It’s easy to make the case for Carmen “Nuch” Trutanich: He’s an experienced and capable outsider running against the lazy and ineffective Jack Weiss who will stooge for the mayor’s political machine that has ill-served the city and its people.
The May 19 runoff election for Council District 5 is more complicated since former West Hollywood Councilman and Assemblyman Paul Koretz is neither lazy or ineffectual but he’s still a man who will do the political machine’s bidding to the detriment of the city as a whole and the problems caused by poorly planned over-development on the Westside and in Sherman Oaks and Encino.
David “Ty” Vahedi is the right man for the job. He is a citizen activist who brings intelligence and knowledge of how the city works to the job and a passionate commitment to serve the people — not the special interests.
Vahedi would become the first Neighborhood Council, residents’ association activist to join the City Council since Ruth Galanter and he would provide the cornerstone for the growing grassroots movement in the city to get a seat at the table of power and begin to bring some common sense to City Hall.
Here’s what the LA Times said today in endorsing Vahedi:
“For an outsider, Vahedi impresses with his encyclopedic knowledge of
even the most obscure zoning regulations, Environmental Quality Act
provisions and parking policies. He is among the breed of homeowner
activists who can match wits and quote Municipal Code passages with any
elected official or bureaucrat…
“The district will benefit from growth, and from a council member who
will work to ensure that inevitable growth occurs with foresight and
with sensitivity to neighborhoods…The Times sees in Vahedi enough understanding of the district’s future to shepherd development that brings positive change.”
Vahedi has the overwhelming support of homeowners and neighborhood activists because he knows the issues and has worked for years like them to preserve their quality of life.
Koretz, in contrast, is bankrolled by the very same interests that are destroying our neighborhoods — developers, billboard companies, public employee unions — the same interests that Jack Weiss did such an able job of representing to the detriment of the community.
Though Vahedi and Koretz have raised about $350,000 for their campaigns and get equal amounts of public financing, Koretz has picked up about $60,000 independent expenditure money from the IBEW, the union that runs the DWP, and the county Federation of Labor.
He has long relied on billboard companies for campaign money: Clear Channel Outdoor, Ace Outdoor, Infinity Outdoor, Patrick Media, Outdoor Systems.
These aren’t exactly good corporate citizens. They are destroying the visual landscape, particularly in CD5, operate thousands of billboards illegally, defy efforts to control billboard blight with endless lawsuits and buy our politicians.
Don’t get me wrong. Koretz is a professional
politician who is smart enough to have ducked a vote on SB 1818 which is being used to densify LA and tailored his campaign pitch to each constituency while engaging in the usual smear tactics that the pros rely on to distract the public from the real issues.
Vahedi is a political amateur who talks about his experiences in fighting City Hall and articulates where he stands on the issues.
He’ll have a lot to learn when he gets into the snake pit of City Hall and will need all the support he can get from community activists across LA.
We don’t need a professional politician in need of an $180,000 a year payday at City Hall and all the perks that come with it. We need someone who will stand up to the political machine and give voice to the anger and frustration that community groups across the city feel.
We need Vahedi to help us open the doors and windows of City Hall and let some fresh air — and the people — in.