Jan Perry, Underdog in Mayoral Race, Hopes for Grassroots Support

The councilwoman has raised far less money—and attention—than rivals Wendy Greuel and Eric Garcetti but is counting on a surge of African American votes.

Jan Perry may have raised far less money than her two major challengers in the March primary election for L.A.’s mayor, but the Los Angeles councilwoman who has presided over much of downtown's growth and expansion is counting on grassroots support from the African American community to help her win the race.

“People focus on money as a measure of status, and if this was a race just about money, then you might as well hold it today and elect the one who has the most money,” Perry told the Los Angeles Times during a campaign rally Saturday. “But I think this is not about that. “It's about the democratic process.”

Despite endorsements from well-known African American politicians such as Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) and Councilman Bernard Parks, Perry received just 8 percent of the votes from L.A. County democrats, the majority of whom backed her rivals, City Controller Wendy Greuel and Councilman Eric Garcetti last week, according to the Times.

On Saturday, Greuel opened an office in the heart of Perry's South L.A. district and announced a string of African American endorsements in what the Times said was an apparent bid to tap into the African American voter base in the area.

Click here to read the full Times story.

Bruce Campbell January 17, 2013 at 11:36 PM
Councilwoman Jan Perry is not admired among grassroots activists for environmental justice. Perry was instrumental in raiding & bulldozing the highly successful South Central Farm (largest community farm in the nation with plots allotted for 350 families) in order to build a garment warehouse / distribution center which would attract 2581 additional diesel truck trips a day to the very polluted Alameda Corridor community. They tried to sneak that project thru without an E.I.R., but some people commented on that and they did not pursue that Forever 21 project. Last year, Councilwoman Perry appeared at a City Council committee hearing in an effort to get the ENTIRE 14-acre South Central Farm site developed -- rather than the earlier plan of allotting acreage for a soccer field or park on the site. Perry pointed out that there was considerable chromium-6 pollution at the site so it should not be a park. Two points here: 1. Perry and her office never informed the hundreds of farmers (or their spokespeople) that the land was particularly contaminated with chromium-6; and 2. If she is so concerned about it, why isn't she working to clean up the site? Will she insist that it be thoroughly cleaned up if a warehouse & distribution center is built there? In summary, Perry works for the elites profiting off of downtown & Alameda Corridor development, so grassroots people who care about everyday people and our environment should seek another mayoral candidate.
Eric Garcetti January 18, 2013 at 01:10 AM
Joseph January 18, 2013 at 02:01 AM
ALL the politicians on the City Council (highlighting ALL who are running as Mayoral Candidates) plus Mayor Villaraigosa failed to stand with the South Central Farm in any meaningful way. They played politics before being human and being concerned for the community and what it deserved so it could continue to build toward a healthy and thriving state of being. The farm had much to offer on all levels be it healing the local community (socially, economically and environmentally), providing green education for local as well as communities abroad, offering healthy food alternatives/choices, providing a site for GREEN TOURISM (visitors would come from other states/countries to encounter the Farm), a model for sustainability to be repeated across the country so that we may protect the environment for generations to come, and an important safe and sacred space where the youth could visit to escape the concrete hardship that is our lives in South Central (a sense of being far away in a jungle of another world) ... However, everybody was more concerned about maintaining their positions of power, elevating their positions of power, and what kinda money could be made (none of which would benefit the community affected by this loss). I cant see any of these candidates filling the role as Mayor knowing that their priorities are ones that serve to reinforce the oppressive conditions of poverty in South Central, while lining the pockets of developers and corporations.


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