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ELECTIONS / CITY COUNCIL : Holden Reign at Stake in Tuesday Vote

June 04, 1995|PETER Y. HONG

Voters in the 10th City Council District will either reelect incumbent Nate Holden on Tuesday or replace him with lawyer J. Stanley Sanders.

Since the April 11 primary, in which Holden got 46% of the vote to Sanders' 43%, the candidates have dropped the personal attacks that characterized the primary race. They have instead run tightly focused campaigns to win the support of those most likely to vote--largely older homeowners--through door-to-door walks and phone calls.

The district, which stretches from Palms to Koreatown and Wilshire Boulevard to the Crenshaw district, is one of the city's most vibrant and diverse.

Candidate backgrounds

Holden--Quit school at 16 to join the Army, and finished high school at night. He left New Jersey and came to Los Angeles in 1955 to work in an aerospace plant. He worked his way through West Coast University and became an aerospace engineer before starting his bumpy 27-year political career.

Holden, 65, was a state senator and an aide to former Los Angeles County Supervisor Kenneth Hahn. He won his council seat in 1987.

Sanders--Born and raised in Watts, the son of a garbage collector and younger brother of Ed Sanders, the first American heavyweight to win an Olympic gold medal in boxing.

Himself an All-American wide receiver at Whittier College, Sanders, 52, was a Rhodes Scholar and got his law degree at Yale.

Though he ran for mayor in 1993, his public service has been through appointed positions, including the Recreation and Parks Commission, the Coliseum Commission and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board.

Here is a look at how they stand on key issues in the race:

Reducing crime:

Holden--Proposes increased use of volunteers and auxiliary police to bolster the existing police force. Has bought walkie-talkies for neighborhood watch groups. Favors easing restrictions on landlords to speed eviction of drug dealers.

Sanders--Proposes shifting the deployment of officers, including greater use of foot and mounted patrols. Wants tougher enforcement of gun control laws in schools.

On the Police Commission reprimand of Chief Willie L. Williams for allegedly not disclosing that he received free Las Vegas hotel stays:

Holden--"At this point there's no reason for him to come down. If there's no reason for him not to be there, it would be good to have him reappointed."

Sanders--"What he does far outweighs what he hasn't done. This is our chief and the council should stand behind him."

On economic development:

Holden--Helped bring an Alpha Beta supermarket to Midtown Shopping Center. Backed restrictions on auto repair shops. "I've created two city redevelopment areas that will generate jobs and money for more construction."

Sanders--Suggests borrowing an idea from Pasadena to use strict code enforcement and exterior decorating guidelines to reach a happy medium of body shops and other businesses. "If I can solve the problems of public safety and getting cars [from repair shops] off the street, the area can be revived in short order."

On each other:

Holden--"I have nothing good to say about him."

Sanders--"He represents continuity with a tradition of city politicians that believes winning elections is the most important thing."


There is also a race to fill the 5th District Los Angeles Unified School Board seat vacated by the retiring Leticia Quezada. Lucia Rivera, a parent volunteer at Eagle Rock High School, and David Tokofsky, a social-science teacher at Marshall High, are vying to represent the district, which includes East Los Angeles and the northeast San Fernando Valley.

Rivera maintains that as a parent she would be better able to get the community involved in schools, something she says is critical to improving public education.

Tokofsky promises to find creative solutions to the school system's dogging problems such as lack of funding and an overbearing bureaucracy.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Voter information: (213) 485-3581.

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