Supervisor candidates agree on some issues, not others

| September 29, 2022 | 0 Comments

Bob Hertzberg

Lindsey Horvath

Candidates State Sen. Bob Hertzberg and West Hollywood Councilmember Lindsey Horvath are both Democrats running for a nonpartisan seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Third District. They both support having more social services for people living on the streets and in shelters, and they both support increasing police training.

One important place where the candidates differ is homeless encampments.

Hertzberg told us his stance is a significant contrast “to my opponent. This is where we’re very different.”

He supports a 500-foot setback of tents from schools, churches and other sensitive sites. And he would add more police to the force.

“You need more police in the community,” he said.

While Horvath has voted to defund particularly the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Dept. in her city of West Hollywood, she stressed in our interview that she has had a positive working relationship with the sheriff’s department, even with recent challenges.

“I intend to continue to have effective partnerships with law enforcement and use our criminal justice system to make sure there is accountability in our communities to keep people safe,” Horvath said.

While the Third District is vast — it spans from Sylmar to Malibu, with Larchmont and Hancock Park in its southeast end — the issues are the same: homelessness, affordability and safety, said Horvath.

A recent amendment, to Sec. 41.18 of the City of Los Angeles Municipal Code, which allows moving encampments from sidewalks near schools and day care centers, is a problem when people don’t have other places to go, says Horvath.

She says, “We have to pair that directive with a solution. We go out with street teams to meet people every day of the week… We do have the ability to create temporary solutions. We can’t wait for housing to be built to let people sleep on the street, where they’re going to die. That’s unconscionable.”

Hertzberg also would ramp up social services. “There is no reason the police need to respond with handcuffs and billy clubs and guns” in all situations, he says.

He also would create an entity modeled after the LACMTA (Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority — Metro) that would take on the legal obligations relating to homelessness and be held accountable. As at Metro, the new body would include all five members of the Board of Supervisors and officials from the City of Los Angeles and smaller cities, all of whom would share the responsibilities and mange the problems rather than assign them to others.

Horvath says her approach will be to scale up the programs West Hollywood has in place, and she points to her proven track record as two-time mayor and councilmember there, where homeless numbers are low.

Age and experience

In the June primary, Hertzberg pulled ahead, receiving 31 percent of the votes cast. Horvath earned 28 percent of the votes in the race, which pits the older and seasoned senator from the Valley, Hertzberg, 67, against Councilmember Horvath, 40, from West Hollywood.

“The problems that we face in the 21st century require 21st-century solutions,” said Horvath. “That’s why people are excited about my candidacy. I’m eager to get in there and partner with people and not just recycle things from the past.”

While Horvath draws on her youth, Hertzberg evokes his experience.

Hertzberg says: “Unlike my opponent who has all Democrats in a small city of similar political views, I had to be a speaker [of the State Assembly] and a majority leader [of the State Senate] representing people, from Democrats to Republicans, representing people from Shasta County to San Francisco to Imperial County.”

He knows how to work across the aisle, he adds, and he has gained the knowledge to work from the bottom up to help solve the homelessness crisis.

Transit, environment

Horvath reminded us that the 300 community transportation meetings in which she has participated have prepared her for a seat at Metro, if she is elected. She is a longtime supporter of the northern extension of the new K (Crenshaw) Line, once community concerns have been addressed.

Both candidates support water conservation. Horvath supported 2018’s Los Angeles County Measure W, while Hertzberg opposed it for insufficiently addressing water supply and storage concerns.

Crime and safety

Both candidates note crime is paramount on people’s minds.

“People are scared,” said Hertzberg. “They won’t go out in the street wearing jewelry.” adding that he’s endorsed overwhelmingly by law enforcement.

“Safety is an issue that’s top of mind,” said Horvath. “We need to make sure law enforcement has the resources they need to fight violent crime. That’s essential. And, we also need to make sure they are not called into situations for which they are not trained.”

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This article’s fourth-to-last paragraph was revised on 10-04-22 to correct the Chronicle’s error relating to the candidates’ stands on 2018’s Los Angeles County Measure W.


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