Why Our Community Needs to Keep an Eye on What’s Happening in Huntington Park

Huntington Park, one of the cities in Southeast Los Angeles County, is in the news again. This time a city councilwoman’s business dealings are coming under question. This weekend The Los Angeles Times reported that Karina Macias, a council member in Huntington Park, has become a political consultant. One of her clients who she has raised money for has received contributions from businesses that seek to do business with the city. Therefore, it appears that Ms. Macias could be swayed by donations to her client. And today,  the District Attorney confirmed that they are investigating this.

According to The Los Angeles Times:

So far, she’s had only one client, raising $25,000 for a state Assembly race in 2016. For her efforts, she said, she received a percentage of the contributions raised, which totaled about $6,800 in commission.

Several of the contributions came from businesses — or people associated with them — who were awarded city contracts approved by Macias and her council colleagues, according to a Times review of campaign records and interviews.

In one case, Macias voted in favor of a city contract for a bus company that Huntington Park’s then-finance director complained was “completely inappropriate” because the deal short-changed city taxpayers.

Macias, who is running for reelection in the March council race, denied that contributions she raised as a political consultant influenced her decisions on awarding city contracts to those same contributors.”

Why is this important?

This past fall Huntington Park City Council put a moratorium on the opening of new charter schools in its city, citing increased traffic in the city.

Huntington Park families have supported charter schools because they have been unsatisfied with the traditional schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District that have served the city. This working class Latino community wants and deserves choices for educating its children. Parents in this community want their children to attend college just like parents in any other city.

The actions of Councilwoman Macias have now come under the scrutiny of the District Attorney. The people of Huntington Park deserve leaders who are transparent and ethical. It should be clear why decisions are being made on city contracts and on the building of and expansion of charter schools. The public needs to know who is influencing their elected representatives and to what end.

When the moratorium on charter schools was passed by the Huntington Park City Council in a 4-1 vote, the city residents didn’t know that these elected officials, who were in favor of the charter school ban, had been receiving campaign contributions from United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA). UTLA members have been told that the union doesn’t endorse in local municipal elections.

What is going on in Huntington Park needs to be closely monitored. There is a history of corruption that plagues the Southeast cities from public theft in Bell to bribery in Cudahy. Those in office count on the public to be unaware or too busy to follow the dealings of councilmembers, but La Comadre is committed to informing our readers and the broader public in the Los Angeles metropolitan area about what is going in these cities that have large populations of high need students.

What do you think?

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