L.A. City Council 8th District debate gets heated

By LaMonica Peters

imageDuring a Park Mesa Heights Community Council-sponsored event Saturday, Los Angeles 8th District City Councilmember contenders Forescee Hogan-Rowles and Jabari Jumaane and incumbent Bernard Parks engaged in a heated debate about each other’s records and the issues facing the district’s residents.

The debate was held at the Angeles Mesa Elementary School.

The 8th District includes the communities of Baldwin Hills, Crenshaw, Leimert Park, West Adams, Jefferson Park, Chesterfield Square and other South Los Angeles areas. Questions posed during the debate were submitted in advance and came directly from the 8th District community.

Residents wanted to know how the candidates would deal with issues regarding the city budget crisis and quality of life issues like affordability, fighting crime, working with the police force, the number of liquor stores in the area and repairing pot holes in the streets.

The lone female candidate, Hogan-Rowles threw the first punch in her opening when she told the audience that their community had suffered long enough, referring to the eight years Parks had held the Council seat.

Hogan-Rowles is currently the president and CEO of Community Financial Resource Center, a California non-profit corporation certified by The U.S. Department of the Treasury as a Community Development Financial Institution.

She also accused Parks of “double-dipping” from the city.

imageParks is currently receiving his pension for serving as a police officer and chief but is also earning pay as 8th District Councilmember, which combined totals over $400,000 per year.

It was clear that many of Parks supporters were in attendance, as loud applause followed his responses.

Parks took his own shot at Hogan-Rowles when he pointed out that she should have plenty of knowledge on why utility rates had increased so much over the years since she was a former Commissioner of the Department of Water and Power.

Parks made a point to defend his record and accomplishments in the 8th District and emphasized his long service to the Los Angeles community, noting that he was the only candidate who truly understood the inner workings of the city government.

While Parks and Hogan-Rowles continued to attack one another’s record, Jabari Jumaane, a former L.A. City fire firefighter and founder of the African Firefighters in Benevolent Association (AFIBA), told the audience that he represented the average person who wanted to see improvement in the 8th District. He pledged real transparency and accountability in city government and touted his past achievements working with the community through his organization, AFIBA.

Watch the opening remarks:

For more information on the candidates, go to www.smartvoter.org.

Map of South Los Angeles Neighborhood Councils and Meeting Calendar

View South Los Angeles Neighborhood Councils in a larger map


Neighborhood Councils in the South Los Angeles region:

Central Alameda Neighborhood Council
Community and Neighbors for Ninth District Unity Neighborhood Council
Empowerment Congress Central Area Neighborhood Development Council
Empowerment Congress North Area Neighborhood Development Council
Empowerment Congress Southeast Area Neighborhood Development Council
Empowerment Congress Southwest Area Neighborhood Development Council
Empowerment Congress West Area Neighborhood Development Council
Mid City Neighborhood Council
Park Mesa Heights Community Council
South Central Neighborhood Council
United Neighborhoods Neighborhood Council
Voices of 90037 Neighborhood Council
West Adams Neighborhood Council


What are Neighborhood Councils? from Empower LA.

For more information on Neighborhood Councils, visit Empower L.A.