Nafissi vows to fight

Candace Nafissi. Courtesy photo

Candace Nafissi has been eager to jump back into the electoral waters. Just days after her 2015 campaign, in which she fell short to rival Christian Horvath in a recount that followed a runoff election, by only a handful of votes, she made the first indication she would again challenge to represent Redondo Beach’s District 2 in four years: changing her Facebook campaign page to read “Candace Nafissi for City Council 2019.”
The campaign trail hasn’t been especially kind to her — in our interview, she repeatedly apologized for the cold she caught while meeting her possible constituents. (“I’ve been campaigning for eight weeks. I haven’t been sick all year, but as soon as I started shaking hands, I got sick,” she said.)  But she’s not complaining.
“I feel an inherent responsibility to bring city government back to the residents. It’s been far removed from the residents for some time,” Nafissi said. “We’ve had four years of leadership that have ignored them,” indicating Horvath.
She cites the vote made by Horvath to comply with 2014’s Senate Bill 415, a state law that required all cities to align their odd-year municipal elections with even-year statewide and national elections.
“You saw with my opponent extending his own term, even though extended term limits were shot down in 2014. It’s a blatant disregard for the voters,” Nafissi said.
Nafissi wasn’t wholly correct. The result, as initially approved by the City Council, would have extended existing council member terms by one year — subject to voter approval.
“But why would we make our voters pay for another election?” Nafissi said. “He’s just not willing to fight…SB 415 is a perfect example. He didn’t want it to be challenged, it did get challenged, and we won.”
Horvath’s reluctance to involve the city in litigation, Nafissi said, is a sign of weakness.
“That’s the thing: He’s not going to fight for anything, to protect the Green Line from people’s backyards, he’s not willing to fight with Measure C,” Nafissi said.
After prompting, she noted that Horvath and the City Council sent a letter to Metro indicating preference to build a planned Green Line extension down Hawthorne Boulevard.
“We’ll figure it out; we’ll find a way,” Nafissi said when asked how she would push back against Metro. “I’m confiding in the residents, I’m fully comfortable in advocating…whatever it is, I fully support it and will help along the way. But I’m not going to sit on the sidelines and hope Metro figures it out.”
Her priorities, she says, are public safety and traffic, and she notes that she is the wife of an LAPD officer, giving her a different perspective than her potential colleagues. (Neither she nor Horvath have been endorsed by the Redondo Beach Police Officers Association.)
Traffic concerns, she notes, include plans for the Beach Cities Health District’s Healthy Living Campus. She would prefer BCHD hold off on the project until the city’s new General Plan is approved, which is at least two years away.
“I don’t want us to be engaging in any type of large development until we finish our general plan…until then, we’re engaging in piecemeal development,” Nafissi said.


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