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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

2 Mayoral Contenders, 3 Secession Leaders to Debate

October 14, 2000

HOLLYWOOD — The issue of whether Los Angeles should be carved into four cities will be the subject of a debate Sunday scheduled to involve leaders of three secession movements and two contenders for mayor of Los Angeles.

The debate, sponsored by the Los Angeles Press Club, the American Reporter and Beachwood Voice, will take place at 10:30 a.m. at the New Ivar Theatre at 1605 N. Ivar Ave. in Hollywood, organizers said Thursday.

Secessionist leaders Richard Close from the San Fernando Valley, Fares Wehbe of Hollywood and Andrew Mardesich of San Pedro will face mayoral candidates Antonio Villaraigosa and Steve Soboroff, said Joe Shea, editor-in-chief of the American Reporter, who will moderate the debate.

Organizers of the three cityhood campaigns, who back each others' secession movements, are aiming for a vote in 2002. They contend that Los Angeles is unmanageable and that their three areas and the remaining portion of Los Angeles all would benefit from being smaller municipalities.

City officials have opposed the breakup, however. Some political observers have predicted that the secession efforts will become a major issue in next spring's mayoral election.

Some parking will be available at the Doolittle Theatre at 1615 Vine St. For reservations, call (323) 467-0616.

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