Compton Candidates Forum was held for District 1 and 4

Compton Candidates Forum.  May 23, 2015 (photo Urban Girl Media)

Compton Candidates Forum. (L-R Janna Zurita, Richard Alatorre, Emma Shariff and Dr. Willie Jones) May 23, 2015 (photo Urban Girl Media)

The Compton Chamber of Commerce held their candidates forum for council districts 1 and 4 to an enthusiastic and engaged crowd.  The candidates facing run-off are incumbents Janna Zurita and Dr. Willie Jones against political newcomer Richard Alatorre and Compton Unified Trustee Emma Shariff.  The forum was moderated by Judge Kelvin Filer and was well attended.

Candidates were asked a myriad of prepared questions along with twelve submitted by those in attendance.  Questions ranged from street repairs, tree trimming, the budget, water bills and ethics.

Compton Mayor Aja Brown told 2 Urban Girls, “Residents need to make an informed choice for their representation.”

Candidates discussed that over 80 streets have already been paved, yet those streets do not include main roads: Central and Rosecrans Avenues.  Central is missing the stripping to separate lanes yet arterial streets were given priority.  District 4 councilman Willie Jones stated, “Money is needed to fund the street repairs and it’s not going to fall from the sky.”

Candidates were asked if they read the city charter.  The incumbents both proclaimed to have done so and went so far as to say they have copies in their cars.  Candidate Emma Shariff stated she received a copy and was still reading it, while Richard Alatorre also stated he was given a copy.

Richard Alatorre was refreshing and appeared to garner the greatest applause from the audience as he discussed his desire to be a representative for the entire city, not just Latino’s.  Janna Zurita was also eloquent in discussing her role in saving the city from bankruptcy and reminded the audience her family has served the community for nearly sixty (60) years.  She went further to remind those in attendance about her mothers Meals on Wheels program and how she has served since she was old enough to hold her mother’s hand.

Community members have suggested candidates routinely focus on the senior citizen members and forget they need to appeal to all voters.  For a Saturday meeting, the audience was full of both young and old community members and ethnically diverse.

Dr. Lestean Johnson, President of the Compton Chamber of Commerce remarked, “I am happy the candidates were civil, there was no bashing, no bringing up negativity and no lifting themselves up by bringing their opponent down.”

Of all the candidates, Emma Shariff was the most disappointing, in my opinion, by once again showing Compton residents she doesn’t prepare by reading necessary material, as she famously did concerning her vote on the Compton Unified Urban Rifle Policy. This author remembers her voting affirmatively, then after community uproar, she held a community meeting and still wasn’t prepared to answer the communities questions.  At today’s forum, she was neither listening nor paying attention, having to continuously ask for questions to be repeated.  When audience members asked questions, she referred to notes, and appeared to read from a prepared script.

We could all agree that the city could do a better job of transparency and ensuring the residents are aware of what is going on in the city.  Mayor Brown assured me the city is revamping their website and will be more active on social media.

They also want more synergy between the city, school district and community college. Janna Zurita said it was her desire, when she first ran, to make sure communication increased between the city and school district, especially with her sister serving as Vice-President of the Compton Unified Board of Trustees.

2 Urban Girls was able to speak to many of those in attendance to get their perspective of the candidates.

Pat Moore, a former councilwoman, was there to lend support to Janna Zurita and Willie Jones.  She told us she is supporting these two candidates for their dedication to the City of Compton by remaining residents in the city and their families growing up together.  She also cited their knowledge and wisdom and not wanting to lose their history of serving the city.

Big Mike“, from the Community Legal Research Center, was looking for more “meat” from the candidates.  “I wanted to hear about backgrounds, issues, what have you done, where have you served in the community before?  I didn’t hear any of that.”

If you missed today’s forum, you have another opportunity, on Saturday, May 30, 2015 at Compton City Council Chambers from 2-4pm.  NAEJA is hosting and will be moderated by Jonathan Taylor.  Election Day is Tuesday, June 2nd.

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14 Responses so far.

  1. Mara says:

    It does not take four years of doing nothing to see that We need change My vote is for Richard Latorre. Compton residents are tired of career politicans only looking out for there own interest

    • Jo Morales says:

      I seem to recall Richard Alatorre said the first thing he would do if elected is go after illegal street vendors. I hope you have a chance to check out the pictures of illegal street vendors in front of Alatorre Market floating around Facebook. Talk about looking out for your own interests.

      • Jo Morales says:

        But I would like to give honorary mention to Yvonne Arcenaux for best at doing nothing.

      • ComptonDems says:

        Maybe he says he’ll go after them first, because he knows first hand how much they affect the city, since they gather around this market so much?

  2. Rebecca Garza says:

    its time for Cimptom to make changes. The status quo has failed the community miserably! The nepotism in Compton should not be a reason for anyone to garnish brownie points! If family influence is that sugnificant then why is there a run off with aPolitical newcomer! I am supporting a breathe of fresh air! Keep up the good work Mr Alatorte

  3. Jo Morales says:

    Alatorre clearly does not have a good understanding of city government. Although his heart may be in the right place, our city is in no condition for somebody to have a learning experience on the dais. Zurita is clearly the right person for the job.
    Zurita’s closing statement was the most moving and heartfelt I have ever heard.
    Shariff kept us entertained, Alatorre adding to her confusing by not answering the questions asked.
    Sending out good vibes and support to Dr. Jones and Janna Zurita for victory on 6/2

    • Jason Taylor says:

      Jo Morales, who are you? What are you gaining from your hardcore support of Ms. Zurita, and bashing of Mr. Alatorre and other civil servants? You said yourself that you regret moving to Compton and then stated that you are considering about running for council in the third district but claimed that you have no desire to work with criminals. Have you not watched ? Straight facts and truth. How do you reconcile yourself with the fact that you are supporting a family that has been suckling on the city government’s teat for over 60 years? You seem to have an agenda that contradicts your public outbursts. You clearly do not have a good understanding of Compton and its culture as a whole. And this is the essence of why Compton can’t progress and lend support to the people who need and deserve it the most: The flood of misinformation leads to murky waters of mistrust so confusion gives way to frustration and eventually apathy. In a word, the main trend draws with it all particular accidents. I suggest you stay out of matters you do not fully comprehend as you are only succeeding in showing the world that the weak can be terrible when they wish to appear strong.

      • Jo Morales says:

        Why yes I have seen it. I’ve asked questions about it. I have no control over what my mother or cousins do/did. Delores Zurita was never convicted of anything. Janna Zurita has never been charged or convicted of ANYTHING. Omar Bradley’s conviction was “overturned” I believe is the word. Poor grown up Richard Alatorre. I wonder how Janna’s little girl feels. She’s a child. Give me a shout out when you are one bulling senior citizens, woman and children! Imma scared now. LMFAO Thanks for your concern!

        • Jason Taylor says:

          Jo Jo, you are mighty brave behind your screen. It is clear you are an old woman that has yet to become a lady. The class you lack is only surpassed by your total lack of understanding irony.

          Matthew 8:12

          • Admin says:

            Matthew 25:14-30 🙂

          • Jo Morales says:

            Okay, I can’t resist,,,You expect me to watch a video posted by the credible name “Compton Watchdog’ and believe everything I see in that video and not question a single thing about it. Then you don’t want me to question if the extremely credible Compton Watchdog has the right to use Kendrick Lamar’s song. Which if he does, that’s fine, and if it is somehow now public domain, maybe I am so old I forgot…. Then you want me to think it was classy to go around posting “Finger” signs on telephone poles, etc., and deface campaign signs signs with “Crime Family” stickers. So somehow I am supposed to find this all credible. I guess you’re right, I must not understand irony..

  4. Robert Ray says:

    I’m not impressed with any of them. It would be the lesser of the evils if I could vote.

About Melissa

I am a lifelong Inglewood resident living in District 4. I serve on PTA and School Site Council as Vice-President, for the last 8 years with Inglewood Unified School District. I volunteer on the Wellness Committee for ICEF Public Schools. I am an alumni of California State University, Dominguez Hills with a degree in Political Science. You can find me on Twitter under @CreoleMommie

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