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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Jobs, Family Prove Decisive For District 9 Voter

Matt Hamilton |
March 5, 2013 | 3:52 p.m. PST

Staff Reporter

Joy Lewis enters the Theresa Lindsay Senior Center to vote on March 5 (Matt Hamilton/Neon Tommy).
Joy Lewis enters the Theresa Lindsay Senior Center to vote on March 5 (Matt Hamilton/Neon Tommy).

Joy Lewis went to the polls Tuesday for two reasons: jobs and her mother.

Lewis, 20, lives in South Central L.A. - a neighborhood where jobs are few and the economy has stagnated for years. When work is available, said Lewis, it's outside south L.A. or her credentials don't match up.

"The experience I have doesn't qualify me for jobs I'm applying for," said Lewis, a 2011 graduate of Manual Arts High School.

Lewis' last employment was during the November 2012 election, when she worked on the No on Proposition 32 campaign run by the L.A. County Federation of Labor. 

She's now attending beauty school at Paul Mitchell: The School in Alhambra and training to become a hairdresser. She wants to see a new lawmaker bring in jobs to the community and improve job training programs.

The city council District 9 candidate that fits the bill, she said, is her mother Norvell Lewis. The 64-year-old is a write-in candidate for the 9th District spot on the city council.

"My mom has a vision for this community," said Lewis. "She's the type of person who says what she will do and does it."

Her mother's agenda calls for enhanced programs for veterans, seniors and the youth, with a focus on housing and jobs.

A substanial portion of her mother's campaign has emphasized the fact that those on the ballot have shallow roots in South L.A. Ron Gochez, a teacher at Maya Angelou High School, has the longest length of residency in the district: three years, as stated during a February debate held at the school.

Lewis' mother, on the other hand, was born and raised in a house off of 43rd and San Pedro, and never left.

Lewis attended some debates, she said, most recently at the All Peoples Christian Center.

She didn't vote for a city controller, she said, and voted for mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel.

"What [other candidates] said was good but I didn't like that they claimed to live here," she said. "They don't know this district."


Read more of Neon Tommy's coverage on the LA election here.

Reach Staff Reporter Matt Hamilton here.



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