Bernard Parks doesn’t quite say he supports gentrification, but has called for more market-rate building in the 8th District to pick up the standard of living there. The practical Jan Perry must balance the needs of her poor 9th District constituents south of the Santa Monica Freeway with the downtown business interests who pay the tax bills. Neither is shy about defending their district. But Parks and Perry could be won over — they have hired Reyes’ old boss, ex-Councilman Mike Hernandez, who began pressing his colleagues for housing equity a decade ago.
Reyes, meanwhile, is suddenly in a hurry. He has been working on the issue for about a third of his life, but the exit last month of five of his colleagues and the arrival of five new members jolted him into noticing that the first two years of his term were history.
“We have to talk about where we can build new housing,” Reyes insisted on the council floor Friday. “In the age of term limits, we are running out of time.”