Five candidates did not attend the Watts forum: realtor Rebecca Chambliss, businessman Frank Pereyda, small business owner and former 15th District Councilman Rudy Svorinich, and write-in candidates Emery Soos and Timothy Weaver.
To give residents an opportunity to learn even more about the candidates for the 15h District Council race, we sent an survey to each of the 15 people running. Following you will find their answers as well as other pertinent information. Some candidate did not respond, despite repeated calls and e-maiL.
Pereyda was the only candidate who did not attend the forum but did return the survey. We're including the answers he provided in this story. Readers can go to our website, www.ourweekly.com and look for the Candidate Survey story to look at answers from the other candidates. In some cases, the responses are a combination of answers to the survey and comments made at the candidate forum.
Editor's note: Check back between now and the election because we will update the website when other candidates submit their surveys.
What are the top five concerns of residents in Watts and specifically how will you address each of theses concerns?
Frank Pereyda: I feel that the biggest concern outside the usual fallout from our poor economy and the fact that we are not located on the west side of town is the fact that Watts is so far away from the rest of the district much in the same way that the harbor area is detached and ignored by downtown.
I feel that the council districts should be realigned to better serve residents. Much like our recently realigned congressional districts, the city could do the same and make some sense out of its boundaries.
I have worked with many of the schools and businesses in the area, and I see the struggles they face with foreign competition and our own city's mountain of regulations, fees and fines.
I feel I could make the biggest impact with our school district. I have a business plan that will save each and every school in the district thousands of dollars. The savings could go to school lunch programs, after-school activities, etc.
I have implemented this program with many schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District and other districts as well, and they are now reaping the benefits.
Our youth need to be better served, not the bloated bureaucrats now wasting our children's chance to learn and get ahead.
I am proponent of furthering the charter-school program as well as vouchers, where the money follows the child.
Justin Brimmer:I believe the top concerns of Watts/Willowbrook area addressed in my four-point plan: reinvest in our youth, recommit to job creation, restrengthen our communities, and reclaim city services.
1.Reinvestment in Our Youth: We must stop talking about our youth being the future of tomorrow, and start making them a priority today.
a.Increase apprenticeship programs, where youth can learn from skilled mentors in their chosen field, i.e. Business owners, steel workers, artists, etc.
b.Summer Youth Jobs, i.e. Expansion through securing private investment
c.Arts and Athletics
i.Promote schools with local plays, talent shows, art shows, public art, district wide football, baseball, soccer, track leagues; also building skate parks.
d.Expand training and tutoring programs.
e.Provide mentorship and Parenting Classes Seminars
f.Youth Professional/Youth Chamber of Commerce
g.Scholarships for college bound youth
2.Recommit to Job Creation: I believe we should give a job to a 16 year old and you give a career to the head of a household, and this is how I have devised a pathway out of poverty.