Pritikin: No, I do not favor new taxes for police protection. First of all, the tax would fall disproportionately harder on Valley and Westside residents. Second of all, we should maximize use of facilities like LAX and the convention center before we raise taxes. A Lockheed study shows we can raise $125 million to $700 million a year in revenues just by renegotiating the contract for the airport.
Q. Do you believe complaints against the Police Department are handled properly?
Braude: I believe the reforms passed by the voters in Measure F established procedures to better handle these problems.
Handal: I support a civilian complaint review board. I believe that the current setup of our Police Commission is ineffective and its reporting process to the mayor is also ineffective. I would propose that the police chief be directly responsible to the mayor, who is accountable to the City Council.
Pritikin: I think that complaints against the Police Department are handled in an adequate manner but we need to refine the system to make it more responsive to the concerns of the citizen. Low morale and low pay is not a license to violate the trust we place in a police officer.
Q. Do you believe police officers need racial sensitivity training?
Braude: This is already being done, consistent with the provisions of the voter approved Measure F and the recommendations of the Christopher Commission. But more important, I believe we need more cops on the street.
Pritikin: Any type of training that improves job performance should be used whether it is for police, business, education or any other profession. The LAPD should take racial sensitivity training upon themselves as a gesture to the community that they are seeking to renew the bond of trust that has been severed.
Q. What have you done to improve race relations?
Braude: I have always fought for equal opportunity for all groups.
Handal: As a member of the Rotary Club, the Knights of Columbus and the Alzheimers Assn., I have continually worked to bring all groups together and to give to the underprivileged and needy. I recently chaired a fund-raiser for Alzheimers and am the co-chair of the association. Our goal is to build an Eldercare Center in South-Central Los Angeles, where there is none.
Pritikin: My work tutoring students at Malcolm X Elementary School and the 10th Street Elementary School has allowed me to help others gain an education that is the basis for good relations. In my work with a program in assisting non-English speaking residents to complete California and federal tax forms, I have "unlearned" many of the stereotypes I acquired over the years about immigrants from Central and South America. But it is my work with organizations such as the Jewish National Fund and American Israel Public Affairs Committee that has given me the understanding of how important communication is between people. "No one is born a bigot," but it is our job to prevent others from being educated that way.
Q. Do you believe the Los Angeles Unified School District should be broken up?
Braude: I favor more local control and accountability in our school system. If, after careful study, this means breaking up the district into several smaller units, then I would support this effort. In any case, I favor decentralized control and more involvement by parents.
Handal: Yes. I believe in the LEARN program, which advocates decentralizing the Los Angeles school district. I also believe that small clusters of schools as a school district will be more responsive to the community needs, rather than one big district that cannot take into account all of the various community needs and special circumstances.
Pritikin: Yes. Our school system is too large and unresponsive to the diverse needs of our children. First, we need to break up the school district into districts of no more than 100,000 students. Then we have to rework the funding mechanism so we can be assured that every school receives the same amount of funding. Then we need to implement a school choice program that will allow students to attend any school in the city.
Q. Do your children attend private or public schools?
Braude: Both of my daughters attend public school.
Pritikin: I'm unmarried and have no children.
Q. Do you support an east-west elevated rail line over the Ventura Freeway, as approved by the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission?
Braude: No. I support the rail proposal endorsed by the coalition of major homeowner and business groups in the Valley. Monorail is an ill-conceived and unsound proposal that is unworkable and will never be built.
Handal: I believe that the environmental damage caused by the rail line far surpasses its need. I believe there are better ways and places to have mass transit implemented.