Candidates for the open City Council District 13 seat gathered one last time Tuesday at the Elysian Valley Recreation Center before the March 5 municipal election.
They sat above the crowd on a gymnasium stage for the final forum in a series of conversations around the district.
All 12 candidates in the primary race attended the event, which lasted about two hours. About 200 people attended.
The event focused on issues unique to the Elysian Valley area, where many generations of families live in close proximity to the Los Angeles River.
In a carefully structured forum—all responses were limited to one minute—candidates were asked about their positions on the alleged deadly pollution caused by the Metrolink diesel train facility and its continued presence in the area.
They also gave their views on how to manage the impact that the opening up of the Los Angeles River will have on the community.
A final set of questions asked the candidates how they would improve the area's limited access to transportation, and how to bring more small businesses into the area.
Responses to each question were limited to six candidates, who were pre-selected with equity in mind.
Each of these issues were illustrated by personal stories told by long-time residents Ceci Dominguez, David de la Torre and Tracy Stone.
The candidates also gave opening and closing statements.
Attending were John Choi, Roberto Haraldson, Sam Kbushan, Emile Mack, Robert Negreete, Alexander Cruz de Ocampo, Mitch O'Farrell, Octavio Pescador,, Josh Post, Michael Schaeer, Jose Sigala and Matt Szabo.
All are on the ballot for the March 5 primary. If no candidate wins a majority, the top two vote-getters will face off in the May 21 election.
Echo Park-Silver Lake Patch served as a co-sponsor, with Univision and the Elysian Valley Riverside Neighborhood Council.
Simultaneous translation for Spanish speakers was provided.
Anthea Raymond, editor of Echo Park-Silver Lake Patch, and Oswaldo Boraez, of Univision Channel 34, moderated.
See the candidates in the above videos, and check back for a series of statements from the candidates about their positions on development in Council District 13.