For those who came from every corner of L.A. to City Hall on Monday, something good and positive happened at the Saving L.A. Project’s rally.
There was a feeling of belonging, of being among people like yourself who care deeply about the community they are part of, of being among people who have worked long and hard to make their dreams come true and kept alive their spirit in the face of official resistance and the apathy of so many.
For a couple of hours, they felt hope that they were there at the birth of a movement that finally would bring to life the real spirit of the city — the spirit of the freest place on earth, a place where dreams really can come true.
These aren’t people who dream of wealth or glamor or stardom or the pleasure of libidinal excesses. Theirs are more mundane dreams: Good schools, safe streets, healthy neighborhoods, a good life for themselves and others.
There were in all 200 or so people there, 135 signed up to be part of this people’s coalition. Most of the rest already were involved.
Some in the press counted, or miscounted, the crowd as half that size
and covered its eyes so as not to see the intangible, the invisible,
the good feeling that was felt by people of different neighborhoods,
classes and races hanging out a while and getting to know each other a
I don’t blame them for I practiced their craft
for 44 years and knew all too well that you can never give credence to
what people actually feel. You must always stick to the way it looked
on the outside to someone armored against such a notion. This is
corporate journalism and human beings cannot be credited with a soul
when the corporate culture itself has none.
So the press hides
behind its skepticism but the accounts that were published were fair
enough and leave open the question of whether one person can become 200
and then so many as to stage a popular uprising that can make a
Time will tell. This was only the first small step down a long road and difficult road.
a small first step on the road to making L.A. a great city.
A wise veteran of the struggle for a better city put it simply and clearly: “Revolutions take time, persistence and a lot of hard work.”
is the challenge. We are taking the next step on Saturday afternoon
Aug. 2 at a town hall meeting to everyone at a central location to be
determined in the next day or two.
I don’t know whether we
can rise above the specific issues that trouble us or the specific
agendas that we believe are important and put them in perspective as
part of the larger idea of what this city is or could be. But it’s
worth the effort to me to push forward and see if we can bring to life
the spirit of L.A.
”It’s good to see so many people supporting the centerpiece of the mayor’s agenda.”
about that, think of the consciousness of someone who with a straight
face can declare that the issues that have so troubled the populace for
so long are the mayor’s agenda — not the people’s agenda.
get elected, the mayor made taking over the LAUSD his priority. He
failed at that and the schools are no better than they were, still
stifled by bureaucrats, still fighting against every effort to liberate
the creativity of teachers in the classroom, still resisting parents
and the community taking ownership of their local schools.
mayor can boast he had something to do with the continuing drop in
crime — with the exception of murder — but what is it exactly that he
Chief Bratton who has brought order out of the chaos
within the department was hired by the previous mayor and gangs still
terrorize vast parts of the city. All City Hall can offer is yet
another tax increase without a credible plan to deal with gangs.
there’s a lot of work to be done to take back L.A. but I do believe
that it’s only a matter of time, persistence and hard work.