Herb Wesson

By Erik Derr, Mid-City Press Contributor

Herb J. Wesson has been building has been building networks since he was young—very young.

The councilmember from the 10th District says that when he was an elementary kid in Cleveland, Ohio, it was impossible for him to walk to school without getting beat up.

But Wesson had learned a thing or two about organizing from his father, a died-in-the-wool “union guy.” And eventually figured out that if he got a lot of the other kids to walk with him, they, and most importantly he, would stay safe.

That foray into fundamental community building left Wesson the organizer for all his neighborhood’s sports and activities.

Fast forward a few decades or so and Wesson, the former speaker of the California State Assembly, is seeing his second term on the Los Angeles City Council.

Wesson enjoyed a landslide victory his first time out. This election, he faces five others on the ballot and one write-in. He feels his record community revitalization speaks for itself.

“In my view, this is one of the premier districts of the city,” said Wesson.

Wesson has overseen a recent burst of economic activity in CD10. Within weeks of securing funding for the $150 million second phase of the “Midtown Crossing” development at Pico and San Vicente boulevards, he announced the city council’s approval of “District Square,” a $93 million, 300,000 square foot retail center at the intersection of Crenshaw Boulevard and Rodeo Road.

The Los Angeles City Ethics Commission reports Wesson raised a total $211,107 in contributions through the end of February, with $123,799.93 cash on hand. He rejected public matching funds.

Wesson’s endorsements include the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, Stonewall Democratic Club, Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters, Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, Los Angeles Police Protective League, United Firefighters of Los Angeles City, Local 112,  SEIU Local 721, County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Congresswoman Maxine Waters and  City Council President Eric Garcetti.

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