Antonio Villaraigosa, James Hahn, Joel Wachs, Kathleen Connell, Steve Soboroff, and Xavier Becerra are the six front- running candidates who have confirmed their participation for the city’s only live televised Spanish-language town hall, Los Angeles 2001: Camino a la Alcaldía [Los Angeles 2001: Road to City Hall] presented by KMEX-TV, Channel 34 and the Organization of Los Angeles Workers [OLAW]. The event will take place on Sunday, April 1, 2001 from 9 to 10 a.m. at the Los Angeles Trade - Technical School and will be transmitted live on KMEX-TV, Channel 34, Univision's flagship station. This will be the only televised debate prior to the April 10th primary mayoral election.
The event, directed at Los Angeles' vast Latino community, will address the issues of greatest concern for the 6.1 million residents of this sector of the population. Among the important topics to be discussed in Los Angeles 2001: Camino a la Alcaldía are education, social services, crime prevention and business. The town hall will give the front-running mayoral candidates an opportunity to present their views to the most rapidly growing electoral sector in the city: Latinos. The town hall's live assembled audience will have the opportunity to express their views and concerns to the candidates.
"The future of the City and residents of Los Angeles are at stake in this election", said Eliseo Medina, President of the Board of OLAW. "By making vital information available to the public on the issues that matter most to them, we are making sure our community actively engages in civic participation," concluded Medina.
"This year’s mayoral race will be the focal point of residents across the city and the state for that matter," stated KMEX-TV General Manager Augustine Martinez. "Our station, along with OLAW, felt it was important for the concerns and interest of the Latino population the candidates seek to represent be heard first hand. By the same token, this town hall will give the candidates an opportunity to present their platforms on key issues to Los Angeles Latinos," said Martinez.
The host of Los Angeles 2001: Camino a la Alcaldía will be KMEX-TV veteran news anchor Eduardo Quezada, who will ask questions covering issues presented from various sectors of the city limits including the East Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley and the San Pedro area. Among the topics to be discussed are education, immigration, the local economy, public safety, social services and labor issues.
The Organization of Los Angeles Workers [OLAW] was created to help immigrants stand up for their rights and gain new opportunities, and to promote civic participation in their communities. During its first year, OLAW reached out to churches, community organizations, the media and individuals on a number of important issues including: immigration legalization, citizenship, living wages, rights in the workplace, access to affordable healthcare, fair housing, and public education. OLAW also is working to build political strength by encouraging immigrants to get involved in the political process, register to vote, and cast their ballots on Election Day.