CD9 Candidates Cabrera and Nuño Participate in Forum; Incumbent Candidate Price Absent

Candidates Jorge Nuño (left) and Adriana Cabrera (right) answer questions at the CD9 Candidate Forum.

Two of the three candidates for Los Angeles City Council District 9, Adriana Cabrera and Jorge Nuño, shared their ideas for South L.A. at a community forum on Thursday night. Curren D. Price Jr., the incumbent and third candidate running for the city council seat, was invited but did not attend the forum.

The forum was hosted by the CD9 Coalition, a group of organizations focused on serving the South Los Angeles community. During the forum, Cabrera and Nuño were asked both moderator and audience-submitted questions, and given around two minutes to answer each.

For the forum’s first question, both candidates were asked to list the top three issues they’d prioritize as the CD9 representative. Cabrera listed building opportunities for youth, housing, and jobs; Nuño listed homelessness, beautification, and economic development.

Both candidates stressed their strong ties to the community throughout the forum. Nuño frequently spoke of his experiences with the Nuevo South, a non-profit focused on community engagement and youth development, while Cabrera spoke of her experiences as a community organizer and Neighborhood Council member.

“I think most council people historically in this district have looked at what’s the best for Los Angeles, not what’s the best for South Los Angeles. To me, it is going to be what’s best for South Central LA, before what’s best for the City of Los Angeles,” said Nuño.

Cabrera also noted the importance of giving the community a voice in the political process.

“I spend most of my time organizing in the community and have worked alongside the big issues… And I think it is time that we shift the political power into the hands of our community,” she said.

Incumbent candidate Price’s absence was felt throughout the forum. When the candidates were asked if they would remain in the district even if they lost the election, Nuño responded with a slight jab at Price.

“Good thing Curren isn’t here because he wouldn’t still be here, he would move out [if he lost],” said Nuño, adding that he personally would remain in the community if he lost the election.

Cabrera also said she would stay in the district, noting that she’d had opportunities to leave before.

“My commitment to this community is lifetime. I had the opportunity to go elsewhere after college, but I decided to stay here because I wanted to improve our community, not only alone but encouraging everyone to join me in that process,” she said.

Two major topics in the forum were development and immigration. The two candidates have many of the same views on development; both are against Measure S and say they would advocate for affordable housing in new development projects.

On immigration, both candidates expressed their support for Los Angeles’ status as a sanctuary city. Cabrera also expressed that her belief that undocumented residents should be able to vote in local elections.

“People who are undocumented who live in District 9 currently do not have a voice in electoral politics, and I’m the only candidate that has come out and said that it is not fair, that they should be able to vote locally,” she said. “I also support a sanctuary city in Los Angeles, however, we need to make sure that it is not only words but also in action.”

Nuño responded, “I agree with Adriana that anyone who is undocumented should be able to vote in local elections, and I also agree that we need to make the city a real sanctuary city. . . If I were elected, if I could make my district a sanctuary district, I will make it a sanctuary district.”

The audience was involved throughout the forum, frequently cheering and clapping for the candidates and shouting comments in agreement.

Audience member Jonathan Garzon said that while he plans on voting for Nuño, he appreciates both candidates.

“I truly feel that both of those candidates could represent me, because they’re both from the community, and I’m tired of people from other communities coming into my community and trying to represent me,” he said.

Garzon also commented on the absence of current CD9 representative Curren D. Price, Jr.

“I’m shocked that he would not come here, knowing that his office is down the street and it is within walking distance,” he said.

Another attendee, 25-year-old Miguel Chico agreed.

“It tells a lot that [that Price didn’t attend], because this meeting was made for the community, and it shows that he is not involved with the community and doesn’t care for the community. Actions speak louder than words,” he said.

Chico says he is supporting Cabrera, and wants young people to be involved with politics.

“I believe it’s important for young people to be involved…we can make a change,” he said.

Video of the forum is available here.