City Council candidates discuss the issues in South LA

A team of reporters from Intersections South LA and Annenberg Radio News talked with the candidates for Los Angeles City Council Districts 8 and 10 in an attempt to get to the heart of what matters most to the politicians and residents of the South Los Angeles community.

Tenth District write-in candidate Gavin Glynn prioritizes education on March ballot

City Council candidate Jabari Jumaane calls for more community involvement

Write-in candidate Armenak Nouridjanian discusses taxes, jobs and drugs

Candidate Chris Brown hopes to create more jobs in his district

Candidate Andrew Kim says he’s all for businesses

Candidate Forescee Hogan-Rowles focuses on job creation

Incumbent Bernard Parks talks about his achievements

The City Council election for Districts 8 and 10 takes place on March 8. Find the polling place near you.

More election coverage:
L.A. City Council District 8 debate gets heated
Tenants in District 10 want a break from rising rents
South LA officials and community members push to save libraries

Meet the candidates for Inglewood mayor

Nine Inglewood residents are vying to be the city’s next mayor.

The election was called after former Mayor Roosevelt Dorn pleaded guilty to a conflict of interest charge in January and was forced to resign.

It will be consolidated with the general statewide election to meet the guidelines dictated by the city charter.

The filing period for the mayoral election lasts from Feb. 16 to March 12, and seven people had filed as of Feb. 26.

In order to be placed on the ballot, a candidate must collect 40 signatures from Inglewood residents.

To win the election, a candidate must receive more than 50 percent of the votes, so the likelihood of multiple run-off elections is high, said Ed Maddox, Inglewood’s public information officer.

Until the election, city council members will serve as Mayor Pro Tempore in a monthly rotation.

Meet the candidates:

Ralph Franklin has been a council member since 2003. Over the past seven years, he has advocated for the development of Century Boulevard and the Hollywood Racetrack.
Franklin mounted, however, a successful opposition to Dorn’s effort to bring a Wal-Mart into Inglewood in 2004.

imageFranklin has been a member of the Crenshaw Christian Center for more than 40 years.

“I seek your support to take care of the King’s business by having someone in office that is a child of God and a yielding vessel to do his work as Mayor for the City of Inglewood,” Franklin said in a note to the public.

The main components of Franklin’s platform are improving infrastructure and alleys, working on the water and sewer lines, and bringing the deficit balance budget back into the black. He plans to stimulate jobs, enhance public transportation, and hold the police force accountable.

“I am that man that has the ability, fortitude, and tenacity to make it a reality,” Franklin said.

In 2003, after serving 12 years as the chairman of the Parks and Recreation Commission, Franklin was elected to the city council seat previously held by Lorraine Johnson.

Johnson had served as the 4th District councilmember from November 2002 until April 2003, at which point the seat came up for a four-year term, and failed to make the ballot. Franklin won a run-off election against community activist Mike Stevens for the seat, but Johnson sued, claiming Stevens had not lived in the district at filing time.

According to a Los Angeles Times article, a Los Angeles Superior Court overturned the election.

Franklin eventually won a court-ordered election and criticized Johnson for causing “considerable and unnecessary” expense to the city and aggravating voters. Johnson told the Los Angeles Times that she simply wanted the voters to get an honest election and aimed to discourage candidates from lying about their residency.

According to campaign finance records in 2002, Johnson raised $45,000 for the election, while Franklin raised nearly $112,000.

Lorraine Johnson told the Los Angeles Wave that she could “offer a new direction and new vision to the city.” She cites the 4th district development and early proposals for the development on Century Boulevard as some of her successes.

Johnson is a revenue administrator for an investment banking company and has a degree in business administration. She has served as the vice president of both the Inglewood Leadership Council and the Youth and Education Committee, according to her candidate profile.

“I think I have more to offer and feel I could do a better job than those who are likely to be running,” Johnson said. “I think we need to do away with the old and bring in the new.”

Wanda Brown has served as the city treasurer for 23 years. She claims to have earned the city $63 million in interest and said she has “never lost a penny, not even half a penny.”

imageBrown has an M.B.A. and Ph.D. in accounting and has taught finance classes at the UCLA extension and to the youth of Inglewood.

She has been criticized for receiving a $235,000 city loan from the same housing incentive program that toppled Dorn.

Brown was cleared of any misconduct because, unlike Dorn, she did not have the power to vote on the loan program.

This issue has brought her into contention with former Councilman Daniel Tabor, who directed Brown to pay back the loan. During his tenure as mayor, Dorn often came to her defense.

“There isn’t any question Ms. Brown received these funds legally, even though the contract was fraught with deceit. Ms. Brown has a strong case against the city, and they have no chance of making her pay off this loan immediately,” Dorn told the Los Angeles Wave.

Brown did not return calls to comment.

Daniel Tabor served on the city council 20 years ago but was unseated in 1993.

imageHe was reelected in 2007 and, in recent years, has worked on protecting residents from airplane noise, redeveloping areas like Hollywood Park, and fighting for families facing foreclosures.

Tabor said he will probably spend $150,000 to $200,000 on the campaign.

“I’ll probably end up running four times instead of just once because of the run-offs, so I need to take into account the cost of mailing and getting the message out there,” Tabor said.

Tabor has faced criticism for his financial problems, particularly from Brown. A search of Los Angeles court records showed Tabor has two small claims cases and a collections case on his record.

Tabor has run for mayor twice, most recently in 2007, when he was endorsed by Councilman Morales, the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters, and District Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. Tabor said he does not expect Morales to endorse him again.

Larry Springs is an Inglewood real estate broker with Century 21. Springs filed candidacy but is unsure whether he will run a formal campaign.

“I haven’t made a complete decision,” he said. “There are a few more people I need to talk to.”

Springs said he would like to see affordable housing, a city walk, and a golf course developed in Inglewood.

Velma Anderson has been attending council meetings since 2000 and has spoken out against issues such as airport noise, according to council minutes.

In 2002, Anderson ran for the 4th District council seat but lost to Johnson, who won with 44 percent of the votes. Anderson also ran for City Clerk but did not receive any votes.

Audrey Lehman is a court reporter in Inglewood, and Solomon Muez is a contractor. Neither was available for comment.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Horton expects the locations will be announced in late March. Residents interested in becoming a poll worker can get an application at

The deadline for voter registration is March 24. Registration forms can be found at city hall, fire stations, libraries, and post offices.

Photo Credit: City of Inglewood Website

What does the future hold for the city of Inglewood? In-depth coverage of the city’s political transition: