Incumbent Bernard Parks talks about his achievements

This story is a part of our series of interviews with the candidates for Los Angeles City Council Districts 8 and 10.

Listen to a story by Annenberg Radio News:


Emily Frost: Why are you running?

Bernard Parks: I’m running because I’ve had significant success in the first eight years of bringing back the community on a variety of levels. And I think we’ve turned the corner on a number of issues, whether it’s economic development or looking at the rails coming in, bringing in grocery stores for the first time in 25 years. I think the community is looking to see how this community can continue to flourish in the next four years.

Frost: How do you think you’ll respond to Governor Jerry Brown’s cuts?

Parks: Well, I think it’s going to affect us in that most of the cuts are cuts that are going to affect the county. But we will see the end result of it. Because those that can’t get those services are going to spill out into the city street. The thing that’s going to impact the city the most is if he’s successful in cutting the CRA. Then poor communities will certainly suffer in their ability to gather funds to help their community.

Frost: What’s your number one issue?

Parks: The number one issue for the district is increasing job growth.

Frost: What’s the most important thing we should know about you?

Parks: Integrity and honesty.

Frost: The most important thing about your district?

Parks: We have a district in transition, that for many decades has been ignored. There’s a great deal of frustration about being ignored. What you find when talking to people is that they’ll tell you that nothing is going on in their district. And then you start to recite to them things that are going on in their neighborhood. Just today I talked to a lady and I said, ‘Are you aware that there’s a Kaiser health facility going in on Manchester? Did you know that your library has brand new and increased number of Internet free access computers?’

Frost: What do you want people to have in mind on voting day?

Parks: The list of things that they gave me when I came into office. Many of them are achieved. They wanted to see dirt alleys paved. We paved 50 percent of them, 15 miles of dirt alleys. They wanted to see Vermont/Manchester come alive. We put a $100 million office building there. They wanted to see issues of Baldwin Hills shopping revitalization. They’ll get a new Staples, and Magic Johnson theater, a new Buffalo Wild Wings. They wanted to see public transportation. We have two new lines. We worked very hard to get Measure R passed so that we could fund public transportation, coming down Crenshaw Boulevard and the Expo Line. These are things that in each instance, we tried to make sure the community was heard and we listened to their needs. When they asked about the fact that there are no community cultural events in the district — we have now the Taste of Soul, we have the Leimert Park MLK parade, we now have jazz festivals in Leimert Park, we have fire works on the 4th of July. These are all things given back to the community that they asked for.

Read more interviews with city council candidates.

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