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Garcetti or Greuel for Mayor? Micro-Neighborhoods like South Robertson May Cast the Deciding Votes May 21

The neighborhood adjacent to the Pico-Robertson intersection could call the L.A. mayoral race.
The neighborhood adjacent to the Pico-Robertson intersection could call the L.A. mayoral race.
Matthew Mullins

Wendy Greuel or Eric Garcetti will be the new mayor of L.A. thanks to Precinct 9001492A, a micro-neighborhood in South Robertson where voters in the March primary were about equally divided between Garcetti and Greuel, Kevin James came in third and Jan Perry trailed in fourth.

In fact, the South Robertson precinct closely mirrored how L.A. voted as a whole.

So when its residents -- of Alcott Street, Oakhurst Drive and Durango, Canfield and Oakhurst avenues -- vote on May 21, they, along with other precincts who closely mimicked the citywide primary election, could play the role of bellwether.

After all, they think like the rest of L.A. So who is Precinct 9001492A in South Robertson voting for? We asked. They said ...

some very interesting things.

Precinct 9001492A is livable and friendly, its business district featuring a Kabbalah center, a Starbucks, a couple of medical dispensaries, small trendy shops, specialty stores and cleaners. The residential streets are lush with trees, and clean.

Find yourself on the 2013 mayoral voting map.
Find yourself on the 2013 mayoral voting map.
Los Angeles Times

Thanks to a remarkable interactive map created by digital wizards at the Los Angeles Times graphics department -- the "L.A. Mayoral Election Results" map -- anyone can go online, easily zoom in on any neighborhood, and see how each and every individual resident voted for mayor, even back to 2001.

Each human is represented by a color-coded dot, and each dot has been slightly moved away from the voter's real address so that voter privacy is protected.

Last March, scores of precincts from the San Fernando Valley to the city's urban core closely approximated the citywide vote. Hundreds of other precincts were far out of whack from the citywide view, voting heavily in one camp or another.

In Precinct 9001492A, just southeast of Pico Avenue and Robertson Boulevard, we went out and knocked on some doors, and asked several residents who they were voting for in the 2013 Los Angeles mayoral runoff.

Of 15 people asked, six people stopped to comment on who they support, and why.

A man getting out of his car said, "I was for Wendy Greuel until I read somewhere that she used resources paid for by the public to further her campaign. I am completely for Garcetti now. While he sometimes seems cold, he has been actively involved in the Latino community and I trust him more than her. So, Garcetti." In April, Greuel was accused of using her city council email address to campaign issues.

What some find to be unethical, others forgive. One woman neighbor supports Greuel because of her proposal to raise the minimum wage.

The woman said, "I heard that Wendy plans to make the minimum wage $15 an hour. My daughter and her husband just had a baby, and they are struggling pretty badly. I'm voting for Greuel, hoping that this change is more than a just a promise. You can't always see."

At one home, a woman answered the door and her husband followed after. When we explained the Los Angeles Times dot-per-voter map, she was completely disinterested and excused herself. Then the man said, "I want Garcetti to win. I know he has been on City Council for a long time. His experience is what we need to get out of the hole we are in right now."

Just a couple houses down, one woman agreed, "Eric Garcetti is the only choice. Greuel has proven to be a weak opponent after the primary. It takes more than someone who can balance a checkbook to do the job."

One man was pulling mail out of his mailbox. As he pulled out several campaign flyers, he joked about the amount of mail he had been receiving: "This [amount] is less than yesterday, but what a waste."

After looking at the Times mayoral voting map we provided, he marveled at the incredible detail showing how his block voted.

"I don't really know my neighbors, but this is really interesting. All I can say is when I read about Bill Clinton backing Wendy Greuel, I decided to go her way. I guess we will know soon."

Clinton endorsed Greuel in March, in a statement that said:

"In her many years of public service in Los Angeles ... Wendy has personified good, honest and effective government, improving the lives of countless Angelenos while saving millions of their tax dollars, and she's not done yet."

Greuel said she was humbled by the support froml Clinton. The endorsement gave a boost to her campaign.

At the southern edge of Precinct 9001492A, a woman answered her door. Refusing to even look at the election map, she said, "I'm voting for Wendy Greuel. We need some estrogen in City Hall. City politics have been dominated by men and it's time for a woman."

That's three and three. Neck-and-neck. Will micro-neighborhoods like this act as the bellwethers for a close race? And if so, who do you think will win?


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