Parks, LaMotte and Wesson dominated and decimated in the elections as majority of measures ruled the ballots.By Brian W. Carter, Sentinel Staff Writer"The 8th district is not for sale!" said the newly re-elected Councilman Bernard Parks. Parks lead the victory with 51% of the vote with all 95 precincts turning out for the vote. The race for the 8th district proved close with slow returns, but it was no cigar. Parks' opponent, Forescee Hogan-Rowles followed with 44 % of the vote. Parks has experience when it comes to this city being a former LAPD Chief. As Chair of the City Council's budget and finance committee, he has a firm grasp on the inner workings of the city and experience in management. Parks has brought a re-invigorated energy to the 8th district by providing economic development, businesses and jobs."It's not that somebody can just pick and choose our representatives," said Parks. "Our community is smarter than that." As a poster read at the campaign headquarters for Parks, "There was no need for Change," and apparently the 8th district felt the same. "Bernard Parks is a man of the community," said 45th District Assemblyman Gilbert Cedillo. "It's a victory for the community. Benard Parks has been a leader, not just a leader for African Americans, but was a champion for the Latino residents of this district."In the 10th district, Herb Wesson stood at the top of the mountain. He leads with a powerful 73% of the vote over all his opponents. He has worked tirelessly to continue to make sure the community and district needs are met and on election night, their votes met with him.He has been successful in providing up to 23,000 new jobs and millions in economic development. The 10th district is being transformed into a place of opportunity, advancement and growth thanks to his vision. As a result of Wesson's efforts, the 10th district will experience a surge of new shopping centers, grocery stores and recreational centers.Marguerite LaMotte stomped to the LAUSD victory line with 75% of the vote. She holds the winning banner over her opponent, Rev. Eric Lee with 25% of the vote, for School Board District #1. LaMotte will no doubt continue her fight to rid the LAUSD of problems it continues to suffer.LaMotte has a trusted track record within the LAUSD having been a principal and on numerous educational boards. Her decades of experience and results with the LAUSD speak for themselves. "There is an honesty and genuineness in what I'm about with the kids," said LaMotte. She credits that her campaign was "based upon what kids need, and my interest in them."LaMotte's agenda is simple-she wants to improve the education system within minority communities. She wants to eliminate wasting district funds, bridge the gap in learning achievement for minority students, and keep good teachers in our schools. What more could you ask for?This election year has boasted a lot of money with independent expenditures reaching the $1.25 million mark within seven city councils, with $1.1 million being spent in the 8th district races, according to the Los Angeles Ethics Commission (LACEC).According to a press release by the LACEC, independent entities have contributed $536,149 to support and oppose city council candidates. For 8th district candidates, $357,741 in expenditures went to support Hogan-Rowles and $88,478 to support and oppose Parks. Both also received Public Matching Funds, Hogan-Rowles with $16,289 and Parks with $34,571.In the LAUSD races, the independent spending exceeded $2 million. In Districts 1 and 3, most spending went towards its candidates. The expenditures made to the LAUSD Board to support or oppose candidates were $928,823. About $274,000 of expenditures went towards the support of LaMotte.Independent expenditures are $1,000 or more that go to support or oppose candidates or ballot measures. They are not controlled by the candidate or by a candidate's committee. There's no limit to what can be spent and all independent expenditures must be reported in 24 hours, which is required by the City Charter 803(s)(1)."I'm very pleased," said 9th District Councilwoman Jan Perry about the results of this year's election measures. Measures G, H, I, J, L, M, N, P and Q were passed. Measure O, the oil excise tax, did not pass the ballot.
"The election was a tremendous night," said 13th district Councilman, Eric Garcetti. "Our libraries, our budget reform, and our DWP reform measures all passed. We had a very strong vote of the people for reform agenda and it looks like all the incumbents came out on top." As Los Angeles goes to sleep on election night, it can rest easy knowing it made solid choices in leadership.