Antonio, won’t you please come home?
I don’t begrudge you enjoying the perks of office like a totally unnecessary $250,000 junket to Israel paid for with huge rate and fee hikes you imposed on me and my neighbors.
Some of us like myself have lost our jobs; others live in dread of losing theirs. We’re all paying nearly $5 for gas and higher prices to put food on the table, to get our garbage picked up, for water and power for our houses, which are worth two-thirds what they were just a short while ago.
But I got to question why you ran around the country supporting a candidate for president you didn’t even like that much and it pisses me off seeing you jet-setting around to raise millions of dollars from people who want a piece of the action in L.A. — money intended to make next year’s mayoral election meaningless because you chased away the strongest challengers.
Do you really think your job is to be the King of L.A. and our ambassador to the world?
You somehow created a $500 million deficit while the city treasury swelled from one of the biggest housing and economic booms in history.
You promised to take over the failing public school system and turn it around and when your plan fizzled you turned to a backdoor takeover on the back of a previously failed LAUSD superintendent just to save face.
You boast of how violent crime has fallen but the credit goes to the police chief appointed by the previous mayor and to the people of this city who demanded massive reform of a militaristic police force and spent hundreds of millions of dollars to bring it about.
And now you have the nerve to tell us not to wonder why you’re everywhere but here because you’re a big shot mayor of a big time city, not the mayor of “some small town in desert somewhere.”
Actually, a lot of people in L.A. do feel like they live in a small town somewhere in the desert, a neighborhood with a look and feel they like, an identity and sense of place that they’re fighting to preserve against the onslaught of overdevelopment and unplanned urbanization that you and your colleagues are backing.
Don’t get me wrong, I love you, man. I admire your charm and personality, and how you treat everybody like they’re a friend you care about. I know you know what’s the right thing to do.
But we didn’t hire you just so you can party with the cool people and wear expensive suits and drink fine wines. We elected you mayor to do the job for us, to stand up to those who seek only their own advantage.
It’s not enough to run around town sweet-talking us and spinning the truth about what’s happening to the city.
We want leadership to fix our schools, to get traffic moving, to attract good jobs, to make our neighborhoods more livable and more environmentally sensitive. We want the heavy hand of the law to come down hard on the gangsters who rule over so many neighborhoods and we want programs that keep out kids from becoming hoodlums.
We’re fed up with the arrogance of power and the smug pretentions of elites that don’t give a damn about the struggles of the middle class or the people struggling to get to the middle class.
We want a government that treats us with respect and respects our values, not a government that wastes our money manipulating us for the benefit of narrow interests.
We want a seat at the table of power so that our voices are heard and responded to.
Antonio, won’t you please come home and get to work at the job of being mayor and starting fixing what’s broken. Stand up for the people and the people will go to work with you to begin to make L.A. the great city it could become.