Compton residents chime in on the upcoming election

Compton candidate Richard Alatorre (photo courtesy of Richard Alatorre)

Compton candidate Richard Alatorre (photo courtesy of Richard Alatorre)

The City of Compton charter currently reads that the district shall be divided into six districts once the population reaches 100,000 residents. In June 2009, Measure P was placed on the ballot for a charter amendment that asked voters could the population requirement be increased to 150,000 residents. Compton residents responded with 59% of the voters saying “NO”. As the Latino population continued to rise in Compton, Gonzalez v Compton reached the court docket around 2011 that sought to change the at-large voting to district only.

Public Hearings began in 2012 that would use the 2010 census data for determining the number of residents in the city. Based on 2010 census data, there are currently less than 100,000 residents, although there are more Latino’s than African-American’s in the city.

Compton Governing Board member Skyy Fisher tells 2 Urban Girls, “I support diversity on our school boards and city council. I also believe that the Latino population of the community needs to organize themselves and run a qualified candidate.”

Up until the 2013 election (which the city clerk doesn’t have posted on the city’s website) the council was 100% African-American. Measure B was placed on the June 5, 2012, ballot which changed the voting system from at-large to district only. This gave the Latino population a better opportunity to have representation on the dais. The measure handily passed.

Resident Tomas Carlos shared, “If the Latino is the right person for the position then it is great for the community since Latino’s make up the majority of the population in Compton. It would show a better representation of the city but I don’t want a Latino just because they are.” Carlos went further to say, “I’d rather see a person who is of good morals, character and willing to serve the people of Compton, regardless of race.”

In April, District 2 saw a run-off between a Latino and African-American and in June 2013, Isaac Galvan was elected over then incumbent Lillie Dobson. He campaigned on providing services and jobs. He delivered when Walmart announced a new store in the former Compton Swap Meet.

The 2013 election also centered on the city’s finances and whether the council should be paid for their month off. The former city council was ambushed, after a regular council meeting, by news magazine show SOCAL Connected, which revealed the city council, gets paid for a month they are not required to hold council meetings. All of the candidates campaigned on turning around the city’s finances and stopping the unnecessary payments.

The newly elected council and mayor, consisting of Aja Brown, Isaac Galvan and Janna Zurita, didn’t change the council’s “tradition” of being paid for the month of August. Although Dr. Willie Jones doesn’t support the council being paid for the Finance committee meetings, they have yet to reduce their pay, in order to better provide city services.

In the nearby City of Gardena, council members are paid a state rate of less than $1,000 per month, including the mayor.  City of Inglewood also has two Latino’s on the dais.

Jo Morales, a resident in the Richland Farms area, tells 2 Urban Girls that the main reason she moved to the City of Compton was because of the proximity to the Metro station. “When we moved here in 2010 what I heard was Compton was growing by leaps and bounds. One of the reasons we bought in Compton was because of the Metro station. Parking is too costly in downtown Los Angeles so our main focus was being close to Metro.”  When asked if she has seen growth in the city during the last five-year, she responded, “No. I regret moving here.”

Former Compton Unified student and Gates Millennium Scholar Ernesto Villasenor tells 2 Urban Girls when he sees campaign materials, they always seem to cater to the senior citizens in the area and not the community as a whole. He likens it to being left out of the conversation.

A review of the current campaign mailers of the African-American candidates, show they are not in both languages.

Council has kept their word to seniors by not increasing the water bills, yet has voted to increase fees, for developers and trash.

As the city prepares for run-offs for District 1 and 4, incumbent Janna Zurita received 32.9% of the vote while Richard Alatorre finished 2nd with 26.1%. Like the Zurita family, the Alatorre’s are also a well-known family in Compton as owners of the Alatorre market. The family is also a great resource to the residents by providing credit on groceries and allows them to pay back when able.  Miracle Market also has a reputation for doing so.

Will the City of Compton see its second Latino elected to city council?  Election Day is June 2nd, don’t forget to vote.

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7 Responses so far.

  1. Jo Morales says:

    The District Attorney investigated once and said she lives in District 1.

  2. Tony C says:

    How is it possible that Jana Zurita lives in a different district than where she is running? Why is this being allowed? How is this fair? How is this right? Shouldn’t something be done?

    I received a mailer today from Councilwoman Zurita. It was a hit piece on Mr. Alatorre and done in very poor taste. A lot like the one she sent out on Mr. Monk but then I heard Mr. Monk is endorsing her.

    I am fed up with this all. I have lived in first district 18 years and it all needs to stop. Maybe a fresh face and can do attitude is the answer.

    • Javier says:

      Tony C. I’m not here endorsing anyone of the candidates however why are you only pointing the finger with these allegations to Zurita? Are you aware of all the things that Alatorre and his thugs have done to defame Zurita? Do your research before you make any posting this will avoid people being mislead.
      Richard Alatorre is a dirt bag who needs to learn have to behave like the 33 year old “man” that he claims to be. In fact have him start off by getting a valid driver license, or does he feel like he should have some type of exception given to him since hes been able to get away with so much in the past

    • Robert Ray says:

      We (many citizens) have been trying to get Zurita charged on a Quo Warranto for several years, but the D. A. won’t do it because she keeps a few clothes at her mothers house. We are also still waiting for the D. A. to announce the results of the investigation of voter fraud on all of the elected of Compton.

  3. Robert Ray says:

    I am hoping the answer is “yes”. Not because he is Latino, but because he actually lives in the first district which is a requirement. Everyone in Compton knows that Janna Zurita actually lives in the third district. But what upsets everyone in Compton is that no one will prosecute her for voter fraud. State Sen. Rod Wright got prosecuted for his voter fraud, but for some reason you can get away with anything in Compton. Why have laws if no one will enforce them?

  4. Jo Morales says:

    Measure B, not Measure P. 🙂

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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