League of Women Voters Says Candidate Prohibited from Speaking-
Candidate calls them "elitist"
Posted to Facebook Jan 10 about 4:00 pm
WEST ADAMS NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL RESPONDS. Certain groups like the League of Women Voters and many neighborhood councils I am told are excluding certified qualified write-in candidates like myself from speaking on the podium with other candidates. The league of women voters wrote, "I am sorry but only the candidates who are actually on the ballot may participate in the forum or speak. You can hand out campaign material after the forum is over if you wish.". While it is true that write-in candidates do not appear on the ballot, and a voter must write their name in, their vote still counts and they are still qualified candidates. I question can NC's or any non-profit group (NC's each receive $42,000 a year in city money) can use tax dollars to exclude qualified candidates like myself. Of course the good old boys network would not want me to protest this. I am certain I will receive push back on this, because it has been probably been like this for years. I just received an interesting email from Yolanda Davis-Overstreet, VP of WANC. Obviously she feels I am wrong to bring up this issue and assert my rights. I guess she feels as a candidate--and US citizen---I do not have the right to voice my opinion. As I believe she is an elitist, and feels she is better than others, she wants to keep this election in the hands of the good ole boys, the candidates you know spending the most money. I have heard that one before, even though she is not saying it in her words. Yolanda claims she knows another candidate in CD8 who is a write in and admits "she is not participating in forums". So Yolanda is comparing me to her. I do not see any law that authorizes these groups to exclude qualified candidates, but I do see the Unruh law which may prohibit that. She accuses me of "slandering" the WANC ( I don't think she even knows what the word slander means; I certainly have a right to voice my opinion) and the League of Women Voters, etc. I guess simply because I want to be heard on equal ground as the candidates spending the most money. These groups like the League of Women voters have practiced exclusion for years so it is not surprising the WANC would support their bias. If the WANC wants to sue me, let them. She suggests I get more clarity from the League of Women Voters, etc. She admits standing in "alliance" with the League of Women voters but objects to being called elitist, saying WANC is not elitist. WANC stands for West Adams Neighborhood Council. She sent her email to 24 other people. WANC is one of the sponsors of the candidate forum exclusion and they stand in alliance with the LWV. Enough said. The WANC expects us to look the other way while the elite run things. If that is not slander from me, then it is a fact. The WANC does not want me in the same room as the Elite; I get it. I disagree.
SUBJECT: NC Obligations re Candidate Forums
TO: ; ; ; ; ; ; councilmember.harris- ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
DATE: Friday, January 10, 2020, 03:14 PM PST
The neighborhood councils ("NC") receive about $42,000 each per year from city tax dollars. The NC's propose they can use city tax dollars to discriminate against qualified write in candidates and prohibit candidates from speaking at "candidate forums".
“In 1999, the City Charter established the Neighborhood Council System and the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment which supports the Neighborhood Councils “to promote more citizen participation in government and make government more responsive to local needs...” Charter Section 900. Neighborhood Councils receive public funds of about $42,000 each year to support their activities. “
If any of the neighborhood councils propose to prohibit any write in candidate from speaking, they could be engaged in abuse of city tax dollars as well as violation of the State Unruh Act.
Hopefully the NC's will contact me as to candidate forums in the 10th district.
G. Juan Johnson
1522 Hi Point St 9
Los Angeles CA 90035
2020 Qualified candidate (write in)
THE ELITIST AND CONDESCENDING ELECTION
Dear Los Angeles City Clerk and Election Division:
In this election cycle, certain organizations and community groups have declared to be holding "candidate forums" where they are refusing to allow qualified write-in candidates to speak. Some of the forums I have seen advertised will be held by the Ethiopian Democratic Club (set for January 11), West Adams Neighborhood Council, the Beverly Hills NAACP, and League of Women Voters of Los Angeles (Jan. 12) and a forum at FAME 2270 S HARVARD BLVD (set for Jan. 25). I believe such "candidate forums" that exclude qualified write in candidates are unfair, elitist and condescending to the election process and to voters.
The city clerk is requested to release any and all documents/writings in the Clerk's possession that would
1. Indicate any city law that authorizes the League of Women Voters and any neighborhood councils to discriminate against qualified write-in candidates on the basis they are not on the ballot
2. Indicate any city law that authorizes the League of Women Voters and any neighborhood councils to discriminate against qualified write-in candidates by prohibiting them from speaking at so called "candidate forums"
3. Indicate any city law that authorizes any neighborhood council to discriminate against qualified write-in candidates and prohibit them from speaking at so called candidate forums.
“Document” and “writing” mean a writing, as defined in Section 250 of the Evidence Code.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
G. Juan Johnson
ILLEGAL USE OF PUBLIC FUNDS TO DISCRIMINATE AGAINST QUALIFIED CANDIDATES. LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS AND OTHERS ACCUSED OF ELITIST AND CONDESCENDING PRACTICE TOWARDS CANDIDATES AND VOTERS. Some of the other neighborhood councils who have vowed to prohibit qualified write in candidates from speaking are Mid City Neighborhood Council (MCNC), Empowerment Congress West, Olympic Park NC, Pico NC, South Robertson NC, United Neighborhoods NC, Wilshire Center Koreatown NC. The neighborhood councils ("NC") receive about $42,000 each per year from city tax dollars. The NC's propose they can use city tax dollars to discriminate against qualified write in candidates and prohibit candidates from speaking at "candidate forums". “In 1999, the City Charter established the Neighborhood Council System and the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment which supports the Neighborhood Councils “to promote more citizen participation in government and make government more responsive to local needs…” Charter Section 900. Neighborhood Councils receive public funds of about $42,000 each year to support their activities. “
(NOTE: Frances Lapides REPRESENTS THE LEAGUE OF WOMAN VOTERS.)
SUBJECT: YOUR JAN. 12 FORUM FORWARDED
Fri 1/10/2020 12:06 PM
To: 'Connye Thomas' <>; Frances Lapides <>
Cc: <>; 'Marilu Guevara' <>; Mayor Garcetti <>; <>; City of Los Angeles <>; City of Los Angeles <>; <>; Councilmember Rodriguez <>; Councilmember Harris-Dawson <>; City of Los Angeles <>; City of Los Angeles <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; City of Los Angeles <>; Curren Price <>; P.I.C.O. Neighborhood Council <>; Councilmember Greig Smith <>; Councilmember John S. Lee <>; Clerk Election <>
Please see my CPRA to the Los Angeles City Clerk.
What is the name of the organization you represent? Do they have a charter?
Where does it say in your forum announcement facebook that the forum is only for candidates that appear on the ballot?
Where does it say in the charter that you can discriminate against qualified candidates?
Is there any city or state law that authorizes you to represent to voters that qualified write in candidates are to be muffled from participating with candidates at government funded candidate forums?
G. Juan Johnson
qualified candidate- (write in)
1522 Hi Point St 9
Los Angeles, CA 90035
On Friday, January 10, 2020, 11:51:31 AM PST,
Frances Lapides <> wrote:
I am sorry but only the candidates who are actually on the ballot may participate in the forum or speak. You can hand out campaign material after the forum is over if you wish.
From: Connye Thomas [mailto:]
Sent: Thursday, January 9, 2020 1:07 PM
To: G Johnson <email@example.com>; firstname.lastname@example.org Cc: WANC@empowerla.org
Subject: Re: Your Jan. 12 Forum forwarded
The League of Women Voters are conducting our Candidate Forum.
I have forwarded your request To them for a response. Thank you,
Sent from my iPhone.
On Jan 9, 2020, at 9:45 AM, G Johnson <> wrote:
I am a qualified write in candidate for District 10.
I would like to be allowed to speak on the dias at the forum on Sunday. Please contact me at the number below.
G. Juan Johnson
Subject: Unfair advantage to segregated candidates - the Politics of Exclusion - Business as usual
From: G. Juan Johnson <>
Date: Thu 1/9/2020 1:32 PM
To: <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>
Cc: <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>; <>
Dear United States Citizens:
I refer to the city Election code as it relates to write -in candidates. The only distinction I see between candidates and write-in candidates is that the write-in candidates names will not appear on the ballot.
A vote for a write-in candidate will count the same as a vote for a candidate.
Although it does not appear in the Election Code, the LA CityView Channel 35, the City of Los Angeles Cable Channel, offers free videos of candidate statements. I have signed up for such. According to the city clerk's office, all certified candidate statements and "all certified write-in candidate statements" will begin airing on February 11, 2020 and will continue to have multiple plays thru March 3, 2020, even though much of the vote by mail may occur before February 11.
I also note that community groups like the West Adams Neighborhood Council, the Beverly Hills NAACP, and League of Women Voters of Los Angeles are sponsoring community candidate forums where they will not allow write in candidates to participate as speakers. This gives unfair advantage to candidates and denies such advantage to write-in candidates. It is also an advantage that is not authorized in the election code.
I ask that the city council and the public support that write-in candidates be allowed to participate as equals on the speaker panel in all community group sponsored candidate forums.
I ask that the city council and public support that the airing of free video tapings of all candidates (candidates and write in candidates) start on February 2, 2020 and that all tapings of candidates and write-in candidates will appear on the same program.
G. Juan Johnson
2020 Candidate (write-in) for District 10
1522 Hi Point St 9
Los Angeles CA 90035
City Funded Bias Reported In Newspaper
Letter to the Editor:
It is always a pleasure to stay up to date with world events in the Random Lengths News!
In Politics, write-in candidates have won races for the well known like Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, and Richard Nixon. I qualified on January 6, 2020 as a certified write in candidate to run for Los Angeles council district 10.
January 11, 2020 I was denied the equal opportunity to speak from the podium at a candidates forum by the Ethiopian Democratic Club of Los Angeles. I asked to be allowed to speak and they refused saying I was not on the “ballot”. (The ballot has not yet been published). Non-write-in candidates Grace Yoo, Channing Martinez, Mark Ridley-Thomas, Melvin Snell, and Aura Vasquez were allowed to speak at the podium.
The situation repeated itself at another candidate forum on January 12, 2020. I talked with the League of Women voters, the church, and West Adams Neighborhood Council, and they said I would not be allowed to speak on the podium with the other candidates. I told them that was not acceptable. The hundred person plus crowd was told by the representative, "You are not qualified to speak." as they told them I was not on the ballot.
I told them I was qualified. The other five candidates were allowed on the podium. Two church security guards physically assaulted me by pushing me twice as I persisted to speak. They threatened to call the Police but didn't. The forum was co-sponsored by the Community Action Mobilization Team, and Beverly Hills/Hollywood NAACP. The forum took place at Holman Methodist Church, 3320 West Adams Blvd., Los Angeles.
First African Methodist church advertises on social media that it will hold a Los Angeles candidates forum on Saturday, January 25. As a certified and qualified write in candidate, I have not been invited to speak on the podium at this event but I have requested to. I feel other candidates that speak may be engaged in unethical participation in violation of city ethics regulations. The Church is reminded that they must provide equal opportunity to all candidates or they may run afoul of IRS regulations.
It is now 55 years after the Voting Rights Act was passed. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
G. Juan Johnson
(Published in the January 23 2020 issue of Random Lengths News.com. "Denied a turn at the podium" )
(Blog author note: on January 25, 2020 I was again excluded from speaking on the podium at the candidate event at First African Methodist Church. The letter of exclusion was received from Raheem Dawson of the United Neighborhoods Neighborhood Council and Empowerment Congress West NC (ECWA); Mid-City NC (MINC); Olympic Park NC (OPNC); South Robertson NC (SORONC); United Neighborhoods NC (UNNC); West Adams NC (WANC); Wilshire Center-Koreatown NC (WCKNC)---all neighborhood councils receiving $42,000 a year from city tax dollars)
Who says the government doesn't participate in the denial of equal opportunity and denial of equal time?
At this page link, see a video from one of the NAACP- West Adams forums:
War with the Ethiopians
Certified Black candidate prohibited
from speaking on the podium
LOS ANGELES - I guess it’s wise to tell the story from the beginning. In 2018 September I decided to run for council person District 10 Los Angeles. I filed for my campaign committee and everything was in order. I was a candidate for purpose of raising contributions.
It was not until over a year later that candidates would be able to pick up nominating petitions and there was a three week window, which I was told was shorter than normal, to return the petitions with sufficient 500-1000 signatures. (1000 valid signatures and one would not have to pay the $300 filing fee). I did not gain enough signatures to qualify for having my named placed on the ballot for voters to choose from. But the city offers another way to receive votes and that is to have the voter write your name onto the ballot, also called a certified qualified write in candidate. I was able to qualify for that by filling out a few forms and paying $300.
The list of candidates (non-write-in) was finalized December 13, 2019. I requested that write-in candidates be allowed to register right away but the city insisted that write-in candidates could not register until January 6, in my opinion as stated giving undue advantage to the non-write-in candidates.
Nevertheless, anyone keeping up with the election would see the list of candidates and a separate list of write-in candidates on the city clerk website. In other words, if candidates are being segregated from forums, it is not by accident.
Somewhere around there the community groups start organizing their candidate forums. There does not seem to be any local ordinances governing how the forums are run although some are run by city government compensated neighborhood councils.
Around January 8, 2020, on FB no doubt, I learned that the League of Women Voters was holding a candidate forum, also sponsored by numerous neighborhood councils. (That story is told elsewhere on this site). But before that candidate forum would be held, another advertised “qualified candidate” forum would be sponsored by the Ethiopian Democratic Club of Los Angeles, their site saying they are a political party, and held at the Messob Ethiopian Restaurant at 1041 S Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles.
Between Wednesday Jan 8 and Saturday Jan 11, I would post numerous times on the Ethiopian Democratic Club of Los Angeles and post messages that the League of Women Voters was planning to exclude me. There was no response from the Ethiopians. I did not see a phone number for their club but I did find an email Saturday morning, wrote them that I am a certified write in candidate and would like to appear on the podium. I received no response.
I arrived early at the event and spoke to one of the organizers named Ada. I told her who I was and I would like to appear on the podium with the other candidates. Don’t quote me but she made up every excuse in the book like “this is the first we have heard of you” “this forum is only for qualified candidates whose names appear on the ballot” etc. Nevertheless, I said to myself I will just go in and bide my time, maybe talk to someone else in authority. I did talk with a few voters who said they had seen my Facebook posts about the campaign.
A few minutes into the presentations, I decided to speak. All the speakers (Grace Yoo, Channing Martinez, Melvin Snell, Mark Ridley-Thomas, Mark Ridley-Thomas, Aura Vasquez) had microphones as well as the moderator. I was on the other side of the room and had to raised my voice to be heard, “I am certified candidate and I would like to be on the podium” which I repeated about three times. Well, it seemed like people came running out of everywhere, and I believe Ada asked me could she speak to me privately. I agreed and we went outside the rear of the restaurant. We were joined by another lady and then a man who said he was security. I repeated who I was and that I would like to be on the podium. Still another round of excuses from them, and they accused me of making a disturbance. I told them I was not making a disturbance and I did not appreciate being threatened (Ada said if you make another disturbance they would ask me to leave) and I told them I would call the police to enforce my rights and they said go ahead. She said “You did not get here in time.” I said, “I am here now”.
So I went back in, heard a few more speeches, and as I walked out, I again said. “I am a certified candidate. I would like to be heard” a few times. I did not hear any of the candidates offer any assistance to me.
I think I have been traumatized. I keep seeing continents spinning in my head. It’s like learning about a birthday party in your honor and you get there and they tell you to get out.
I think the restaurant needs to have their business license revoked and the so-called Ethiopian Democratic Club needs to have a complaint filed against them under the state Unruh Act. I request the council suspend all candidate forums until all candidates are allowed to be on the podium.
(As told to the Mayor and Council - 1/11/2020 via email and CPRA)
(b) All persons within the jurisdiction of this state are free and equal, and no matter what their sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, citizenship, primary language, or immigration status are entitled to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges, or services in all business establishments of every kind whatsoever.
YOUR OPPORTUNITY IS HERE. It's easy to help me get the bullshit out of government and fiscal accountability in.