Editor’s Note: The Saving L.A. Project will hold a Town Hall meeting on Saturday Sept. 6 at 1:15 p.m. at the Charo Community Development Center, 4301 Valley Blvd., in the El Sereno neighborhood, following the 10 a.m. meeting of the L.A. Neighborhood Council Coalition. The goal is to form action teams to organize, research and advocate for community interests citywide. Get involved, make a difference.
We already know with certainty that Obama will win all 55 of California’s electoral college votes in November, that the odds are 100 to 1 against any congressional or legislative seats changing hands and that the public will be deluged with tens of millions of dollars in campaign ads to support higher taxes.
What we don’t know is if there will be a state budget by then and if there is, how disastrous will be the consequences to the quality of our lives and our future hopes.
But even the dark cloud of the state government’s grotesque incompetence has a small bright side, it seems.
Mayors of California’s nine biggest cities complained to the governor yesterday that the proposed cuts in funding the cities will “
away all money from redevelopment programs which would ‘threaten to
undermine one of the key tools that cities have to grow the economy,’” the Daily News reported.
Think about it, what community protests, lawsuits and common sense has been unable to achieve is being accomplished by the bunglers in the state legislature who have shattered all records with there inability to come up with a budget to deal with the $15.2 billion hole they somehow created during one of the state’s greatest economic booms.
If Mayor Villaraigosa and his counterparts are to be believed — and that’s a big if — cutting off billions of dollars to the cities, will stop or at least slow development.
I don’t know about the other cities but when Antonio signs his name to a letter saying he’s worried about economic growth, I have to laugh. Since when is growing the economy the goal of City Hall in L.A.?
If it really was the goal, wouldn’t the city be taking steps to make it attractive to business and industry?
The truth is the city encourages retail projects with its low-paying jobs and housing construction because of the quick payoff in revenue to the city treasury — the monster that eats the public’s wealth to provide subsidies to billionaires and salaries and benefits to city workers that far exceed what’s available in the private sector.
The goal of city government is city government itself — not the improvement of the city or the lot of its residents. That’s why rates, fees and taxes keep soaring and city services get worse. That’s why there’s a 75-year backlog in paving streets and sidewalks, why there aren’t enough cops on the street, why the pipes and power grid are neglected, why good-paying jobs and the people who filled them have been making an exodus for a generation.
Not only is City Hall the safest building in L.A. in an earthquake thanks to a $350 million renovation, jobs at City Hall especially those of the politicians are the most secure as well.
They pander to the agenda of the unions and sell out to developers, contractors and consultants to get the campaign cash and support needed to keep the system from ever changing.
And it’s not like Villaraigosa or Councilman Herb Wesson — both former state Assembly speakers — ever did anything about the long-term failure of state government which they now are so worried about impacting local government funding.
this decade with tax revenue rolling in, the state has spent itself
deep into debt, and now can’t come to decisions on how to even get
through this fiscal year which is more than two months old.
gridlock starts, of course, with gerrymandered legislative districts
that ensure only liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans can get
elected. Both parties like it that way but what’s good for them is
disastrous for the state.
The governor who must have played too
many military parts in the movies given his proclivity to make
about-faces in his policies wants a full 1 percent increase in the
sales tax along with cuts in spending for schools and cities.
Democrats want even higher taxes and want to soak the rich to do it.
The Republicans want none of the above, just the elimination of
government itself — except for the prisons.
So what are we to do? Arnold wants us to write our legislators and tell them we’re fed up and not going to take it anymore.
have the power. I alone can’t do the lifting.” Wasn’t he a weightlifter
in a former life? I guess he was just a muscle-bound body beautiful.
I only see two options: Move to Oregon like so many others have done or get involved in doing something about it.
voting for elected officials is a fixed game and they don’t give a damn
about your emails and letters for the most part, that only leaves
taking action. That’s why activists of various beliefs are getting
involved in community groups and the Saving L.A. Project.
learned the last few months it isn’t easy but if we do use the tools of
getting ourselves organized, researching the issues, tracking
developments, and supporting each other with advocacy teams, we can
start to make a difference.
As we affect policy decisions, the
organization will grow in numbers and strength to the point that we
would have the power to decide the outcome of elections. If we can do
it in L.A., we can do it in California.
If anybody has got a better way, let me know. This is the best I can do.