EDITOR’S NOTE: Here’s links to what the LA Times, Daily News and LA Weekly had to say today about the election.
The turnout for Tuesday’s election actually exceeded all expectations and the final tally might not be known for as much as three weeks with 46,000 ballots still uncounted but one fact is painfully clear: A great divide exists in our city.
My pal Jack Humphreville has looked at the numbers (Here’s a spreadsheet for wonks primarynumbers) and found the mayor actually would have been forced into a runoff if voters in the five richest and whitest City Council districts had their way.
The mayor got less than half the vote in the districts of Greig Smith (36 %), Dennis Zine (43%), Wendy Greuel (44%) and Bill Rosendahl (48%) and 51% in Jack Weiss’ district.
The trend was even more dramatic when it comes to Measure B which was overwhelmingly rejected in the same five council districts: Smith (68%), Zine
(62%), Weiss (60%), Greuel (59%) and Rosendahl (58%).
The contrast is stark when those numbers on Measure B are compared to how voters went in five heavily minority districts of Jan Perry, Bernard Parks, Herb Wesson, Eric Garcetti and Jose Huizar where the No on Measure B campaign got just 25 to 40% of the vote.
The numbers are telling. We are a city divided against itself, a city where 85% percent of the people abdicate their civic responsibilities entirely and where those who care enough to vote are divided by race, class and geography.
The result makes for easy pickings for a political system that has failed to produce a single leader willing and able to rise above their sense of service to self and special interests.
They live off of our differences and exploit them to advantage themselves and those who provide their campaign money and keep them in office with $180,000 salaries, lucrative benefits and perks.
And so year by year, LA becomes like the aging industrial cities back east, eaten away by the loss of good jobs and rising poverty and deteriorating neighborhoods.
To me, a man suffering from an excess of passion and too often given to hyperbole, that’s a crime.
can’t help myself from wondering over and over how otherwise decent and
intelligent people like our elected officials can look themselves in
the mirror in the morning without any sense of shame.
so self-deluded they cannot face the truth? Are they so flattered by
the praise of sycophants, they cannot see how they are doing more harm
We ought to be the greatest city on earth, the
climate, the freedom, the richness of our cultural diversity — a city
where dreams come to life. That’s why so many of us have come here, to
discover and manifest who we really are as people.
LA is a
dangerous place. Our myths of absolute freedom, of reinvention, of
stardom have their perils. Freedom is a risky thing, it’s always a
question of whether we will find heaven or hell by following our
instincts and seeking our destiny.
Everywhere I go on both sides
of the divide I meet people who believe we are at the tipping point, a
point of no return, where we descend into a collective hell, a Blade
Runner world of the rich living luxuriously in protected enclaves and
the masses of poor living in crime-ridden slums.
The election results have given me hope, inspiration that we are at a turning point, not a tipping point.
mayor with his broken promises and his politics above policies was
nearly forced into a runoff by my friend Zuma Dogg. The ineffectual
Jack Weiss, servant of the political machine, is a dead man walking as
he heads into a runoff.
And a grassroots movement of ordinary
people from all over the city rallied behind a cause, worked tirelessly
to defeat the most cynical ballot proposition ever put before LA
voters, the “Green Energy and Good Jobs” Measure B that had nothing to
do with either green energy or good jobs.
It was nothing but a license to steal billions of dollars.
Measure B was a loser on election day because the people of the city rose up against it and revealed the truth.
the cynics don’t understand is that truth is the most powerful weapon
there is. Literally, hundreds of us ordinary people contributed
critical elements to this campaign and as it gained momentum business
and labor and political groups of every persuasion joined in.
won because everyone now knows Measure B was a fraud and there’s a
better way to actually bring solar energy to LA with the full
participation of all the stakeholders, and to do it faster and cheaper.
doesn’t really matter if the final tally shows Measure B won or lost by
a few votes. There is no mandate for it. We are divided down the
middle. What really matters is what we do next.
Measure B was a symbol, a symptom of our malaise, proof of the failure of our city’s leadership.
a miracle happened. We found our leader. It is the people. Jack
Humphreville, Stephen and Enci Box, Soledad Garcia, John Stammreich,
Cindy Cleghorn, Noel Weiss, Chris Rowe, Dan Weisman, the list goes on
It is everyone who gives of themselves for the greater
good, whose sense of selfless service is at least as great as their
sense of self service.
We have only just begun to work for a
greater LA. But we have made a start down a long and difficult road.
The political and civic leadership of the city can stand in our way or
they can join with us.
Right or wrong, for better or worse, I
for one believe this is the turning point and that somehow, some way we
will turn back from the abyss of a city declining into a kind of hell
and make it the city of our dreams.