“Success Isn’t Getting Out of the Hood”

California State Assembly candidate Prophet Walker sees his district—which includes Carson, Compton, North Long Beach, Wilmington, Willowbrook, and Watts—differently

Age: 26
Occupation: Construction engineer and consultant
Why he’s running to represent the California State Assembly’s 64th District (Carson, Compton, North Long Beach, Wilmington, Willowbrook, and Watts) on November 4:“Its demographic is 62 percent Latino and 25 percent African American—the hardest-hit areas in poverty, education, and justice systems. Residents no longer want their children incarcerated. They appreciate my story.”
How his story (Walker was sentenced at age 16 to six years in prison for breaking a man’s jaw) took a Hollywood turn when he met Scott Budnick, producer of The Hangover: “Budnick was my teacher at Inside Out Writers, which gives children in juvenile halls an opportunity to vent through creative writing. I was on my way to prison, and optimism was slipping away. I told him, ‘I’m not a criminal. I should be in college.’ He said to stop crying and do something.”
How earning an engineering degree from Loyola Marymount inspired him to run for office:“I would go home and see the blight. I could’ve stayed in engineering and donated to a nonprofit. But success isn’t getting out of the hood; it’s reinvesting in the community.”