Nestled in the modest confines of Holman United Methodist Church, a congregation gathered to discuss not gospel, but the final presidential debate and the political issues facing South Los Angeles.
Though for many in attendance Wednesday night, the event was a case of preaching to the choir.
Rev. Kaul Sauls, who has been the senior pastor of Holman United Methodist Church for five years, said that he was there to help facilitate the discussion of the very serious issues facing the United States as well as to gain a better understanding for himself.
"As a congregation," he said, "it is very important for us to provide a safe place for the community to come together to engage in how we can work together and resolve some of the critical issues that face our community, our city, our county, our state, and indeed, our country."
Wednesday night's event – a town hall conducted after the debate – was an effort to bring the South LA community together to discuss how national politics can affect local happenings. In addition, community members discussed state ballot measures most important to them so that voters can make informed decisions.
In terms of local issues affecting the South LA community, LA policy makers spoke to the need for increased awareness surrounding homelessness and criminal justice reform.
Proposition HHH asks LA city voters to approve a bond that would raise money to build housing for the many homeless people living in the city.
LA City councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson said that he supports Proposition HHH.
"We have a crisis of homelessness in the city of Los Angeles and the only way to deal with it is through swift intervention."
Dawson said after the event that he voted for Hillary Clinton and that, if she wins, he expects her to help the community; however, it is up to community members to bring about that change.
"I expect Hillary to have a robust urban agenda," he said. "But it's going to be up to all of us to hold her accountable to that agenda."
LA congresswoman Karen Bass, who also attended, said that homelessness is a huge issue facing South LA and, like Dawson, believes that Clinton will be the one to help improve current conditions for the community.
"The homelessness problem is a local issue," Bass said. "Of course, there's always federal support that's needed to address homelessness. However, Secretary Clinton can move policy only to a limited extent; she has to have a Congress that will cooperate with her."
Voter fatigue was another issue addressed by the lawmakers and event coordinators.
Councilman Dawson emphasized the importance of voting the entire ballot, citing Measure M, which proposes improvements to the South LA transit system; Proposition 55, which proposes extending personal income taxes on people making $250 thousand or more annually and Proposition 57, which proposes increasing parole and good behavior opportunities for people convicted of non-violent crimes.
"In California, we expect Hillary to win by double digits, but things like HHH, things like Measure M, Prop. 55 and Prop. 57 are very important and so it's not only important for people to vote, but for people to vote the entire ballot."
Felicia Slumkoski, a home care provider, said she came to Holman to be accurately informed about the issues and to see if whether she can actually believe all that she's been hearing during this election.
"I wanted to make sure that what I've been hearing is what I've actually been hearing," Slumkoski said. "I filled out my voting papers last night and I'll be happy to be turning them in tonight when I mail them. It's been too much for me; I want it to end."
Rev. Sauls insisted that the heavy lifting is not just up to Clinton and that the voters must take more time in reading through the initiatives, so that local issues are not overshadowed by the decision between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
"Part of the challenge is just helping folks strategize how to deal with this massive ballot," Sauls said. "Going into that booth, we are encouraging folks to be patient, to take their time, think about this as taking a multiple-choice test – start with the ballots and measures you are familiar with and then come back and spend some time on the ones you may not have thought about too much."
Sauls, a South African immigrant, says that he is voting for Clinton and is proud to be making history for the second time as a citizen of this country. When Sauls first immigrated to the U.S. in 2008, he voted for Obama, America's first black president.
"We feel that it is important that everyone knows and understands their vote and that their voice is important."
Be sure to check out our Storify to see what it was like to attend the debate viewing party.