Article: Bakewell backs Paparian

By Kevin Uhrich 05/11/2006, Pasadena Weekly

In what appears to be a dramatic break from his once-strong ties to the Democratic Party, Pasadena developer and newspaper publisher Danny Bakewell is throwing his support behind Green Party candidate Bill Paparian in November’s congressional election.

Paparian, a former Pasadena City Council member and a onetime Republican who became a political Independent, is running as a Green Party member for the 29th Congressional District seat currently held by Rep. Adam Schiff.

Garnering Bakewell’s support is no small accomplishment. In the 2000 presidential race, Democratic candidate Al Gore reportedly snubbed area supporters and attended a private fund-raiser for his campaign at Bakewell’s Pasadena home.

The founder of the Brotherhood Crusade civil rights group and the developer of such projects as the heavily city-subsidized Renaissance Plaza project at the corner of Orange Grove Boulevard and North Fair Oaks Avenue, also owns the Los Angeles Sentinel, the largest black-owned newspaper in the western United States.

"Bill has proven himself to be a loyal friend to me personally, to the African-American community and to all people of color,” Bakewell wrote in a prepared statement. “He is a man of commitment and a man of principle."

Paparian said he was “pleased and honored” to have Bakewell’s support.

“Danny Bakewell has been an effective champion for the African-American community for decades,” Paparian said in that same statement.

Paparian, an attorney, also worked to help free Geronimo Pratt, now known as Geronimo ji Jaga, who spent 27 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Paparian hosted a reception for ji Jaga at the Rose Bowl.

Paparian has focused his campaign on immediately ending the war in Iraq and standing up to what he sees as “the remorseless, incompetent, illegal conduct of this administration.”