Ktown For All’s Policy Committee held a special meeting to review and rate local candidates included on the November 3, 2020 ballot that would have jurisdiction over the community of Ktown: City Council District 4, City Council District 10, LA County Supervisor District 2, and LA County District Attorney. Additionally, we included California State Assembly and United States Congress races that would represent Ktown. Twelve committee members gathered research from candidate websites, public coverage, candidate press or public statements, voting records (when applicable), and candidate public forums.
The committee reviewed each candidate on five categories related to homelessness and housing in Los Angeles. Candidate platforms on other issues were not taken into account. The five categories identified were: housing policy, homelessness services, renter protections, criminalization, and knowledge of the issues. Housing Policy specifically reflected overall housing policies (not related to homelessness services). Areas that were explored were the candidates’ commitment to affordable housing development as well as public housing and community land trusts. Candidates were also evaluated on their proposed strategies for increasing affordable housing, their stance on issues such as Prop 15, Prop 13, a vacancy tax, and finally their endorsement of the homes guarantee platform, which has been formally endorsed by Ktown for all. Homelessness services reflected the candidates’ proposed or historical policies related to services for people experiencing homelessness, including things such as supportive housing, shelter, and street-level services. Grades considered that homelessness services proposals were in depth, included a range of options, and especially did not reflect the ideology of “service resistance.” For renter protections, candidates were graded on renter protection proposals such as tenant right to counsel, rent freeze, rent cancellation within the COVID-19 pandemic, endorsement of Proposition 21, and their ability to connect renter protections to homelessness prevention. For criminalization, candidates’ grades were based on their attitudes and history towards punitive policies that target and/or criminalize people experiencing homelessness, as well as the candidates’ relationship and approach to policing. Depth of Knowledge reflected the candidates’ overall understanding of the issue of homelessness in Los Angeles, their successful record on passing policy, as well as their fluency in speaking to housing and homelessness issues. District Attorney grades reflected slightly different categories, including: Overall Criminal Justice Policy; Criminalization of Homelessness; and Focus on Homelessness.
The research was presented to the group and each candidate was discussed individually. A KFA member presented research on candidates in one particular race, which were then discussed with the overall group. Grades were collected from all participating members after each race was presented. Therefore, candidate grades are best compared within each race, not across the full set of those candidates. Each member assigned a unique grade (range A – F) for each category. If a member works or worked for a specific candidate, they were excluded from grading candidates in that race. Then an average grade was calculated for each category. Finally, an average grade was calculated based on the average across all five categories, resulting in a final overall grade. Candidates’ overall grades and specific issue grades are presented in this report, along with a brief summary of how we arrived at each grade.