“The Black Church always provided the agenda & held the politicians accountable,” tweeted Reverend Shane B. Scott.
Scott, lead pastor at Macedonia Baptist Church in the Watts community of Los Angeles, was referencing the pre-election town hall his church had hosted the evening before.
Last Thursday, over 250 people packed the Macedonia Baptist Church for its Political Action Committee’s community town hall, “Repairing the Breach: Strategizing for the Future of Watts”. The purpose of the town hall was to ensure that the Watts community is well informed about the November 6 ballot initiatives and candidates.
“Although the embers of the Watts riots of 1965 have long since cooled, the contributing factors of substandard educational and healthcare facilities, combined with lacking job opportunities have since remained,” said Morris O’Kelly, author and talk radio personality. O’Kelly, of Clear Channel Media & Entertainment KFI Radio’s The Mo’Kelly Show, served as moderator of the forum.
The town hall provided an opportunity for Watts community members to discuss issues which matter most to them — especially housing, health care, employment and education.
“The Watts town hall meeting demonstrated two distinct facts; the love of the community by its residents as well as the overwhelming frustration with civic and congressional leadership’s inability to provide coherent strategy and solutions,” O’Kelly adds.
The community members directed their questions and concerns to a panel that included Rev. Vernon S. Burroughs of Grant AME, Congresswoman Laura Richardson (D-CA-37th), Congresswoman Janice Hahn (D-CA-36th), and Los Angeles City Councilwoman and mayoral candidate Jan Perry.
Verbum Dei High School Dean of Students Brandi Odum-Lucas, Watts Health Care Corp. President William Hobson, and Los Angeles City Housing Authority Chief Executive Officer Douglas Guthrie also participated in the event.