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“We Shall Not, We Shall Not Be Moved”

What’s going on in LA is a calamity of historica proportions — not the kind that causes catastrophic destruction like the day the levees broke in New Orleans. But the kind that just as surely damages a city physically and spiritually like a slow water torture.

Maybe that’s why I’ve spent the day watching City Council members prattle mindlessly and ignorantly about the city’s finances, posturing and preening as if they were both blameless for what has happened and had any answers on how to fix what they have broken.

The dark side of my soul took over and all I could see was the bleak outlook for the city I love if left in the hands of these foolish and selfish people.

And then I listened to the good and decent people, who unlike the nation’s highest paid and most pampered city officials, give their time and energy out of love, not money, to make their neighborhoods and their city better, appeal for a small measure of sanity.

They came before the Board of Neighborhood Councils for a special meeting just 24 hours after the Mayor had exercised powers he does not have to abolish their department — the central reform enacted 10 years ago to empower the community.

If it were me I’d have tried to get the more than 1,600 members of 90 Neighborhood Councils to resign in mass and tell City Hall to take their lousy money and shove it. Like homeowners and other community groups, they don’t need to be under the thumb of people who treat them with contempt even as they fear them.

But that isn’t how these people handled this crisis.

They have been meeting every Saturday for weeks and emailing all day long to generate ideas on how the movement they are part of can gain strength no matter how many obstacles are thrown in their way.

They were polite and constructive and persuasive and the BONC commissioners agreed with them in every regard to push forward even in the face of the treatment they are receiving.

Then, they took their message to Paul Krekorian and Dennis Zine on the Elections and Neighborhood Committee and spoke sincerely from their hearts about what they believed, even when they didn’t always agree.

Krekorian and Zine heard their message and voted to go forward with official elections of NCs that start next Tuesday.

The full Council will take up that issue on Wednesday and other aspects of the attempted assassination of the community empowerment issue in the days ahead.

To be honest, I’m just an old softie and tears came to my eyes at times as I listened to these humble voices of the people and I thought a time long ago when I was young and thousands of us stood together in protest and gave ourselves strength with songs of solidarity.

Once again, I came around and knew deep in my heart that I have never lost and never will lose my faith that the good does prevail over the evil, someday.


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5 Responses to “We Shall Not, We Shall Not Be Moved”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Sorry Ron, I had to shut off this video midway. It made me ill. Even though it is a message of hope, the presentation is by seemingly helpless people or so it appeared to me. We are not supplicants of these pathetic individuals running our city. Lets them the boot.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I understand where you’re coming from Ron, however, I think the NC’s were way to soft spoken and nice to these morons. At those meetings you speak of I heard things like “let’s try and work with them,” “we don’t want to appear divesive” we don’t want them to think we’re radical” etc. etc. etc. I guarantee you if they would have attended those meetings in the masses like CAN did at city council a couple of months ago and demanded their way (and got it) things would be different. What I don’t understand is if there are 91 NC’s and only 65 or a little over who attended the huge budget meetings and council meetings instead of say 300 is it any wonder why the NC’s are getting stepped on by the clowncil losers? It’s always the same people fighting for the entire group

  3. steve says:

    I have an idea Ron – the mayor is currently running a “Got a Better Idea?” campaign on his Facebook blurbs.
    So I took him up on it and posted two videos of cities who obviously are being managed with better ideas.
    Go to his Facebook page to see my ideas!
    I encourage you and other Angelenos to post YouTube Videos of better ideas to his Facebook page so he gets some “better ideas!”
    thanks.

  4. Chris Rowe says:

    Ron,
    I like this video better than yours (sorry).
    Same soul? music. More upbeat. This song lifts me up.
    I was one of those people at BONC, Education and Neighborhoods, and at Council yesterday.
    When you are in a crowd of about 400 people that are about to be laid off by the City, Neighborhood Council elections pale in comparison.
    So this video is about me standing by them – those people who are about to lose those 4000 jobs.
    Neighborhood Councils represent the people on many matters. Right now, we want to be heard.
    We want to be heard on the Budget. We want a Rate Payers Advocate.
    I want the Council to know that I am there – in a respectful manner – but I want to be heard.
    And I will tell the Council – there has to be another way – staggered salary cuts, rather than layoffs.
    http://www.boingboing.net/2009/04/22/musicians-around-the.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+boingboing%2FiBag+%28Boing+Boing%29

  5. Chris Rowe says:

    This is the direct link to the above song:
    “Stand By Me | Playing For Change | Song Around the World”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Us-TVg40ExM&feature=PlayList&p=C122061BDC373B4B&index=1

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