Will Jan Perry be the next mayor of Los Angeles?
“I am proud to announce that I have raised over $1,162,908 since the beginning of my campaign for Mayor of Los Angeles,” said 9th district councilwoman, Jan Perry.
“I am honored by the outpouring of support from local donors and I am truly humbled by the over 1,500 individual donors that have made this possible…I know my supporters believe in our vision of a prosperous Los Angeles, where entrepreneurs and small businesses drive job creation, affordable housing and public transit link working families to job centers, and our public education system educates our children for the jobs of tomorrow. I will not stop until we reach that goal.”
Perry hasn’t quite caught up to fellow front runners Wendy Greuel, city controller and Eric Garcetti who represents the 13th but having the largest campaign fund won’t necessarily guarantee a win, she said.
“If it did, Carmen Trutanich would be the district attorney,” said Perry, referring to the recent county district attorney upset, where a well funded Trutanich lost to Jackie Lacey.
To run for mayor of the second largest city in the nation, a candidate has to have a strong platform and a willingness to come under public scrutiny, she said. He or she has to be able to connect with voters, build coalitions throughout the city and be someone who people believe will actually move the city forward.
“I think I’m that candidate, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing this,” Perry declared during a recent interview with the Sentinel.
If Perry wins the hotly contested position, she will become the first African-American female to do so, though she doesn’t seem to be driven by that fact. Instead, she seems more doggedly focused on turning her vision for Los Angeles into a reality. That vision, which includes a more thinly populated Skid Row, a better transportation system and a well educated future workforce, is going to have to begin with a stronger economy.
“We will have to build our way out of this recession,” Perry said.
“We’ll have to do it community by community. We will have to bring in new jobs to our city to put people back to work so that they can pay their bills, keep their homes, take care of their children, take care of their grandparents and that’s how we build a city that is stable…”
She knows that based on what she has seen from her current position as the city’s 9th district (South L.A. / parts of downtown) representative, a challenging gig considering the fact that her constituent base includes some of L.A.’s most disadvantaged. Perry has faced that challenge head on for the past 11 years, she said. Her focus has been on transforming run down urban areas into vibrant, healthy neighborhoods that include usable parks, farmers’ markets and clean air.
Seeing the effects that quality of life improvements have cuased so far in the 9th was a major catalyst in her decision to run for mayor, she said, wanting to take her ideas beyond the area’s boundaries. If she gets to sit in the big chair at City Hall, being vacated in 2013 by Antonio Villaraigosa because of term limits, she still wants to continue her fight for available/ affordable housing, a higher quality, more innovative school system and a greener environment. However, her efforts to improve L.A. life will be largely poured into the job situation here.
“That would be my core focus as mayor,” Perry explained, “keeping jobs here and bringing in new jobs and making sure I’m strategic in linking those jobs to people who need to be employed and need to go back to work. We can build a whole new industry of job opportunities by modernizing our convention center, building more hotel rooms so that we can compete on a national and international scale as a city to bring more travelers, tours and conventions here. That’s something we can do very, very quickly.”
“Jan Perry has the strongest vision, most compelling message and best personal story of anyone running for Mayor next year,” said Eric Hacopian, Perry’s campaign consultant.
“By raising more than a million dollars, she has once again shown that she will have the resources necessary to run a winning campaign next year.”