Palisades Democrats Listen to Candidates

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Palisades Democratic Club President Steve Cron welcomed guests.

The annual Pacific Palisades Democratic Garden party was held Sunday afternoon in a private home in the Riviera section of the Palisades.

Part fundraiser, part introduction of candidates running in the upcoming November election, Club President Steve Cron welcomed everyone. He went through a list of President Joe Biden’s first year accomplishments, which included signing the Inflation Reduction Act, that will also address climate change and prescription drug price reform.

The club, one of the most powerful in Los Angeles, has already endorsed U.S. Congressman Brad Sherman, L.A. Mayoral Candidate Representative Karen Bass and California Assembly member Jacqui Irwin.

The club has not formally endorsed a candidate for Council District 11, Erin Darling or Traci Park, or Supervisor District 3 Candidates Lindsey Horvath and Bob Hertzberg. For a candidate to receive an endorsement from this club, they must receive 60 percent of the vote of the 30-member board.

Although Bass could not attend, she sent a video, thanking the club for the endorsement. She will run against Rick Caruso, who changed party affiliation from no party preference to Democrat last January.

Bass said, “We’re only 78 days away from election. Everyone knows there is only one Democrat running for mayor. This is a fight for the soul of the City. I look forward to serving as the mayor, and I look forward to joining you in the future.”

Brad Sherman

Brad Sherman, who was elected to Congress in 1966, is running against Republican Lucie Lapointe Volotzky. He formerly represented only the San Fernando Valley, but after redistricting, represents the 32nd Congressional district, which includes the Palisades, Brentwood and portions of Simi Valley.  The Palisades was formerly in District 33, represented by Ted Lieu.

“We have to hold onto the Senate and the House,” Sherman said. “What’s at stake now is the democracy of the United States.”

Jacqui Irwin, who was also endorsed by the club, is seeking her fourth term in the California Assembly against newcomer Lori Mills.

A former mayor of Thousand Oaks, Irwin also was redistricted (from Camarillo, Moorpark, Oxnard, Port Hueneme) and now is in the 42nd Assembly District, which includes Agoura Hills, Bel Air, Brentwood and Pacific Palisades.

“Stay aware and stay awake of local offices because they are so important,” Irwin said.

In the races for 3rd District County Supervisor and City Council District 11, there were so many candidates running in the primary that no one received the 60 percent needed to be endorsed. Now that there are two candidates in each race, each is hoping for the backing of this club.

In the Supervisor race to replace Sheila Kuehl, Bob Hertzberg and Lindsey Horvath spoke, and afterwards took individual questions from attendees.

Bob Hertzberg

Lindsey Horvath

At the event, Hertzberg said, “the most important thing is public safety.” He also spoke about infrastructure “There has to be a sense of urgency. I want to bring innovation know-how to the county. Bob Hertzberg is about getting it done.”

“The failure of the homeless crisis, is tied to the affordability crisis,” Horvath said, noting that in West Hollywood, “We have about an 80 percent success rate of getting people off the street. We connect people to mental health services.”

In a May 19 forum, the Supervisor candidates had answered numerous questions concerning everything from L.A. Sheriff Villanueva to Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. That forum was hosted by The Westside Current, Circling the News, the Santa Monica Daily Press and the Acorn. Although the video contains all candidates, it is well-worth hearing Hertzberg’s and Horvath’s answers to difficult questions. Click here for YouTube.

A CD 11 forum on April 6 was hosted by the same news sources, but the afternoon of the event, Darling had to bow out.

At Sunday’s Garden party, Darling, who has the L.A. Times endorsement, said he was friends with the Palisadian-Post publisher Alan Smolinisky.

Erin Darling

“The City of Los Angeles has not done much to help the homeless,” Darling said. “We have to train health officials to help with the mental health crisis.”

City Council candidate Traci Park spoke next. “We have 50,000 homeless on the street, 50,000 human stories and we need to address each one,” she said. “We need safe places where people can go.”

She noted that wildfire danger and how to keep people safe, particularly for Pacific Palisades and Brentwood, has to be a priority.

“I’m here to help collaborate with the community and to work with constituents,” she said.

Traci Park

To read more about city candidates, which may be helpful for Board members voting to endorse a person, visit: (https://www.westsidecurrent.com/opinion/behind-the-post-is-l-a-s-paper-of-record-missing-the-story/article_88065296-d56f-11ec-91aa-377b921165c6.html).

The most welcomed (and unexpected) guest of the afternoon, who also received the most applause, was City Controller Ron Galperin. He was the favorite of many locals for California State Controller in the June primary but was not widely known outside of Los Angeles.

Galperin did a scathing audit of the HHH money, which was supposed to be used to build housing for the homeless. He found some projects were taking between three and six years to complete, at a cost of as much as $746,000 per unit.

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