Assembly District 64 candidates emphasize jobs, education

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Friday, October 10, 2014
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Two Democrats, Mike Gipson and Prophet Walker, are running for California's 64th Assembly District.

SOUTH LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- There will soon be a new representative for California's 64th Assembly District, as the incumbent is running for the State Senate. The election is between two Democrats: a Carson city councilman and an engineer.

Mike Gipson is currently a council member in the city of Carson, and has spent years working for Congressman Mervyn Dymally and then-City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas.

Prophet Walker is a political newcomer. Walker was abandoned by his mother at an early age and got into trouble with the law, but turned his life around and graduated from Loyola Marymount University with an engineering degree.

The district represents communities in Watts, Willowbrook, Compton, Carson and North Long Beach. It includes some very different neighborhoods. The two candidates running for the Assembly seat, however, have a very similar message: They both say the big priority is jobs.

"I want to make sure we have economic growth. I want to ensure that we actually begin to work on our infrastructure," said Walker. "That's the surest way to create more jobs."

"It needs jobs, and if you walk down this community and you talk to the homeless person or the person that's in gangs, or things of that nature, or even the welfare department is down the street from here, jobs are the number one thing," said Gipson.

"I was once told that I wouldn't make it," said Walker. "At 16 I was sentenced to six years, and people said it is impossible. And I knew that education and education alone would help me get out of this situation."

Gipson has a similar message about the importance of education in this district.

"We want to make sure that every kid has every tool that he or she needs in order to succeed, and if they don't, there's no one else to blame," said Gipson. "But they do, they'll have all the tools necessary to fight, to get to college."