Parks v. Hogan-Rowles for the 8th District Los Angeles City Council Seat - for Leimert Park, Crenshaw, Baldwin Hills, West Adams & more

As many of you know, Tuesday March 8th is election day for the 8th district, which includes the communities of  Baldwin Hills, Crenshaw, Leimert Park, West Adams, Jefferson Park, Chesterfield Square and other areas of South Los Angeles.


In addition to several important ballot measures on the budget, there is our local council race. I don't believe in endorsements - it's your responsibility to make up your own mind.


Here are some useful stories you should read and they may help you decide who deserves your vote. Whatever you decide, we need to get more people to the polls and have our voices heard.

On February 8th, the Daily Trojan covered the race for the 8th Council District:

Bernard Parks -

Forescee Hogan Rowles -


LA Times - Questions


Candidates debate -,0,344...


LA Weekly - The debate -


Neon Tommy - Parks and his stand on unions

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Comment by enhager on March 1, 2011 at 10:26pm
The comments from Sapphire were published on CityWatchLA by Linda Ricks is an 8th district resident of Hyde Park, Chair of the CRA’s Crenshaw/Slauson Community Advisory Committee, an active stakeholder in the Park Mesa Heights Community Council, and a retired public servant for the federal government.
Comment by Sapphire on March 1, 2011 at 12:03pm

It is Parks who proposed cutting the annual budget of neighborhood councils from $50,000 to $11,000 in the name of fiscal responsibility.

It is Parks who provides a $154,846 taxpayer-financed present to his son in violation of the spirit of the city’s rules prohibiting nepotism.

The line for personal sacrifice at the elected level should be led by Bernard Parks.

But personal greed in a time of widespread suffering isn’t the only vice on display by Bernard Parks & Son, and on this issue it is not even the big one. Bernard Parks is dauntingly illustrating that he does not share the basic core value of public service immortalized by John F. Kennedy’s famous quote, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” Parks instead ascribes to a City of Bell-like values system and vision of public service that people should go into government to have the public serve them, instead of serve the public.

Look a little bit closer and you can see Parks admitting that he is not in office, nor is he running for re-election for the constituents of the 8th district. Instead the seat has been used (many would say abused) for his personal gain.

Should we really be surprised given that Parks initially moved into the 8th district to run for city council just to get back at former Mayor Jimmy Hahn for firing him? The fired police chief used the seat to run for mayor against Hahn and along the way petulantly criticized every substantive effort of his replacement, Chief William Bratton.

Compare the record between the two, paying particular attention to the vast difference in police-community relations under Bratton, a true advocate of community policing, and it’s clear that in retrospect Hahn’s greatest act was replacing Parks with Bratton.

After Parks lost the mayoral rac
Comment by Sapphire on March 1, 2011 at 11:56am
millionaires at taxpayer’s expense.

To the point of stupidity, Parks appears to expect us to not know that government is filled with citizens who are willing to make “ludicrous” personal financial sacrifices that he will not. Many local governments have city ordinances or state laws that prohibit workers from double dipping, yet countless citizens “stupidly” return to public service as librarians, teachers and social workers, deferring collection of their government pension until they fully retire.

Add to the list of the “stupid,” those to whom L.A. City Council member’s salary is tied – our Superior Court judges. They have voluntary reduced their salary with the “ludicrous” goal of reducing the severity of cuts in the judicial services branch. Some judges are so “stupid” they choose to work on their furlough days to keep our courts moving.

Also, the overwhelming majority of Parks’ colleagues on the city council, who all make a whole lot less than him, have “stupidly” decided to return 5-10% of their salary to the city treasury. Like the judges, some council members reduce their pay by “stupidly” doing what they’ve required of city employees – taking non-paid furlough days. Some are so “ludicrous” they show up to work on their furlough days like those “stupid” judges.

Contrary to the belief of Bernard Parks, there’s nothing “ludicrous” about expecting city council members to engage in the same type of sacrifice they’re calling for taxpayers to accept in city services. That’s not “stupid,” it’s leadership.

What is ludicrous is to continue to expect everyone in the city family to sacrifice except council members, especially Bernard Parks.

It is Parks who as the long-time chair of the Budget Committee has been the person in charge of the mismanaged city budget.

It is Parks who constantly claims that residents must pay higher taxes and expect fewer services.
Comment by Sapphire on March 1, 2011 at 11:52am


. "The irony (some would say hypocrisy) is that Bernard Parks is the most well compensated member of the city of Los Angeles, drawing a police chief’s pension of $265,050 on top of the $178,789 councilmember salary. It’s a tactic known as “double-dipping,” and in Parks’ case it brings his income to about $444,000.

In case you’re wondering, that’s $44,000 more than the President of the United States!

The $37,000 per month Parks brings home courtesy the taxpayers of Los Angeles is almost as much as the average 8th district resident earns in an entire year according to the Beacon Economics 2010 Report on City Council Districts. The same report shows that Parks’ 8th district is last in every major economic category when compared to other council districts, and in most categories trails the second worst significantly. Last in number of businesses, last in the number of jobs, last in the number of permits for new business, and last in the income of residents.

To top it off, Parks’ son/chief of staff/campaign manager, Bernard Parks Jr., draws the maximum salary for city council staffers at $154,846 per year. Only four other city council staffers draw salaries as high.

While campaigning in the district, Parks has sought to trivialize criticism of his double dipping, calling the issue “ludicrous,” and claiming it is “stupid” to expect any person to sacrifice pay or benefits.

To be clear, I think most people agree that any person, including a civil servant, who has contributed to a retirement system for decades while earning a modest income should have the right to draw their pension if in their senior years they decide to take a part-time job as supplemental income to travel or help put their grandkids through college. But that is not to be confused with six-figure double dippers, who use pension systems intended to provide retirement security for workers ineligible to receive Social Security to become

Comment by Sapphire on March 1, 2011 at 11:47am

All residents/stakeholders of the 8th CD, please read and think carefully. Some have already read this piece, but it is worth re-posting!

Do not allow some Wings & vegetables/fruit business (finally) to sway your common sense.

Although I do not agree with all of this writers POV, most of it is worthy of your attention:


Double-Dipping Bernard Parks Shows his True Values
By Linda Ricks

"Few statements provide a clearer picture of Bernard Parks’ values than his dismissive response to criticism about him collecting a police pension and councilmember salary at the same time. The failure of 8th District Councilmember Parks to even consider a modest monetary sacrifice, calling the request “ludicrous” and “stupid,” reflects his disconnect with the suffering of city residents and city workers, his flawed view of public service, and it draws legitimate questions regarding his true intent in running for office. Los Angeles City Council members are by far the highest paid in the country at $178,789 per year. They make more than the White House chief of staff, and significantly more than city council members in other big cities: $121,725 in New York City and $110,556 in Chicago. In the City-County of San Francisco, where, like New York, the cost of living is higher than L.A., San Francisco council member/supervisors receive $96,243. San Franciscans approved a voter-referendum that requires a comparable cut in elected official’s salaries when city workers agree to cuts.

As the Budget Committee Chair, Councilmember Parks has regularly pushed for residents to accept reduced public safety services, for neighborhood councils to accept reduced budgets, and for city workers to accept reduced pay and benefits.

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