Peter Torres, City Council District 9

PETERTORRES:I've met him a few times. He's 29 years old. He's a teacher and I think one day he might make a great school board member. He wouldn't be a good city council member for this district at this time. I'm the perfect candidate. I think he has a lot of big credentials. I don't know exactly how long he's lived here or he's lived there but any young man who graduates from Berkeley and gets his master's in education is commendable.

L.A.WEEKLY:HowdoyougetalongwithPerry?

PETERTORRES:I've known her for some time. I'm very professional with her. She knows me by name. She's been in my home before.

L.A.WEEKLY:Whatbroughthertoyourhome?

PETERTORRES:I had an apartment on 10th and Towne for a few years and she said she lived there and I 1397518451 when she was there she would come in. Oh, hi, Peter, and 1397518451

L.A.WEEKLY:Shelivedthere?

PETERTORRES:That's where she said she lived.

L.A.WEEKLY:Didyougetthefeelingshewantedtoworkwithyouorthatyouwereathorninherside?

PETERTORRES:We'll put it this way. To anyone who'll listen, she tells them bad things about me.

L.A.WEEKLY:Whatwouldshesay?

PETERTORRES:She says that I'm racist.

L.A.WEEKLY:Inwhatway?

PETERTORRES:She says I'm against blacks. She says I'm going door-to-door telling people to not vote for Jan Perry. I don't even mention her name when I go door to door. Our strategy is don't mention names, and just identify the problems and say how we can address these problems. Period.

L.A.WEEKLY:HowdoyouthinkblacksandLatinosgetalonginthecommunity?

PETERTORRES:I think it's better than it is bad. Um ...

L.A.WEEKLY:Dothesetensionsexistandwhatdotheyderivefrom?

PETERTORRES:They exist. It's not a big problem. Black and Hispanics in South L.A. are going at it. Not in the 9th District. Not in the high schools. Mainly because the three high schools are about 97 percent Hispanic. There's very few young blacks 18 and under in the 9th District. And they pretty much get along.

L.A.WEEKLY:Thenwhatdoesshegainbyplayingtheracecard?

PETERTORRES:She thinks that perhaps some of the black voters are going to vote for me. So she's turned it around by scaring them and saying, "Don't vote for him because he's not for you." She doesn't know because she's never lived south of the 10 Freeway. She lived across the street from a busy concert hall, the very corner of the 9th District. She goes from Disney Concert Hall to City Hall. I have to go back and forth. Rarely does she come south of the 10 Freeway. She spends all her time at the Staples Center and all these different areas. When people do bad things I don't waste my time and energy trying to figure out why do they do it.

L.A.WEEKLY:WhatwouldyoudowiththehomelessprobleminSkidRow?

PETERTORRES:We need to look at what's going on with the homeless issue. I think it should be a county problem. In the same way, county jail releases a lot of people on a daily basis. A lot of these are homeless, and just end up going down to Skid Row.

L.A.WEEKLY:RighttoSkidRow?

PETERTORRES:Right. This is not the 9th District's sole responsibility. It's the city's responsibility and it's the county's responsibility because Burbank, Glendale and all these different cities that are arresting people, they're sending them to county jail and it's all coming here and they're all staying here. One idea is if somebody gets released who was arrested by Burbank then maybe we give him or her a packet voucher. We take them back somewhere to Burbank. Maybe Burbank has a homeless shelter. Let's do that.

L.A.WEEKLY:Anythingelse?

PETERTORRES:I plan to live in the worst neighborhood to bring it up. That's what it takes, and it's a huge responsibility. I have identified the problems and I know the solutions. I love what I do. I love serving these people. After all these years, I still have the drive. But I'll tell you that every officer who came on this job truly cares for the society. And a lot of them after awhile are very burned out because of peer pressure. Everyone came on this job for that idealism. You got to go out there and serve, and treat people with respect.

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