Tuesday is the deadline to vote in the 54th Assembly District special election, with five Democrats and a Socialist Workers Party candidate seeking to succeed Sydney Kamlager.
Voting centers will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and drop boxes will be open until 8 p.m. If no candidate receives a majority in Tuesday’s election, a runoff will be held July 20 among the top two finishers.
The 54th Assembly District consists of Baldwin Hills, Cheviot Hills, the Crenshaw district, Century City, Culver City, Ladera Heights, Mar Vista, Palms, Rancho Park, Westwood and parts of South Los Angeles and Inglewood.
The field includes Isaac Bryan, an educator and community organizer who has advised Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Kamlager, the winner of the March 2 special election in the 30th Senate District, on youth development and strategies aimed at reducing the number of people becoming homeless.
Bryan co-chaired the campaign on behalf of Measure J, the charter amendment approved by voters in November requiring that a minimum of 10% of Los Angeles County’s unrestricted general funds be spent on housing, mental health treatment, jail diversion programs and other alternatives to incarceration.
“Passing Measure J was a real win for Los Angeles, and for me, but the morning after our win, I learned that one of my siblings had been arrested and charged in San Diego for actions that are now treated with a public health approach here in Los Angeles,” said Bryan, the founding director of the UCLA Black Policy Project. “That’s when I realized I had to run for state Assembly. The 54th Assembly District has the potential to lead the entire state of California.”
Heather Hutt, a former state director for then-Sen. Kamala Harris, said she is running “to bring my activism, strong community connections, and years of public service to the forefront of change statewide.”
Hutt said the top three issues she would fight for in the Assembly are health care and welfare, education and equity, including fighting “for justice in our communities, especially when it comes to the health and welfare of our families and children,” increasing teacher pay “to attract the best and the brightest for our children,” ensuring “our children have safe spaces after school” and working “to ensure that every Californian is treated with dignity.”
Businesswoman and nonprofit executive Dallas Fowler said she is running “because my community simply cannot afford a return to business as usual.”
“We are fighting the privatization of our air, water, education, health care and housing and it is imperative that we send qualified representation with a track record of service to the district with the political will to bring more housing and stop the drilling in our communities,” Fowler told City News Service.
Fowler promised if elected to bring “5,000 units of sustainable affordable housing and 1,000-bed dormitories with storage for our homeless residents in the district while protecting single family communities” and “work to fund 500,000 thriving wage green careers to shift our ecology and improve our air and water quality and reliability.”
Cheryl C. Turner said she was “prompted to run for office when I observed the peaceful protests of the George Floyd and Derek Chauvin incident by people of every creed and color seeking criminal justice reform; by my desire to revitalize the economy impacted by the COVID-19 economic shutdown; by the cry from residents of this community seeking affordable housing; by the need to find solutions to house the homeless; because of the need for affordable health care and to protect the environment; and because of my desire to help support renters and homeowners avoid evictions and foreclosures by working to create workable rent and mortgage assistance programs that will keep everyone housed.”
Turner, a trial lawyer and transactional attorney, president of the Board of Directors of the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles and member of the Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians, finished fourth in the field of seven in the 30th Senate District special election, receiving 5.4% of the vote.
Retail grocery worker Bernard Senter will appear on the ballot as a candidate with no party preference because there are not enough voters who have registered as members of the Socialist Workers Party for it to qualify as an official party.
Senter said the party “is using the campaign to extend solidarity wherever working people are defending themselves from assaults by the bosses and the government on our working conditions, wages and jobs.” He called the Socialist Workers Party “a working-class break from the Democrats and Republicans.”
Also on the ballot is Samuel Robert Morales, a financial adviser and entrepreneur, who did not respond to an email from City News Service.