October 30, 2014 

by Jennifer Bihm

Staff Writer


Midterm elections will be held across the country Tuesday, November 4. Here in California, an assortment of offices are up for grabs including controller, state assembly seats and seats on the Water Replenishment District Board. Following are some of the candidates that the L.A. Watts Times is endorsing for the 2014 midterms.


Mike Gipson (Democrat running for State Assembly District 64)


“Everybody can be great because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”


The famous Martin Luther King Jr. quote is what Gipson said he uses as his inspiration to serve. Gipson is a Democrat, previously chosen to serve on the Carson City Council and subsequently as mayor pro tem in 2008. In addition to his stint as councilman, Gipson’s experience comes from working such positions as staff aide to the late Congressman Mervyn M. Dymally, State Senator Bill Greene and Los Angeles Councilman Robert Farrell, and as field representative for then L.A. Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas. He was also an appointee of Supervisor Yvonne Burke to the County of Los Angeles Community Action Board, where he was the youngest ever to chair the funding agency that distributes $10 million annually in Community Service Block Grant funds.


Gipson’s supporters include Congresswoman Karen Bass, Congressman Tony Cardenas, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, Board of Equalization Chairman Jerome Horton, Assemblymember Holly Mitchell, Assemblymember Manual Perez, Assemblymember Paul Fong, and outgoing Assemblymember Isadore Hall.


Jerome E. Horton (Democrat running for State Board of Equalization District 3)


As chair of California’s State Board of Equalization, Jerome E. Horton’s most recent efforts on behalf of his constituents involved sponsoring legislation, policies and procedures to address challenges like poverty, government efficiency, and educational outreach. He has been an advocate for maximizing income tax returns for residents and minimizing loss of revenue to underground economies. However, he needs “more time,” he said, to accomplish all that he has set out to.


“With this in mind, and in consideration of my qualifications, I hope you will please join California teachers, firefighter, nurses, police, taxpayers, and small business in supporting my re-election to the Board,” Horton told voters via his website, www.boardofequalizationjehorton.com.


Betty Yee (Democrat running for State Controller)


Yee currently serves as one of five members on the California State Board of Equalization, the nation’s only elected tax commission.  She represents close to 9 million Californians in the First Equalization District, comprised of 21 counties primarily along the northern and central California coast and including the entire San Francisco Bay Area.


Prior to her service on the Board of Equalization, Yee served as the chief deputy director for budget with the California Department of Finance, where she led the development of the Governor’s Budget, negotiations with the Legislature and key budget stakeholders, and fiscal analysis of legislation on behalf of the Administration.  Earlier, she held senior staff positions on several fiscal and policy committees in both houses of the California State Legislature.  Her legislative career began when she served as a senate fellow with the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services.  Preceding her legislative experience, Yee served as a county public health commissioner and worked in the nonprofit sector.


As controller, Yee said, with demonstrated leadership in serving as a responsible steward of [the state’s] tax dollars, she will bring her fair yet tough-minded discipline to the office.  She said she will work hard to restore and maintain California’s fiscal health so that the doors of opportunity in the Golden State may stay open for all…


Autumn Burke (Democrat running for State Assembly District 62)


Autumn Burke, daughter of former Los Angeles County Supervisor and U.S. Congresswoman Yvonne Burke, said as an entrepreneur and small business owner, she knows that “good jobs, safe and affordable housing and quality schools are vital to every community.” As an assemblymember, she said she will “be an active problem solver who will fight for the interests of the people she represents, whether encouraging more businesses to locate and hire locally, improving conditions that can help small businesses succeed, increasing the availability of affordable housing or advancing the needs of local schools…”


The 62nd Assembly District includes the cities of Del Aire, El Segundo, Gardena, Hawthorne, Inglewood, Lawndale, Lennox, Los Angeles, Venice, Westchester, Marina del Rey, West Athens and Westmont.


Burke’s endorsements include the California Labor Federation and the Association for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs.


Lynn Dymally (running for reelection to the Water Replenishment District Division 3)


Dymally is the daughter of the late California political powerhouse, Mervyn M. Dymally. She currently serves as the WRD board’s vice president, chair of the Groundwater Quality Committee, and as a member of the Water Resources Committee.


She has fifty plus years of public service experience and well-established legacy in water and was unanimously appointed to the Board of Directors for Water Replenishment District of Southern California (WRD), Division 3 in September 2013 to fill the vacant seat of the late Honorable Lillian Kawasaki. She represents the cities of Long Beach, Lakewood, Cerritos, Signal Hill, Artesia, La Mirada, and Hawaiian Gardens “ensuring the residents in Division 3 have safe and reliable ground water for drinking,” according to the WRD website.


Recently, Dymally received an endorsement from Congresswoman Maxine Waters.


Jeffrey Prang (running for Los Angeles County Assessor)


“In my over twenty years of public service, I have earned a reputation as an effective and innovative leader in local government, as a mayor and councilmember, and as a public administration professional,” Jeffrey Prang told voters via his campaign website.


“The Office of the Assessor needs a new leader who will restore the public trust, guarantee that taxpayers are assessed fairly and provide the best public service, educate the public on services and policies that will help them, and update the department with 21st century technology that will increase efficiency, accuracy and fairness…”


As assessor, Prang said his priority is “to increase efficiency and ensure that all available property tax revenue is being fairly and accurately collected and assessed to pay for our public services and to aim for an increase in the minimum reporting level for business personal property from $2,000 to $10,000 increasing efficiency, reducing costs, and relieving small businesses from time-consuming and costly reporting requirements.”

His endorsements include: State Controller John Chiang, former assessors Rick Auerbach and Kenneth P. Hahn, State Board of Equalization Chair Jerome Horton, supervisors Zev Yaroslavsky and Mark Ridley-Thomas, Mayor Eric Garcetti, City Controller Ron Galperin and California Attorney General Kamala Harris.

Category: Cover Stories