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Monday, December 26, 2005

Reform in Citizens' Hands

Will it ever happen? Not if the bureaucracy has anything to say about it. But two rebels, Assemblyman Joe Canciamilla and Keith Richman are trying anyways. Their plot according to the LA Times:
Under a new proposal, voters chosen at random would form a "citizens' assembly" -- no politicos allowed -- to study California's political system and suggest improvements. Their ideas would pass muster, or not, with all voters at the ballot box.


Blogger joseph mailander said:

What I don't like about the proposal is the double-random round. It makes sense to draw from a large pool randomly---but a jury chooses a foreman after weighing a lot of things, not at random again.

Other than that, I don't see how quality assurance is going to work---how can you get the selected to serve with the high diligence that surveying government would demand? The State would need to hire consultants to facilitate the work effort, and that's where the political fun would start, all over again.

What they need is to draw from a pool that would require minimal consulting going in, but yet is of the citizenry---say, former jury forepeople, or a mix of secular clubs and religious parish/temple council types.

Or, we could just do it ourselves, in the blogosphere---I think we already do.

December 26, 2005 7:51 AM  

Blogger William Mulholland said:

And the goal is to get citizen participation representative of the population by random draw?

And the first "Citizen's Assembly" participants are.... Melrose Larry Green, Mervin Evans, Joe "Graffiti Guerilla" Connally and Ron Unz.

Oh well.

December 26, 2005 9:04 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

We elect people because we think that they have something to offer in terms of expertise in government. I know that elective democracy is an imperfect tool given campaign fundraising problems (support Clean Money Campaign!!) but we need to let people in government do their job. Schwarzeneggar winning on his promise to refund the "car tax" is a prime example of why Joe Citizen should not be calling the shots...

December 26, 2005 10:15 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Can reformists tackle these problems?

-Rent Hike May Force Novel Dome Village to Find a New Home
Los Angeles Times

-Rent hike to force LA dome for homeless to relocate
San Jose Mercury News

-Services center for homeless, addicts draws some opposition

-Down on Skid Row: A number of issues riveted attention on this stretch of missions, homeless encampments and crime east of Los Angeles Street

-ACLU chief gets OK for L.A. homeless post

-Council Considers New Homeless Strategies


December 26, 2005 11:11 PM  

Blogger dgarzila said:

I don't know about you . But if this 1 bilion dollars is targeted as you say it is. All power to the MAyor .

If he can build housing outside of downtown for the homeless and maybe for me too . I would gladly go. But that is, those of us , like myself, who have no immediate family to take care of, or a job that is poverty level , we can afford to move out of downtown. But families , well that is a different story. Will their parents be able to commute?

But hey , if the MAyor can solve homelessness with only 1 billion dollars the way you say it is for, more power to him , I say.

December 27, 2005 12:20 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Me too--I think the bond is a great, long overdue idea. I live in a what used to be a middle class area in the valley, but I've seen three families on my block cash out and move (they couldn't buy back into the market here). The housing crisis is the biggest problem in the city, along with traffic.

December 27, 2005 8:19 AM  

Anonymous noel park said:

As a veteran of School Based Management (SBM), LEARN, my local Neighborhood Council, The Port Community Advisory Committee and, most recently, the Governor's working group on "Goods Movement", I would say this citizens group has a very high exposure to being a waste of time.

At the end of my 5 plus years on SBM, I said that it is a device to give the illusion of public involvement where none actually exists, nor is any wanted.

Unless those proposing this idea have in mind a new way of forcing those in power to actually listen, the results will be essentially nil.

December 27, 2005 8:50 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

This proposal is stupid. Citizens elect representatives to make sound decisions for society.

Why not simply create lottery-style democracy where people are selected at random to represent the public?

Regular citizens don't even know the three bodies of government let alone the more complex issues. The remedial civics classes will take up most of the time for this plan.

December 27, 2005 10:15 AM  

Blogger Archie Bunker said:


If anything floating this bond would increase the property taxes thus creating an even larger gap for Working/middle class families from Buying a home.

December 27, 2005 11:19 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


Any bond $ for homeless issue is as you say more power to the mayor. The problem I see is when homeless are herded as cattle, away from downtown into neighboring family residential areas. Put in a home along with 14 other people to live in inhumane conditions. This is not a long term solution, it's a short term one to appease developers and loft owners in downtown.

Neighboring communities such as Boyle Heights, Highland Park, (HERMON), El Sereno will take these homes with 14+ persons not by choice, but by force.

Residents in these areas don't stay quiet, if a child molester, drug addict is hurting a community member, the people will take actions into their own hands. This movement of homeless creates vigilantes, not good for the city.

December 27, 2005 12:53 PM  

Anonymous noel park said:


If you think that's bad, wait till Arnie (GAS?) passes his $50 BILLION "infrastructure" - "goods movement" - read externalized subsidy to the shipping industry and Target/Wal Mart/Home Depot, et al - bond issue.

December 27, 2005 4:22 PM  

Blogger Archie Bunker said:


I don't see a problem with that bond if especially consider your point on making the ports cleaner, this may be an opportunity to do things such as electricy the Alameda Corridor and have ships plug into harbors to reduce Diesel emmisions. I see this bond as an opportunity to start a dialogue with Arnold on this issue and put your money and rhetoric to where your mouth is.

Plus with the frieght moving through it basically pays for itself. Whereas a bond that is primarily for wealthy developers for "affordable housing" is something that would but a bigger bite in taxpayers wallets.

December 27, 2005 5:09 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:



Free Money???

OH SHIT! This is the NEW WAY to make money in Los Angeles. No longer a poor democrat, yes to a rich bastard.

December 27, 2005 5:23 PM  

Blogger dgarzila said:

look , once the mayor is no longer the mayor he will be oon the speakers circuit. Do you know how much money he will be making. Tons

December 28, 2005 12:25 AM  

Anonymous noel park said:


I have said plenty of times on this blog that the polluters should pay to clean up their pollution and the users of the infrastructure should pay for their infrastructure. If it works that way, fine.

I have recently spent some time on the group GAS has working on "goods movement" issues, and what I see is the same old build it now and clean up the mess later (read never) attitude.

If we can all work together to make sure your suggestions get implemented, the whole thing may be tolerable. If not, the downside is huge.

There is some talk about building these multi-billion dollar projects now with State bonds, and then having the bonds partially paid off through some sort of "user fees". This may be better than outright gifts, but don't forget that there is still a cost involved.

Many question whether the State has the bonding capacity now to float $50 billion in bonds. Even if it does, it will reduce bonding capacity for other needs. It will also almost certainly push up the interest rates the State has to pay for other bonds. So, it would seem that there is a substantial subsidy in the simple act of making the state's interest free bonding capacity available to benefit this industry. How do we factor that in?

December 28, 2005 10:40 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Reform and Richman's name in the same sentence is pretty much a joke.

January 01, 2006 7:44 PM  

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