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Monday, December 22, 2008

What About Being For Something?

In his latest piece at CityWatch publisher Ken Draper catalogs a number of grass roots "victories" across the City; that a sleeping giant has been woken from a slumber to take charge of it's destiny here in Los Angeles.

Yet almost all of the victories Draper celebrates are about being against something; not really anything about creating a larger vision for LA's future; more so about hanging on to a past that doesn't exist anymore.

For sure, some of the things Draper discusses such as recent victories by residents of Sunland-Tujunga over Home Depot and some early victories over DWP shadiness are good things.

Yet is LA just about maintaining the status quo or will it be about reinventing itself into a first class city?

Our efforts should be about renovating our neighborhoods, providing economic opportunity and empowering shut out residents like immigrants (from other countries as well as other US states) and young adults who will ultimately be in the charge of the place a lot longer than Mayor V or any of the various community leaders around town.

Though there's a lot more noise on the neighborhood circuit these days and more folks are talking to each other than before, there is still a serious disconnect. Both the politicians and the people are tuned out, many of us live in communities where we have absentee Council members and few people vote; those who do re-elect the same shady politicians and continue to pass bond measures and new taxes without much thought to what they're doing.

We have a lot more to do to engage LA's silent majority and perhaps, doing something other than being against Wal-Mart and homes with great rooms might be one way to pique their interest.

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Anonymous Anonymous said:

I agree with your observation on the small part of the voters that actually makes the trip to the polls. Yes, they are the ones that put the mark next to the "Yes" on the bonds. They mark their vote for the incumbent, or where no incumbent, make their choice for the candidate that laid out the slickest and most plentiful propaganda barrage leading up to election day.

The hopes of Tony V. (and his staffers) will be that these voters will be the majority come March. They want the votes to come from the uneducated and uninformed because those really are the ones that suck up all that fantasy of what a good candidate he is. For that type of voter, they would not be expected to know much more about issues beyond the headlines.

This is the target audience when you have no merit on your side, but lots of money. "They have nice ads, so they must know what they are doing," may be the closest thing to voter scrutiny applied to the candidate. For an incumbent, it might be, "Well, everything could be worse, and I think they are doing the best anyone can do," that lets a meritless office-holder retain his (or her) post.

It's too sad that there is a big part of the election outcomes that are swayed by the voters who might as well use a roulette wheel to make their choice for all the thought that goes into the decision. This needs to change either by getting these voters informed, or, by getting more informed voters to actually vote, or, ideally, by both approaches.

You won't see any debate from Tony unless it were possible for someone else to operate Tony like a marionette with a little ventriloquism thrown in for good measure. Tony has no debate skills, and spontaneity in speech is his enemy. The ad lib, off-the-cuff blather betrays him. Overall, any attempt by Tony at facing up to an issues-based discussion would very likely produce fatal wounds to his candidacy.

Tony is either overly glib (shallow and trite) while he tries to make nice, or, he's very convoluted (hiding the truth) when it's time for business. If you ever bother to listen to what he says, these really are the qualities to his contribution to the verbiage. If anything makes sense, it's due to reading a prepared statement or some heavy prepping with a script- but the real Tony bleeds through all that veneer.

He needs to be a one-term mayor.
That is why I think it's important to work on more communication to fellow voters to overcome that old adage, "If something is said enough times, it will be taken for the truth" or something along those lines. Get actual truth out there to defeat him, and there's lots of material of Tony's doing to bury himself with.

Zuma 2009 supporter in CD-14
(former 2001 Tony supporter- but "never again")

December 22, 2008 11:34 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

This article really gave me a good laugh! What about being for something??? I'll tell you what Special Order 40, GANGS, Villar, the Gang of 15, the teacher's union and SEIU labor union, Nahai, Cortines, Delgadillo, and THE MILLIONS OF ILLEGALS and illegitimate anchor brats!

And this is just for openers!

How in gawd's name could you ever expect LA to be a world class city when it is now a third world cesspool??? Give me a break!!!

BTW...the only thread holding this city together...the baby boomers...are ALL planning to move out of LA when they retire! Myself included!!!

One more thing: LA is no place to raise a family; no place to own a business; and no place to live as a retired person. So...what's good about LA??? NADA!

December 23, 2008 8:32 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

If you haven't figured it all out yet, Mayor Sam, by the fact that every candidate and cause you support goes down to horrendous defeat at the polls, let me enlighten you.

You and the few dozen whining bloggers here are not part of any "silent majority" in L.A. You're all part of the noisy, misguided minority.

You have every right to say and believe whatever you want to, but any attempt to paint yourself as part of the slumbering giant that is today's L.A. is just silly.

Grow up and smell the masses, because you ain't one of them.

December 23, 2008 9:55 AM  

Blogger M Richards said:

Before we restart building in the area, we must stop over building all of the area.

We aren't able to return to smarter development practices because we never had them in the first place.

The list of projects that were listed and many that were left out demonstrates a larger area of grass roots organizations which are not demanding a complete and permanent stoppage to all development. We are just looking for some real planning to take place and be provided with the best opportunities for development that is best for everyone and not just greedy developers, their lobbyist friends and folks like Tony and others in government.

When the world around wannabe mega-developer Bob Bisno comes crashing down on him, like it has lately, it signals to other wannabe mega-developers that this is not the time to put forth overdevelopment proposals and expect those of us in the greater L.A. area to sit back and just watch from the sidelines.

It is certainly not that we hate all development, but everyone needs to finally come to terms that we are continuing the cycle of overdevelopment of our neighborhoods and infrastructure during a time they are already challenged by overdevelopment that has gone on for decades.

Let's all take some moments, especially while the horrible economy has given us the opportunity, to really rethink developments in the L.A. Basin.

Perhaps in a few years, we will have gained more control over over-developers, lobbyists, and elected-but rarely serve government un-representatives.

Now that we have the time and real need to stop and think, I believe we should

December 23, 2008 10:12 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The idea of being "for" something will have to be following behind being "against" things, as the later posts seem to be fatalists.

Be "against" the current CMs and Mayor for starters. The developer's continued push has been using the CMs and Tony as tools for their interest, with a few crumbs tossed their way to ensure that they do not stray from the course.

Being "for" something, besides just wanting changed condition, will have to include being for new politicians. They would be often criticized as not having experience, but look at what you have now.

CM Huizar is my most convenient example, though not the only one. He runs for office and says he has all the experience in leadership with LAUSD- not just a "member," but as the "President." THAT should have been the "red flag" if you have even a mild knowledge of LAUSD's history of waste and mismanagement. Using LAUSD for an attestation of leadership qualities AND PERFORMANCE (?) was an interesting campaign booster that worked, and really just getting no scrutiny at all.

And for all Jose's experience, he snubbed the voters in his last campaign by refusing a debate with challengers. He said that he was going to win anyway, so why bother? BECAUSE, Jose, the voters deserved THAT YOU demonstrate WHY you think you are deserving and not simply entitled to receive their vote, and BECAUSE the voters deserve some respect, NOT contempt for their "I'm-painted-me-into-the-corner" lack of choice. (You have that same strategy being used now by his boss, Tony "No Debates For Me- I might mess it up" Villaraigosa.)

But you see that ALL experience does not necessarily count for being "qualified" for an office and maybe we need someone untainted. I forgot to include that Jose was "approved" by Mayor Tony as successor to CM in CD-14 that Tony fled, mid-term, for the Mayor's carrot dangling on the stick. (Some odd but apt imagery; it still applies- and maybe by more sordid-type images.)

Some of that picture of unsavory political ties shows why one might be "DISQUALIFIED" for an office.

Electing new candidates to office would be a start, in place of the current "musical chairs" going on. We need to break that chain. At least there's a CHANCE that they are not already bought and paid for as the entrenched incumbents are.

Mayor Tony's spinners would like to ride his bandwagon for a few more miles, so there's nothing in it for them if a change comes, so the blogs get a lot of views from that perspective. For those who believe there's no hope (and that IS the going to be the case with a Tony re-election) so they will just move out of L.A., what can you say? Bye?

Still in CD-14

December 24, 2008 10:21 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

You are not seriously suggesting that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is responsible for the over-development in the City of Los Angeles, right?

I cannot tolerate that level of stupidity.

Developers were running this town when AV was in pre-school. Rag on him for something else if you want, but over-development isn't such a good place to start.

Not much has been built in the last three and a half years.

December 26, 2008 4:29 AM  

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