Whistleblower hotline: (213) 785-6098

Monday, November 01, 2021

Just Say "No," LA

By Daniel Guss

@TheGussReport - Somewhere over the Halloween weekend, the ghost of Nancy Reagan reached out suggesting things to which Los Angeles should once and for all say no, including:

Just say "no" to whatever Mayor Eric Garcetti has left to say

He has held elected office in City Hall since July 1, 2001, when he was just 30.  He is now 50 and LA is in worse condition in virtually every way.  Only Eric Garcetti is the common factor.  Only he remains. 

(Garcetti's appendage, Ana Guerrero, was also along for the ride until recently when she was suspended and stripped of her Chief of Staff title with Garcetti after she was found serially cyber-abusing and harassing people, including iconic local Black and Brown leaders.  While most people would be fired, Garcetti didn't strip her of her $248,000 salary.  What might Guerrero have on Garcetti to be treated so differently?  Does it have anything to do with public records requests made of the LAPD by this column that City Attorney Mike Feuer fought tooth and nail in court to protect from public scrutiny?)

Enough of him.  Basta and arrivederci.

Eric Garcetti
Photo Credit: ABC

Just say "no" to "slavery"

On February 3, 2013, in Super Bowl XLVII, Colin Kaepernick came within five yards and about a minute of pulling off the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history and was rewarded with a $126 million contract extension.  Over the next several seasons, he was at the center of a storm about first sitting and then later kneeling during pre-game playing of the national anthem.

On January 1, 2017, Kaepernick played his last NFL game after a playoff loss and wound up breaking his contract with millions of dollars left on the table.

If nothing else, the man is principled.

Colin Kaepernick
Photo Credit: Netflix

In 2019, after almost three years out of the league, the NFL set up a private talent showcase for Kaepernick and invited all 32 of its teams, but the former quarterback skipped it due to the NFL demand that he sign a liability waiver.  Instead, he put on his own ill-considered talent showcase that did not result in his return.

Now, the abundantly clear theme in his new Netflix series "Colin in Black & White" is that the NFL is the modern-day equivalent of slavery.

One scene narrated by the former star shows young black men in a football training camp environment, then, the same men walk into a re-enactment of an 18th-century slave sale. There is no reason whatsoever to doubt that this analogy is Kaepernick's and co-producer Ava DuVernay's sincerely held belief.  

But if the NFL has all along been the modern-day equivalent of slavery, why spend so much time and energy trying to get back into such an immovable system, especially with skills diminishing each year?  When will the former star start visiting every major college football campus to discourage participation in an extremely dangerous sport with poor remuneration and owners who disregard people of color and instead encourage the players to go into medicine, law, accounting, engineering or tech?   

It will also be interesting to see how many of those college ballplayers agree that the NFL is slavery.

Assuming that Kaepernick reaches out to them.

Just say "no" to ill-advised accessory dwelling units

According to the California Department of Housing and Community Development, Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) are "known by many names: granny flats, in-law units, backyard cottages, secondary units and more. No matter what you call them, ADUs are an innovative, affordable, effective option for adding much-needed housing in California." 

But leave it to the LA City Council to approve them, thus increasing neighborhood density, yet sometimes not resulting in additional affordable housing units on the market.

Take this ADU currently being built on top of the three-car garage of an old garden apartment rental complex which has seen better days.

It is going to become a gigantic two-bedroom, two-bath unit. But instead of creating more affordable housing, it isn't going to hit the market any time soon.  Word has it that the landlord, who presently does not live on the property, will move into it himself.  

So leave it to the predictably inept Nury Martinez-led Council and its Planning and Land Use Management Committee (PLUM) to increase density, increase property value (and jacking neighboring rents) rather than accomplishing the stated goal of bringing more affordable housing to the market.

Way to go.

Just say "no" to the unluckiest guy in LA

At one bustling LA intersection, this poor sap ran out of gas the other day and walked up and down the sidewalk until enough Angelenos coughed up a nice stack of cash, enabling him to buy enough gas to get home to the wife and kids.

The Unluckiest Guy In LA

Fortunately for him, he just happened to have an empty red gas can so motorists pulling up to the red light could throw him a few bucks since nobody deserves a break more than he does since he remarkably keeps running out of gas.....at the same intersection.....for years and years.

And he isn't homeless, either.

Perhaps the woman running into the same awful bad luck streak one major intersection to the east will find generous donors, too.

Just say "no" to child and animal exploitation

Nury Martinez has also jabbered a lot about stopping child sexploitation, but she has done nothing to prevent children and animals from being exploited for panhandling, especially in dangerous, highly trafficked areas with car exhaust filling their lungs.

Nury Martinez

The Council president has been non-responsive when asked about making a law to criminally ban panhandling with children or animals.

In March 2019, I wrote about Martinez and Councilmember Monica Rodriguez ignoring a woman who regularly appears on the Metro Red Line with different children who may or may not belong to her, exploiting them for cash. This unchecked child endangerment has led to verbal confrontations between exploiters and passengers given that LAPD officers, uniformed or not, are never present to address exploitation, dance and music performances or in-your-face sales of snacks and other goods on the subway.

Then there's the issue of families exploiting their children instead of one parent staying indoors with the tiny children, including a baby in this instance, while the other panhandles, works or finds different ways to provide for them. 

Clearly, LA has its share of people in need. But exploiting children and animals in the middle of heavily trafficked streets in all sorts of weather, needs a law explicitly and criminally banning it. 

It only requires political will.  Unfortunately, in LA, political will now begins and ends with Nury Martinez.

To quote the mixed metaphors that Councilmember Gil Cedillo offered last week upon being told of yet another City Hall micro-corruption, "we await it with bated breath" followed by "but don't hold your breath."  Words of wisdom from the man who spent a good share of his time with Morrie "Plea Bargain" Goldman

Maybe we should just say no to re-electing the same tired, disengaged LA politicians.

Now there's an idea to which we can all just say yes.

(Daniel Guss, MBA, was runner-up for the 2020 Los Angeles Press Club journalism award for Best Online Political Commentary (and came in Show in 2021 in another category) and has contributed to CityWatch, KFI AM-640, iHeartMedia, 790-KABC, Cumulus Media, KCRW, Huffington Post, Los Angeles Daily News, Los Angeles Magazine, Movieline Magazine, Emmy Magazine, Los Angeles Business Journal, Pasadena Star News, Los Angeles Downtown News, and The Los Angeles Times in its Sports, Opinion and Entertainment Sections and Sunday Magazine among other publishers. Tell your friends to follow him on The Twitters @TheGussReport.)

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home