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South LA councilman pretends to be at community meeting

South LA residents are getting fed up with the lack of leadership in Council District 8.  To add insult to injury, councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson uses social media to pretend he is at community meetings, when he is not.

The Ralph’s grocery store on Manchester and Western made local news, when a resident shared the nasty conditions of the store on her Facebook page.

The local neighborhood council held a community meeting this evening, with representatives from Ralph’s present and shared video on their twitter page.

In the video you can hear attendees stating that “the area councilman says he doesn’t shop” at the store nor did he bother to show up to either listen to the communities concerns and/or ask questions of the Ralph’s representatives in attendance.

If you were to go to the councilman’s twitter feed, you would see a photo that one would assume he was there.  Inquiries to the event organizers determined that’s a lie.

Residents pay the councilman’s nearly $180,000 salary to represent the area.   Perhaps it’s time to start looking for his replacement who is truly about the people who voted for them.


9 Responses so far.

  1. Margaret says:

    I personally think it was irresponsible and down right rude not to at least TRY to get a comment or statement from the Councilman regarding his absence, or at least mention that an effort to do so was made, before publishing such a derogatory and inflammatory headline!! MHD was a part of this fight when many other long time residents (including myself) didn’t have the time. No less than 5 of his staff were in attendance last night. Also, the amount of his public salary doesn’t mean he isn’t entitled to a PERSONAL LIFE!

    What was your point? That he pretended to be there via social media? Please elaborate? Was the post made on his personal account or his “Councilman” account? I ask only because very recently I was trolled for responding to a comment on the official page of another public official who also happens to be a longtime personal friend. It was only then that I relalized that this official has two separate accounts, one personal, the other work related that staff manages. On which account did he “pretend” to be there and who made the post? In the era of alternative facts and falsehoods concerning the media, these details are important. I’m responding because of my concern that coverage of this nature only detracts from efforts to make things better in the community. Please don’t hinder with negativity!

    • 2urbangirls says:

      If he doesn’t want to do the job, perhaps he shouldn’t have ran for city council. His personal life wasn’t an issue when he was fighting in the trenches, as a non council member and his fight shouldn’t end now that he’s elected.

      • Margaret says:

        So by not answering the questions the implication is that this isn’t “responsible” media. This is only a representation of someone with an axe to grind and a blog to do it. Got it!

        #alternativefacts

        • 2urbangirls says:

          You should probably work on the councilman’s next election.

          • Margaret says:

            I’m just interested in fairness. That you reported on the Councilman’s absence was fair. That you accused him of “pretending” without checking you facts or seeking an explanation wasn’t. If you don’t recognize the difference maybe blogging isn’t for you….

            • 2urbangirls says:

              I appreciate your being candid and honest. This blog isn’t a PR platform. We like sharing stories from the community’s point of view and appreciate you taking the time to comment and ensure readers have more information than what we posted. Thank you again.

  2. Lonella says:

    Ralph’s Grocery Store has been a concern for years and there have been several meetings where their community affairs representative, Kendra Doyel, has come out and provided the same information as she did last night, with the exception of informing last night’s attendees that construction has begun. I’ve attended 3 of those meetings where Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson was present in, at least, two. Last night, there were no less than 5 of his staff in attendance (Policy Director Rachel Brashier, Planning Director Lynell Washington, Communications Director Ashley Thomas, District Director Fernando Montes- Rodriguez and Field Deputy Anthony Anderson).

    The Councilman has been apart of the fight with Ralph’s since his Community Coalition days where the Manchester store was caught coloring old meat to make it look fresh many years ago. He also lead the protest when the Ralph’s on Western Ave. & King Blvd. informed the community it was closing in a matter of days. Not weeks or months, but days.

    He also attended the Nextdoor.com “meet-up” at M’dears last week that a West Park Terrace neighbor planned and hosted.

    How do I know all of this? I was at the protest(s) and/or meetings as a Community Coalition member, resident and/or former Neighborhood Council Chair. Regrettably I missed the “meet-up” but found out he attended from posts on the app from community members.

    This victory happened as it should. A commmunity member stepped up, gathered community support and tool action. It remains to be seen if that’s what made Ralph’s finally begin renovating or if it was their intention all along to begin in January. But it proves that the power is in the people and we shouldn’t be waiting for or expect a politician to fight every battle for us. Especially since they don’t have the capacity to. It’s why the Women’s Marches on Saturday were such a success. They were grassroot efforts.

    Councilman Dawson has attended several ECSWANDC meetings as well as South Los Angeles Alliance of Neighborhood Council meetings (which he will do so again next month). So help me out here because I don’t understand why this author is giving the impression he is AWOL when he has always been apart of this fight?

    • 2urbangirls says:

      The fight clearly isn’t over. Although he has made a name for himself during his community coalition days, he has made numerous missteps since being on city council. One being his voting in favor of a liquor license, although his record shows he staunchly fought for new liquor stores in South LA. Check his voting record on the city website. 2 Urban Girls did.

      Considering the latest issues with Ralph’s, made the news, it shows the community is still not receiving what was promised in terms of a clean and sanitary store. If the councilman was made assurances, that weren’t kept, one would assume he would be front and center. Occasionally folks fight ends once they occupy the city of la council dais.

      • Lonella says:

        So, if I understand your position correctly, his fight to Decrease the over proliferation of liquor stores in South LA should equate to having no liquor stores or possibly no restaurants that provide spirits below the 10 Fwy?

        Personally, I’m tired of having to leave my community to sit down with friends to enjoy a libation or two with a nice meal. I would also love to be able to stay in my community when wanting to purchase a nice bottle of wine or specialty spirit.

        And it seems, in your opinion, he must attend EVERY meeting personally in order to prove his interest and investment. Sending 5 members of his staff (4 directors of departments and 1 Field Rep who is at most ECSWANDC monthly meetings) to represent him is not good enough though he has attended previous meetings on that very subject. Heck, in that case why hire a staff at all. He should just do it all. Answer the phones. Sit at the Constituent Center desk and field questions. Sit on the dais and vote. Go out into the field and meet with all constituents. Attend all community meetings. Find folks to invest in the Great 8th. Make sure all departments are responsive to the 8th. Address PLUM, planning issues and communicate it all by himself.

        Look, I don’t agree with all his positions. Nor should I. We are different people with different experiences and sometimes positions. But I am a witness to his interest , care and investment in this community both as a resident ,CEO of Community Coalition and Councilman of the Great 8th and therefore don’t understand your accusation or lack of investigation before posting your accusation.


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