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Westside Democrats And The Final Push For Garcetti

Gracie Zheng |
March 5, 2013 | 4:40 p.m. PST

Senior Staff Reporter

Volunteers receive training on phone banking in West L.A. (Gracie Zheng/Neon Tommy)
Volunteers receive training on phone banking in West L.A. (Gracie Zheng/Neon Tommy)

A small group of supporters for mayoral contender Eric Garcetti came in a satellite office in Westside L.A. Tuesday evening to get more voters to the polls on Wednesday’s primary.

The office, near the intersection of 3rd St. and Crescent Heights Blvd., is quiet due to the not-so-great-turnout of volunteers for phone banking the day before election. But the volunteers who showed up were committed to take the last efforts to turn up more votes for Eric Garcetti.

Keith Martin, 46, a social worker and therapist at Veteran Affairs in West L.A., is a life-long Democrat and has been working for Garcetti’s campaign for the past few months.

“Eric knows how to work with people better than everybody we’ve ever had,” said Martin.

He praised Garcetti’s “instrumental” achievement in passing legislation to hire more police, balancing the budget and setting up a “model” for the other 14 districts as president of 13th District City Council.

“The Hollywood area was a blight. It was just a horrible place,” he said. “Twelve years later, it’s a place for lots of business.”

Martin recently spent 20 hours a week in the office recruiting and training volunteers, making phone calls to voters, and talking to voters on the campaign trail.

“He has lots of supporters in West L.A. I think he will win the West L.A. area,” he said.

Martin walked in South L.A. neighborhoods during the Martin Luther King Day parade in January.

“The large majority of the voters we’ve spoken to in the South L.A. area and West L.A. area, they do not know who Wendy Greuel is. They certainly know who Eric Garcetti is.”

Joe Cicero, a democrat and a peace activist for Peace Action West, was born into a Republican family. He identifies Garcetti as a “peace politician” and spoke highly of his sponsorship to a resolution against war in Iraq in 2003.

“His opponent Wendy voted for it,” Cicero said.

When asked about the lack of enthusiasm of volunteers for Garcetti in Westside L.A., he said, “I guess there are some voters who might be angry at Eric for voting against the Iraq war, but I don’t think that’s a majority.”

A USC Price/L.A. Times poll found Garcetti and City Controller Wendy Greuel close to a tie for the lead, and 46% tentative voters that could change their mind may swing the primary results.

It’s mostly likely none of the candidates will win a majority of votes during the primary, which will send the two finalists to compete in the general election in May. The winner will replace current mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who served two terms as mayor of Los Angeles. 

The polls for the primary election of L.A’s next mayor will close at 8pm Wednesday.

Read all of Neon Tommy's coverage of the 2013 mayoral election here.

Reach Senior Staff Reporter Gracie Zheng here.



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