Represent! | Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Live from Inglewood: What do you care about most this election season?

KPCC is broadcasting live from the Serving Spoon in Inglewood. Come tell us what issues matter to you this election season.
KPCC is broadcasting live from the Serving Spoon in Inglewood. Come tell us what issues matter to you this election season.
Eric Zassenhaus/KPCC
KPCC is broadcasting live from the Serving Spoon in Inglewood. Come tell us what issues matter to you this election season.
KPCC's Frank Stoltze prepares to go live at The Serving Spoon in Inglewood on Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Eric Zassenhaus/KPCC
KPCC is broadcasting live from the Serving Spoon in Inglewood. Come tell us what issues matter to you this election season.
Producer Lauren Osen readies to go live from The Serving Spoon in Inglewood, Calif.
Eric Zassenhaus
KPCC is broadcasting live from the Serving Spoon in Inglewood. Come tell us what issues matter to you this election season.
KPCC is broadcasting live from the Serving Spoon in Inglewood. Come tell us what issues matter to you this election.
Eric Zassenhaus/KPCC

Update 12:40pm: The catfish is cold

That'll do it for us from The Serving Spoon. The kitchen's reheating our entrees and, after a full morning fending off the hunger amid the scent of amazing food, we're ready to chow down. 

You can still let us know what you think. Record your thoughts on the issues that you find most important this election. Just record and send us your audio by clicking the audio below (and know that we may use your track on air!)

Send me your sounds

Update 12:30 pm: Race and respect

Kris Sims says she feels the President hasn't received the same level of respect as previous presidents, and the reason, she feels, is his race.

"I think the way that even Romney has addressed him even during the debates  is not the same level of respect that he would've had if he wasn't black," Kris said. 

She concedes that candidates can be short with one another in the heat of a debate, but she feels few previous debates have featured a candidate telling an incumbent President "you'll get your turn," to speak, as Romney did.

"I just don't think it would have been the same," she said.

Update 12:00 pm: Between tax policy and social issues

Clifton Slater, 30, an investment banker from Santa Monica, tells us he's torn between Romney's tax policy and Obama's stance on social issues like gay marriage.

"A lot of the tax credits [Romney]'s proposing, I do like them," he said. "But on the actual social aspect of things, I  lean more towards the President."

Update 11:50 am: All talk, no action

Brittany Toler, 24, said she voted for Obama in 2008, but she's not so sure this year. The biggest issue she sees?

"The middle class. How would it be affected, and what could Romney do to make it better or make it worse." 

Obama so far hasn't won her over.  

"He's not helping the middle class out," she says. "And you know Congress didn't pass half his bills that he wanted," but she feels the President could have worked more with Congress to get things done. 

Update 11:33 am: Beaten down but not out

Mark Campbell of Ladera Heights told us he's even more excited about this election, even though he feels his candidate, President Obama, has been "beaten down" by his experience. 

"Four years he was a transitional, inspirational type of character," said Campbell. "Today he's actually [been] running the country for four years, and I think he's been beaten down a little bit, fighting with Republicans and dealing with everything that's going on in the world."


Updated: 11:13 am: Waffles are waiting

It's 11:13 and the hotcakes are still piling up. The Serving Spoon is full with a short wait outside, and we're feeling a bit guilty hogging the back seats and slinging interview after interview.

Coffee cups are piling up, and stomachs are starting to growl at the scent and sight of the food. Not long now...

Updated 11:00 am: Code words, birth certificates

Several people we talked with have mentioned they feel race is running as an undercurrent in the campaigns — tinging some of the phrasing and framing the discussions. 

Quentin Strode and John Jones both told us they felt Obama's race has played a role in some of Romney's catchphrases, including the Romney campaign's emphasis on the candidate's uncontoversial birth certificate. 

A lot of people, perhaps your age, don't understand what's being said," said Jones. "But I do."

Update 10:30 am: Gentleman Mitt?

Our social media editor Kim Bui talked with John Jones, a 42-year resident of Inglewood and Obama supporter who says he feels that Romney doesn't have respect for women. 

"He reminds me of my father who I loved dearly before he passed away," said Jones, but he doesn't necessarily mean that in a good way.

"He has no respect for women," continued Jones. "And I feel a woman should have the rights that any other human being has on this earth."

When we asked what Romney said that made him feel that way, Jones said he felt it was in his tone and his approach to women's issues.

"If you sit down and you listen to what he really has to say," said Jones, "He has the mind of a typical Southern gentleman who talks in codes that they feel nobody understands but them." 

Update 10:06 am: Sabre rattling and reality

D'Artagnan Scorza, a military veteran and executive director of Social Justice Learning Institute in Inglewood said he's an Obama supporter, though he never went in for campaign's 2008 'Hope and Change' motto.

"I think I had more of a pragmatic approach to what needed to happen," he said. And he feels much of it is happening. But the issue he feels most strongly about, he said, is the Commander in Chief's approach to the military.

"You know, what a lot of folk don't realize is that people in the military don't want to go to war," D'Artagnan said. "Most of my buddies, most of my colleagues, most of my colleagues realize that war is not a pretty thing."

Update 9:43: Community colleges and Cal States

Jonathan Collins came in to have some breakfast. His issue? Public education.

"We need to see more support financially for our public schools both elementary and our community colleges and our Cal States," he said. 

Collins says he feels strongly in support of Proposition 30 — Governor Brown's prop that would raise taxes in order to shore up California's school system.

"It's pretty clear how the Cal State system is pretty critical to the large population of people of color that are matriculating though the state of California."

Update 9:30: Where's the environment?

Marcos Trinidad stopped by to chat with us about the debate and the issue he cares most about: Global warming. He said he's been disappointed by the lack of attention the environment's received in the race.

"I feel that one candidate is not even acknowledging it and the other is at least opening up discussion and dialogue that it's a real thing."

When pressed, Marcos said the candidate opening dialogue is Obama, and that Romney hasn't addressed it as an issue. What do you think? 



Update 9:00 am: Seats and mugs filling up

The breakfast crew has arrived, and our reporters are chatting with a number of the Spoon's regulars about what they saw at the debate last night, and what they'll be paying attention to for the rest of the election season. Among several of the breakfasters we've talked to, the military and jobs are top concerns. 

As Take Two gets underway, we're preparing to live several times during the show. Listen in, or come on down!

Update 8:30 am: Jobs. More jobs

Taisha Lafayette chatted with Frank out front of the cafe. She's an Obama supporter, but says she feels less excited this year than she did four years ago, and she's giving Romney a chance.

"Even though I am going to be voting for Obama, Romney had a few key points last night." In particular, she said, Romney's thoughts on the military struck a chord with her - in particular his promise to continue bring troops home from Afghanistan.

"You have a lot of people over there who's been missing their families for a long time," she said.

But, ultimately, what matters, she said, is jobs. More jobs. And that's something she feels the President is just beginning to deliver.

Update 7:50 am: Fish and foreign policy

The Serving Spoon owners J.C. and Angela Johnson spoke with us about their thoughts on last night's Presidential debate, on the election in general, and on the Spoon's specialties. Their thoughts: Obama edged out Romney, get it over with, and try their signature catfish, eggs and grits. 

"I just want it to be over with," Angela said about this year's election. She says she's an Obama supporter, but that it wouldn't be the end of the world if Romney won. At the end of the day, she says, "Everybody just wants to go to work and live peacefully."

Update 7:15 am: The coffee's on, the waffles are waffling. The Serving Spoon's specials this morning: Southern comfort foods including chicken and waffles and catfish and grits. 

The team is setting up for this morning's live broadcast from Inglewood. Come on down and tell us what issues you're concerned about this year!

This will be the third breakfast nook we've reported from in the past few weeks. Last week, we wandered down to Redlands. The week before, we took to Philippes The Original downtown.

You can also record your thoughts on our site (be warned, we may use them on air!)

KPCC is broadcasting live from The Serving Spoon in Inglewood today, and we want to hear from you. As the election nears, what are the issues that are most important to you?

Stop by from 7 a.m. until noon to nosh on chicken and waffles and chat with reporter Frank Stoltze and other KPCC staffers. We'll share your stories through a series of live interviews on-air and again on our website, as part of our "That's My Issue" collaboration with WNYC in New York. 

Can't make it in person? Record or write us online


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