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Compton residents are smarter than you think

imagesThe National Association for Equal Justice In America (NAEJA) held a candidates forum on May 23rd in City of Compton Council Chambers.  For the event to be held on a Thursday evening, it was a standing room only event.

The candidates who wish to represent District 2, Lillie Dobson and Isaac Galvan, were questioned on everything ranging from youth employment, beautification, unification of races, water rates, infrastructure and most importantly, reducing the current deficit.

Ms. Dobson was very upfront with her responses and had no problem answering “I don’t know” when pressed on the actual amount of the current deficit.  She explained the city is holding various budget workshops where ideas are being discussed to reduce spending and increase revenue.  The city is exploring options to sell city assets to bring the budget to a balanced state.  It appears the latinos in the audience missed the announcement and didn’t attend the budget workshop the night before since they asked the same questions over and over wanting to know what the deficit is.

Mr. Galvan appeared to be uninterested in the forum.  He was regularly seen looking at his cell phone, and at one point looked like he was answering a call.  He repeatedly asked to have questions repeated as if his mind was wandering.  When asked about youth employment, he stated ” I will donate my salary to the people”.  Community activist Lynne Boone had to remind him that he can not give away city money and asked him was he aware that in order to do that he needed three council votes.  He replied, “well I will just cash my check and donate it directly to the organization”.  When he was asked about District 2 boundaries, he again was not clear on where the district starts and ends.

To Galvan’s credit he is new to the political process so some of these questions might be better suited for him if he is indeed elected.  He did create some discomfort in the chambers by constantly referring to himself as “brown”.  The moderator had to remind him this is not a race war, but a candidates forum to speak on issues.  He also spoke of reducing spending by eliminating unnecessary contracts and referencing the SoCal Connected expose on Compton as a reference.  He further drew gasps from the crowd by referring to former Compton City Clerk Charles Davis as his “good friend”.

When the topic of the water bills came up, Isaac Galvan thought he had his ace in the hole by proudly proclaiming he spoke with officials on the water board and stated, “NO ONE from Compton has EVER went to the board with their complaints regarding the water rate increases”.  He seemed to imply that the city council members haven’t done their job.  When in fact, it is Diana Sanchez’s job to represent the city since she is the city representative to Metropolitan Water District (MWD).  It would behoove the residents to inquire on the Reinvestment Act to look for assistance with infrastructure help.  One of the audience members stated, ” [City of] Arcadia did it”.  The rates increased in order to address infrastructure deficits which are not only an issue in Compton, but are also plaguing the nation.

[ I-5 bridge north of Seattle collapses, no known fatalities ]

Overall, all of the usual concerned citizens were prepared and actually gave audience members a civics lesson on how the city operates.  The residents of Compton are very in touch with their concerns of the city and regardless of color, they will not elect ANYONE who doesn’t know the basic functions of the job they are seeking.

It was noted that mayoral candidates Aja Brown and Omar Bradley were not in attendance.  It appears that Mr. Bradley suffered a heart attack and audience members stated it was all over Mrs. Browns Facebook page that she wouldn’t be in attendance.  I looked at her page and that is not true.

The Compton Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a candidates forum on Saturday, May 25th at City Hall Council Chambers beginning at 12pm.  The runoff election will be held on June 11th.

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3 Responses so far.

  1. MsJ says:

    I think the National Association for Equal Justice In America (NAEJA) Candidates Forum was conducted in a very chaotic manner. I had thought NAEJA would have done better. The moderator seemed to advance a racist tone and allowed audience members to make statements, rather than asking relevant questions. Boone was allowed to administer a test to the candidates and Calhoun provided the candidates with what she referred to as the “correct” hiring process for the city. Why did the moderator allow this? Is NAEJA really interested in equal justice for EVERYONE or, are they interested in the re-election of Lillie Dobson? And is anyone really listening to Boone,Calhoun or Kelly?

    • UrbanGirl says:

      This community review was on the Compton Chamber of Commerce candidates forum, not the NAEJA one earlier in the week. As for the NAEJA forum, I will offer this:

      The moderator made numerous attempts to be fair to all candidates and those brave enough to step to the podium to address the candidates. At time the audience was hostile and out of order, however, it brings home the passion the residents were feeling, both black and brown. The comments/questions presented by the audience was in hopes of gauging the knowledge Mr. Galvan has on the political process, which is relevant given the nature of his job, if elected.

      • MsJ says:

        I think it required more bravery to sit through and listen to the audience members,the moderator and Lillie Dobson. I do know the difference between a plus and a minus. That entire forum was a minus!

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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