit?

    And anyone with a grain of intellect should bs able to see that the 710 tunnel is a terrible investment… We can’t even afford to maintain our existing streets and highways. Why on earth would we waste 5 billion on a project that’s goingn to put is even further in the red?

    • *excuse the typos… Iphone mangled my post.

    • She’s a political dinosaur just like her supporters (Villaraigosa, Cedilo and the Los Angeles Times) who are most likely elderly and afraid of diversity, density and any other thing that messes with their comfort level (infidelity, bike lanes, hipsters)….

      It must seem to some like Huizar is getting so much done that there’s no way it could possibly be legal!

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