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L.A. District 9 Race: A Quick Glance

Jacqueline Jackson |
February 20, 2013 | 1:09 a.m. PST

Staff Reporter

The 9th District consist of multiple neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles including The Staples Center, USC, Watts Housing Projects. Located throughout an extensive space in Los Angeles the 9th District has potential to grow into one of L.A.’s key economic sectors.

Currently represented by Councilwoman Jan Perry, the district is compromised of Downtown L.A., South Park, Bunker Hill, South L.A. and USC. However, after 12 years as the council representative for the district, Perry will leave many issues for the entering member to face. 

As the race intensifies candidates are campaigning all throughout Los Angeles to showcase their drive, spirit and agenda for the 9th district. First on the list of challenges are jobs. According to CBS local the unemployment rate in Los Angeles is 11 percent. Mayoral candidate David Anthony Roberts has expressed the need to place job creation on top of his agenda. This rate reflects the overwhelming affects of the recession but also a lack of increase in community development. In order to effectively govern the district over the next few years members of the 9th District will need to focus on attracting businesses and developing thriving community sectors, however, the incoming member will have to do it with less tools than their predecessors.

The entire city of Los Angeles has seen a decrease in budget that will heavily affect its operations for the next few years. The City Administrative Officer has estimated a $200 million budget shortfall for 2013-2014 increasing to $300 million in 2015-2016. This shift will allow administrators to tackle much needed expenses to prevent further debt and potential bankruptcy but at the expense of salaries, pensions and taxes for citizens. The 9th District council member will have to ease citizen concern on employment, benefits and safety throughout this time. 

The Candidates 

Ana Cubas

A graduate of UC Berkeley and Princeton. She studied sociology at Berkeley and urban planning at Princeton. As chief of staff for councilman Jose Huziar and employee of the Los Angeles City Human Relations Commission, Cubas is focused on reforming the budget and improving city infrastructure. 

Ron Gochez

Social Justice High School history teacher with a bachelor's degree from San Diego State and master's degree in education from UCLA. As a current teacher of African American Studies and founder of Southern California Immigration Coalition and Association of Raza Educators, Gochez’s main focus is fighting poverty and job creation while tackling police abuse and racial profiling. 

Terry Hara

The deputy chief of the LAPD and graduate of National University. Hara’s expertise is in law enforcement and he is focused on building safer communities within South L.A. 

David Roberts

Community development advocate. With 15 years of experience as the economic development deputy for the 8th District Councilmen Mark Ridley Thomas and Bernard C. Parks. Roberts is focused on addressing the issues of job creation and economic development while also investing in South L.A. youth. 

Curren D. Price  

Curren Price is a native of Los Angeles and graduated from Morningside High School in Inglewood. He received a scholarship to attend Stanford University where he studied political science. Price was elected to the California legislature in 2006 to represent the 51st Assembly District and was re-elected in 2008.  

Mike Davis

Davis was elected to serve the 48th Assembly District in 2006. He served as senior deputy supervisor for Los Angeles County Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke. He is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School and USC Price School of Public Policy. Davis is focusing on improving condiditions in the 9th District through fueling the economic sector and focusing on education. 

Manuel "Manny" Aldana

Aldana is a South L.A. native who attended Jefferson High School and graduated from Los Angeles Trade Tech with an associate's degree in electrical construction and maintenance. He is a strong believer in re-establishing strong educational values in the LAUSD cirriculum. 

The Race to the Finish

The 9th District race for city council is nearing its final stages and all candidates are making rounds throughout the city to speak with voters about their plans to improve the district. The reaction of many district residents has been hopeful but skeptical as they want to see more accomplished over the next few years. Members of the USC community weren't heavily involved in the election campaign upon conducting interviews few knew about the election or even recognized the importance of the surrounding signs in the neighborhood, one resident and employee of a local business, said the signs were " placed weeks earlier" by one indvidual. For this reason many believe Los Angeles needs to do a better job at getting voters involved in the election and community activities that promote it. In an interview with Intersections South LA  member of the South Central Neighborhood Council, Jose Lara, expressed the same voting turnout concerns:

“Unfortunately in South LA we have very low voter turnout and we want to change that," she said. "Because of the way our electoral system is many people are disenfranchised, many people don’t know when to vote, how to vote, where to vote.” However, even with a potential voter turnout issue the District 9 office is confident that the incoming member will help move the city forward with Perry's foundation.

Perry's press deputy, Eva Behrend, agreed with the community on the future. She said:


"Councilwoman Perry has worked very hard to ensure that the needs of the community are met. It's important more now than ever that the incoming council member understands how to use economic development tools including investing and job training to provide new resources for the community.

I believe that the next council person will need to work closely with the community to ensure that all needs are met and that Perry's legacy of empowering and improving South L.A. is continued for years to come."


The election set for March 5 will decide who will lead the 9th District and its business and community development. Although members of 7th & Fig and the Central Avenue Business Association weren't available for comment, the importance of economic development has been shared by all candidates within the campaign.

For continuous coverage of the 9th District Election visit Neon Tommy's Coverage here.


Reach Staff Reporter Jacqueline Jackson here



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