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.