🗳️ Nov 2022 General Election Ballot Analysis (II): County and City (L.A.) Local Offices

Here in California (and in Los Angeles in particular), we have an election coming up. You know what that means: Every election, I do a detailed ballot analysis of my sample ballot. This is where I examine each candidate and share my conclusions, and invite you to convince me to vote for the other jerk.  Because this is a long ballot, I’m splitting this analysis into a few chunks (note: links may not be available until all segments are posted):

  1. State and National Offices (excluding judges)
  2. County and City (Los Angeles) Local Offices (excluding judges)
  3. Local and State Measures (nee Propositions)
  4. Judicial Offices (County and State)
  5. Summary

Note: This analysis is NOT presented in the same order as the Sample Ballot (the ballot order makes no sense). I’ve attempted instead to present things in more logical order.

This part covers the Local Offices (excluding US Congress and State Assembly)

  • County of Los Angeles: Supervisor 3rd District ❦ Sheriff
  • City of Los Angeles: Mayor ❦ City Attorney ❦ Controller
  • LA Community College District: Board of Trustees Seat 2 ❦ Seat 4 ❦ Seat 6 ❦ Seat 7

For your reference and mine, here’s where the candidates for this post were covered in my primary analysis:


County of Los Angeles

Supervisor, 3rd District

The County Supervisors are the folks that govern the county — and exert a lot of power. LA is unique — we’ve had an all woman board of supervisors for a while now. Sheila Kuehl, our current supervisor, is termed out.

◯ Bob Hertzberg

Hertzberg is the state senator from the neighboring district, over in Van Nuys. He’s had a big profile in the State Senate, working his way up to Senate Majority Leader. He was also active in the State Assembly, working his way up to Speaker. However, he has never served at the local level. The closest he came was serving as chair of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation. So he has more experience … but a weaker vision. His “Why I’m Running” is a single page, and doesn’t provide specifics on any single issues. This gives the impression that the reason he is running is to remain in public office — and that’s not a good reason for me to vote for him.

October 2022 Update: He has added a plans page to his website. But he only covers three issues: homelessness, housing, and public safety.  What he has for those policies seem reasonable. However, there’s a lot more of concern in the county, Bob. His endorsements seem reasonable. He wouldn’t be a bad supervisor, but is he the best?

Lindsey Horvath

Horvath is a councilwoman in the City of West Hollywood, and has the LA Times endorsement. Out of all the other candidates, she’s the only one with local public service experience. That’s a plus. She’s been a Transportation Commissioner in West Hollywood, and has done a bunch of advocacy work. Her campaign page talks about improving transportation infrastructure (a big deal in this district), as well as lots of work to address homelessness. She has done work to initiate homeless solutions; her bio notes that she “initiated the city’s Aging in Place strategy, and she used community-based, culturally-appropriate, and locally-trusted solutions to address the homelessness crisis by connecting unhoused people with permanent housing and supportive services.” She has a strong priorities page, which says a lot about transportation. She has a lot of significant endorsements. My favorite so far.

October 2022 Update: Horvath has a much broader set of priorities, including environmental issues and COVID recovery, on top of the aforementioned transportation, housing, homelessness, and public safety. Her endorsements are broader and stronger.

📋 Conclusion

At the primary, the decision was between my current state senator, Henry Stern, or West Hollywood City Councilcritter Lindsey Horvath. Horvath was stronger. Now it is between Hertzberg and Horvath. Both are good. But good isn’t enough. One is better. Horvath has accomplished more on local issues, and has worked in local government and (as demonstrated by her endorsements) has stronger relationships with the other Supervisors. So this office I recommend Lindsey Horvath.


The LA County Sheriff is the top law enforcement officer in the County. After years and years of having the same sheriff (Peter Pitchess, who served from 1958 to 1981), the County has had a series of poor Sheriffs. The current guy (who I voted for) has proved to be equally corrupt, and to allow a lot of bad actors to remain in office. He needs to go, and we need someone who can really clean up the swamp.

Robert Luna

Luna is the Chief of Police for Long Beach, and has the Times endorsement. He has never been part of the LA Sheriff’s department. His bio notes “Robert Luna recently completed his service as Long Beach Chief of Police, capping a 36-year career at the Long Beach Police Department” He has been independent from this mess and can bring an independent eye. There’s one concern. The last election (where I mistakenly went for Villanueva), the “other guy” was the former Chief of Police for Long Beach, who had been elected Sheriff. He couldn’t fix the problems. Can this guy do better? He does have a good list of priorities and a significant list of endorsements.

◯ Alex Villanueva Inc

He’s the man everyone is running against. He has sullied the name of the Sheriff’s department. He has some endorsements, but what’s more telling is his statement on the endorsement’s page: “As your elected Sheriff seeking reelection, I have decided that in building our team I do not want the support of the political establishment. Frankly, it comes with too many strings attached. The political elites want me to stop pointing out the government’s failures in dealing with rising crime and out-of-control homelessness. The political elites also don’t want me to remind the public that Los Angeles ranks #2 in the nation in political corruption.” The translation of this is that he blames his inability to control crime and homelessness on the politicians, not the poor work of his department. That’s Trumpian — attempting to deflect the blame. It’s never appropriate in a law enforcement leader.

October 2022 Update: Think about it this way: What does it say when a measure is put on the ballot explicitly so if you win, the Board of Supes can fire you for cause. He now has more endorsements.  One in particular caught my eye: Nathan Hochman. Yup, the guy who is running for AG.  However, in their updated endorsement of Luna, the Times writes of Villanueva: “From the time he took office in 2018, Villanueva has substituted personal grievance and umbrage for leadership. He has rarely missed an opportunity to alienate officials and would-be partners who have vital stakes in the safety of county residents and the success or failure of his department: county supervisors, the district attorney, city leaders, reporters, and even his own leadership team. At nearly every step, his poor judgment has backfired on him and the department.”. It is clear that Villanueva needs to go.

📋 Conclusion

This decision is simple. Villanueva needs to go. That leaves only one choice: Robert Luna.

City of Los Angeles


A few years ago, LA City elections were moved from odd years to the same year as state elections to improve turnout. We’ll see. The large field from the primary has been whittled down to two: Rick Caruso and Karen Bass. A wealthy developer vs. a career politician. A wealth developer vs. a minority woman. An inexperienced businessman vs. someone with deep political experience at the local, state, and national level. Why does this sound familiar? But is Caruso another Richard RIordan or a Donald Trump. Let’s see.

◯ Rick J. Caruso

Rick Caruso is an interesting fellow. An extremely wealthy developer, he is the man behind some of the best known shopping destinations: the Grove in the Fairfax Area; the Americana at Brand in Glendale, and the Villiage in the Pacific Palisades. All homogenized upscale developments for a particular clientele. He’s also a big time landlord. But he’s running for mayor, because (he says) he wants to give back to the city. This echoes a past mayor, Rick RIordan, who also was wealthy and owned restaurants such as the Original Pantry. Riordan was non-partisan, but would Caruso be? Does anyone even know his politics? Many are weary of wealthy developers buying their way into politics (cough, Trump), and Caruso — who has been already advertising for four months — is clearly trying to buy his way in. His button issues are homeless camps, corruption, and public safety.

The homelessness issue is telling. On his issues page, he says “demand assistance in getting people off the streets and into housing and addiction treatment centers today.” This indicates an attitude that addiction and mental health issues are the reasons behind the homeless crisis (as opposed to being perhaps a side effect of being homeless).  He wants to declare states of emergency, conduct audits of HH funds. He also states “we MUST look at locations outside our city, such as unincorporated LA County and other locations with lower land costs and population density.” This shows misunderstanding of the problem: it does no good to house people where there are no jobs for them to escape from homelessness. There are similar notions and problems in his policing policy: increase funding, more mental health.

But it is in his anticorruption policy that I think his real agenda becomes clear: “Draft legislation to remove the City Council from ALL land use decisions. Developers and their representatives bribe councilmembers because they need their support to get large out of character developments approved. None of these council members are experts in land use, planning, or environmental issues yet they wield enormous power in projects that are extremely technical and impactful. We don’t need them involved. We need technical professionals reviewing these applications and we need revamped zoning laws that make it clear what can and can’t be built, with no exceptions.” But you know who else influences council members? The constituents in their district. They can indicate if a project technically meets zoning but would be bad for their district. They know the historic aspects of the district. They know what’s right. Removing the council from those decisions will remove the avenue of protest from the people. That’s what he wants.

Next, looking at the endorsements. He’s gotten the endorsement of the LANG (i.e., the Daily News). This publication tends to endorse Republican leaning candidates.  That’s the only endorsement I could find on his site.

I just don’t trust his motives. Call it Trump-fatigue, but I don’t trust wealthy white developers the way I did back in the 1990s.

October 2022 Update: The above is what I wrote back before the Primary. Since then, Caruso has been advertising like crazy. Lots of attack ads with little substance. He attacks Bass for speaking to Scientology over 10 years ago, long before we knew all about what they were doing. She has indicated since that she condemns Scientology, but that’s ignored. Caruso also doesn’t mention that Trump named him to his economic team; and Caruso has never spoken out against Trump. Caruso attacks Bass on the USC scandal, when she followed procedure, reported it, and obtained a legal waiver, and the House concluded there was no wrongdoing. But Caruso is no innocent on USC: he is in the hot seat for covering up sexual violence on campus. All this shows me is you shouldn’t have anything to do with USC. But then again, I’m a UCLA grad. Further, Caruso touts himself as a Democrat, but follow the money. According to the Trojan Democrats, “Caruso and his family are longtime political donors who, according to the Federal Elections Commission, have invested a total of $755,440 in disclosed political contributions since 2007. While this financing has gone to both Democratic and Republican candidates, Caruso has invested $156,300 into Democratic candidates and a whopping $599,140 (almost four times as much) into Republicans and pro-life candidates, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and the California Republican Party”.  Further, although he adds say “Democratic”, he’s a johnny-come-lately. He’s been a life-long Republican, changing his affiliation only in January 2022 to run for this office. I still don’t trust him, and it seems I’m not along in mistrusting his rhetoric.

Karen Ruth Bass

Karen Bass is a current congresswoman, and was on the short list of VP candidates for Biden. Although she has been doing significantly less advertising, she is the front runner and is being attacked by Caruso, resulting in a cease and desist letter for misleading advertising. She has lots of good policies (for example, on the homelessness), but there’s something unspoken that I noticed in her homeless policy: “And as Speaker of the Assembly during the Great Recession”…  She’s also Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. She has connections at both the state and the Federal level. This is something that Feuer or Caruso lack. Given that the Mayor may set broad policy but it is the city council that implements it, it is these connections that will open the doors that will make things possible. That’s a really strong asset. Additionally, I think that unlike the other potential leaders, she’ll make a statement about LA and its leadership simply by who she is. She’s also one of the few candidates whose position statements go beyond the usual trifecta (unhoused, safety, corruption). Her environmental statement has a big section on the water issues; I’ve been looking for a candidate that considers the ancillary issues of providing more housing — it uses more water. There’s a balance there, and she’s the only candidate talking about a sustainable water future.

She also has a load of endorsements. In addition to the endorsement of the Los Angeles Times, almost all Democratic organizations are for her, as well as unions and major political leaders. That also means she’s got the connections to do things.

She’s my favorite, but I seem to have this thing for smart, liberal women named Karen.

October 2022 Update: So, am I bothered by Caruso’s attack ads. Let’s look at them. This was a speech way back in 2010; 13 years ago. She has since condemned Scientology, and even back then, only focused on common areas. She even said, “”It’s ridiculous to associate me with the Church of Scientology. I am a Baptist. My minister is Norman Johnson and I have never ever been affiliated with scientology and absolutely condemn their practices. That is very clear, but that’s what I meant.”. As for the USC scandal: The House approved her behavior, and she has no ethics charges in the matter. Bass has repeatedly condemned Trump and his actions; Caruso served on Trump’s economic team, and the closest to repudiating Trump from Caraso is a ban on visiting the Grove. My distrust of Caruso outweights any concerns I have about Bass.

📋 Conclusion

This is one of the other big races on the ballot (together with Senate and Governor). The 800-lb gorilla, in terms of advertising and money, is Rick J. Caruso. But I just don’t trust him; he’s spending all this money to get something. I think it is to get rid of the council’s power over development. That’s a win for him in the long term. I don’t think he has the connections to really help Los Angeles, nor do I believe he’s there for the disadvantaged.

My favorite is Karen Ruth Bass. She has the skills for the job, she has the right ideas, and she has the political connections to bring good things to Los Angeles.  I think she could be another Tom Bradley.

My choice? Karen Ruth Bass

City Attorney

According to the city, as the City’s general counsel, the City Attorney provides advice and opinions on matters of municipal concern, examines contracts and ordinances as to form and legality, and is frequently called upon to interpret the City Charter, federal and state statutes, and other laws that govern Los Angeles. As the City’s chief prosecutor, the City Attorney prosecutes all misdemeanor criminal offenses and infractions occurring in the City of Los Angeles. The City Attorney works closely with local law enforcement agencies to prosecute crimes through the Criminal Branches of the City Attorney’s Office located throughout Los Angeles. The City Attorney’s Office is also a resource for victims and witnesses of crimes, and provides a network of referral services as well as crisis intervention and support. Additionally, the City Attorney administers a number of citywide crime prevention initiatives focused on preserving the quality of life throughout Los Angeles’ neighborhoods. The City Attorney litigates all civil actions on behalf of the City and represents the City, its boards and officers in all civil trials and legal proceedings, in both state and federal court. The City Attorney advocates for the benefit of the City before the United States Congress and the State Legislature and represents the City in proceedings before the State Public Utilities Commission, the Federal Maritime Board, and other federal and state administrative bodies and committees when the City is an interested party.

◯ Hydee Feldstein Soto

She did her undergrad at Swarthmore College and then went to Columbia University School of Law. She hasn’t worked in government, but has managed corporate lawyers. The Times described this as “Retired for the last decade, Feldstein Soto was a longtime partner in corporate law firms with specialties in bankruptcy and acquisitions, and she managed teams of lawyers with different disciplines. It was complex work that required collaboration and problem-solving to finalize deals that worked for clients. It was good training for managing the 500-plus lawyers in the city attorney’s office and navigating City Hall, which is full of difficult challenges and competing priorities.” For managing lawyers yes, but it doesn’t bring the criminal experience that is part of the job. It also doesn’t bring the litigation experience.  She has some strong policy statements,  but I’m not sure that her background is the right mix for the position, even given the Times endorsement.

Faisal M. Gill

Gill now markets himself as a progressive Democrat, but worked in the Bush administration. The Times noted “Civil rights lawyer Faisal Gill has focused on holding the Los Angeles Police Department accountable for officer misconduct and has said he would not enforce the city’s ban on homeless encampments.” and the Gill once advocated against gay marriage. People do change, but this does serve to increase the sensitivity when reading his site. From the get-go, his page reads more like a mayoral candidate, talking about homelessness, policing issues, and corruption. One interesting paragraph from his bio: “Shortly after 9/11, Faisal started his service in the Federal Government as a legal counsel for the Office of Personnel Management. Soon afterwards, Faisal learned he was the target of extreme government overreach. Through the work of Edward Snowden, Faisal discovered that he was being spied on by the National Security Agency (NSA), simply for being a prominent and politically active American Muslim.” Another quote I like from his priorities page: “The City Attorney is not elected to defend the police; they are elected to defend the city of Los Angeles and the people that make up that city.” One gets the sense that he would work for the victims. I see no evidence of prior conservative attitudes on his page.  He has some impressive endorsements, including Karen Bass.

📋 Conclusion

This was a really hard one. The Times likes Soto, but her lack of experience in government troubles me. So I’m still leaning towards Faisal M. Gill, who I believe would work for the victims, as well as bringing some important diversity to city leadership.


The LA City Controller is the chief accounting officer, auditor and paymaster for the City of Los Angeles. One of the Controller’s main functions is to analyze the effectiveness of different city departments. The Controller oversees 3 divisions: Audit Services, Accounting Operations, and Financial Reporting along with 160 employees who conduct independent audits. These auditors are in charge of managing city payroll and spending, report on city finance, and provide City metrics and data.

◯ Paul Koretz

Koretz is a current city councilman running for controller. On the council, he “served on the Budget & Finance Committee for over ten years, chaired the Audits and Government Efficiency Committee, and currently chairs the Personnel, Audits, and Animal Welfare Committee.” Good, but what is his background? Answer: “and UCLA, where he earned a BA in History”. History majors aren’t the greatest with numbers. He doesn’t have the right background for Controller.

Kenneth Mejia

Mejia is the LA Times pick. He has the right background: “I graduated from Woodbury University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Accounting, and soon after, I received my Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license in the state of California working as an auditor for one of the big 4 accounting firms. I worked 60 hours a week auditing multi-million and billion-dollar private and public companies to ensure that their financial statements were in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). ”  He also has a great statement of what he wants to do: “I want to use my expertise as an Auditor and a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) to audit the city’s finances to determine departmental effectiveness identify wasteful spending that should be reallocated to other critical parts for the city. I want to provide financial data to the public in a way that is accessible; all too often, financial data can be confusing  and overwhelming. I want the people of L.A. to know what the city is spending its money on so they can reach out to their City Council members and fight for the needs of their community. I also want to educate the public on basic accounting and reading financial data so that they are armed with the knowledge they need not only to fight for a better city, but to make more informed financial decisions in their personal lives as well. The more transparent and accessible the City’s finances are, the easier it is to determine where our city’s priorities lie and where they should.” That’s the job of a controller, folks.

📋 Conclusion

In the primary, my favorites are Kenneth Mejia and David T. Vahedi. Meijia is still my favorite. He has the necessary accounting background, and doesn’t seems to be treating the position as more than it is. This is a deciding point for me. Kenneth Mejia is much more focused on the functions of the controller’s office. So I’m going with Kenneth Mejia.

Los Angeles Community College District

The Los Angeles Community College District is the community college district serving Los Angeles, California, and some of its neighboring cities and certain unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. It is the largest community college district in the country. The District is governed by a popularly elected seven-member Board.  Members of the LACCD Board of Trustees serve staggered four-year terms. In 2020, elections were held for Board Seats 1, 3, 5 and 7. In 2022, elections will be held for Board Seats 2, 4 and 6.

LACCD Member of the Board of Trustees – Seat 2

Jason R. Aula

Reading through his web pages, this fellow is all over the place. He states on his “Meet the Candidate” page: “a journalist and serve as ownership of multiple businesses. I am a prominent Long Beach State University alumnus where I campaigned hard to bring back the Division 1A NCAA football team and was a member of the rugby team as a student.” Really, “serve as ownership”? But NCAA football is a big thing to him. He wanted to bring it to Long Beach State, as well as Cal State Northridge and now LA City College and LA Trade Tech. Politically, he sounds like a Republican (“I believe in small government, free enterprise and individual liberty. My political beliefs are guided by the United States Constitution.”), but his other positions sound more progressive. He seems to be looking for a stepping stone into politics, having explored running for State Senate back in 2021. My gut tells me that’s his main goal. His positions related to the LACCD seem to be few: Bringing back football, keeping the Sheriff’s department on campus, and doing audits.

◯ Glenn Trujillo Bailey

Bailey is from Chatsworth. He doesn’t appear to have a campaign website. JoinCalifornia notes that he’s run for office numerous times and has lost: 1992 – Senate District 20 (Green); 1992 Assembly District 40 (Green); 1998 Board of Equalization (Green); 2014 – LACCD Baord, 2015 – LACCD Board. In 2020 he ran for Seat 5 and came in dead last. He is a past President of the Pierce College Student Body. After doing some searching, I finally found some information when he was named Citizen of the Year by MyChatsworth in 2017. It is a community activist, starting in the mid-1970s when he joined the Santa Susana Mountain Park Association; became a Board Member; and then later served two terms as president. He also served on the Board, and as president, of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Santa Susana Mountains for many years. He rejoined the new FPSSM Board in 2010 when it became a Cooperating Association with California State Parks, and now serves as the vice president and webmaster. He helped negotiate the 1977 public-private partnership that led to the acquisition of the first 245 acres for what became the Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park. He is a founding member of the Neighborhood Council concept, Glenn has served more than 15 years with L.A.’s Neighborhood Council Network, and currently sits on the Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils Executive Committee. He’s is president of the Northridge East Neighborhood Council and served a term as president of the Encino Neighborhood Council. What’s distinctly missing in all of this is any current plans or proposals for the LA CCD, or even a strong connection with the LACCD since his student days.

Steven Veris Inc

Veris is currently on the LACCD Board, and is the immediate past President of the Board. His page on the board website shows a lot of experience. He has an impressive list of accomplishments for the LACCD: led efforts to improve graduation and transfer rates as well as workforce and career pathway programs; led the adoption of the District’s Award-winning Clean Energy and Sustainability Program; presided over nearly $4B in facility improvements at all 9 Colleges; is an advocate of the District’s Racial Equity and Social Justice programs; worked with the legislature to makie Community College tuition-free. He has been on the board since 2011 except for a 2 year break, and teaches in the Community College system. He seems to be effective in his position, and neither of the other candidates have surfaced facts that would justify his removal from the board.

📋 Conclusion

Steven Veris Inc. When compared to the other candidates, Veris seems to be the only one focused on the LACCD and concerned about LACDD issues. Aula seems more concerned about football and using the position as a stepping stone to something higher. Bailey is a community activist and does good things, but doesn’t seem to have a strong LACCD connection nor LACCD related goals for running. Veris, on the other hand, has been on the LACCD board and has been making significant progress. He appears to deserve another term.

LACCD Member of the Board of Trustees – Seat 4

Ernest H. Moreno Inc

Moreno is a current member of the Board of Trustees. He was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Los Angeles Community College District after 42 years as a District employee. He became President of East Los Angeles College in January 1, 1994, and with the exception of an interim assignment as President of Los Angeles Mission College from 2006 to 2008, he continued in that capacity until his retirement in 2011. He was elected to the board in 2013. More troubling, however, was a piece I uncovered from the LA Sentinel from 2018. This talked about how the Board maneuvered to eliminate black board members, based off of a nominee from Moreno, who was referred to in the piece as a Trump supporter. I investigated this, with the concern being Trumpian rhetoric infiltrating LACCD — particularly the falsehoods about CRT, or working against diversity and inclusion. Moreno was backed by a Latino GOP group.  But other than that, I find nothing to substantiate claims of his being “right wing” or of him pushing the Trump message. Just being Republican is not a disqualifier — it is really positions taken, and positions supported by the people endorsed. I don’t see a problem with Moreno is this regard.

Sara Hernandez

Hernandez is one of the few candidates to set up a campaign website. This site shows strong positions to improve the LACCD, including protecting low-income and homeless students, working to make community college free or affordable, fighting racism, boosting enrollment, examining spending priorities, and improving student outcomes. Community college is growing in importance in the post-HS system, as it is an affordable starting option for the first two years of basics, when students can then transfer to the UC or CSU system.  She has a strong set of endorsements, including someone who I went to HS with, David Tokofsky. Definite possibility.

◯ Christine T. LaMonica

LaMonica is a kinesiology lecturer at CSUN. She owns Prima Yoga in San Fernando. Her linked-in page shows no LACCD experience, and her only educational experience is teaching movement at CSUN. She’s endorsed by Knock LA, but isn’t running an active campaign. Knock encourages folks to vote for her, even though she won’t win, to “send a message”. Sorry, but sending a message won’t change things, as the winner won’t hear the message.

📋 Conclusion

We can eliminate LaMonica. This leaves the choice between a candidate who has been in office for 10 years and who is not pushing new ideas or new directions, and a newcomer who seems to have new ideas, goals, and actually had the ability to articulate it in a website. If someone wants to bring that energy to the position, and has serious and good ideas (I’m looking at you, Aula, as NCAA football is not a serious concern for the LACCD), I’m inclined to support them. Plus, this newcomer comes in with a large number of endorsements, including many LACCD members. What do they know that we don’t—why aren’t they endorsing the incumbent. This leads me to the conclusion to support Sara Hernandez—based on her positions and her energy. Nothing against Moreno, who has done a good job. I just think Hernandez will bring some new ideas and new energy to the position.

LACCD Member of the Board of Trustees – Seat 6

Gabriel Buelna Inc

Buelna is a professor at CSUN and member of the LACCD Board, who is interested enough in the position to set up a campaign website as opposed to coasting on his incumbent status. He as good experience and history. He has a large number of endorsements, including LACCD board members. He also articulates plans for his term, including focusing on support services that help students overcome barriers to success, and ensuring that LACCD students are prepared for university-level work so they can finish with a degree, have the education needed to obtain certification in their field, and that they have the preparation for further schooling or a good job.

Robert L. Payne

Payne is a writer/educator, and was a 2018 Republican special election candidate for District 39 of the California State Assembly, but withdrew or was disqualified before the actual election (it turns out Ballotpedia was wrong about this). His campaign website makes some interesting accusations, including associations between Buelna and Trump. However, that doesn’t agree with the large amount of union and Democratic support for Buelna. In fact, Buelna seems to be anti-Trump. So what is the explanation of Payne’s website material. It’s there in the little “*”: Buelna paid to be on most of those mailers, in an effort to reach out to Latino voters who often vote GOP (and voters who respond to mailers often fail to do any other investigation into their candidates). For many of these organizations, money talks louder than political positions. The sense I get reading Payne’s website is that he has a grudge. Why? It’s the wording and the style of the website. Phrases like “corrupted by the faculty political regime” are inciteful rhetoric. I want to see a serious website that proposes ideas, and shows the candidates background—not something that just rails against the other guy. It’s also telling that for as much as Payne tries to come across as a progressive candidate, he ran as a Republican for an assembly district, and he’s not a strong enough progressive for Knock LA to come out for him.

📋 Conclusion

This one was the battle of two websites. For Buelna, we have a website that is positive, talks about his ideas, presents relevant experience, and shows endorsements my primarily the Democratic establishment and other members of the LACCD board. For Payne, we have what comes across as a rant against former faculty members, and a smear campaign against his opponent with scant on what he should do or his real background. I’m inclinded to go for Gabriel Buelna, based on his website.

LACCD Member of the Board of Trustees – Seat 7

Kelsey Iino Appointed Inc

Iino is an appointed member of the Board. Dr. Iino has been part of the counseling faculty at El Camino College (ECC) in Torrance since 2007. She previously served as a counselor and teacher at Citrus College and at Santa Monica College, holds an Ed.D. in educational leadership from the University of Southern California; a master’s degree in student affairs counseling and bachelor’s degree in sociology, both from the University of California, Los Angeles and an associate’s degree in sociology from ECC.  She was appointed in 2022 to complete the term of Mike Fong, who was elected to the state assembly.  Her campaign page notes that since her appointment to the LACCD board in April 2022, she serves on the Legislative and Public Affairs Committee, the Budget Committee, African American/Black Ad Hoc Committee, Gender Equity Ad Hoc Committee, and the Athletic Ad Hoc Committee, and is chair of the API Advisory Committee.  She wants to bring about student achievements by supporting increased accessibility to essential services and resources necessary for each campus. She also seeks to provide solutions to the housing insecurity, food insecurity, and the rising cost of living students face.  Her presence on the board supports diversity, giving voice to AAPI students. She has a large number of endorsements, including other CCD trustees. She has Knock LA’s endorsement.

◯ Mark Dutton

Dutton seems to be a community activist active in Council District 7, for which he set up a communities united page. He doesn’t have a campaign page.

Nancy Pearlman

According to her campaign page, Pearlman is a broadcaster, environmentalist, college instructor, anthropologist, editor, producer, on-air personality, and outdoorswoman focused on environmental action. She served four terms as an elected official on the Board of Trustees of the Los Angeles Community College District. Knock LA notes in its endorsement of Iino, that Pearlman, an environmental activist and LACCD trustee between 2001 and 2017, was a vocal yet ineffective critic of the district’s failings during her 16 years on the board. The page for her campaign, off her “Official” website, is for her 2020 campaign, not her current campaign.  Her focus was really environmental, not the students. She’s also 74, and I think we need younger voices.

📋 Conclusion

I think the battle here is between a new appointed board member who wants to keep her seat, represents diversity, and has strong active ideas — and a lot of endorsements … and a 16-year incumbent who was voted off the board and wants that job back. I prefer the new energy.  My conclusion is Kelsey Iino.


2 Replies to “🗳️ Nov 2022 General Election Ballot Analysis (II): County and City (L.A.) Local Offices”

  1. Robert Payne, candidate for LACCD Board of Trustees, Seat 6, writes:

    The Ballotpedia record for District 39 is incorrect. I did not run for that office at any time. I am not a Republican. And I offer as a progressive credit my time on the KPFK Local Station Board and my financial and media contributions to the station.

    As to my comments on the Trumpers now on the LACCD Board of Trustees, you seem to have only scanned the ‘Opponents’ page of my website. True, I want them gone. Trump and his minions stain the history of the United States.

    Did you read the other pages? I advocate academic rigor, internate back up of all classes, on-line textbooks, debt-free college, combining academics with real-world skills, and continuing guidance of graduating students to merge paycheck work with academics. I did it. After LA Valley College, I graduated from 4-year college with money in the bank, then worked my way through graduate school. I worked dead end movie jobs until my novels sold. With the money from the novels, I launched my own ‘NGO’ to finance progress in the Mayan communities during the Guatemalan civil war.

    Later, I worked high schools, colleges, and universities, in the US and foreign. And in the higher level classes I incorporated text and audio internet with classroom instruction. Study anywhere, anytime, at home, at work, in a car in traffic.

    I am a man not only of academic achievement, I am also man of much experience. And I have no political ambitions beyond helping other students like I was get through college and into the world.

    I ask you to review the other pages of my ideas for service as a Trustee, PayneforLACCD.info.

    1. I’ve corrected my post regarding the erroneous Ballotpedia material. But I did review your entire website. I saw your proposals, and after reviewing them, I still prefer the other candidate (which is my prerogative).

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