Johnson Wins Gardena Mayor’s Race

Thursday, March 09, 2017 Written by 
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Replaces Former Mayor Paul Tanaka, Now in Prison


Municipal Elections were held on Tuesday in Los Angeles and in a few South Bay cities.  Here is how our neighbors voted on some of the races and measures:


City of Los Angeles:


It was an easy night for L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, winning 80 percent of the votes over his nearest rival Mitchell Schwartz, a distant second with 8.22 percent.  Garcetti raked in more than $3.8 million for his campaign.


In L.A.’s sprawling Ninth Council District, incumbent and former Inglewood Councilman Curren Price won re-election with 62.71 percent of the vote over his closest competitor, Jorge Nunoz with 22.93 percent.


City of Gardena:


Dr. Rachel C. Johnson is Gardena’s new mayor-elect.  She narrowly won the race, beating Councilwoman Tasha Cerda by just 12 points. Johnson finished with 21.73 percent to Cerda’s 21.45 percent.  Dr. Johnson is a retired educator and former Gardena councilwoman.


The seat was made vacant when former Mayor Paul Tanaka resigned after being   convicted of blocking an FBI investigation into Los Angeles County jails when he was undersheriff of the Sheriff’s Department.   He is serving a five-year prison sentence.


Rodney Tanaka (not related to Paul Tanaka) and Harout “Art” Kaskanian will fill the two vacant council seats. Tanaka won 27.26 percent of votes while Kaskanian won 17.52 percent.


Ballot Measures


Measure H


Voters said yes to Measure H, the ballot initiative that calls for a quarter-cent sales tax to help the homeless in L.A. County.  The goal is to raise funds to build 10,000 affordable-housing units for the homeless.


An estimated 47,000 people are considered homeless in Los Angeles County on any given night, according to the 2016 results of a count overseen by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.


Measure M


Cannabis dispensaries must obtain state and local licenses starting next year, based on legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown.  Although pot shops were outlawed in L.A. under voter-approved Proposition D in 2013, the measure established a look-the-other-way system under which about 135 shops were granted limited legal immunity.


Measure S 


This measure was defeated with 68.85 percent of the vote.  Placed on the ballot by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Measure S would have limited large-scale development by placing a two-year moratorium on all projects seeking exemptions from the city's planning laws.


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