New Direction: Forescee Hogan-Rowles ready to take the lead

Cynthia E. Griffin and Stanley O. Williford | 2/23/2011, 5 p.m.

Diane Watson
Former Congresswoman Diane Watson, who last election term solely backed Parks, is allowing both Hogan-Rowles and Parks to use her picture in their campaign literature.

"Parks has my picture and my endorsement on his literature; they called, but they never asked my permission. I endorsed him (previously) and helped him raise his first $10,000.

"I told Forescee I was going to allow her to put a picture she had with me in the past and use it, and may the best person win," said Watson, explaining her dual support.

But her thoughts are with Hogan-Rowles, whom she has followed as she worked with the state Democratic Party.

"She is bright and articulate, and I think it's time now for a challenge to the incumbent," continued the veteran lawmaker. "I think the positions they (incumbents) take that are opposed to what the general public wants--like voting allowing (people) to open liquor stores in the Normandie-Florence community. There's no need to have five liquor stores in one block."

Watson, who says she has known Hogan-Rowles for 30 years, puts her in the category with leaders like Congresswoman Karen Bass--young and a "wonderful participant and wonderful spokesperson for Democratic values throughout our state."

Watson believes that the councilperson for the district has to be a strong voice for the community that will back them up when a local planning entity such as a community advisory board votes to cut back on things like pawnshops, guns shops and porn shops.

Maria Elena Durazo
Maria Elena Durazo, executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, has thrown her considerable union support behind Hogan-Rowles, because of the work she has seen the challenger do while serving on the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Board of Commissioners.

"She was more thoughtful about integrating all the interests that we need to care about. Rather than fall in line with a simple way of looking at things. I don't like to complicate things, on the other hand, you do have to look at the (the whole picture) . . . I've been impressed that she looks at all the pieces. She doesn't get out there for the headlines. She looks to do what is a thoughtful approach."

Durazo also feels that Hogan-Rowles has the dual knowledge of working with and promoting small businesses and helping these entrepreneurs understand what they need to be successful. The union boss believes the 8th District candidate also has the sensitivity to understand families going through hard times and thinks she will use this knowledge to fuel her drive to bring good jobs into the city, a focus the union is homing in on.

Union backing will help Hogan-Rowles get her story out to the public and the members who live in the 8th District.

Mark Ridley-Thomas
County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, former 8th District councilman, and Parks fought a bitter battle over when they contended against one another for the supervisorial position. There is no love lost between the two, so it was no surprise when Ridley Thomas threw his support behind Hogan-Rowles.