By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
By Dennis Romero
11th DISTRICT — CINDY MISCIKOWSKI
Until recently, one-term incumbent Miscikowski’s council tenure was courteous and conciliatory to a fault — and when things are going wrong in government, conciliation can truly be a fault. Still, she faced few major problems in her very prosperous Westside–West Valley district, and she inherited from her predecessor, Marvin Braude, the best of an efficient, constituent-friendly office staff.
Over the past few months, however, Miscikowski has grown into one of the council’s most outspoken and forthright members on issues of importance to the city as a whole. As the chair of the council’s Public Safety Committee, she issued by far the strongest condemnation of Mayor Riordan’s scapegoating and firing of Police Commission President Gerald Chaleff — a condemnation not echoed by many of her normally more voluble council colleagues. She was a strong supporter of the consent decree, standing up to the mayor’s and the chief’s opposition. Finally, she took on nearly all of her council colleagues when she opposed their decision to leave Jackie Goldberg’s council seat unfilled after Goldberg was elected to the Assembly. Where most of her colleagues seemed motivated by personal pique to keep Goldberg’s chief of staff from temporarily filling that seat, Miscikowski actually dared to argue that the right of the 13th District’s residents to representation was really a more fundamental concern.
Where did she get this idea? When did Emily Post become Tom Paine? Well-mannered Cindy Miscikowski has become that most dangerous of legislative breeds: a small-d democrat. This woman clearly merits re-election.
13th DISTRICT — ERIC GARCETTI
If it demonstrates nothing else, the field of candidates in the 13th District makes clear that Jackie Goldberg was no fluke. In her seven and a half years representing this Hollywood–Silver Lake–Echo Park district on the City Council, Goldberg was the outstanding progressive in city government — author of one of the nation’s most far-reaching living-wage ordinances, a model domestic-partner ordinance, and such innovative project deals as the one at the shopping and entertainment complex at Hollywood and Highland which ensured workers’ rights to a fair union election.
Goldberg was elected to the state Assembly last November, and the field vying to succeed her contains a number of candidates with ideas and pedigrees just as progressive as Jackie’s. Whether any of them have Goldberg’s considerable leadership skills has yet to be determined. But from the Weekly’s perspective, this group of candidates confronts the voters of the 13th with an embarrassment of riches — rather than, as is more commonly the case, simply an embarrassment. The candidates in this race tend to be ardent supporters of workers rights, of parkland and open space, of far-reaching police reform and of major initiatives in affordable housing. We could enthusiastically endorse several candidates in this race; we’d happily redistribute them to other districts — except, they wouldn’t be electable in other districts. The 13th, though, has plainly become L.A.’s progressive homeland, and here is the choice before it:
School teacher Bennett Kayser is a longtime community activist who’s been promoting neighborhood councils for as long as anyone can remember — a perspective he brought to the charter-reform commission, which embraced his position on the councils. It’s not clear, however, that the conscientious Kayser has the leadership skills required to be a forceful council proponent for this or any of the other causes he’s worked to advance.
Former Goldberg staffer Conrado Terrazas has had a remarkable career. He’s been an organizer for the United Farm Workers, received an MBA from Yale, worked as an executive at Fox and Disney studios, and founded the Harvey Milk Democratic Club, one of L.A.’s leading gay and lesbian political institutions. After he ran unsuccessfully against Goldberg for this council seat back in 1993, she hired him as a field deputy, in which capacity he worked as a liaison with the Hollywood business community, cleaning up the neighborhood and shepherding a youth center into existence. What we haven’t seen from Terrazas are the kind of skills he would need to become a progressive leader on the City Council, though in a less stellar field of candidates, he’d surely have our backing.
From 1996 to 2000, Scott Wildman represented Glendale, Silver Lake and adjoining areas in the state Assembly, where he was a down-the-line progressive vote. Wildman was something of an accidental assemblyman — an electoral novice who’d worked as a political rep for the teachers’ union, and whose ’96 election resulted chiefly from demographic changes and union voter drives in his district both in excess of anyone’s anticipation. In the Assembly, he did valuable investigative work on school-safety issues, though he has now locked himself into an unfortunate and unyielding opposition to any further consideration of the Belmont site, no matter what any future research may show. He avidly, if not adeptly, opposed runaway production in the film industry; and he marched and was arrested with striking janitors last year. Wildman’s intentions are invariably fine, but he lacked the temperament to advance his causes in the Assembly, and we fear the same will happen on the council.