LETTER 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
(Letter above published in the January 23, 2020 issue of Random Lengths News.com. “Denied a turn at the podium” https://bit.ly/2RuBpWd )
(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?