The race for 8th just got hotter…
Right now a group of local mothers from South Los Angeles have gathered in front of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 11 (IBEW) to protest an attack campaign using automated and live phone calls to criticize 8th District Councilmember Bernard Parks. With signs reading ‘Durazo and D’Arcy stop lying about Bernard Parks during Black History Month,’ the group is criticizing union leaders of the IBEW Local 11, the union that represents thousands of employees at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and AFL-CIO, who they believe are behind the attack campaign. The phone calls claim that Parks, former L.A.P.D. police chief, is affiliated with gang members and can’t be trusted. The mothers, many of whom have sons who are former gang members who are currently relying on city, county, and state programs for employment training programs are offended at the characterization of Parks’ via unsolicited phone calls to their homes.
Michelle Moore, a resident of the 8th district and mother said, “it’s Black History Month for crying out loud. Why are these unions trying to tear down black leaders and exploit our sons in the process? Don’t they understand that our sons are the same people they’re trying tear down the Councilmember with? That our sons are not pawns to be used negatively for someone’s campaign? Even more important is the fact that none of these same unions are trying to hire the black men that they are putting down and labeling as gang members. This is ridiculous! Who are they going to go after next?”
I heard about the calls. Me personally, I haven’t gotten one but my homeboy Greg who lives on Stocker did and he said the callers were nothing nice when it came to Parks. This could be problematic for some folks considering that one, it’s never a good idea to generalize black men in a certain age range as all being gang members–not every out of work black man is a felon or felony waiting to happen. Two, it is BHM and the tearing down of Black leaders during February by people who aren’t Black just isn’t cool. And finally, mothers are going to be mothers and while some of their sons may be up to no good, some of them really are just trying to get jobs but can’t get find a one and calling their mothers with some shit labeling their sons as gang members might not go over so well come Election Day. But hey–what do I know–it worked in Inglewood when a candidate made the fact that the then mayor had hired felon to work at city hall such an issue that voters voted him out of office. Hopefully, we’ll be a lot smarter in the 8th considering that many of our young men are looking for jobs and do need someone in office that will give them a second chance and champion the programs and businesses willing to make sure they get that chance.