By NATHAN SOLIS
- Thursday 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.”
- Councilman Huizar made an appearance at a sanitation-yard rally for union workers, according to the Times, but did not offer any comments on how he will vote on the issue.
- Councilman Huizar secures an endorsement from Los Angeles Daily News, with the editorial board stating that the councilman can “point to significant improvements in the district covering downtown L.A. and points east and south.”
- Downtown News compliments the race for CD14 as being relatively clean. “We realize this may sound naïve, but a positive race focused on issues is ultimately best for the district. Let’s hope things continue this way for the next three weeks.”
- 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.
- The primary elections are on March 3. Get to know the candidates in our Ballot Box 2015 election guide.
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.