When a Longshot Claims Equality with the ProminentBy Ari L. Noonan @ 3:00 PM August 21, 2012
Third in a series
Re “Greuel-Garcetti Absence Hurt... Perry? Looks Like It.”
Emanuel Pleitez and Kevin James wore smart tailored suits to last week’s debate in Boyle Heights for Los Angeles mayoralty candidates. As the only distaffer, Jan Perry wore white slacks and a dark blazer.
S. Deacon Alexander, who delivered the most majestic name on the program, was casual but tidy in his pressed slacks, sport shirt and newsboy cap, tidy but casual. Could have been en route to a picnic or participating in a debate among those seeking to lead America’s second largest city.
Until minutes before the start of the 6:15 forum sponsored by Ya Basta and the East L.A. Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Alexander, 66 years old, had no idea whether he would be invited to step up to the dais.
Combatting the heaviest odds of any current or future contender, Mr. Alexander may not know whether he can fundraise the $1,000 filing fee due in November, but he has a clear idea of how he plans to campaign.
Here is his story.
“I represent Skid Row, his home away from forums, “and I am a member of the Green party, knowing full well that the mayor’s race is not a partisan event.”
Question: Will the Green party support you?
“A good question. At this point, they are waiting to see if I make the cut, in terms of the filing fee and the number of signatures required.”
Are you fundraising?
“I am not. First, I have to generate enthusiasm among my friends and people who see this race is important. This is not necessarily a race of importance, given that the big dogs, basically, have it sewed up.
“Developers have bought and sold Los Angeles for ‘way too long. This is clearly part of the problem.”
How does a regular person break through?
“By being able to show up on an equal basis with the big dogs,” which is why Mr. Alexander, unannounced, traveled from Skid Row several miles away, to the debate. My differences with Jan Perry are extremely deep.
“I believe she is the quintessential enemy of the people by virtue of the fact she literally stole millions of dollars from affordable housing and gave it to the National Football League (to lure a professional team here).
“Her whole posture around The Farm in South Central, in terms of stealing it from those 300 families and giving it to her developer friends, sets me off against her. She is a person who overlooked the needs of her people for the profits of her developer friends.
“Since then, she has been on the wrong side of every people v. developer issue.
“A lot of people say ‘others are running.’ Far as I am concerned, I am here to expose Jan Perry as someone who is not for the people. She is not a minority or African American candidate, or anything of that nature. She is a developers’ candidate, and she will be a developers’ friend once she is able to capture the mayor’s seat.”
Are you optimistic about being allowed to speak at tonight’s forum?
“If they don’t allow me to speak, that goes right to the point. I have every right to speak. There is nothing sanctimonious about any of these individuals. It would be different if they had filed papers to run and I had not. But nobody has, or can, yet. We are all equal here.
“This is Boyle Heights, for cryin’ out loud. We are exactly 4½ minutes from where I live, Skid Row.
“I cannot see this happening in Boyle Heights. Probably could happen in other parts of the city where you have rich developers.
“I have been in this venue eight or nine times. I have been to two funerals over here.”
(To be continued)