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Newly Elected Candidates Sworn in to Office
By Sentinel News Service
Published July 2, 2015

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July 1 is the beginning of the new year for most local cities and municipalities. Being sworn in to office is an array of African American leaders ready and willing to their constituents.

Marquise Harris-Dawson – City of Los Angeles – 8th Council District.

Councilmember Marquise Harris Dawson is the newly elected councilman of the 8th Council District. He was sworn in at Los Angeles City Hall on Wednesday, July 1. Harris-Dawson, a new comer to the city hall has been a fixture in community organizing within the district for several years. As the executive director of Community Coalition, he has been instrumental in revitalizing and organizing local neighborhoods throughout South Los Angeles.

He is replacing out-going councilmember Bernard Parks who brings to a close over 60 years of service to the city of Los Angeles, starting out as a police officer, promoting up the ranks to serve as Los Angeles Chief of Police and then served as 12 years as a representative for the Los Angeles City Council.

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Dr. George McKenna – LAUSD – 1st District

Dr. George McKenna has just completed the remaining term of his good friend Marguerite LaMotte. Now he is beginning the first part of his own 5 year term. McKenna, a highly respected educator has only one agenda. “To improve the quality of the education provided to the young people of the district”.

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Emma Shariff – City of Compton – District 4

In 2001, Emma Sharif was appointed to fill a vacant seat on the Compton Unified School District Board of Trustees. In 2003 she was elected to her first full term as a member. Now, she is moving her “get it done” attitude to the Compton City Council.

Sharif defeated incumbent councilmember Dr. Willie O. Jones in the recent city elections. She brings to the council a commitment and determination to fix city streets, continue operating with a balanced budget and work closely with her other council colleagues to bring businesses, quality housing and new jobs to the Hub City.

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Janna Zurita – City of Compton – District 1

Janna Zurita was re-elected to the Compton City Council for a second term with an overwhelming majority. The second term councilwoman and many of the Compton residents saw her election as a validation that they believed the city was heading in the right direction and many credit Zurita with being the guiding force and the voice of reason on the council. Lifelong residents of Compton, the entire Zurita Family has been involved in uplifting, building and strengthening the city for years.

Janna Zurita follows in the footsteps of her Mother and family matriarch Delores Zurita on the Compton City Council. Delores Zurita has also been a force in the community providing meals and services for the children and senior citizens of Compton for years. Janna Zurita is also the sister of Compton School Board Member Satra Zurita who also has been a long time union supporter and community advocate.

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Jawane Hilton – City of Carson

Whether Jawane Hilton will be appointed by the Carson City Council or seated by Carson City Clerk Jim Dear, as he should have been when he received the majority of votes for the seat vacated by now California Legislator Mike Gipson is still in question. What is not in question is did Jawane Hilton receive the majority of votes? The answer is YES, but Carson politics is a complicated game and former mayor now city clerk Jim Dear is at the forefront of the drama. Why Carson keeps electing Dear is the real question but what is also clear is that Jawane Hilton is and should be sworn in as the next councilman for the City of Carson.

Hilton is an Educator and Senior Pastor who is committed to bringing diverse groups of people together to get things done for Carson neighborhoods.  He was born and raised in Carson and founded a church there.  He previously served as a member of Carson’s Public Safety Commission and Human Relations Commission and he worked as an advocate for helping at risk youth stay in school.

He was educated in the Los Angeles Unified School District (Annalee, Curtiss Middle School, Carson High School) and furthered his learning at California State University, Northridge where he obtained his Bachelor’s degree. He has a Masters of Divinity Degree from the Haggard School of Theology (HST) at Azusa Pacific University.

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