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With less than a week before election day. Councilmember Bernard Parks gets the endorsement of business leader and sports legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson in his bid for County Supervisor With a bevy of powerfully influential endorsements already in tow, Los Angeles City Councilman Bernard Parks received a magical one as the June 3 election for 2nd District Supervisor nears.
Los Angeles sports icon and one of the most beloved figures in the history of Los Angeles, Earvin “Magic” Johnson announced last week during a gathering at dilapidated Marlton Square that he too was supporting Parks to replace retiring 2nd District Supervisor Yvonne B. Burke.
Parks had already received the nod of Burke, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, the entire Los Angeles City Council, the Los Angeles Sentinel and the Los Angeles Times among many others, but this one provided a name brand recognition beyond the scope of politics and media.
“It’s a major endorsement. We’ve been working on it for a number of months. Magic’s name identification is second to none, his credibility is second to none, but to not only get him as an endorse me but to have him actually working within the campaign is tremendous,” Parks said this week.
Parks is among nine candidates vying to succeed Burke on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
Many of those supporters were on hand at Marlton Square to welcome Johnson aboard, including Supervisor Burke, Councilman Herb Wesson, and Councilwoman Jan Perry.
“What a blessing it is today to be here with a friend, with a man who is passionate about not only the county, the district, but also Los Angeles,” Johnson said. “Now if Yvonne, who knows something about being a supervisor, who has done just a tremendous job in making sure that the county has gotten everything that they wanted and deserved to have, if she can endorse Councilman Parks, and she knows something about the job, then you know that we are picking the right man for the job.”
The race for the seat on the Board of Supervisors is the only one that has been held by an African American and Parks is in a dogfight with Senator Mark Ridley-Thomas.
“If all these people can come together (Supervisor Burke, Councilman Wesson, and Councilwoman Perry) and say that Councilman Parks is the right man for the job, he must be the right person,” Johnson said.
Parks is also endorsed by the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce and the L.A. Business Federation.
“Here’s a man who can create and bring new businesses to the community,” Johnson said. “That means creating new and higher paying jobs. That’s what the community needs.”
In stark contrast Ridley-Thomas was primarily the blame for the Marlton Square development project while he was City Councilmember. Marlton Square has remained undeveloped and in shambles since.
The land was supposed to be redeveloped with new stores and housing and Parks has pledged to achieve that goal.
“This is a great day and yet a sad day,” Johnson said. “A sad day because here we are, in the largest parcel here still left in the county of Los Angeles, and it still has not been developed. That is a disgrace. And the people of this community deserve better. The man for the job to make sure this piece of land gets developed is standing right here in Councilman Parks.”
“We’re tired of lip service. The people deserve action. They deserve somebody who is committed to make sure that all of this is developed, and hopefully what they want to see happen, not just what the developer wants to bring, but what all these citizens want to see happen here. Who better to do that than Councilman Parks,” Johnson boasted.
A career Los Angeles Police officer and chief and now second term councilman, Parks has shown a steady hand chairing the City Council’s budget committee, and would bring similar care to the much larger county government, according to the Times endorsement.
His primary foe for Supervisor, Ridley-Thomas has a penchant for leaving one elected office after another before he completes his term.
“I think what we’ve seen in Mark is that he was City councilman and before he could finish that job he ran for Assembly, and before he completed that term he ran for senator and now that he’s senator he wants to be Supervisor,” explained Parks.
However on this day, entrepreneur/businessman Johnson made clear who was the right choice for the job.
“We supported him as an officer,” Johnson said. “And he did so many wonderful things for all the kids in this same community as a football coach. I get to hear more stories about him from all my fiends as him being their football coach. Then he moved up to being the Chief of police and he did a fabulous job. Now he’s doing an even better job as a Councilman. I’m here to say that this is the right man for the job at the right time at the right place.”