9th District Candidate Closeup: Curren Price

image Curren Price, second from the left, with County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, City Council President Herb Wesson and Los Angeles Congresswoman Karen Bass.

When Curren Price opened his campaign headquarters to kick-start his race for the Ninth District Los Angeles City Council seat, he was joined by some of the city’s most prominent elected officials.

No other candidate running has taken photos with the City Council president, a Los Angeles County supervisor and a U.S. congresswoman – at least not all at once and while holding the candidate’s campaign signs.

Of all the candidates running to represent the Ninth District, Price has the most experience, high-profile endorsements and campaign cash, which makes him seem as the clear front-runner in the March 5 primary election. Price said he has experience making laws, something most of his opponents can not claim, and he has served a portion of the Ninth District before as a senator for the 26th District.

“I’m excited about the prospects of serving in the Ninth, of coming back home, and being a part of a process that’s going to really revitalize and rejuvenate the Ninth District,” Price said.

City redistricting in 2012 removed much of downtown from the former “Great Ninth” and added USC and L.A. Live to what Price now calls the “New Ninth.” Price said he is pleased that the redistricting “preserved the voting power of minorities.” He said making sure South L.A. gets its fair share of the city’s resources is a major priority for him.

In January, eight candidates filed their most recent finance report. Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief Terry Hara leads the pack with over $220,000 in cash on hand. Price is the only other candidate with over $100,000.

Some of his opponents have called Price a carpetbagger, a man seeking office wherever he is most likely to be elected. Supporters say those attacks are false and distract voters from what really matters in the race. On campaign materials and his websites, Price says he was “born and raised” in the Ninth District, which is true.

image Photos from Curren Price headquarters.

Price, who was born at Queen of Angels Hospital, attended Normandie Avenue Elementary School then Morningside High School, in what is now Los Angeles’ Ninth District. He majored in political science at Stanford University and graduated with a law degree from Santa Clara University in 1976.

In a district where going to college is far from a guarantee for many students, Price believes his own educational background should not unnerve voters.

“I think every kid growing up in the Ninth should have those options, should have those opportunities,” Price said to a group of supporters.

Price left California in 1979 and spent the next 10 years in Washington, D.C. working for international companies specializing in communications infrastructure. He returned in 1989 to become a deputy for two members of the L.A. City Council, Robert C. Farrell and his successor, present Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. Current Los Angeles Council President Herb Wesson began his political career as a council staffer as well. He said for Price and himself that experience was invaluable.

“We know how to do things hands-on and don’t have to rely solely on staff because everything we’ve asked our staffs to do we’ve already done it,” Wesson said.

Price found his first political break when he was elected to the Inglewood City Council in 1993. He was defeated for mayor of Inglewood in 1997, but then returned to his council seat in 2001. In 2006, he was elected to the State Assembly and overwhelmingly won re-election in 2008. Victorious in a special 2009 California State Senate election, Price currently serves part of the Ninth Council District in Sacramento. According to Wesson, the relationships Price has in the state capital will help him if he is elected because many residents call the city asking for things that are actually controlled by the state.

L.A. County Supervisor Ridley-Thomas described Price as a “consensus builder.”

“He’s someone who you can easily talk to,” Ridley-Thomas said. “He’s not standoffish; he’s not one who will put you off. He will listen to you and he will mobilize his staff to help you.”

At campaign events Price talks about improved public safety, more attention to public works including street cleanups and potholes and more incentives for local businesses. In 2007 and 2009, the University of California Student Association awarded Price “Legislator of the Year” for his work to increase access to Cal Grants for students, among other initiatives. For young voters, Price notes his efforts that led to laws allowing 17-year-olds to preregister to vote and dependents under 26 years old to stay on their parent’s healthcare plans before it became the national law.

With his past elected experience, Wesson believes the obvious next step for Price is a seat on the L.A. City Council.

“I think that it’s a natural progression for him to come home and back to the people that live in the area where he grew up and went to school,” Wesson said. “He is a homegrown product.”

Wendy Greuel And Eric Garcetti Both Shine Among Environmental Groups

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Candidate Closeup: Kevin James

Listen to an audio story from Annenberg Radio News

imagePhoto by Graham Clark/Neon Tommy.

Kevin James is more like a watchdog than a City Hall outsider—a longtime Angeleno keeping a careful eye on its policymakers. For more than six years, he hosted a talk radio show about LA politics on KRLA (AM 870).

James cancelled the show when he started his mayoral run more than a year ago. He spent much of his airtime providing conservative commentary on politics, national and local. He also aired shows about each of the city’s neighborhood councils.

James has no direct political experience—he grew up in Texas and Oklahoma, served as an assistant U.S. attorney, then practiced entertainment law in LA. He also spent two years directing AIDS Project Los Angeles. If elected, James would be LA’s first openly gay mayor.

A gay Republican leading a decidedly Democratic city. An ex-prosecutor taking out-of-state campaign funding in a scene dominated by unions and political partnerships. That resume may seem contradictory—but longtime city reporter Ron Kaye says it’s at least as valuable as one from City Hall.

“I think Kevin James has raised the most amount of issues with the best knowledge of what’s broken,” said Kaye. “Nobody, I don’t think, has an answer, and the closest to it is James, in that he would negotiate and put the unions under pressure. But he’s a Republican, and I think he would have a very hard time getting the leverage and support that he needs from City Hall.”

James talks confidently, though. Like every candidate, he says the city budget is his first priority—and he has a five-year plan that is heavy on numbers. He would balance the budget with pension reform, tax loophole closures and increased revenue.

By lowering business tax rates, James thinks he’ll drive investment during his first term—and he says new companies will bring in enough revenue to eliminate the need for tax increases on individuals. But… if it comes down to it, he says he’s willing to raise taxes.

“Because I am the fiscal conservative in the field, and because my opponents have lost whatever credibility they had on tax increases… When I come in and give an independent look to the books on these projects, if I have to tell the voters that this is a tax increase that we need for whetever the purpose is, I’ve got much more credibility with them than they my opponents do,” James said.

James comes across as straightforward. He didn’t equivocate when I asked about the controversial decision to allow Wal-Mart to put a store in Chinatown: “I supported it. The community wanted it,” James said. “I won’t say no to any private industry that wants to come here. I know Wal-Mart is controversial, but you know what? Our city needs jobs.”

That directness appeals to some voters, like Sherri Bell, a South LA native who attended a recent mayoral forum.

“Kevin James, I feel, did a good job in today’s forum… You have to have a plan in order to execute the goals you’re telling the public you’re going to reach,” Bell said.

James’s experience as a talk show host sparks his energy—especially the neighborhood council series. During our interview, he rapped his fingers fervently when he described talking directly to the public.

“The neighborhood councils, I kind of fell into, and have developed a real appreciation for,” James said. “If you want to know what is really happening in LA, you go to the neighborhoods.”

James wants to offer neighborhood council seats on city-wide commissions that will advise him personally. These people are already engaged … and James says it would be a shame not to put their energy toward actual policymaking.

“These people are volunteering their time. They’re learning city issues. And they’re doing it for free because they love their city, they love their neighborhoods, they love their kids, and they love their community. And I don’t know a city in the country that has the kind of volunteer and city engagement that we have in LA,” James said.

That really resonates with Collins Osagiede, who serves on the Silver Lake neighborhood council.

“The more you get your neighborhood councils involved, the more you get your neighborhoods involved, because for a long time it’s always felt like there was a dichotomy—the people who wear the suits and make the speeches, and the people who live real life,” Osagiede said.

Journalist Ron Kaye sees that, too. He thinks James is genuinely interested in the good of all Angelenos because he’s been so curious for so many years.

“Kevin paid a lot of dues… I was on his radio show,” Kaye said. “I think he knows what people are upset about throughout the entire city better than any of the other candidates, because he’s been out there talking to people and looking for news.”

James was endorsed by Former Republican mayor Richard Riordan. He’s also taken money from big-name out-of-state donors—among them, Harold Simmons, a Texas industrialist who’s bankrolled conservative campaigns for decades. Another donor is Republican advertiser Fred Davis, who managed media strategy for John McCain in 2008. His campaign office in Studio City is staffed by a small, spry strategy team.

But the numbers aren’t in his favor—only sixteen percent of voting Angelenos are Republicans.

“The question is, has he been able to convince other constituencies that he’s the right man for the job? I don’t know that I see evidence of that,” Kaye said.

James may not be able to win the March fifth primary, but he could pull enough votes to influence who advances to May’s runoff election. And a strong showing for moderate James in solidly Democratic LA could galvanize the Republican Party nationwide.

Southside Stories: Harnessing diversity for political change in South LA

This story is part of a semester-long project by USC Annenberg students spotlighting South LA. Stories featured on Intersections South LA have been written by students in USC Professor Robert Hernandez’s class. See more Southside Stories here.

The Vermont Square neighborhood has a diverse population of about 60,000 individuals. While the ethnic and social diversity reflects a desirable kaleidoscopic landscape, the community also faces a wide array of issues and concerns with 60,000 individual opinions on how to solve them.

The South LA Power Coalition, which launched earlier this year, is working to harness the diversity in South LA for political change. The coalition hopes to give political power to residents of South LA through common ground and a shared political movement.

One way the coalition tries to preserve unity is by finding common ground between the large Hispanic and African American communities in South LA. image

“I can’t think of any issue that we’re talking about that doesn’t affect all of our community. That’s why we’re here,” said Ron Gochez, a member of the South LA Power Coalition and a candidate for Los Angeles Council District 9.

The coalition, realizing the need for the unity between these two groups began a Black and Latino workshop where they discussed issues affecting both communities and worked to find ways to solve them.

“The objective was not just to talk about the issues, but to try to come up with some ways, some objectives, some concrete ways of things that we can do as a black and brown community to work together,” said Gochez.

The South LA Power Coalition feels that they have an advantage in reaching out to the diverse population of South LA because they are not affiliated with any group or political party. The coalition is an autonomous group of people passionate about seeing South LA empowered for political change.

image“There’s a degree of independence and an ability for us to take stances and take positions that other more prominent organizations can’t do because they’re tied to this or they’re tied to that,” said Njideka Obijiaku, an active member of the South LA Power Coalition and the Ma’at Institute for Community Change.

“It gives us, really, the freedom to be able to do analysis, to pick things apart, and align them with just our values and values that are associated with working families,” said Obijiaku.

None of the group’s active members will call themselves leaders. They are all part of different organizations and groups in their communities and chose to come together to form a collaborative group in South LA.

“We’ve been working in our communities for several years and we understand the importance of not working independently of each other,” said Gochez.

While the members of the coalition are very politically educated and active, they are the exception for South LA—an area that consistently has an extremely low voter turnout rate. During the 2012 presidential election, the coalition stated that there were precincts where less than half of the registered voters came out to vote.

“But the problem is that it’s not that people don’t want to be active. People don’t clearly sometimes know how, and how being active impacts your life and your livelihood,” said Kokayi Kwa Jitahidi, one of the organizers of the South LA Power Coalition and member of MA’AT Institute for Community Change.

The South LA Power Coalition strives to educate residents in South LA on how to vote and how it can impact their daily lives.

Prior to the 2012 election, the coalition held a voter education workshop at the Maya Angelou High School where they released a voter guide and educated the community about different measures on the ballot.

While the voter guide gave specific ways in which to vote for each proposition, the coalition’s main goal is not to advocate a specific group or political position. According to their founding members, their goal is to help the residents of South LA define a vision for themselves and work to see it put into action. The coalition believes that the issues and problems in South LA are a result of residents not being empowered. image

“People who are most impacted are not empowered, and have not been empowered, to participate in a meaningful way in the political process, to make independent decisions for themselves—people are spoken on behalf of, but not worked with,” said Jitahidi.

As the South LA Power Coalition continues their work in South LA and continues to develop as a group, the members hope to not only change policy, but to also gain political representation.

“We have to make this grassroots movement translate to political power. If we’re going to get the changes and if we’re going to effectively fight around the status quo, we’ve got to be able to translate that into political power,” said Jitahidi.

The Voices of 90037 struggle to get a quorum

As the clock counted down to the start time for the Voices of 90037 neighborhood council meeting, board members were left to wonder if they would even have enough people to start discussions.

They needed eight members to reach a quorum, but by 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday night, only four people had shown up on time for the first meeting since May.

“The person who loses when we don’t have a functioning board is the community. So let’s try to work together,” said Taneda Larios, a project coordinator for the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, who had been invited to speak to the council on financial issues.

About 40 minutes later, the last board member finally trickled in.

Larios warned the council about the apparent lack of commitment by both board members and community participants.

“Had you not had quorum tonight, you would be on the path to exhaustive efforts, which would then lead to decertification of your council, which would leave your community without a neighborhood council and no one to speak on their behalf,” said Larios, who encouraged strengthening outreach efforts to fill vacant seats.

Neighborhood councils are charged with bridging the gap between the Los Angeles city government and local communities. Board members are elected or appointed to serve the neighborhood where they live, work or own property.

Voices of 90037 has filled 10 out of 15 seats, which leaves it a small cushion to reach the minimum attendance for a meeting when board members are absent.

If Tuesday’s meeting had not met a quorum, the board would have violated its governing rules. Larios could then file a complaint with the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, which would then decide whether or not to disband the council.

Faith-based Representative Christine Hicks said some board members are “hanging on” to their seats because of a lack of public support for the council.

No one else is there to take on the seats, Hicks said.

The neighborhood council governs the area roughly between the 110 Freeway and Normandie Avenue, Martin Luther King Boulevard to the north and 62nd Street to the south.

An estimated 67,000 people live in the council’s governing area, said Board Member Kaypers Jackson.

Inglewood oil field controversy near an end

By Natalie Ragus

imageAn end to the 2.5-year-long legal battle over the Inglewood Oil Field may be in sight.

Superior Court Judge James Chalfant recently ordered the Culver City and other parties involved in a collection of lawsuits against Los Angeles County and the field’s operators, the Plains Exploration and Production Company, to settle by June 29 or go to trial this summer. Under Chalfant’s order, the trial— which records indicate the court delayed on at least four occasions to give the parties more time to reach a settlement—won’t be delayed any longer.

The cases center on whether the Baldwin Hills Community Standards District, or the rules that govern field operations, violated the California Environmental Quality Act by not going far enough in protecting the environment and the health of residents in surrounding neighborhoods.

As the parties look forward to finally closing the books on one of the costliest and lengthy CEQA litigation processes in Culver City’s history, the field’s future remains uncertain. What happens next largely depends upon whether the parties settle or whomever Chalfant rules in favor of following the trial.

But regardless of whether the case reaches a resolution through a settlement or a trial, the parties involved in the suit will eventually have to heal the rifts that have come between them in order to move forward.

Read more…

OPINION: Why South Central L.A. needs Prop 24


imageCuts in public services have devastated the South Central community. As a teacher at Santee High School I have personally seen these devastating effects in my classroom. Our class sizes are larger than ever, many of our newest promising educators have been let go, school supplies are low, and the uncertainty of the future has our entire school community on edge.

South Central is like many other urban areas of California, forgotten by the politicians and their big business donors and left to fend for itself.

The abandonment by city leadership has lead to post-industrial decay in South Central. Lack of affordable housing has many families renting out rooms and multiple families living in single family homes. I often hear stories of residents forgoing trips to the doctor for lack of health insurance. The poorest in our communities have been hardest hit by this recession and cuts to public services have been devastating.

This is why we need Proposition 24.

Proposition 24 will stop special tax loopholes for big business that are set to take effect next year. That equals $1.3 billion in lost revenue to the state and a huge corporate giveaway to big business. And that $1.3 billion is a much-needed pile of cash that could be allocated to affordable housing, health care, and education. Instead of giving yet another bailout to these corporations, we should invest in what our community needs: education, housing and health care programs. We should use that money to invest in our children.

Proposition 24 will not solve all our problems, but for places like South Central Los Angeles, it’s a step in the right direction.

For more on Proposition 24, visit the California Voter Guide.


YES vote on this measure means: Three business tax provisions will return to what they were before 2008 and 2009 law changes. As a result: (1) a business will be less able to deduct losses in one year against income in other years, (2) a multistate business will have its California income determined by a calculation using three factors, and (3) a business will not be able to share tax credits with related businesses NO vote on this measure means: Three business tax provisions that were recently changed will not be affected. As a result of maintaining current law: (1) a business will be able to deduct losses in one year against income in more situations, (2) most multistate businesses could choose to have their California income determined based only on a single sales factor, and (3) a business will be able to share its tax credits with related businesses.


PRO: Prop. 24 stops $1.7 billion in new special tax breaks for wealthy, multi-state corporations. They get unfair tax loopholes without creating one new job while small businesses get virtually no benefit. Public schools, healthcare and public safety should come before tax loopholes. Vote YES on 24—the Tax Fairness Act. CON: CALIFORNIA NEEDS JOBS, NOT A JOBS TAX! Prop. 24 doesn’t guarantee $1 for our classrooms and REDUCES long-term revenues for schools and vital services. It would hurt small businesses, tax job creation, send jobs OUT of California—costing us 144,000 jobs. Families can’t afford 24’s new taxes. No on 24!

Other stories on Proposition 24:

Proposition 24 would change tax laws for businesses

OPINION: The Prosperity Gospel according to Eddie Long

imageSikivu Hutchinson is the editor of blackfemlens.org and a senior fellow with the Institute for Humanist Studies. Become a fan of Blackfemlens on Facebook.

Who was it who said that it would be easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than a filthy rich pastor with a $350,000 Bentley to get into the Kingdom of God? And how long will it be before the Lord, working mysteriously, delivers New Birth Missionary Church Bishop Eddie Long — Bentley ditched for a Pinto — sobbing Jimmy Swaggart cum Ted Haggard-style in a warm lather of repentance on cable TV?

Accused of sexually abusing young men in his congregation, arch homophobe and macho man mentor of boys Long would seem to be the devil’s latest casualty.

In a week in which “God” has been routinely invoked to immunize crooks from criminal investigation and social condemnation, the Long allegations are yet another shining example of the sexually, morally and fiscally corrupt business of organized religion.

In the scandal-plagued city of Bell, California an indicted City Council member/pastor trotted out his belief in God as a cover for alleged misconduct. In an investment fraud case reverberating through the Los Angeles Police Department, victims cited the “Christian” orientation of the suspects as the primary motivating factor for their trust. Arguing for clemency, supporters of Virginia Death Row inmate Teresa Lewis piously vouched for her Christian prison “conversion.”

Having learned zero from the global pedophile priest scourge, our stridently Judeo Christian culture still routinely uses the assignation man or woman “of God” to shut down debate or consideration of how religion and religious authority gives license to those who act immorally. Indeed, how many times have we heard that a certain person could not have committed ‘that there’ serial murder because he was a good man of God, a devout Christian and a churchgoer who could regurgitate scripture on demand? And how many times have predators and hardcore career criminals been given a figurative pass or viewed as above suspicion because they were churchgoing Christians doing the Lord’s (dirty) work? Conversely, how many times have we heard the caveat that a certain person could not have committed ‘that there’ serial murder because they were a humanist, atheist or agnostic?

imageThe ATL’s very own ringleader of the prosperity gospel, Long has blazed a trail as an anti-same sex marriage Christian soldier and self-proclaimed “spiritual daddy” to a nationwide army. After the death of Coretta Scott King in 2004, Earl Ofari Hutchinson notes that, “Long’s anti-gay phobia was so virulent that then NAACP president Julian Bond publicly declared he would not attend (her) funeral service at Long’s New Birth Missionary Baptist Church.” A prominent supporter of George W. Bush and his anti-gay policies, Long and several other prosperity gospel predators were the subject of a 2007 federal probe on fiscal mismanagement of their tax exempt status. Launched by the U.S. Senate, the investigation was spearheaded by the Trinity Foundation, a nonprofit “religious media watchdog” dedicated to exposing fraud and financial improprieties within the billion-dollar megachurch industry.

imageLong’s empire of niche ministries, books, gospel shows and seminars powers a robber baron’s lifestyle of expensive cars, homes and private jets. One of these niche ministries involves spiritual counseling for young men and “delivering” men from homosexuality. According to a former New Birth parishioner, Long evoked themes of hyper-masculinity and required obeisance to himself as divinely ordained patriarch. The trespasses of Long and other good Christian evangelicals was scrutinized in Sarah Posner’s 2008 book God’s Profits: Faith, Fraud and the Republican Crusade for Values Voters.

Yet while the sex abuse epidemic in the Catholic Church has received much coverage, similar epidemics in Protestant churches have remained underreported. Commenting on the 2008 Chris Brown/Rihanna abuse incident black feminist anti-violence activist Kevin Powell recounted how he’d been approached for advice by a young woman who had been sexually abused by her pastor since she was five years old. Similarly, a young woman of my acquaintance related that she had been repeatedly molested by her pastor after her parents had entrusted her in his care. Clearly, sexual abuse is an endemic social issue that is not peculiar to organized religion. However, the mindset of the religious sexual predator is markedly different from one operating in a secular context because of the presumption of righteous morals and a higher calling. Further, religious hierarchies (be they Muslim, Christian, Mormon, Orthodox Jewish, etc.) delineating masculine roles, responsibilities and privileges perpetuate a culture of patriarchal entitlement and heterosexist control.

The Bible’s sanction of violence against women (e.g., rape and forced marriage) provides theological justification for viewing and treating women like property. If women are deemed to be second class citizens in scripture, and consigned to helpmate roles in the church, why wouldn’t male clergy act with impunity when it comes to sex and power? And if the culture of compulsory heterosexuality demands that men hew to rigid gender norms, it stands to reason that some closeted gay clergy will abuse their power by sexually abusing young male parishioners. Indeed, the heterosexist cult of the exalted pastor is based on the belief that “real men” should be inscrutable in their exercise of power and authority. Thus, the religious sexual predator may rationalize his behavior as being “ordained” by God. God confers him with ultimate authority and moral license. “His” ways are part of a divine moral order that mere laypeople don’t have access to.

From the time African American children become socially aware, the dominant culture reinforces the heterosexist perception of male clergy’s invulnerability and “above the law” status. Preachers are revered as founts of knowledge, wisdom and “reason.” In middle to working class black communities the absence of formal religious training or education is no barrier to having the title “Rev” “Dr.” or even “Reverend Doctor” slapped in front of one’s name. Consequently, the strong preacher (father) figure is one of the most universally respected models of masculinity in African American communities. Available for counsel and succor to male and female parishioners, the “daddy” pastor’s biblically sanctioned faith pimping spiritual ministry translates into emotional manipulation, psychological control, and sexual exploitation.

In America being a macho man and a professional homophobe is big business, one that jeopardizes the lives and mental health and wellness of thousands of gays and lesbians. Regardless of whether the allegations against Long are true or not, his prosperity gospel of gay-bashing and robber baron profiteering at the expense of poor black people is another indictment of the moral injustice that happens on “God’s” watch.

Sikivu Hutchinson is the editor of blackfemlens.org and a senior fellow with the Institute for Humanist Studies. This article originally appeared here.

New jobs at Inglewood City Hall despite hiring freeze

Since calling for a hiring freeze in early February to help close a $10 million budget gap, the Inglewood City Council has approved the hiring of 21 new employees at a cost of nearly $2 million.

The new hires include four in the planning department, two in the city clerk’s office, four in the police department, nine in the parks and recreation department and two in residential sound institution.

The salaries and benefits for the new hires will add a cost of nearly $2 million to the city’s $324 million budget. Three of the positions are described as part-time, and seven are temporary.

During the hiring freeze, each new position must be approved by the city council, an additional step in the hiring process.

Councilwoman Judy Dunlap said each hire is examined closely and that all of the hires the council has approved since the freeze went into effect are crucial to providing key city services.

“We are looking at tremendous cuts and expenditures,” said Dunlap. “We strongly consider these things when we’re looking at hirings.”

The jobs deemed most crucial after the council approved the freeze were those in the city clerk’s office, which have been filled.

In her request for the city council’s approval of new hires for her office, City Clerk Yvonne Horton anticipated six elections taking place in Inglewood between June 2010 and June 2011, half of them runoff elections. Horton told the council that the positions “will allow the City Clerk’s office to provide excellent service to the community.”

The city budget allots less than $600,000 to the city clerk’s office. The two new hires will cost $161,000 combined.

Ed Maddox, public information officer for Inglewood, said other jobs, such as those needing to be filled in the planning department, are handled on a “case-by-case” basis. Some requests were made before the Feb. 2 hiring freeze gained approval, complicating the approval process.

In the planning department, lack of adequate staffing has delayed plans to convert Hollywood Park into a housing and business development, according to city staff.

Council Member Ralph Franklin said the planning department jobs are a catalyst for future job opportunities.

“By hiring planners, we stimulate the job market with these projects that allow for more jobs to be created,” Franklin said. “The money is recycled back into the city.”

Dunlap said the city council is still in the process of completely providing permission for each department to choose final job candidates. She said the city council should be presented with a new list of prospective planning department employees within the next two weeks.

More from Inglewood City Hall:

Inglewood residents fear an onslaught of special elections

Over the next eight months, Inglewood voters may find themselves casting ballots in local elections not once, not twice, but as many as five times.

The voting begins with a special election on June 8 to fill the post vacated by Inglewood Mayor Roosevelt Dorn, who abruptly resigned in January after pleading guilty to a charge of public corruption.

If one candidate does not receive the majority of the votes, a runoff election will be scheduled no more than 70 days later, meaning some time in August, according to the city charter.

Close contests that result in runoffs are not uncommon in Inglewood. The city’s last mayoral election – in 2006 – went to a runoff, as did the election that year for the District 1 council seat.

“When you have a fresh election with new people, yes, [a runoff] is very common,” said Yvonne Horton, city clerk for Inglewood.

If one of the three council members who are vying for the mayoral spot wins, another election may be required to fill their vacated post.

And that’s not it.

Inglewood’s “worst-case scenario” could include an onslaught of special elections, said Elliott Petty, of the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy and the Coalition for a Better Inglewood.

“I very easily see four to five elections in the next eight months, a low turnout, and a lot of money for the city,” Petty said.

Kareem Crayton, an expert on election law and politics at the University of Southern California, called it the “domino effect of election vacancies.” While he said special elections are not uncommon, “the people who design these election rules do not really consider the costs associated with the ‘worst case scenario.’”

The June election alone will divert more than $100,000 from Inglewood’s general fund, Horton said. By consolidating the local election with a statewide race, the city will not have to hire its own poll workers.

But, according to Horton, that doesn’t mean the election is free. “[The state] will give us a quote, and we have to pay them,” she said.

The price tag for each subsequent runoff election would be the same, with the cost shouldered entirely by the city.

Further complicating matters is the fact that the nominating period for the November’s regular mayoral election runs from July 12 to August 6.

“Special elections happen all the time for any unfortunate reason,” said Sherry Mosley, an expert on governmental affairs at the University of Southern California. “But if that ran into a November election, then why are they having a November election?”

Council members are considering consolidating a potential runoff with the November election, said Edward Maddox, the Inglewood public information officer.

“They would need to petition to put something on the ballot that would change the rules,” Maddox said. “There is talk about that but council hasn’t taken any action.”

Residents are worried about what this potential election overload could do to voter turnout.

“I tend to believe after so many elections people get tired and dismayed,” Petty said. “You hear a lot of promises, and you get tired of the promises.”

Recent political events in Inglewood, however, have sparked an increased interest at city council meetings. The first council meeting after Dorn’s resignation drew a standing-room-only crowd.

“I hope these citizens see there’s a change happening,” Raynald Davis, an Inglewood resident, observed at the time. “And we need to take a stand as a city.”