Author: Joe

The Los Angeles City Council Elections Are Not a Good Idea

The Los Angeles City Council Elections Are Not a Good Idea

For Black Angelenos, election of Karen Bass brings joy in a divisive time. But they want results, and they aren’t holding their breath.

Holly Taylor in her apartment in Echo Park. Photo: Matt Brown, Special To The Chronicle

For months, black voters in Echo Park voted the right candidate for the right reason — black turnout was up, the turnout for Latinos and Asian Americans was down — but the election’s outcome has left them disappointed instead of elated. Not that they would argue against a diverse city where no one is a majority.

Instead, they are left with doubts. The city’s Latino population doubled last year, and the city is expected to get many more students from South Los Angeles, which it joins in an agreement with its neighbor to put a high school, a high school and a middle school in the downtown area. And yet a candidate for Council District 8, whose district stretches from Echo Park to Pasadena and beyond, with residents like Holly Taylor and Maria Fernandez, is now one of the most high-profile members of the Council, which is also home to two of the country’s highest-ranking elected officials: Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.

Taylor is one of the lucky ones. She is running against four other candidates in a city that is still working to recover from the devastating fires that destroyed or damaged many homes, businesses and schools, killing eight and leaving an estimated 70 people still missing. The election is a month after the first one in which the city was placed under a 24-hour fire watch, as fire prevention measures have been heightened, and five new fire stations have opened.

The last election in December 2018, voters were asked: Should the city of Los Angeles place a moratorium on the construction of new housing? Should L.A. place a higher priority on ensuring the ability to afford quality housing in the most affordable areas? Should the city invest in community colleges and other programs? Should L.A. continue to create a “city within a city” — a concept that’s been around for decades, but never came to fruition? And most importantly, should the city continue to build affordable housing, which has been among the city’s strongest drivers of economic development?

“Not sure if they wanted to know our opinion,” Taylor said.

At the time, the vast majority of

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