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1st District Council Candidates Attend Forum

Four city council hopefuls who want to replace termed-out Los Angeles City District 1 Councilman Ed Reyes, participated in a candidates’ forum Monday night at the Carlin G. Smith Recreation Center in Mount Washington.

One resident in attendance told EGP the forum was particularly exciting since it’s the first contest in years. The 1st Council District has been represented by Reyes since 2001; the long-time councilman has endorsed his chief of staff as his successor.

The March Primary Election could present a major shakeup at City Hall, just as the city is grappling with how to deal with a potentially crippling budget shortfall of over $200 million. More than half of the council seats, the offices of mayor, city attorney and city controller are all up for grabs.

All 15 council districts underwent redistricting earlier this year. The new CD-1 boundaries, which take effect in January, now include all of Mount Washington, where Monday’s forum was held.

Announced candidates include local businessman Jesse Rosas, Neighborhood Council Board Member William “Rodriguez” Morrison, Councilman Reyes’ Chief Deputy, Jose A. Gardea, Assemblyman Gilbert “Gil” Cedillo, and Church of the City Pastor Randy Carillo, who was the only candidate to not take part in the forum.

As of Tuesday, Gardea was the only candidate to file the required forms needed to qualify to have his name on the ballot. Candidates have until Dec. 5 to file their Nominating Petitions, and either pay the filing fee or meet the required number of signatures to wave the fee.

During the forum, candidates responded to a variety of questions from both the moderator and members of the audience, ranging from how they would bring jobs to the area, reduce crime and gangs, to their thoughts on restoring and enhancing the Los Angeles River — one of Reyes’ top projects.

The event was presented by the Mount Washington Homeowners Alliance and according to the group’s vice president of programs, Monique Gaudry, candidates were asked to provide in advance of the meeting written responses to questions on the Autry-Southwest Museum issue, the Van De Kamps Dispute. They were also asked about their involvement in non-governmental organizations. The written responses, and possibly a video of the forum, will be posted in the near future on the alliance’s website, Gaudry told EGP. The group’s website is www.mountwashingtonalliance.com/

The City of Los Angeles Primary Nominating Election will be held on March 5, 2013. Other contests include: Mayor, City Controller, City Attorney, City Council District 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13 and 15; LAUSD School Board offices 2, 4, and 6; and Los Angeles Community College District Seats 2, 4 and 6.