I received this comment from Jill Banks Barad, a very respected member of our community. It is worth reading.
Please note my reply and challenge to the Essel camp to have a comparable community leader make a similar post.
Here is Jill’s comment:
The winner of the CD2 election will be the next chair of City Council’s Education & Neighborhoods Committee…an important position in the life and future of neigborhood councils in LA. Those of us active in neighborhood councils need an advocate;someone who is not afraid to have us at the “table”.
So let’s look at recent history and what we do know about these candidates.
Paul Krekorian has represented much of this district in the Assembly. His constituents praise him for his accessibility and effectiveness. He cares about people and that is obvious when you speak with him and he communicates that to his staff as well.
As president of the Central City Association, Chris Essel represented that organization as favoring financial disclosure forms for neighborhood council members, which she reinforced at a recent candidates forum.
A majority of Essel’s campaign contributors continue the adversarial role of downtown versus the community . These people include developers, law firms representing downtown interests, lobbyists’ (families), and the downtown business associations. These are the folks that lobbied hard the City Councilmembers against any significant role for neighborhood councils, especially giving appeal rights to councils in certain land use issues. They also lobbied hard for extensive financial disclosure for neighborhood council members.
This is a clear case of “downtown” wanting to control this seat.
Now, you decide who should be our advocate.
My reply: I always appreciate input from respected community advocates. Jill is a proven leader. She created and chairs the Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils, a group that gets the attention of our elected officials.
I would like to see a post from someone in Essel’s camp who is also in a leadership position. We need to foster a debate not only among the two candidates, but the voters as well. There is too much at stake to allow this election to be overly influenced by slick mailers and robocalls.
Thank you, Jill, for your input. -Paul Hatfield.