LA Weekly’s Daniel Heimpel says activists defeated City Hall and the IBEW with only $74,451 and the effective use of new media. On Twitter, Facebook, and the blogs, Heimpel shouts-out Soledad Garcia, Ken Draper, Ron Kaye, Michael Higby, and others for igniting a resistance that ultimately forced Measure B’s proponents—flush with $1.6MM in I-can-afford-to-ignore-you special interest cash—to respond. … Of course, LA Times and Daily News editorials, along with Doug McIntyre’s advocacy didn’t hurt.
In the wake of defeat, Mayor Villaraigosa’s office has chosen a more conciliatory tone, but the man who really matters, IBEW boss Brian D’Arcy … well, not so much. By the way, you can find NoOnMeasureB, Ron Kaye, and Mayor Sam on Twitter.
Meetings are set for city officials to present an overview of the mayor’s modest congestion relief programs for Olympic and Pico Boulevards. Opponents continue to pedal the argument they developed to stop one-way streets—that small businesses will be hurt—even though plans for one-way streets were scrapped long ago. I drive a 10-mile stretch of Olympic, east from Century City five days a week, and when 3 p.m. parking restrictions were established, the difference was immediate. Traffic flow improved dramatically, and fewer cars now detour down side streets. Give the mayor’s plan a chance to work, won’t you?
It will never again be possible for the forces that created Los Angeles to create another region as unique and interesting. But today, we are threatened with the same soulless future of so many American cities, whose leaders capitulated to the interests of big corporations and New Urbanism. It happened in my hometown, Denver—small cities surrender quickly. Big cities whet the appetites of reinventors not just at home, but abroad … and make no mistake: LA, as the world’s original symbol of backyard sun and leisure, is the ultimate conquest.
Yesterday, you probably read this obnoxious piece by another New Yorker reimagining our city as the clean, orderly, SimCity it was never destined to be. Curbed LA—a blog not known for consistency (between boosterism for Smart Growth and multi-acre Bel Air real estate)—linked to the piece with the headline, “Saving Los Angeles From Becoming a Third-World City” … As if to suggest that a rail network and faux river will rescue us from complete gridlock after City Hall bulldozes our low-rise landscape and invites millions more to move in? I want to believe LA’s fate isn’t sealed, but each day it gets a little harder.