By Jon Munoz —
LACDP 2021 Holiday Event Notes
The Los Angeles County Democratic Party (LACDP) held their annual Holiday Event the evening of Sunday, December 12. The event took place onboard the USS Iowa. The speakers included LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn, LACDP Chair Mark Gonzalez and LACDP Controller Jacob Haik. Elvira Roberti awards honoring service to the Democratic Party were presented to Region 4 Vice Chair Jacquelynn Hawthorne and labor and election attorney Mark Zakson. DA George Gascon and Congresswoman Karen Bass were also in attendance. The speeches highlighted the past year’s achievements notably the GA Senate wins and CA Recall defeat. The overall message of the speeches was the need to get involved in all LA County upcoming races most pointedly for local city councils and school boards. Emphasis was on increasing engagement amongst our family and social networks. Event attendees were requested to bring unopened clothes for A Step to Freedom, whose Executive Director also spoke on the group’s mission of transitioning homeless individuals to self-sufficiency.
LACDP January 11 Central Committee Meeting
During the meeting, 2022 Early Primary Endorsements were discussed for LA County Assessor and LA County Sheriff.
Jeffrey Prang received 100 % (19) votes from the endorsement committee. The LACDP vote taken on a motion for endorsement of Jeffrey Prang for LA County Assessor PASSED with 88%; threshold is 60%.
There was a lot of discussion, but ultimately no endorsement for LA County Sheriff. Candidate Cecil Rhambo received 71% (15 votes) from the Endorsement Committee. Sheriff Alex Villanueva said, “Record of Cecil Rhambo does not represent the values of the Democratic party…. The only reason Cecil Rhambo was not indicted by the Feds is because he rolled over on Lee Baca and Paul Tanaka.” Sergio Carrillo said, “This party asked Alex Villanueva to resign. We must make an endorsement to get rid of Alex Villanueva. Alex will get re-elected if we DO NOT make an endorsement.” Carolyn Park said, “DO NOT agree with the rushed endorsement process. Must look at the actual records of the candidates as opposed to just listen to what the candidates are saying. Rhambo was #3 when Feds were investigating the LAUSD.” The LACDP vote taken on motion for endorsement of Chief Cecil Rhambo for LA County Sheriff FAILED with only 38% voting Yes (threshold is 60%), and 53% voting No.
Here are some of the highlights from the two-minute speeches the LA County Sheriff candidates gave after the NO endorsement vote:
Chief Robert Luna –Endorsed by LB Mayor Robert Garcia. Running to reform the sheriff’s dept. the only candidate who does not come from the sheriff’s dept. Currently the LB Chief of Police. Led LB to community centered policing. Basic tenets of Campaign – Restoring trust, improving employee wellness, reducing crime/homelessness, crack down on gangs within law enforcement.
Captain Britta Steinbrenner – 35 years on the force. Rose to Captain and has earned MBA. Strategies to embrace community policing. Rebuild the reputation of the Sheriff’s Dept. “I do not belong to a deputy gang, have no shootings in my record.” We need better leadership and a moral compass. I will answer questions before the civilian commissions. I have a plan to address hate crimes, smash and grabs, and deputy gangs. Employ fiscal accountability. Help elect me as first woman to lead the LA Sheriff’s dept.”
Eric Strong – 29 years in law enforcement. “I’ve been the guy that’s been roughed up by criminals and profiled by police. I have a 360-degree perspective. The only one who has investigated deputy gangs.
Chief Cecil Rhambo – 45 years in public service. 33 years in police dept. “Villanueva has eroded relationships with civil commissions. Villanueva has aligned himself with Republicans by fund raising with them. 100 elected officials support me. Proven and tested leader with integrity.”
Matthew Rodriguez – 25 years in the LA County Sheriff’s Dept. Grew up in the organization. Father was a Sergeant. “Career was cut short by Paul Tanaka, Cecil Rhambo and Lee Baca.” City Manager, Chief of Police, in charge of Metro Link expansion. Most educated candidate with one Associate, one Undergraduate and two Graduate degrees. Govern from a place of love, not retribution or anger. “On day one I will implement a policy of respect – based leadership.”