Election Demonstrates Power of Black Vote
The results are in and the votes from the recent Los Angeles municipal elections have been tabulated and confirmed, but African American leadership has demonstrated its ability to deliver the Black vote on May 21.
African Americans represent just 12 percent of the voting bloc in the city of Los Angeles, but still it is an influential and unified constituency that can impact the results of an election.
Blacks supported Controller Wendy Greuel by an overwhelming 71 percent according to The Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University, but she did not win. However that is because Greuel failed to win the majority of Latinos (60-40), whites (59-41), and barley won her home region of the San Fernando Valley 51-49 percent. Greuel grew up in the Valley and represented that area when she served on the City Council.
The Black vote also substantiated itself in the race for 9th District City Council where Senator Curren Price defeated Ana Cubas 5,184 (52.75 %) to 4,643 9 (47.24%), although Blacks are no longer the majority of the district.
Among the many Black community leaders and elected officials who rallied together for the municipal elections was former Lakers’ great and Dodgers owner Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson, veteran Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Bishop Charles E. Blake of West Angeles, John L. Mack of the Los Angeles Police Commission, Watts community activist ‘Sweet’ Alice Harris, Sentinel Publisher Danny J. Bakewell Sr., former Congresswoman Diane Watson, Bishop Kenneth Ulmer, and former City Councilman Dave Cunningham who were all instrumental in delivering 69 percent of the Black vote for Greuel.
Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti was also supported by Blacks, such as Rep. Karen Bass, City Council President Herb Wesson, Councilwoman Jan Perry, actor Danny Glover and Black clergy leaders including Bishop T. Larry Kirkland, presiding bishop, 5th Episcopal District, A.M.E. Church, Pastor J. Edgar Boyd, senior minister, First A.M.E. Church, Rev. Kelvin Sauls, senior pastor, Holman United Methodist Church, Rev. Xavier Thompson, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and president, Baptist Ministers’ Conference of Los Angeles & Southern California and Rev. Eric P. Lee, president, Black Community, Clergy, Labor Alliance (BCCLA).
However, according to the study by Loyola Marymount, which accurately predicted to election outcome, only 31 percent of Black voters punched a ballot for Garcetti.
Greuel won the African-American vote by a whopping 69-31 percent, likely due to her connection to revered former Mayor Tom Bradley and endorsements from Magic Johnson and Congresswoman Maxine Waters.
While Black leadership was divided in the race for mayor where Garcetti won 181,995 (53.92 %) to Greuel’s 155,497 (46.07 %), they were all unified in their overwhelming support of Curren Price.