Happy Bastille Day, Vive La Revolucion!
Two years ago today nearly 300 people from all over the city gathered on the City Hall lawn to stage a rally for better government and launch the Saving LA Project.
Our goal was to become an informal umbrella organization that would bring organizations and people together to challenge city policies and create a grassroots movement that could become a political force for reform.
We helped organize opposition to the solar energy fraud called Measure B, worked for the election of Carmen Trutanich for City Attorney and Paul Krekorian as Councilman from the Second District.
In some way we fell short of my expectations, in great part because of my limitations as an organizer and leader. But dozens of us have kept at it month after month, keeping up our efforts to show as many people as we could that the local issues that preoccupy them are part of a larger fabric of failure at City Hall.
This Saturday, a new movement SLAP helped spawn, LA CLEAN SWEEP (lacleansweep.com) will launch with a party at 1 p.m. at the Mayflower Club in North Hollywood. You can see the event flyer (CleanSweepLaunchFlyer.pdf), read our press release (CLEANSWEEPPressRelease.pdf) and information sheet for the media (LA CLEAN SWEEP INFO.pdf) or learn more by going to lacleansweep.com.
I hope you’ll pass this information on to others because it’s going to take the whole community working together to change the course of the city.
Clean Sweep is a political action committee that will work citywide to support a slate of candidates in the seven even-numbered Council seats up for election next March.
We need people regardless of ideology who are honest and open and have integrity and a commitment to serve the public interest, not the special interests. We need to end the sweetheart contracts and back room deals, the waste, inefficiency and bad management.
The principles of Clean Sweep and a draft platform were developed in a series of Sunday meetings by about 50 activists who met every other Sunday in the back room at Denny’s Restaurant in Glassell Park.
HERE”S WHAT WE STAND FOR, OUR CORE PRINCIPLES
1. Financial Responsibility
2. Safe Communities with Modern
3. Proper planning for the future
4. Open and Honest Government
If any sitting Council members can demonstrate a record of true public service and respect for all segments of the community and a commitment to power sharing, we will gladly consider them for our slate.
If not, they are on notice that they will face fierce challenges from credible candidates who can raise enough money to be fully competitive.
We must hold the people responsible who have raised our rates, fees and taxes even as they created the worst fiscal crisis in the city’s history, even as they have made the situation far worse first by their failure to act in a timely manner and more recently by their failure to actually solve the crisis.
They are slashing our public services, closing libraries two days a week starting Monday, gutting parks programs, and all but eliminating effective planning and building code enforcement to protect our neighborhoods.
They are selling valuable assets, borrowing against the future, deferring costs in what will have a snowballing effect on the crisis with a $300 million deficit looming next year and a $1 billion deficit the year after.
It will only get worse unless we elect better people into office, people committed to a vision of a greater Los Angeles.
It will take the participation of thousands of concerned citizens to turn LA around with their hard work and their passion. It can be done.
LA has too much going for it to become a failed city like Cleveland or Detroit. But our infrastructure is old, our poverty rate soaring, our hopes for the future diminishing. It doesn’t have to be this way.
We need new leaders that will bring us together and work for the common good.
This is our city. We need to take power; they will never give it away.