Upcoming: CD 11 and L.A. County Supervisor Candidate Forums Planned

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Seven of the eight candidates participated in the forum held by Westside Current and Circling the News. (Left to right) Mat Smith, Allison Holdorff Polhill, Soni Lloyd, Traci Park, Mike Newhouse, Greg Good and Jim Murez. (Not pictured: Erin Darling.)

In case you missed Circling the News and Westside Current’s Councilmember District 11 candidate forum on April 6 and haven’t had time to view it,  click here.

Eight of the seven candidates attended the event (Erin Darling had a conflict and was unable to attend). The forum included a live audience and was also streamed. Candidates answered some tough questions about public safety and homelessness.

If a person is still undecided there are at least three other opportunities to listen to a CD 11 forum – on April 25, April 28 and May 3.

Additionally, a candidate forum to replace L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, who is retiring, will be held on April 27. A Los Angeles City Attorney forum will be held on April 28.

Westside Regional Alliance of Councils will hold a Council District 11 candidate forum from 7 to 9 p.m. on Monday, April 25. All events will be via Zoom webinar (westsidecouncils.com) or can be watched on YouTube.

Only six of the eight candidates were invited: Erin Darling, Greg Good, Jim Murez, Mike Newhouse, Traci Park and Allison Holdorff Polhill.

Candidates Mathew Smith, a Westchester resident and businessmen, and Venice High School teacher Soni Lloyd were not included.

Circling the News reached out to organizer Matt Wersinger, who is the president of the Del Rey Neighborhood Counsel and Chair of the Westside Regional Alliance of Councils [WRAC], and asked why two people were excluded.

Wersinger said, “Our Forum Committee made the decision based on a number of factors, including polls, endorsements, fundraising and name recognition. Unfortunately, that decision is final.”

CTN responded “I have not seen any polls, can you send them to me? I’m curious who it says is most likely to make the runoff.”

To gain endorsements, is usually a time-intensive project to fill out the pages and pages of material that is generally required.  CTN wrote Wersinger “Soni is a high school teacher and most likely doesn’t have time to spend on answering the pages and pages of questions in order to obtain endorsements. At least two of the candidates are not working right now and would have more time to work on gaining endorsements.”

Additionally, CTN is not convinced that name recognition should be a deciding factor. For example, Paul Koretz, who has high name recognition as a L.A. City Councilmember, is running for controller. Having a name that people know, might have no basis in the skill set needed for an office.

Wersinger had not responded with additional information by press time.

Since Lloyd and Smith are being left out, CTN and the Westside Current has offered to allow them to answer the questions asked at the forum in a separate story in these publications.

WRAC will also host a County Supervisor forum for L.A. County District 3, from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, April 27. The panel will include State Senator Bob Hertzberg, West Hollywood City Council member Lindsey Horvath and State Senator Henry Stern.

Left out of the forum will be Jeffi Girgenti (jeffiforsupervisor.com), Craig Brill (craigforsupervisorla.com) and Roxanne Beckford Hoge (superroxanne.com).

WRAC seems to be following the Spectrum and LA Business Council’s lead in only hearing three candidates. LABC selected the three candidates, Hertzberg, Horvath and Stern for their February 28 forum based on two criteria: the ability to garner support and name recognition.

On Thursday, April 28, from 5 to 6:30 p.m., Palisades Podcast hosts Maryam Zar and Steve Cron, in conjunction with the Palisadian-Post, will have a virtual forum, featuring seven of the eight candidates: Mathew Smith, Jim Murez, Erin Darling, Greg Good, Mike Newhouse, Traci Park and Allison Holdorff Polihill. As of April 17, Soni Lloyd had not committed, yet.

To register for this forum, visit palipost.com/?p=92531. The Post notes “Community members are encouraged to submit questions in advance by visiting the registration link, or by emailing lily@palipost.com.

WRAC will also host a City Attorney forum from 7 to 9 p.m. on April 28, with only three of the seven candidates featured: Kevin James (appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti to the Board of Public Works), Hydee Feldstein Soto (financial law attorney) and Marina Torres (federal prosecutor).

Left out of the WRAC City Attorney forum are Richard Kim (deputy city attorney), Teddy Kapur (California Democratic Party Treasurer), Faisal M. Gill (former policy director for the Department of Homeland Security) and Sherri Onica Valle Cole (deputy city attorney).

The Brentwood and Pacific Palisades Community Council will also host a CD11 candidate forum at 7 p.m. on Many 3, via zoom. All eight candidates have been asked to participate.

The forum moderator is Daniel Abramson, who is the assistant general counsel and chief privacy officer at the RAND Corporation. Abramson is an experience attorney in government and election law and has served as a BCC vice-chair and resides in Pacific Palisades. All candidates have been invited to this forum.

To submit questions: click here.

To join the Zoom Webinar,  click here.

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2 Responses to Upcoming: CD 11 and L.A. County Supervisor Candidate Forums Planned

  1. Charles Scott says:

    “WRAC, its Board, and committee chairs, shall not discriminate in any of its policies, recommendations or actions against any individual or group on the basis of race, religion, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, age, disability, marital status, income, or political affiliation.” (Wrac Bylaws, Article III, Section 2, D)

    How can WRAC use candidates’ money, endorsements, poll positions and name recognition to decide which candidates have an opportunity to speak and share their views at a public meeting that would inevitably have an influence on all these factors.

    They are denying ALL candidates and constituents a fair and impartial forum and adversely influencing the democratic election process.

  2. Shemaine Smith says:

    Charles thank you for your comment. You are absolutely right. Please help us by sending an email to empowerla@la city.org. And attending the Zoom Monday and posting public comments that candidates have been excluded. We must speak out about this egregious, discriminatory practice from the WRAC. The only way we can fight it is to use social media, call news radio stations and spread the word.

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