MY TURN-It seems that my last article about "NIMBYISM vs Progress" really hit a nerve – garnering the most negative comments of any piece I’ve done over almost three years! This proves my theory that "we the people" don't act, we react. Perhaps this is because, like the rest of the country, we are so divided that's almost impossible to move ahead.
Someone wrote and suggested where I could still “buy a good buggy whip.” But ladies and gentlemen, change is coming and the best you can do is find a compromise between what you and your opposition want. Of course, we could issue an edict stating that Southern California is closed. But even that will not stop infrastructure renovations along with all the water, air and environmental challenges.
Recently, the Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates sent out a survey to the fifteen city council districts, asking stakeholders to rate the good, the bad and the ugly about living in LA. Amazingly, there was a great deal of agreement from all the Districts that responded.
Neighborhood Councils and City Council members were urged to send the survey out to their constituents and then post it on their websites with links to newsletters. It was also posted on various Facebook pages.
2015 BUDGET ADVOCATES SERVICE REPORT CARD RESULTS
Total Survey Responses: 1809
Top concerns across Los Angeles:
Top three Neighborhood Councils in getting survey results:
Coastal San Pedro – 10.6%
Sunland‐Tujunga – 9.9 %
Harbor Gateway North – 7.5%
954 emails were collected
46 pages of comments were collected
I would have thought that City Council members would jump at the chance to get this kind of information from their constituents, especially when they didn't have to develop the questions, format and tally the answers. But I was wrong. Just for fun I went through each of the fifteen council districts and tallied the results for each councilmember.
The two largest responses came from complete opposites of the City: The Harbor Area and the Northeast San Fernando Valley.
CM Joe Buscaino’s District 15 was the winner by far. His constituents submitted twice as many responses as the number two. All of the NCs in his district participated and Coastal San Pedro NC had the highest participation. Briefly:
71% owned their own home
88% used a car as primary transportation
58% did NOT belong to a NC
54% said they did not feel safe in their community
80% felt they were part of the community
Biggest problems cited were needed sidewalk, alley and street repairs and the lack of homeless services.
CM Filipe Fuentes’ District 7, a district that has been very vocal about its problems, had the second largest number of responses with most of the NCCs participating. Sunland-Tujunga NC gave the most feedback:
85% owned their own home
87% used a gasoline driven car as transportation
58% did not belong to a NC
51% did not feel safe in their neighborhood
75% felt part of the community
The biggest concerns were sidewalk repair, vacant store fronts and homeless services.
The city service that received the highest marks was Fire Protection and Fire Response. Ambulance response was a close second. It's comforting to know that, in spite of all the staffing problems and management questions that exist, Angelenos have a sense of comfort when it comes to part of our emergency services.
Councilmember David Ryu’s District 5 came in a close third in response rates. At the bottom of the list of respondents were Districts 3, 6,8,9 and10. District 10 is the most disappointing since it is represented by Council President Herb Wesson who is chair of the City Council Committee overseeing Neighborhood Councils.
I urge you to really look at the individual 45 questions. You will see that, even though we are thought to be very polarized, the concern about day-to-day living conditions is truly non-partisan.
As always comments are welcome ...
(Denyse Selesnick is a CityWatch columnist. She is a former publisher/journalist/international event organizer. Denyse can be reached at: Denyse@CityWatchLA.com) Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.