The nation’s capital is stalemated by a destructive war of empty ideologies without regard to the welfare of the people.
The state capital is hopelessly gridlocked by the same forces that put self-interest and special interests ahead of the public interest.
City Hall in Los Angeles is even worse, paralyzed by its failure and corruption, yet they are 99.93 percent in total agreement that it is better to destroy the city than to save it. And so they are in feeding frenzy to cash in before the bottom falls our.
Not a day goes by that the rot and corruption isn’t revealed one way or another whether it’s the HACLA scandal, the Planning Department’s assault on our neighborhoods, the broken roads and sidewalks, the tax breaks to mutual funds and multinational corporations, the giveaways to billionaires, the never-ending war against working class and middle class people.
In this the fourth year of a budget crisis that has been extended for decades into the future by deferring costs and expanding borrowing, the mayor can do no better than to order city managers to carry out the fiscal equivalent of using fewer paper clips (antonio–budgt1211.pdf) based on the CAO’s latest financial report:
“Cease all food and beverage purchases for employee-related event,” reduce “membership dues” and “subscription” costs, “examine opportunities to move out of leased office space and into vacant city-owned properties,” “refrain from granting fee waivers for special events” unless the politicians OK it…it goes on and on but mostly involves more juggling of the books to make the $72 million deficit in this year’s “balanced budget” disappear with a growing $250 shortfall looming next year.
This is the fourth year of a fundamental economic restructuring that has seen millions of private sector workers lose their jobs and less than 500 city workers jobs eliminated out of 50,000. Clearly, City Hall is not contributing to LA’s monstrous unemployment problem that has half a million workers jobless or under-employed.
What City Hall is counting on is massive rate increases for water and power, sewers and everything else just to get through a year or two. LA is in a downward spiral to oblivion without facing the real problem: City government costs more than it is worth,.
Something must be done before it is too late and a lot of people get hurt.
Neighborhood Councils have gotten thousands of people engaged but what have they really achieved?
Homeowner and other community groups have been around a long time but have they changed the course of the city’s history or like everybody else settled for crumbs from the table of power?
The Occupy L.A. protesters trashed the City Hall grounds only to be evicted by a massive show of police force, accomplishing what exactly?
What if we all came together and occupied our neighborhoods and then our City Council districts and then the whole city and brought real democracy to L.A. for the first time so that our competing interests and values were in balance and everybody felt they were getting a fair share?
We have to start somewhere and try again.
Occupy the ‘Hood — the protesters have set up that committee to refocus much of their effort on the local problems that can be solved. It will meet Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall to take up the cause.
Maybe the energy and passion of the young will light the spark. Maybe some of you will join me down there Saturday night and see if we can make good things happen.