South Central, Los Angeles–City Council District 9 is perceived to be “mainly Latino” and Dulce Vasquez who is a migrant from Mexico, feels she is better “equipped” than City Councilman Curren Price to represent this district, despite having little to no political background.
This week will mark 30 years since the ‘92 uprisings in South Central, Los Angeles and Black political power continues to be undermined. The same non-Black corporate media that are promoting news specials “commemorating” the ’92 uprisings, are the same platforms that ignore and completely disregard Black candidates and Black L.A’s attempts to maintain political representation in the face of gentrification and erasure.
The latest move to try and dissolve any remnants of Black political power in Los Angeles, is the District 9 City Council race in South Central. Here you have Vasquez, who is originally from Mexico and Florida. Inspired by AOC, Vasquez capitalized off social media apps like TikTok and built a campaign to run for Price’s seat this June.
Black L.A continues to hold on by a thread in a city that has historically been anti Black. Our attempts at survival in Los Angeles continues to be overshadowed due to legacy media focusing on Black genocide and feel good pieces, rather promoting anything even perceived to be Black power (outside of a BLM rally).
Vasquez continues to be given space to speak on her campaign which has been criticized by South Central residents, whereas Councilman Price and his initiatives, continue to be ignored. This speaks to the anti-Black behaviors that folks beyond LAPD and the Sheriff’s Department, are complicit in here in L.A, which only aides in our displacement and erasure.
There is a deep sense of entitlement Vasquez feels as a Latinx woman running against Price, who is a Black man. Vasquez is attempting to appeal to Latinx residents in CD9 based solely on race, while raising over $200,000 and providing nothing of substance in her campaign.
Never mind fluff being printed by campus news platforms such as USC’s Annenberg Media and white-centered platforms that have no readership in L.A’s inner city community. The younger Latinx community have already called out Vasquez for what they perceive her to be: a “Tia Tom” (aka a Latina gentrifier with a yt husband. Their words).
These younger folks from South Central have relayed their feelings about Vasquez to her social media pages.
When it comes to addressing the needs of the immigrant community many of whom are undocumented, Price has taken extreme consideration of the Latinx experience. CHIRLA’s executive director Angelica Salas credits Price with significant investments in financial support for legal aid and other critical resources for mixed-status families. “He is absolutely the best local leader bar none on this issue, referring to his support for immigrants,” (L.A Times).
Most recently, Price created a fund for immigrants in CD9 totaling $1.25 Million and distributed these funds to 3 groups that work with both brown and Black immigrants in CD9.
While at the same time, Vasquez completely disregards Black constituents in a historically Black community. Anything that Vasquez attempts to use in her campaign moving forward, is a poor attempt to dress up her complete inept to the needs of the Black community in South Central, L.A.
Last week, Price distributed $5.5 Million in grants to South Central organizations in CD9, both Black and Brown. The CD9 Community Grants Fund came from money that had been redirected from the police department. Price has championed L.A’s guaranteed basic income program, which will provide a supplemental income of $1000 to certain residents in CD9, for a one year period. Price also advocated for legislation to increase L.A’s minimum wage.
South Central may in fact be majority Latinx in 2022. However, Black people were already inhabitants in this community and laid the historical foundation in this area due to the racism and segregation in Los Angeles. Black people may be lower in demographics than our Latinx neighbors, but we cannot overshadow the fact we have become erased and minimized due to the influx of immigration.
The fact remains, no matter how small the Black population is today in comparison to the Latinx community, this does not mean Black people do not deserve to have their needs addressed as tax-payers and longtime CD9 residents.
Black people are the only group that are guilt tripped into NOT voting by race, when every other group understands the power of their collective vote and voice in shaping the political arena. The CD9 race has turned into a campaign revolving around race than merit, with a younger Latina using ageism and the immigrant experience to appeal to the Latinx voting block.
This will not be enough to ensure the issues and needs of all CD9 residents are addressed. A Latinx person holding seat in CD9 is inevitable. Timing is the main issue, when L.A is going through hyper gentrification, with Black residents bearing the brunt of the displacement. Our issues continue to be ignored and undermined, with other “poc” groups aiding in our erasure and displacement.