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For the second day in a row, a group of local mothers from South Los Angeles gathered in front of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 18 (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 18, 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 and would rather see the DWP’s union invest its money back into the community and into those same programs recently cut that helped get young men off they referred to as gang members off of the streets and working.

“It’s Black History Month for crying out loud,” exclaimed Michelle Moore. “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?”