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The Deafening Silence of the Mayor and LA’s Civic and Business Elite in the Face of Black and Korean Protests

The Constitution guarantees our right to vote but it doesn’t protect us from ourselves when we year after year elect incompetent, irresponsible and corrupt officials — even when they rig elections as totally as they are in Los Angeles.

Faced Friday with losing the plums of their districts — downtown and USC and the most affluent neighborhoods in what are the city’s poorest areas — Jan Perry and Bernard Parks  took a small measure of personal revenge their fellow African-America Herb Wesson for the punishment he was inflicting on them.

In her opening remarks at the start of a feeble City Council debate on the new district boundaries proposed by a puppet commission, Perry offered a hollow apology that mocked Wesson for being such a spiteful little man he couldn’t engage in an honest private conversation between adults without taking umbrage at any suggestion he wasn’t fit for the job of Council President if he was going to stooge for the power structure.

The 90-minute Council debate ended with debate being cut off by the majority without giving Parks and Perry the same chance as other members to settle boundary disputes involving their own districts — a point the former police raised over and over in a 10=minute filibuster that left Wesson confused and mumbling at his inability to shut his colleague up.

The antics did nothing to stop the inevitable 13-2 vote to approve the redistricting maps and surely did nothing to overshadow the nearly four hours of public protest by hundreds  of citizens — most of them black with Koreans representing the second largest contingent  – at their rights and interests being trashed.

Perry and Parks take another swing at trying to stop this blatant move by the City Hall political machine to rig elections for the next decade with gerrymandered districts and more than doubling the amount of campaign money they can extort from special interests to bury all challenges.

Here’s the motion  they will try — without any hope of success — to bring before the Council today:

“No accommodation has been made to conduct hearings in South Los Angeles as well as Koreatown, the two areas in the City that have raised the most concern,” they say in their motion.

“”Currently pending in the Rules, Elections and Intergovernmental Relations Committee isa Motion (Perry – Parks) requesting that the Council establish a framework for comprehensive, objective and fair hearings in its deliberations on redistricting, including the following  components: 1. Guaranteed public hearing time periods for the people of each Council district; 2. Reasonable advance notification to each Council Office so that members can be able to arrange their schedules for this purpose; 3. A comprehensive racially polarized voting analysis; 4. A clear method for tracking public input about this map; and 5. A set of mapping guidelines to make the goals of this redistricting clear.

Immediate action is needed to withdraw this matter from Committee and adopt the
recommendations contained in the Motion so that we can have community meetings in both South Lso Angeles as well as Koreatown.

Three and possibly four lawsuits are threatened but it shouldn’t have to come to that.

For all the talk about how LA has a weak mayor system of government, the only thing weak about it is the mayor himself.

The only power this mayor has exercised consistently is his power to fire department heads and their top staff at will — a power that he has used to browbeat them into obedience to political goals, not public policy goals.

Scandals like the fudged Fire Department response times don’t just happen, certainly not when the goal was to save $200 million to avoid making hard decisions on priorities and to avoid layoffs that would have fractured the cozy relationship with city union leaders.

Better, the mayor and Council decided, was to put lives and property at risk by taking firefighters and their equipment out of service based on lies.

Where were mayoral candidates Wendy Greuel, Eric Garcetti and Jan Perry and Controller candidate Dennis Zine when this treachery was going on?

Doing what they always do, standing up and saluting the same despicable nonsense as their colleagues at City Hall.

Now, of course, they are doing what they always do after the damage has been done and brought to public light — crying out in shock and dismay at how they were tricked.

The goal of everything going on at City Hall is to make sure that free and fair elections are not even theoretically possible.

Antonio Villaraigosa knows this full well but he has the power to stop it immediately.

Weak mayor as he might be, he can stand up up public and speak out against this injustice and demand an honest and open redistricting process and expanded use of public funding of campaigns to give the public an honest opportunity to end this dictatorship.

All we have gotten from him and most of the business and civic elite is silence. And that says more about why LA is going from bad to worse than the pathetic shenanigans that are going on in City Council.

This entry was posted in 2013 Election, 2013 LA Elections, City Hall, Community Activists, Hot Topics, Los Angeles and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The Deafening Silence of the Mayor and LA’s Civic and Business Elite in the Face of Black and Korean Protests

  1. teddy says:

    “The Constitution guarantees our right to vote but it doesn’t protect us from ourselves when we year after year elect incompetent, irresponsible and corrupt officials — even when they rig elections as totally as they are in Los Angeles.”

    And you are totally correct, Ron. Thank you.

  2. cynic says:

    Antonio does not need their cash anymore. He is a statesman now……….

  3. Is there any basis to the Recall Wesson rumor?

  4. Los Angeles Economic Development

    It is time to remake Los Angeles in the image of our boldest vision – a city of healthy communities with good schools and quality education, innovative companies in new and emerging sectors, quality open space, improved public transportation, a range of mobility and housing options; and above all, a prosperous and productive middle class equipped with the skills and education to create a better future.

    It is time to get serious about designing a real economic development program linked to investments in healthy communities. I recently proposed to make Los Angeles the World Capital of Renewable Energy, Energy and Water Efficiency. We have the climate, the manpower, the resources and technology. We must promote energy and water efficiency in all sectors of LA’s economy. This by itself can save the city billions and bring many jobs and economic growth into Los Angeles. We should promote real estate gentrification, affordable housing, urban infill building, economic development and clean tech sorted through the parts of redevelopment worth retaining and retooling combined with some newer elements of economic development necessary to realize this vision of healthy communities.

    In the past five years many businesses in LA have closed down or moved out. There are many vacant properties (commercial and residential). Many people have moved out of LA. They can not afford the cost of living, the high taxation, the stifling bureaucracy and varied rules and regulations that choke business development.

    We have a dysfunctional leadership in Los Angeles, an inefficient workforce, a demand for entitlement, and crippling budget deficits that are creating an environment of uncertainty for many companies who want to hire people, but are afraid to do so. Capital is stagnant and unattainable, frozen by an over swing of regulation and bureaucracy. We want to get Los Angeles working again, yet many of our wounds are self inflicted, as LA bureaucrats go to work every day piling more regulations and taxes onto the very businesses we ask to grow and create more jobs. This situation must change, or we are doomed.

    It is imperative that we reverse this trend.

    YJ Draiman

  5. anonymous says:

    Why is Richard Alarcon, the indicted on 18 felony counts including perjury and voter fraud Alarcon, allowed continue his influence and power in position on City Council?

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