The race for the 9th District City Council seat pits state Sen. Curren Price (D-Los Angeles), a veteran African American politician, against Ana Cubas, a youthful Latina seeking her first elected office. Their biographies and backgrounds present a stark contrast; their campaign platforms do not. Both have promised to bring more city services to the blighted 9th, clean up the commercial corridors, attract investment and create jobs. Sadly, neither has offered a detailed, credible plan to accomplish these objectives. But Price's experience and connections give voters more reason to believe he can move the district in the right direction.
The 9th covers a narrow, densely populated stretch of the city that runs directly south from downtown, with offshoots extending to
The Times passed over Cubas and Price in its initial endorsement because neither had offered much in the way of concrete plans. They have since outlined many more ideas for revitalizing the district; for example, Cubas wants to bring biomedical and clean tech companies into the 9th's commercial districts, and Price seeks to boost vocational and industrial-arts training to prepare more residents for the building trades and public works. Both candidates say they'd consider installing surveillance cameras in alleys to catch trash dumpers — Cubas even suggests gating the alleys.
Considering the city's fiscal troubles, however, it's unrealistic to think that either Cubas or Price will be able to conjure up millions of tax dollars for the district. Instead, he or she will have to come up with creative ways to attract money and volunteers from the private and nonprofit sectors, and to inspire constituents to fight for the services they so desperately need.