The five leading candidates for Mayor of Los Angeles sat side by side onstage at John Burroughs Middle School yesterday, and gave residents of greater Wilshire an opportunity to hear their visions for Los Angeles and quality of life in this area.
Noting it is the first mayoral race without an incumbent in office since 2001, moderator and journalist Kevin Roderick of LA Observed opened the two hour town hall forum stating that Wilshire Boulevard has always been one of the life-lines of the city, and will continue to be important to the future story of LA’s development.
Questions posed to the panel were initiated by the audience and were locally focused. The candidates did not debate one another, nor were the larger issues of LA’s dire fiscal state explored in depth. The questions included how to balance development with historic communities, how transit infrastructure should be built or blocked, how the city could be made more livable with bike lanes and walkability, and funding for the arts.
Use of the official mayoral residence, the Getty House on Irving and 6th St in Windsor Square, made for some interesting comments from the candidates. Kevin James called it a “party house” referring to complaints from local residents who see it being used too often for paid events, including this past week for a loud, late Grammy party. The assorted candidate responses on moving into the Getty House were detailed in the LA Times blog, LA:Now coverage of the event.
Four students from John Burroughs, which co-hosted the event with Larchmont Buzz, the Larchmont Chronicle and a slew of neighborhood associations along Wilshire Blvd including the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, asked their own questions onstage for the visiting candidates. It was a fine moment for the school, its refurbished auditorium and its bright students, to shine in the public spotlight of the mayoral race.
LA Times: LA Now Kevin James vows to Keep mayor’s home from becoming party house.
A video recording of the entire 1 hour and 48 minute Mayoral Forum is provided below, courtesy of John Burroughs Middle School.