By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
Victor Jack Weiss ran a tough, sometimes mean, but ultimately fair campaign. And Hayden made a very creditable showing. Now, however, the voters have suggested that it’s time for the (in both senses) 60-ish political wunderkind to go back to writing books instead of ordinances. Hayden’s best writings so far have chronicled his pre-1980 activist years. I for one would like to read just what he’s learned from his 20 years of state elected office.
Congratulations to Eric Garcetti for his win in what was, almost until the end, a fair-fought race in our bohemian 13th District. Consolations to Mike Woo, the former councilman who almost proved — with a determined and hard-hitting campaign — that you can have a third act in your political career after having missed your second act.
Finally, the strongest showing by a loser in the runoff election: Hector Cepeda’s in the Harbor-centered 15th. Against perhaps the most recognizable, best-financed candidate in all the council elections, Janice Hahn, Cepeda put up one hell of a fight. He had diminished her early, overwhelming lead of nearly 80 percent to about 55 percent by the time the final returns were in.
This suggested that, had he only garnered stronger financing and a few major endorsements, he might have put Ms. Hahn in a photo finish. He is definitely the guy to watch next time.
Cepeda, you might recall, was the youngest candidate in the original six-person primary field in that race. He’s also the only contender who literally walked the entire district from bottom to top, knocking on doors all the way and sleeping in the homes of supporters. Cepeda noted early that the 15th is majority Latino, if by no means majority Latino registered voters. His good showing among African-American and Latinos both, in the light of a recent rebound in the Harbor secession movement, reminds us how few nonwhite people have been visible in that breakaway effort, whose proposed separated municipality would take the waterfront areas but abandon the 15th District’s Watts portion to Los Angeles.
Finally, Marlene Canter ousted Valerie Fields from the school board. Generally speaking, that was a good thing. Fields was the board’s major Belmont Learning Center–as–Chernobyl bomb tosser. Minus Fields, the superintendent, board and district may finally be able to deal with this complex and disruptive issue almost rationally.
But it should also be recalled that Fields also had some good positions — particularly on decent nutrition for LAUSD kids. She moved in May to study the relationship of bad school-food offerings to obesity and other child health problems. Superintendent Roy Romer (who struck out some of the motion’s original text) has picked up the ball on this one and is expected to report to the board on the matter June 26.
Let’s hope Canter will continue Fields’ worthy support of the healthy school lunch, and help the board to roll back the widespread industrial fast-food intrusions into our educational system.