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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Open Thread on the State of the City

Mayor Villaraigosa's first State of the City speech is now over. Here's your chance to blog away on what the Mayor had to say. Here is a link to the text of the speech if you need to review it.


Anonymous Anonymous said:

Channel 4 political consultant Jeffe disagreed with his take over of LAUSD. She outlined his points then took them apart.

What I don't understand is why would he praise South LA so much and speak on just that part of the city? Didn't he realize that all the city was watching? Could it be he was afraid of his stance on illegal immigration? Puzzling???

April 18, 2006 6:25 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Mayor did a fantastic job.

April 18, 2006 6:32 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I'm underwhelmed by Jeffe's analysis (as usual). She didn't like the idea of a mayor's council in control of LAUSD because it would just another political body that would get nothing done. But she missed that the members would have proportional representation, meaning that the Mayor of Los Angeles would have the controlling interest as the largest City. The details would have to be worked out, but the council of mayors is necessary to give the other cities a role, while ultimately giving the power to the Mayor of LA.

April 18, 2006 8:18 PM  

Blogger Mayor Sam said:

We all remember Shirley (uh, Sherry). She doesn't (LA)Observe any blogs other than Roderick's nor know them from Adam.

April 18, 2006 8:23 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Here's my take, from watching. I am neither a professional AV-basher or lover, and I advise folks on speeches for a living.

It was a pretty good choice to be out in the community. The backdrop was okay, but it didn't read great on tv. The words behind him were cut off (did nobody frame the shot ahead of time?!?), so you couldn't see the theme ("accelerating our ambition"--more on that later) very well. It was kind of an imitation George W. backdrop, but the font was very thin, the framing bad. Also, there were pictures of AV smiling and doing leadery things behind him. These might have been good live, but looked really bad on television. You never want to have a politician have multiple faces in the same shot, for, well, obvious reasons. It was bizarre to see a live AV face with a static AV face behind in some of the cutaway angle shots.
AV, visually. Remember this stuff is arguably more important that what he said as the images and framing is what people will remember, not the words. He had a good tie, good suit, good tie knot on. He looked a little overmade up and seemed to be dripping wet on tv. I was watching on an HDTV (though I don't think the broadcast was HD) and he looked like his lip was melting. Someone should have cranked up the airconditioning as it made him seem nervous.

Cadences: AV spoke in a new tone. It mostly worked for me--less halting than his inauguration speech, but felt kind of like he was walking in a new pair of shoes. He was almost forcing a more upbeat tone and he kept coming off sounding like the cadence was Texan or Southern or something (not his accent, but his cadence). Maybe he has been working with a speech coach. At its best, it was more enthusiastic than he can be sometimes, at its worst, it was a little sing-songy.

Applause--this is the toughest thing to time in a speech. He seemed to be real slow on tv, which means he was probably pausing for a lot of applause lines. You have to cut those off and remember that your audience is in tv land, not in the gym of that school. But I'd rather have him speak too slow than too fast.

Content: Not bad. A bit all over the place, but AV is a bit all over the place. The education part was ballsy, direct, and good (if somewhat incomprehensible from a policy perspective). Let's do the part before the schools:

Nice, confident opening--reached out to President Garcetti and the council, recognized past mayor Riordan (I guess Hahn's invitation didn't arrive), and had a good greeting the masses walk up to stage. The langugage bordered on pretentions beyond what a State of the City speech should be about (he referenced the constitution as if he were giving a State of the Nation address), and the buildup took too long, but he gave off a good feeling and confidence in general. Seemed in control.

His laundry list of initiatives was good--he could have personalized things more by talking about real Angelenos (it seemed a bit removed from the every day people he kept referencing in referring to South LA, but as the saying goes, show us, don't tell us). Nothing too new on the list, but a good list nevertheless.

The overall theme I found weak. "Accelerating our Ambitions" (a play on words since he was at a school called The Accelerated School) is a tough one to digest. It is too clever and too vague. If you are mostly talking about taking over the schools to get results, you should have that be the theme in a concise and really straightforward way. If you are looking for a more general theme, this is fine, but who isn't into accelerating our ambitions (maybe he was talking about his own political career ;-0)? Remember most people can only take away one or two themes and they have to be very specific.

That said, folks would have to be asleep not to take away the main part of the speech: school takeover. This was done very nicely. AV, though he really began to sweat during this part of the speech (see above)--and someone should have gotten him something better than a bottle of water with a twist-off cap--that ain't very mayoral--he laid out his ambitions nicely. Apparently there was an earlier briefing for the press about what his plan acutally is, but he laid out some good, clear principles. When he spoke about teachers and parents he was at his best. It was weird when he said that he lived with a teacher (he should have named his wife and not made it sound like he has a gay teacher friend named Bob who lives in his basement), but this part is where he really cut the teachers union's legs out from underneath them. Where was his wife, by the way? I didn't see her or the kids (he was very good about this during the campaign to blunt any family man related criticism, but he should always keep them close).

The plan is not a coherent one, and the superintendent was on a tear about it afterwards (IMHO, he and the board always sound a bit shrill and defensive about their jobs--the only way to attack AV's plan is to attack AV, which none of them have the balls to do so far. Sure, it will drag you down, but it is the only way to srag him down, too, and as long as he is popular, the plan will move foward). Anyway, where was I...oh yes, so the plan isn't particularly inspiring or coherent (uniforms, charter schools, etc.), but AV delivered it very well. As I said, no one will remember the words, but he gave you the impression that he was passionate, confident, and ready to go (if somewhat sweaty).

There's my five cents. I give him a B+.

April 18, 2006 8:36 PM  

Blogger Mayor Sam said:

Oh Sherry

April 18, 2006 8:42 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Blah, blah, blah. . .

Promise the dolts anything -- even saying you'll serve a full 4-year city council term (ending in 2007) and not run for mayor.

Promises are easy when you don't ever plan to deliver (and don't have a clue how to make it happen). . . The more, the bigger, the better the lie.

And Miss America will help us all attain world peace if her swimsuit doesn't ride up too far into her ass crack.

Blah, blah, blah. . .

April 18, 2006 10:32 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Nick is that you?

Leave it alone; HE is the MAYOR and you're not...

April 19, 2006 8:32 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I Believe the school plan sucks, I believe AV wants to be education directorate of all peoples; I Believe no one in their right mind would give the Mayor of LA 80% say in all school issues above other cities needs and ideas. I Believe giviing each citiy their own school board budget, based again on the 80% slant of LA AV education dictator, will skew funding to smaller districts. I Believe AV is a one termer.

April 19, 2006 9:02 AM  

Blogger Archie Bunker said:

Anyone should see that these plans of his make no sense and will further add to the bureaucratic nonsense that's plaguing it now. More pay for play! Haven't wwe learned our lesson the first times.

If he were serious about education reform, without any "plees" for state legislation, he should propose a city bond to issue School vouchers for residents. Instead of these other bonds and tax increases which would better trimmed with you know allocating more in the budget for hiring officers and road repair and reduce the pay increases to the public officials.

That would be like giving hard working homebuyers a tax break because they can spend it on better and more efficent school services thus making LAUSD, have to actually WORK to improve education Not test Scores!

Or continue what he's doing for Monica, endorse members to represent the school board that share your interests.

Parent's getting more involved with their kids education. Gee, that shouldn't take almost 18 months of campaigning to figure that one out! I figured that one out after I passed gas driving by Belmont school. They already exist, they're called PTA's, for cryin' out loud! AV should be working and making allies to set up more neighborhood PTA's in the Inner Cities.
Do you see many PTA's in the inner cities? Hell, No!

I bet you the school board would get it's act together if PTA's got organized in those areas much like Neighborhood councils. This would actually streamline government and make residents AND politicians accountable for their actions. Now THAT's reform!

April 19, 2006 10:10 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Wanna be the "mayor???" Act one one, not some shill for bogus "progressive" plans.

Fix something, damn it.

April 19, 2006 10:22 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Latino mayors in L.A. are ALWAYS one-termers.

April 19, 2006 10:23 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I'm glad the Mayor has a plan to improve education in Los Angeles. There is no perfect plan, but his plan is ambitious, and won't likely make things worse.

April 19, 2006 11:01 AM  

Blogger Archie Bunker said:


Oh no?

Wait awhile you'll see.

April 19, 2006 1:12 PM  

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