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 'A PROMISE IS A PROMISE'

Special to CityWatch: Can Jorge Ramos Save The American Immigrant Dream?

Tony Castro
TONY CASTRO’S LA- President Barack Obama’s disappointing failure to champion immigration reform, what The Washington Post called his “immigration train wreck,” may be the consummate example of the failure of the Obama presidency on Latino issues. It is also a tell-tale sign of the potential trouble the Democratic Party could find itself in…

Museum Row’s Billion Dollar Block Party

Tim Deegan
EXCLUSIVE TO CITYWATCH--City planners, developers, community members and other stakeholders are having a block party in the Miracle Mile: no champagne but plenty of stress served to order, depending on who you're aligned with. Issues with development: take a seat. Raising hundreds of millions of dollars for development, take several seats. Here…

What Is It About The Homeless That Makes Us So Angry?

Bob Gelfand
GELFAND’S WORLD--It was a long public hearing at my neighborhood council the other night. Outraged, obviously frightened homeowners were pitted against advocates for the homeless. At least that's how it started, but it's not how it ended. It's curious, but in this contentious culture of ours, it turned out to be possible to have a meeting of the…

Kill the Transit Tax, Kill the Olympics

Ken Alpern
ALPERN AT LARGE-You know, it's indeed possible that there will be enough voters who won't remember (or care about) the current shenanigans and budget games in the City of LA--enough to allow a 2/3 vote to pass a new sales tax measure in November 2016. Then again, maybe enough voters will remember, and the initiative will (like its predecessor…

Headlines Don’t Lie – LA Needs Leadership

Dennis Zine
JUST THE FACTS-I’m talking to you as a man who policed Los Angeles streets for over 30 years and established policy for another 14 years -- two years as an elected Charter Reform Commissioner and 12 years as an elected Los Angeles City Councilman. Take a look at the latest Los Angeles News and Breaking Headlines. They tell a frightening story…

Airbnb Just Floats by the PLUM Committee

Tony Butka
THE CITY-I was going to do my usual flip and cynical kind of a piece on the Airbnb hearing, but the issue is too important, and just maybe, all is not lost. The Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee hearing was scheduled in the Public Works Hearing Room, but so many people attended that they had to move it to City Council Chambers…

Bikeshare Comes to Los Angeles … Sort Of

Richard Risemberg
WAITING ON LA--Here’s photographic confirmation that bikeshare has arrived in LA: Not the City of Los Angeles, though; not quite yet. That’s a live bikeshare station in Santa Monica, on Main Street, next to one of the two bike corrals that grace the block south of Ashland. (There’s another and very busy bike corral two blocks north.) This is a…

The Summer of My Discontent ... LA Version

Denyse Selesnick
MY TURN--I think there is such a thing as the "Dog Days of Summer" since my usual sunny disposition ... glass half full demeanor ... seems to be out of sorts of late. There is a litany of things that are annoying me, aside from the heat. I am disappointed in our local government ... not all of them, but a majority. Like many of you I studied the…

Marilyn Who? Ask Councilman Krekorian or Mayor Garcetti

Richard Lee Abrams
PRESERVATION POLITICS-Who doesn’t like Marilyn Monroe? Councilmember Krekorian, that’s who! Why else would Councilmember Paul Krekorian support the demolition of one of the most significant homes of Marilyn Monroe? With the blessings of Mayor Garcetti, who believes in eradicating as much of Hollywood’s history as possible, and with the support of…





Record Breaking! Josh Groban sings Trump


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The Seventeen-Percent City Hits Charlotte

MAILANDER ON POLITICS - The bad news is that the top civic leadership in Los Angeles is so disinterested in Los Angeles that they all went to Charlotte this week.

And the good news is that the top civic leadership in Los Angeles is so disinterested in Los Angeles that they all went to Charlotte this week.                    

There was our Mayor, applying stupid anti-democracy tricks on the unsuspecting national Democrats.  
It was a bad enough blow to local democracy that the LA Times completely bought into him in 2009, at the deliberate exclusion of all other opponents.

You would think he might have been humbled by the close call he experienced while shutting the democratic process down as best he could, in order to squeak by vastly outfunded and outpublicized noncelebrity candidates like Walter Moore, Phil Jennerjahn, David Hernandez and Zuma Dogg.

But no—over the past three years, Villaraigosa hadn't learned a thing about grass-roots democracy, it turns out.

When a convention floor fight broke out over whether or not to include the words "God" and "Jerusalem" in some—any—part of the Democratic Party platform, Villaraigosa took the matter to a voice vote—and ruled that two-thirds of the voice was behind inclusion, despite profound acoustic evidence to the contrary.

In the words of David Atkins: "Roberts Rules of Order gives the power of determining the outcome of a voice vote to the Chair. If the Chair cheats the outcome, the only recourse is an 'Objection to the Ruling of the Chair'...The problem here, of course, is that such an objection is only possible if the Chair recognizes the objector from the floor before moving to other business ... And that, in turn, gives the Chair of a scripted convention near-dictatorial power to overrule the will of majority."

While it's no surprise to locals that the Mayor allowed himself to be used as a willful tool of the Democratic National Committee in stomping a “small-d” democratic grassroots movement yet again—he’s now done it not only in opposing mayoral candidates but also to Occupy LA too—it was indeed a surprise to see former City Council President and mayoral hopeful Eric Garcetti posting photos on Facebook dedicated to demonstrating to our remote burg how important he is nationally.

Early in the week (after organizing a sidewalk-examination junket that will cost the city $10 million over three years, when neighborhood councils or the DWP meter readers might have done it in a few weeks for free), Garcetti touted himself at the big dance as “Vice Chairman of the Rules Committee.”  

But then the Rules had their Villaraigosa meltdown moment, and suddenly Garcetti was touting himself as “Chair of Democratic Municipal Officials.”

I have to confess I don’t know precisely what these committees do—and we never heard from Garcetti what they do either—but these convention blasts from the man who would be Mayor were not meant to inform.  No they were meant to say: “I’m here, I’m titled, I'm important, and never mind what I’m doing on your nickel.”

Then there was the obliging, fawning bow to local scribes.  “Good to see so many L.A. reporters here in Charlotte -- this election is key for LA as we work to turn around our economy,” Garcetti wrote to Facebook fans on Tuesday as the Convention opened.  Which indeed seems the whole point of our locals breaking bread in Charlotte rather than fixing potholes on Cahuenga: to get in front of as many fawning publicists as possible.

But what were those reporters doing as the Convention unfolded?

Democrats across the country were astonished to see that the Thursday edition of the Los Angeles Times failed to run an above-the-fold story about Bill Clinton’s speech to the Convention.

They were similarly flabbergasted to observe Times editorial “writer” Jon Healey tweeting junk like “@SandraFluke wants president to be Denouncer in Chief. More than a full-time job” and “This portion of #DNC2012 brought to you by Margaret Atwood.”

Only mad dogs and libertarians could pick up the ditsy contempt signals Healey and the Zell-scrambled news page have expressed for Democrats in half-baked twaddle like this.  It’s not a wonder real unemployment in the city exceeds the typical number of citizens who vote.

That our former paper of record has squandered its superior, legacy-based local political access on condescension and snarky tripe—snarky tripe pitched to frequencies only canines can hear—is especially sad, given the real opportunities for candor afforded by our local Democrats in Charlotte.

And certainly, as the locals hit the campaign trail, and ditch the city through November, we can count on more crazy sidewalk escapades, escalating incidents of police brutality while nobody's watching, and dangerous potholes to linger at least through these next sixty days.

But what right do we have to complain about a thing? After all, only 17% of us vote these doorstops in—typically on the recommendation of the local flunkey newspaper, which mostly looks the other way when making its recommendations.  This scarcely sounds like democracy at work--as usual.  

Maybe the city even runs a little better when they're gone--it's hard to say.

(Joseph Mailander is a writer, an LA observer and a contributor to CityWatch. He is also the author of New World Triptych and The Plasma of Terror. Mailander blogs at www.josephmailander.com.)
-cw




CityWatch
Vol 10 Issue 72
Pub: Sept 7, 2012



 

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