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Wednesday
Apr192017

L.A. CITY HALL: Los Angeles City Council, District 1, runoff election, first debate, Joe Bray-Ali vs. Gil Cedillo: "L.A. City Council race debate draws raucous crowd, anti-immigrant outburst" ....  

***Los Angeles City Council, District 1 runoff election, first debate....

* KPCC:  "L.A. City Council race debate draws raucous crowd, anti-immigrant outburst" - From KPCC:

City Council member Gil Cedillo and challenger Joe Bray-Ali met Monday night in a contentious faceoff for the first of their two required debates ahead of the May 16 general election. Although the evening focused on housing issues, a jarring moment brought a loud crowd reaction when a member of the audience shouted at Bray-Ali to "go back to India."

The overflow crowd seemed deeply divided over the two candidates who are a study in contrast: Cedillo is a long-time politician seeking his second council term while Bray-Ali is a relative newcomer best known for his work as a cycling activist. 

Cedillo is the only incumbent council member who did not win reelection outright in March. He earned 49.34 percent of the primary election vote and needed 50 percent plus one vote to avoid a runoff. Bray-Ali was the second place candidate with 37.97 percent of the vote. The two are competing to represent District 1, which takes in communities that include Highland Park, Cypress Park, Westlake and Chinatown. Both are Democrats, but the debate produced sharp differences and personal jabs that repeatedly brought the crowd to their feet.

The "go back to India" comment, which came as the debate wrapped up, brought a swift response from Bray-Ali, who is U.S.-born. His father immigrated to the U.S. from India. Bray-Ali was in the midst of an attack against Cedillo when the outburst occurred. "I was born here," Bray-Ali said in response, first in English then repeating the phrase in Spanish. "I'm a child of Los Angeles." 

At least one audience member urged Cedillo to denounce the audience member's comment. But Cedillo, who was seated at table next to Bray-Ali, stayed silent. It was unclear what details Cedillo heard from the crowd during the incident ...............