OPINION: A high school student’s observation of the mayoral forum

By Jesus Vargas

On Saturday, January 19, 2013, the USC Bovard Auditorium hosted the 21st Annual Empowerment Congress Summit. This annual event brought together the five candidates in the Los Angeles mayoral election. Eric Garcetti, Wendy Greuel, Kevin James, Jan Perry, and Emanuel Pleitez all took part of a community oriented forum that gave insight into their potential decisions as mayor of Los Angeles.

imageMayoral candidates Emanuel Pleitez, Eric Garcetti, Jan Perry, Kevin James and Wendy Greuel answer questions at Empowerment Congress forum.

The first question was one regarding the lack of importance in arts programs within the city of Los Angeles. Council member Eric Garcetti gave a first hand example of this problem that we face in our city. He mentioned how a principal had to make a decision between hiring a new math teacher and setting brand new instruments aside for another school year. These are decisions that no one should have to make because no subject should be given more importance than another. Now in the twenty-first century everyone needs to be well rounded in order to succeed in the path that they pursue. In our current system, most students leave our public schools being stronger in some areas more than others simply because they weren’t given the opportunity to enhance their weaknesses. This is something that the next mayor of Los Angeles will need to find a permanent and effective solution to.

imageJesus Vargas is a student at LAUSD USC MaST High School.

I in no way fully support any of the candidates. I don’t have enough knowledge on the issues at hand to do so at the time. But at this forum Eric Garcetti went on to say that as mayor he would guarantee a youth summer job program. As a high school student in Los Angeles, this is something that I favor.  I have peers who live in the South LA region who simply wish to work over the summer in order to help their parents. Statements like the one made by Eric Garcetti give hope to the youth of South LA. Every single candidate should put more emphasis on the importance and well being of the youth in our city. After all, the youth of Los Angeles are the future of our city.

This was an interesting forum that probably just made the city’s job a little more difficult on March 5th. Every candidate seems fully qualified to tackle the issues at hand. But one candidate put a little more emphasis on the youth than the others, and that was council member Garcetti.

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