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4 Forums Set for Candidates in 6th District


Voters will get up to four chances to see candidates for the 6th District City Council seat appear jointly at community forums this month.

Both Los Angeles City Councilwoman Ruth Galanter and challenger Mary Lee Gray have agreed to attend, organizers said, though not all arrangements are set.

Gray said there was a flurry of activity to iron out the terms of the debates after The Times reported that Galanter appeared to step back from her post-primary vow to debate Gray "on any corner."

Challenger Gray, a senior deputy to County Supervisor Deane Dana, had said Galanter and her supporters were trying to skew the debates to favor the incumbent.

Specifically, one group picked a moderator approved by Galanter without consulting Gray, who prefers moderators from the League of Women Voters. Galanter since has agreed to a League moderator for that event. Campaign consultant Mark Litchman said Galanter also has agreed to appear live on KABC-TV with Gray.

Organizers for a forum devoted solely to the environment want a television journalist as a moderator. Debate organizer Ruth Lansford, co-chair of Friends of Ballona Wetlands, said she and Galanter's staff prefer a moderator with higher visibility than the League.

Lansford said Gray prefers the League and is balking at debate rules, which Gray said are unfair.

The forums and sponsors are:

Wednesday: Venice High School, 13000 Venice Blvd., at 8 p.m., by Venice Town Council and other groups.

Thursday: Phillips Temple C.M.E., 971 E. 43rd St., at 7:30 p.m., by Southern California Organizing Committee (formerly South-Central Organizing Committee).

May 28: Congregational Church of the Messiah, 7300 W. Manchester Blvd., Playa del Rey, at 7:30 p.m., by Friends of Ballona Wetlands and other environmentalists.

May 31: Department of Water and Power, 4030 Crenshaw Blvd., at 7 p.m., by Crenshaw Neighbors.

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