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Support for Ridley-Thomas

May 30, 2008

Re "The edge to Parks," editorial, and "L.A.'s black politicians face changing landscape," May 27

In The Times' article, state Sen. Mark Ridley-Thomas (D-Los Angeles) emerged as the right consensus-building candidate for South L.A.'s multicultural needs. To discover an editorial endorsement of L.A. City Councilman Bernard C. Parks was startling.

Will the fact that Parks served as police chief help us get needed healthcare services? Was Parks heard from at all on that subject during the last three years?

I am deeply disappointed in your endorsement. Voters will show that they know who can do the heavy lifting and who cannot.

Sylvia Drew Ivie

Los Angeles

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It's evident The Times didn't take environmental issues into consideration, or its support would have gone to Ridley-Thomas.

Ridley-Thomas has a proven record in support of the environment. In the 2nd District, oil wells compromise clean air, water, health and public safety.

Being supervisor isn't just about being a competent businessman and administrator. It's about helping us achieve a better quality of life in the places where we live and work.

Mary Ann Webster

Culver City

The writer is conservation chair of the West Los Angeles Group of the Sierra Club.

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The Times' endorsement of Parks reveals a shallow understanding of the role of the county supervisor and of the needs of the 2nd Supervisorial District. The supervisors perform legislative and executive functions. The county's chief executive officer performs administrative functions.

The gaping holes in the county's safety net -- in healthcare, family services, foster care and juvenile justice -- hit this district harder than any other in the county. The district will require far more than an administrator. It will need an innovator who can conceptualize new approaches and build consensus to implement these ideas.

Ridley-Thomas has repeatedly demonstrated these skills. The 2nd District needs a champion, not a caretaker.

Mary M. Lee

Los Angeles

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