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Wed, Apr

CityWatch Interview: Daphne Bradford, Putting LA Residents First in County Supervisor Race for District #2

LA POLITICS

ELECTION WATCH - Daphne Bradford is taking an out-of-the-box approach in her race against embedded incumbent Holly Mitchell, as she sees herself and her campaign as different in this so-called non-partisan race with clear partisan overtones.  

The County of Los Angeles is managed and represented by five supervisors elected by district, each representing some 2 million residents in the largest county in the United States that is bigger than some 40 states. 

Bradford is a life-long resident of the district where she began her education in Compton and moved to Inglewood. A graduate of St. Mary’s Academy. Bradford received her BS in Finance at Cal State Long Beach. A 31-year resident of Ladera Heights, she has focused on public safety as a priority as she has collaborated with police, schools, and business. 

An educator and self-described entrepreneur, Bradford designed and developed the first Advanced Placement Computer Science pathway in South Los Angeles. In 2013 she was recognized by President Barack Obama as a White House Champion of Change Connected Educator. 

An opponent of dismantling the 90 Freeway, Bradford has positioned herself as the only true nonpartisan candidate in this race. Believing in her principles, Bradford has challenged the political status quo and believes in accountability as well as integrity in office. 

We asked this fiercely independent candidate about some of the issues in the race and below are her responses: 

• Why are you running and what are the three reasons voters should consider your candidacy? 

I am running for Los Angeles County Supervisor to bring public safety back to District 2 communities. From catalytic converter thefts to mentally ill homeless people murdering law abiding citizens, our quality of life is on the March 5 ballot. L.A. County’s “Housing First” priority is not working due to the lack of mandatory substance abuse treatment, the   Prop 47: Safe Neighborhoods and School Act has morphed into the “Smash and Grab Act” with no accountability and RV encampments are negatively impacting businesses and the personal safety of neighborhoods. 

I do not support DA George Gascon!  As a lifelong resident of District 2, its heartbreaking to witness the daily decline of our communities and businesses. We feel ignored.  Over the past 3 years, residents are less safe, victims of crime express their anger about being disregarded and unrepresented by the Los Angeles County DA.    Once elected, I will work to clean up our county, reform Prop 47 in partnership with the Board of Supervisors and bring public safety back to District 2 communities and cities. I am the only true non-partisan candidate in this race who will unite Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and people who have lost trust and hope in their leaders. The recommendations I received from the LA GOP and KABC 790’s John Phillips provides the necessary balanced support to add to the backing I have graciously received from registered Democrats and Independents. 

Restoring public safety with common-sense good governance will be my top priority.  I will be a visible and pro-active Supervisor for all the residents of District 2.  Whether spending time in their homes, neighborhoods, parks, walking on the street or riding the metro, I want District 2 residents to feel safer and restore their faith in LA County government. The number one reason District 2 constituents should vote Daphne Bradford for Supervisor is I will hit the ground running in partnership with Sheriff Luna and the L. A. County Sheriff’s Department HOST (Homeless Outreach Services Team) to safely remove RV encampments with care and compassion for inhabitants. My parents battled drug addiction and one of my top priorities include implementing policies that not only provide shelter for the homeless but also offer support for mental well-being and resolving the RV encampment crisis. I am also, excited to use my decades of education experience to proactively work with the Sheriff’s Office of Constitutional Policing to bring the department into compliance with consent decrees; and in improving policies, procedures, and operations to ensure the Department is engaging in constitutional practices. My years long contracted partnership with LAPD has prepared me for this work.  Secondly, as a nationally recognized K-12 educator and White House Champion of Change Educator, I have the knowledge required to lead the effort to Reform Prop 47.  “The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act,” Prop 47 has failed large and small businesses by opening the door to more organized crime and youth led smash and grab robberies. The Building Blue Bridges (B3) program I established has a proven track record of improving relationships between law enforcement, youth, parents, teachers, and residents. Finally, I believe in the power of constituent voices.  Upon organizing the successful stop of the 90 Freeway tear down movement, I am committed to protecting vital infrastructure and ensuring community involvement prior to the approval of feasibility studies that directly impact the daily lives of residents and businesses. Grassroots organizing with District 2 constituents and beyond, resulted in Mayor Karen Bass rescinding her full support stating, “I want to be very clear – I do not support the removal or demolition of the 90 freeway. I have heard loud and clear from communities who would be impacted and I do not support a study on this initiative. I thank Angelenos for continuing to make their voices heard about this important issue.”  I am ready and qualified to bring common sense policies and integrity back to District 2 

• The current size of the Board of Supervisors is five, representing some 2 million people per district. Would you support charter reform to expand the size from five to fifteen much like the LA City Council? 

I would not support expanding the BOS to fifteen members as that will create more unnecessary bureaucracy. Except for the unincorporated areas in each district, most cities and communities are governed by a Mayor and City council so there is no need to add more government on top of these entities. Many of the cities and communities in L.A. County districts are close together. For example, in my Ladera Heights neighborhood I can walk from my unincorporated county area to LA City and Inglewood in 5 minutes. Westchester is an additional 10-minute walk.  Hiring more Supervisor staff members should be the first step before expanding the number of Board members. 

• What is your position on LAHSA, the hybrid service agency created to combat homelessness? Would you support abolishing LAHSA? 

I strongly believe LAHSA should be completely reorganized in every effort to meet the suggested recommendations by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of Inspector General (OIG).  A January 20, 2022 Audit found LAHSA did not fully meet the required benchmarks of the program.  The 30+ year old organization does not always follow program mandatory requirements resulting in $3.5 million in federal Continuum of Care (CoC) grant funds to expire. LAHSA also submitted late annual performance reports (APR).These unacceptable performance practices must be remedied to ensure the following OIG recommendations are met: (1) develop and implement policies and procedures to ensure that grant agreements are executed in a timely manner and effective monitoring is performed to prevent similar occurrences of grant funds going unused, (2) completing the repayment of Continuum of Care (CoC) grants totaling $879,847 from non-federal funds, and (3) develop policies, procedures and best practices to ensure APRs are submitted on time and employees are routinely trained on the grant closeout process. If LAHSA cannot resolve these major operational issues then the organization should be abolished and rebuilt from scratch.

• Would you support the creation of a directly elected county executive for Los Angeles? 

No.  Electing a county executive will make it impossible for the BOS to terminate the L.A. County CEO before the end of the elected official's term.  

• From a financial position, what would you do to cut the cost of county government and provide three examples. 

I believe this is something to be addressed upon being elected as Supervisor for District 2.  Once elected I would look at the budget and programs to see where we can adjust cost while working with the other four supervisors to make cost cutting decisions in areas that would have the least impact on the quality of life of constituents. 

• LA County is larger than forty states. What can you do to make services more accessible and streamlined?  

During this campaign I discovered that an alarming number of constituents do not know which L.A. County district they reside in. This lack of knowledge keeps most people in the dark about the services available to them. A priority will be to create an innovative education and marketing campaign to inform people in the various District 2 cities and communities of the services available to them.  In addition, I would complete a full analysis and audit of all departments and services to expose areas where improvements and consolidation is needed, in this effort to make services more accessible. 

• How should LA County prepare for the 2028 Summer Olympics? 

We must work with METRO and our various city mayors to ensure our streets and communities are safe for 2028 Summer Olympic visitors.  When elected I will support the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors December 2015 adopted motion by Supervisor Hilda L. Solis entitled “Preparing for Olympics in Los Angeles County,” as well as the May 2023 Uplifting Arts, Culture and Recreation motion.  These motions were created to: ensure persons with disabilities have safe and equal access to participate in the Olympic actives; provide residents with affordable access to the events and ensuring police safety to name a few.  

(Nick Antonicello is a thirty-one-year resident covering the various races on the March 5th November ballot. Have a take or tip all things political here in LA County? Contact the writer via email at [email protected].)