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Los Angeles

After 30 Years, 2nd District Seat Up for Grabs

Election: Voters on Tuesday will pick a successor to longtime L.A. City Councilman Joel Wachs. The race has been contentious and costly.

December 09, 2001|PATRICK McGREEVY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

She has been endorsed by the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, Central City Assn., Sierra Club, League of Conservation Voters and Sheriff Lee Baca.

Cordaro, the only Republican in the race, grew up in Scranton, Pa., and was certified in electrical and refrigeration work at Lincoln Technical Institute in New Jersey before he moved to California in 1985. He is president of the Van Nuys Rotary Club, a member of the Mid-Valley Community Police Advisory Board and past president of the Sherman Oaks Chamber of Commerce. His wife, Leslie, is a mail carrier.

Cardenas and Greuel want to expand the police force from its current 8,900 officers to about 10,000.

Cordaro said he would work toward building the LAPD to 16,000 officers or more. He said he wants to create a "community-based government" program in which city departments assign workers to interact with neighborhoods.

Cardenas said he would bring city department managers out to the district to "let the scenery do the talking" about the need for more services.

To reconnect residents with City Hall, Greuel said, she would work closely with a planned system of neighborhood councils, which she said would be an "integral part of my decision-making process."

Greuel said she would hold periodic meetings in the district at which heads of city departments would be required to listen to the concerns of residents.

Greuel has been highly critical of Cardenas, questioning the political contributions he has received from Sacramento, and from Native American groups with casinos on tribal lands.

Cardenas said the contributions are a small fraction of the money he has raised, most of which comes from local residents and businesspeople. To counter Greuel's attacks, he distributed a letter last week that was signed by tribal leaders praising him for helping Native Americans escape poverty.

If no candidate wins a majority of the ballots cast Tuesday, the top two vote-getters will face each other in a runoff election March 5.

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