Former Los Angeles police chief Bernard Parks visited Westchester last week and announced that he will run next spring for Los Angeles mayor “because the city is adrift and leaderless regarding many of the issues important to its residents.”
Parks is presently a Los Angeles councilman, representing the Eighth District, which includes South Central Los Angeles.
Saying that his leadership would not be the “same old politics,” Parks said he is reaching out for exclusive dialogues with community members all over Los Angeles, because the city is crying out for leadership.
“I have over 40 years of public service to the community, which gives me name recognition,” Parks said.
“As mayor, crimes will get solved not just by talking about them, but also by working with the community,” he said, referring to several successful service programs instituted when he became Los Angeles police chief in 1997.
At a Westchester appearance Thursday, June 17th, Parks was asked if he thinks Mayor Jim Hahn is corrupt, Parks replied:
“Hahn had surrounded himself with people causing a corrupt environment to exist, and Hahn has done little to stop it.”
Supporters of Parks applauded his seven-point plan to limit expansion at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
The Parks plan calls for safety enhancements and modernization, such as at Tom Bradley International Terminal, without demolishing and rebuilding terminals.
Under his plan, southern runways would be remodeled for new, larger aircraft but northern runways would remain intact and a new consolidated rental car facility would be constructed within the airport.
Public parking for private vehicles would still be available, and the Central Terminal and curb check-in would be safety-enhanced, Parks said.
Asked about lawsuits against the police department by private citizens, Parks said, “The City of Los Angeles should pay lawsuits if citizens have been treated unfairly by the Los Angeles Police Department.”
He asked if the city is better off after the last three years, and his supporters shouted, “No.”
Parks said that spending $9 billion on a LAX master plan with no return on investment, having thousands of public comments about the LAX master plan and environmental impact report still unanswered, and a RAND report that the city requested but “isn’t willing to wait for” is not what the community needs.
Westchester residents shouldn’t be asked to support something when they don’t even know what will be built, Parks said.
Parks estimated that he would need approximately $2 million for campaign funds, rather than the $4 million to $5 million generally estimated by other candidates.
Parks said he would only tell the truth and not tolerate mud-slinging, bias, and racial issues.
“I also won’t tolerate the kind of politics in the last mayoral campaign, where fear was created among the residents, and the city was separated by fear,” he said.
“If you like the way the city is being run, then vote for Hahn.
“If not, vote for me,” Parks told the Westchester audience.