This is for real. We must turn around City Hall and restore public confidence in our city government.
The steering committee of the CLEAN SWEEP CAMPAIGN met Saturday in Hollywood and took the first critical steps to organizing a political action committee to field a slate of candidates to challenge for the even-numbered Council seats now held by Paul Krekorian, Tom LaBonge, Tony Cardenas, Bernard Parks, Herb Wesson, Greig Smith and Jose Huizar.
They must be held accountable for the budget crisis that has damaged the city’s credit and credibility and threatens to force LA into bankruptcy. Services already are being slashed with the elimination of nearly 7,000 city jobs, DWP rates are soaring along with fees, penalties and taxes — and the crisis only gets worse for years to come.
Leaders of the Saving LA Project and the LA Neighborhood Council Coalition who worked together with dozens of other community groups of all types all across the city to help win three elections last year have come together to form the CLEAN SWEEP CAMPAIGN.
College professors and students, activists with Neighborhood Councils and homeowner groups discussed a campaign platform, candidate selection process and the strategy and tactics for a citywide campaign to bring responsible leadership to City Hall, Council members who will truly serve the public and not themselves and special interests.
Nearly 40 specific fixes were proposed and will be refined by the platform committee. Here are the four pinnacles of the draft platform along with some of the proposals that were made:
LA CLEAN SWEEP PLATFORM
1. CLEAN UP CITY HALL – We need a change of leadership. The failure of our leaders is clear to everyone, We need tough penalties and enforcement of ethics law violations and immediate and full disclosure of campaign contributions and interests even as new leaders develop reforms, including clean money campaign financing that break the power of special interests. The Department of Water and Power Commission, Community Redevelopment Agency and other commissions must have independence free of political control. All city agencies, task forces and Council committees must have representatives appointed by Neighborhood Councils. Transparency, openness, public access to all documents must be enacted under an open access law.
2. FIX THE BUDGET — Spending must be brought under control for the benefit of the city’s 4 million residents and hundreds of thousands of businesses. Salaries of city officials must be reduced along with Council and mayoral staffing, slush funds and office holder accounts eliminated. Adjustments must be made to the employee wage and pension system. Tax, rate and fee policies must be restructured to create a healthy economic environment.
3. FOCUS ON CORE SERVICES — The focus of city government must be on basic services that benefit the whole community, not as a jobs and patronage programs. Protection of police and fire services and infrastructure. Parks, libraries, street maintenance, integrated planning to preserve neighborhood health, enforcement of building codes and fair share of city services are paramount. Services provided by city staff must be cost-effective with those of the private sector.
4. POWER SHARING — Elect City Council members who put the interests of the whole city ahead of any special interest. Empower Neighborhood Councils to make the first decisions on all local development issues. Create a commission to develop a plan for a borough system of government. Establish that a key function of city government is to encourage public participation and treat all people with respect and courtesy.
This is a working document and all suggestions are welcome.
No one is excluded for consideration as a candidate for the CLEAN SWEEP slate, even incumbents who can make the case that their record shows a true commitment to the interests of all segments of the community and to the greatest good of the city.
This is a great undertaking that will take support from everyone who cares about the state of the city today and our hopes for a better tomorrow.
I urge you to get involved for the good of your families, your neighborhood, your city.
)This article was first posted at City Watch LA)