Why I'm Not Surprised

WendyandMark.jpgAfrican American voters are choosing Wendy Greuel over Eric Garcetti by a two to one margin according to poll results published in the Jewish Journal.

That large margin may shock some people, but it doesn't surprise me nor others in the African American community. Wendy Greuel has an over twenty year history in our neighborhoods, twenty years of service.  We know the work she has done and think of her as a problem solver, leader, and, most importantly, a partner

We know that Wendy fought alongside Mayor Tom Bradley to get more affordable housing for Los Angeles. Her work with the former Mayor helped her understand the structural problems in our community and she took those experiences and lessons with her to the City Council and Controller's office. Wendy

has always been fighting the good fight, whether it is working to improve our schools, clean our streets, or make sure our homes are safe.

We know Wendy professionally as a dedicated public servant. We know Wendy personally as a mother committed to social and economic justice.

So, I was glad to read this article and happy with the poll's results. But was I surprised? Not at all.PollingPatBrown.jpg

Wendy Greuel has earned the support of the African American community. On election day, when the results come in, she will know that we were there for her, as she has always been there for us.

Here's an excerpt:

 

A voter's-eye view of the city election

Angelenos are happier with their own neighborhoods, schools than with the city as a whole.

In this, as in so many elections, we have focused so much on the candidates that we may have forgotten that elections are really about the voters -- how various groups’ representation has changed over time and what they want to happen in their city.  



Of the likely voters in the PBI poll, 42 percent were white, 12 percent were African American, 29 percent were Latino, and nine percent were Asian American. Consider that when Richard Riordan defeated Mike Woo in 1993, whites cast 72 percent of all votes, and Latinos cast only eight percent.  Riordan’s election was the last time that a Republican had a real chance for the city’s top job, when Republican voters cast more than 30 percent of the votes.  In the PBI sample, only 13 percent of likely voters identified as Republican.  This is a Democratic town, with 56 percent of the likely voters calling themselves Democrats.  (An estimated 6 percent of the city, and a larger share of its voters, are Jewish, who are disproportionately Democratic, but their numbers were too small in the PBI poll for analysis.)



We often hear negative things about the city and about the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).  We should also wonder how people feel in their own neighborhoods, because that’s their day-to-day experience.  Only 40 percent of voters polled like the direction of the city, and 22 percent approve of the LAUSD, but within this sprawling metropolis, residents are more pleased with their own neighborhoods and even their local schools, than with the “city” and the “school district.”  Voters said their own local schools are in good shape (37 percent favorable), just as they thought their neighborhoods are doing well (52 percent. This has probably been true in the past, but we have tended not to ask.

As Latinos’ numbers and influence continue to rise, they are feeling optimistic.  Nearly half (44 percent) think the city is going in the right direction, compared to only 29 percent of African-Americans, who have seen their hard-earned political gains jeopardized by a declining population share.  Latinos think that Antonio Villaraigosa has done a good job as mayor, giving him a 62 percent approval rating, compared to his overall 50 percent approval.  Latinos were much more likely to give the beleaguered LAUSD positive ratings than either whites or African-Americans.  Latinos favor giving the city’s mayor greater authority over the school district to a significantly greater degree than either whites or African-Americans.

  As a group on their way up, Latinos can see a better future in front of them, and their attitudes toward public institutions are starting to reflect that optimism.


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