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
In any event, Parks is not the best candidate for this seat. That distinction belongs to Sherri Franklin, a financial consultant with an admirable record of securing funding for inner-city community development — notably, new affordable-housing developments complete with child-care facilities. Under Mayors Bradley and Riordan, Franklin also served on the Board of Zoning Appeals, on the Rent Stabilization Commission (her view of rental economics is at once more grounded and less Darwinian than Parks’), and as president of the Transportation Commission (from which Riordan removed her after she opposed his proposal to privatize parking enforcement). Franklin’s our clear choice in the 8th.10th District — Martin Ludlow
Though the Weeklyhas opposed term limits from the get-go, we have always said that in some instances, term limits would have happy consequences. So it is in this midcity district running from Wilshire to Baldwin Hills, where longtime incumbent and bush-league demagogue Nate Holden is finally termed out. Just how happy those consequences will be depends on who succeeds Nate. In this race, there are two worthy successors, and some unworthy ones, too.
The unworthies include former Assemblyman Rod Wright. In the Assembly, Wright showed himself to be both a bright and an industrious legislator, but to execrable ends. Notwithstanding the gun violence in his district, Wright was the National Rifle Association’s point man in Sacramento, the guy who’d weaken or thwart gun-control legislation and help the NRA woo new legislators to its column.
Another substellar choice in this race is Holden’s longtime district aide Deron Williams. Something of a Horatio Alger story, Williams worked himself up Holden’s chain of command, and takes credit for the siting of various retail outlets — most notably, Krispy Kreme — in the 10th in recent years. But the very problem of the 10th is that it can’t claim anything more significant than a Krispy Kreme. Despite diverging from Holden on some of his boss’s most bizarre positions (Williams, for instance, supports the consent decree, which Holden opposed), he has neither the distance from Holden nor a sufficiently expansive view of the district’s potential to merit endorsement.
This is the one race this year in which two candidates clearly merit support: Madison Shockley, who challenged Holden four years ago and got 46 percent of the vote, and first-time candidate Martin Ludlow. Either would be a welcome change for the 10th District and the city as a whole. At a time when many African-American leaders are increasingly parochial and ethnocentric, both Shockley and Ludlow can justly claim to have built multiracial coalitions and to have championed the interests of L.A.’s multiracial poor. Both have been strong voices for police reform and civilian control of the department: Shockley wrote numerous newspaper columns blasting the LAPD for the Rampart scandal; Ludlow was the community-outreach coordinator for the campaign to pass Christopher Commission reforms and wants to give the department’s independent inspector general real investigative capacity. Either candidate would be a strong and needed counterweight to Bernie Parks on the council.
An ordained minister, Shockley has disseminated a biblically based curriculum in black churches promoting reproductive choice. He coordinated a program of 200 "community conversations" following the 1992 riots, and he’s a board member of a successful inner-city charter school.
Ludlow matches Shockley’s commitment to progressive causes, and would also bring to the council a level of energy and organizing smarts seldom found in City Hall. There’s hardly a notable local battle over the past 15 years — from police-reform ballot measures to the ouster of corrupt leadership in the city’s restaurant union — in which Ludlow hasn’t played the role of organizer and strategist. He served as Southern California chief of staff for Antonio Villaraigosa during Villaraigosa’s Assembly speakership, and then as political director for the L.A. County Federation of Labor. On matters of economic development, Ludlow supports building up the city’s transit corridors, but he also understands, as few candidates do, that building a stronger local economy also means helping the current campaign to unionize the thousands of high-rise security guards across L.A. Both Shockley and Ludlow would be welcome additions to the City Council; Ludlow would be an exceptional one.12th District — Rob Vinson
Yet another council elder falling prey to term limits is Hal Bernson, the council’s dean, who’s represented this northwest Valley district for 24 years. The 12th has long been the city’s most conservative district (secession carried in the 12th by a hefty 61 percent to 39 percent margin last November), but it’s growing less so: The 12th now has a narrow plurality of Democratic voters.
It’s not much of an exaggeration to say that Bernson, in all his years on the council, never saw a development he didn’t like. It’s precisely that orientation from which Greig Smith, his longtime chief of staff and the front-runner to succeed Bernson in this election, has been scrambling to distance himself. On matters developmental, and on city policy generally, Smith would doubtless take more moderate positions than Bernson. But the district and the city could do better than this center-right insider. (It could also do worse. Former Assembly Member Paula Boland, a virulent right-winger, die-hard secessionist and all-around dim bulb, is also seeking the seat.)