Menthe Files Candidacy, McMorrin Wins HLA Endorsement, PCC Pulls the Rug Out Under Candidates at Online Forum

City Council races have begun to build more momentum as November comes closer, and several candidates are moving their efforts forward. Darrel Menthe, an early announcer, made it official with a trip to City Hall to pull papers on August 4, 2020. (Photo above – note mask and hand sanitizer on desk) “No matter how often I have taken it, the oath to defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California puts a little lump in my throat. It’s also just plain exciting to make this journey official!”

A virtual meeting of the Heart of LA Democratic Club endorsed Yasmine-Imani McMorrin for City Council. With three seats open, McMorrin was the only candidate to garner the required number of votes to be endorsed. Other candidates participating included the winner of the club’s endorsement in the previous election, Albert Vera, as well as Mayor Goran Eriksson, Darrel Menthe, Khin Khin Gyi, and Freddy Puza. McMorrin offered “I’m looking at [the campaign] through an equity lens. This is my focus on everything.” 

Eriksson candidly admitted that he had only recently switched his voter affiliation from ‘independent’ to Democratic. “Britta [my wife] and I had discussed it on the Independence Day holiday, and in light of current events, I decided it was the right thing to do.” 

At an online invitation-only candidate forum hosted by Protect Culver City on July 30, 2020, candidates for both council and school board were given time to present themselves, only to be told that other candidates – who were not present- had already been endorsed. City Council hopefuls Anthony Rizzo, Heather Wollin, and Robert Zirgulis, as well as school board candidate (and former school board President) Scott Zeidman,  heard that PCC had already endorsed Eriksson and Vera for council – neither of whom were present at the forum. That leaves Rizzo, Wollin and Zirgulis competing for the one remaining endorsement.

PCC, which began it’s life as an anti-rent control organization, has branched over into using “Defend the Police” as a central slogan. The meeting’s leaders emphasized that whoever was chosen for the remaining endorsement would need to be comfortable using that as the main plank in their platform. 

As campaigns for the council and the school board move ahead, everyone will be thinking creatively about how to get the message out while keeping the risk of infection down. Creativity may become the most essential ingredient for victory in an election with a new date, a very long ballot, and a still growing number of candidates. 

Judith Martin-Straw

The Actors' Gang

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