KBLA Talk 1580 is gearing up for its election coverage of heated races making news with a Public Safety Forum, designed to provide a place to discuss politics for Black voters.  First up, incumbent Sheriff Alex Villanueva will face off with his challenger, former Long Beach Chief of Police Robert Luna from 7 to 9 p.m. on Monday, September 12, 2022, in front of a live KBLA Talk 1580 listening audience of 200 invited guests.  

Moderated by media personality Tavis Smiley, he’ll be joined by radio hosts Dominique DiPrima, Angela Reddock-Wright and Nii-Quartelai Quartey, who also serves as KBLA Talk 1580’s chief national political affairs analyst. The trio will pose tough, probing questions to the candidates. The Public Safety Forum will be live streamed on  KBLA1580.com as well as KBLA’s YouTube channel and Facebook page with an encore broadcast to air on KBLA Talk 1580. 

A new poll by UC Berkeley, co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Times, shows that Luna has a slight edge over Villanueva – 31 to 27 percent among L.A. County voters.  During the KBLA Talk 1580 Public Safety Forum, Villanueva and Luna will be expected to share their thoughts on questions, like: 

·       How will you make all Angelenos safer?

·       What are your thoughts on the sheriff becoming an appointed rather than elected official? 

·       What is your position on the ballot initiative to give the Board of Supervisors the power to fire an elected sheriff?

·       And how would you deal with the appearance of anti-Blackness in the LA County Sheriff’s Department, especially since both finalists are LatinX, and the department is now 52 percent Latino? How will this be addressed, if elected?

The KBLA Talk 1580 Public Safety Forum is co-sponsored by the LA Urban League, the Empowerment Congress and Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC/SC).

“We intend for KBLA Talk 1580 to be the election information station for our audience. We will be covering all of the local, state and national elections that matter to our listeners,” said Tavis Smiley. “This particular sheriff’s race is perhaps the most hotly contested in some time, and we are appreciative that the candidates have agreed to speak to our audience directly.”  

Smiley, radio host and owner of KBLA Talk 1580, launched the city’s first and only “Unapologetically Progressive” talk radio station for the African American listening audience just one year ago on Juneteenth 2021. KBLA Talk 1580 serves an audience long ignored by talk radio in LA – namely, people of color and progressives. Interestingly, KBLA 1580 AM is a heritage station and the original home of the iconic Hip-Hop station KDAY.

Recently, an independent survey found that KBLA Talk 1580 is the “most trusted, credible and reliable source of information” for African Americans in Los Angeles. In a fiercely competitive radio market, the findings 

are a big win for Smiley.

EVITARUS shared its findings from a survey of 400 Black/African Americans in the Los Angeles media market (June 4-12, 2022) revealing their habits and attitudes toward the media landscape and trusted sources of news and information. The independent survey found that KBLA Talk 1580 fills a void in providing relevant programming and content to the Black community. Furthermore, in comparison to other talk stations in LA, Smiley’s KBLA consistently emerged as “the station of choice” for the African American listener. EVITARUS is a widely respected public opinion research and public policy consulting firm based in LA. Visit EVITARUS.com

KBLA Talk 1580 is helmed by Smiley of Smiley Audio Media, Inc. Elston Howard Butler runs the day-to-day operations as president and general manager of the station as well as president and COO of the holding company, Smiley Audio Media, Inc. 

The studios of KBLA Talk 1580 are located in historic Leimert Park, directly adjacent to Destination Crenshaw’s “Sankofa Park,” a 1.3 mile open-air museum along the new Crenshaw/LAX Metro rail line, presently under construction.