8th District candidates
Bernard C. Parks, Jabari Jumaane, Forescee Hogan-Rowles
Bernard C. Parks
QUESTION: Judging by the number of people (solidly qualified community members) who were interested in running for this seat and from the recent 8th District People’s Convention, there are some of your constituents who have expressed strong reservations about how you are addressing the district’s needs. If you are re-elected, would you change your agenda for the district, why and why not, and what would that new agenda be?
I disagree with your first two premises: A) There are just two candidates who have qualified to run against me in the 8th District, and it can be debated as to whether or not they are strongly qualified and B) the 8th District People’s Convention, in my view, was not an objective districtwide assessment of me or my office’s performance. Yes, there may be some residents who might disagree strongly, but in my day-to-day personal interactions with the community, review of correspondence sent to the office and other means of accessing performance, I find significant overall support for the efforts of the 8th District. Constituents are overjoyed to have moved from an era of special interest and self-absorption to an era of community interest. When re-elected, it is my intention to continue the legacy programs of local job creation, economic and housing development, recreational and cultural activities, community outreach and infrastructure improvements. I will make my best efforts to continue to evolve my office to ensure the district personnel are equipped to meet every need of my constituents present and future.
QUESTION: Some consider you a political neophyte, and we are facing some very tough situations in the 8th District now. How will you overcome your political inexperience to move your agenda forward?
I do not see my inexperience in traditional politics as an obstacle to be overcome in order to move the community’s agenda forward. When we look at the current city council and the mayor, we see several individuals with years of traditional political experience. We have a councilperson presently representing the 8th District who has eight years of traditional political experience. Yet, when I speak to residents and consider what I am experiencing as a resident of the great 8th, I cannot help but be struck by the realization that traditional political experience has not resulted in the quality of life that residents of the 8th district deserve or desire.
My lack of traditional political experience means that I am free to exercise some political will on behalf of residents and stakeholders of the District. I am highly competent to represent this district in spite of my political inexperience. I have the education, having earned a Bachelor of Science degree in public administration from the University of Southern California. Public administration deals with the administration of resources, finance, and personnel etc. These are precisely the skills I have used for the past 10 years as the administrator of the AFIBA (African Firefighters In Benevolent Association) Center.
As a firefighter for the past 25 years, with 11 of those years as an inspector, I am not a stranger to residents and our neighborhoods or to city departments and city hall. My experience as an inspector, in particular, gave me invaluable insight into regulating, inspecting and approving plans for community development projects.
Traditional political experience is not what is going to get us through the tough challenges facing the 8th District. In many cases it has been those who we tout as having all of the experience who have for years ignored the obvious signs of impending doom, which have now grown into a $362,000,000.00 disaster (the budget crisis) we grapple with today.
You’ve been in the non profit world, where things work a lot differently from government. There is often less “red tape,” and decisions and things get done faster. How will you move your agenda forward given the often plodding way government sometimes operates?
Having served as both a state and city commissioner, and worked on several ordinances and laws, I know all too well the plodding way that government sometimes operates.
I have worked with a coalition of non-profit organizations to bring attention to laws against predatory lending—a hard hitting economic issue in our community. Predatory lending establishments are the check cashing establishments offering “payday” loans that can cost a person as much as 200-300 percent in interest—often costing more to repay the loan amount than the amount they borrowed.
Check cashing for a family that does not have a bank account can cost as much as $750-$800 annually just in check cashing costs. These check cashers have proliferated through our community during the past eight years without a voice of opposition. I stand against predatory lending and will continue to work for laws that will bring fairness to lending in all communities, especially communities of color.
I have also worked on a local bid preference policy as a city commissioner that would help create jobs in the city, rather than other countries. The local bid preference policy would give preference to small businesses located in and around the city of Los Angeles for creating jobs in Los Angeles. Since the city overall is suffering from unemployment, this is one strong way to help create long-term living wage jobs.
As leader of Community Financial Resource Center (CFRC), one of the most successful public/private partnerships, created by community leaders, local and international banks and City of Los Angeles, what I do everyday is collaboration and partnership, moving our community economic development agenda forward through the toughest of times.
To move our 8th District community economic and job creation agenda forward, I will work with city leaders and council members, union leaders and management to build support and consensus for the work that needs to get done, not tear people apart. This is the time for working in unity, not separation and fear tactics; this is our time to move boldly, we must get Marlton Square, Manchester and Vermont, Manchester and Broadway built. We must bring grocery stores, pharmacies and healthcare back to the 8th district. And I am committed to helping our leadership get Martin Luther King Jr. Hospital open again.
The Los Angeles Community Reinvestment Committee, dba Community Financial Resource Center (CFRC), has changed its name to RISE Financial Pathways. The acronym RISE stands for Reach, Invest, Succeed and Earn. The announcement was made during its 2013 Power Luncheon and awards ceremony and 20th year anniversary celebration held recently at the JW Marriott at L.A. Live in Los Angeles.
The change comes as a result of a name and visual identity grant received from the Taproot Foundation.
Forescee Hogan-Rowles is all about business and she has been since she studied fashion design at Brooks College and then created a company that manufactured and distributed better women’s junior sportswear in 26 states and four countries.
The California native operated FLIPS for six years and her designs appeared in Women’s Wear Daily and the California Apparel News.
BERNARD C. PARKS
With a little under two weeks left before municipal elections, getting to know the candidates and their stances on issues of importance to you is even more critical. In this continuation of our “Conversations with the Candidates series,” we asked each individual campaigning the same question:
Can you please detail how you will ensure that constituents (from the ordinary resident to those in leadership roles) in the 8th District are involved in helping develop, shape and implement an agenda?
Television and movie producer Norman Lear will receive a lifetime achievement award May 22 at the Playboy Mansion for his defense of values embodied by the Bill of Rights, the Hugh M. Hefner Foundation announced today.
The awards, begun in 1979 by Christie Hefner, honor people who help protect and enhance First Amendment rights in journalism, government, book publishing and education.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa made “daring to dream” a theme for his final state of the city address, which he also used to challenge the candidates running to succeed him to focus more on education.
The outgoing mayor, whose successor will be sworn in July 1, burnished the achievements of his nearly eight years in office, while also urging the candidates looking to replace him to make education policy a “bigger” and “bolder” part of their campaigns.