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Four City Council members who were recently recalled are getting ready to run to recapture their old jobs. The election is set for November 6.
Four former City Council members, including the former mayor (also a city council member), are getting ready to run for the same offices they vacated less than 60 days ago. Louis Byrd, Rev. Alfreddie Johnson, Leticia Vasquez and Fernando Pedroza are embarking on the fight of their political lives to convince the residents of Lynwood that they can do the best job for the city.
Lynwood operates under a city council/city manager form of government and the city consists of five council members, four of whom were recently recalled. If Byrd, Johnson and the others prevail in the upcoming election, the current administration would have been one of the shortest administrations in modern city government history, since they have been in office barely a month.
Some disgruntled residents openly claim that the numerous elections and recall elections have depleted the city’s meager resources and valuable time and services that could have been used for more productive purposes on behalf of the residents. Yet, Lynwood politics seem to continue to spiral out of control, compounded by a rash of suspicious development projects that will ultimately cost the city regardless of what developers promise.
Former Mayor of Lynwood, Louis Byrd said emphatically that he intends to run in the next election for City Council. “It’s right there,” he said. “ It’s November the sixth, just a week away.” Speaking in a positive tone, Byrd said, once back in he would “continue to move the city in a positive direction and make it a place that everyone could be happy to live in.” He also commented on the recent recall, “That was an opportunity for the naysayers to shine because they knew how to do that. This is the second time they’ve had a successful recall and they have also had many attempts. They vote for recall because they want to be in there.” Furthermore, Byrd said that he was very confident about his chances and he had received some positive feedback (from the residents) while campaigning. “A lot of people know that was a sham and I think two of them are going to go out.”
When contacted, Rev. Alfreddie Johnson said that he was also going to run. However, because of his hectic time schedule, he was not able to be reached for a full interview. Rev. Johnson has a long and impressive history of working with gang members and at-risk youth in the community. He also founded an outreach program for helping young people to turn their lives around and was instrumental in seeking positive solutions in the wake of the 1992 Civil Unrest in Los Angeles.
From the outset of the interview, former council member Fernando Pedroza stated that he plans to run for his old city council seat in November—next five days. According to Pedroza, “We are ‘at-large,’ we do not have council districts.” He outlined his plans for the city if elected: “My goal is to finish the construction of two new parks and to replace the park that was taken by the new high school, and to make sure we create jobs for the kids. We have 18 schools in the city but no jobs for our kids when they graduate.” Pedroza further stated that the recent recall was provoked by the lies and deceit by the opposition. “They lied to the public and told them that the city council was going to take away their homes,” he concluded.
Leticia Vasquez was the only former City Council member who was not available for comment. Calls to Vasquez were not returned by press time.
None of the current council members were available for this story but sources told the Los Angeles Sentinel that they’ve “cleaned house” since coming into office and have presently hired an interim city attorney.