“The vision is for this to be a city where people feel they can get a good public education and not spend their life on the freeways creating smog. It would be a city where you graduate from college and find a job. I imagine a city that is manageable in terms of quality of life, good recreation, parks, public libraries. My vision of L.A. is one that allows us to say that you can really achieve your dreams.”
That’s the message Wendy Greuel’s campaign for mayor is sending out all over town to convince you, the voters, she is up to the job and not just a nice upper middle class woman who way down deep is very shallow.
Greuel’s campaign calls it the highlight of her interview with LA Magazine, that and whether she “prefers Art’s or Jerry’s Deli” — a critical question that makes no sense since there is no comparison.
The emphasis in the Wendy vision quote and the underlining on the deli question comes from the campaign’s senior advisor Rose Kapolczynski, longtime political consultant to the irreplaceable Sen. Barbara Boxer.
Ms. Kapolczynski has captured the essence of why it can be fairly said, “Everybody Loves Wendy.”
Frankly, the hollow phrases that ring so truly from the lips of Wendy Greuel are no worse or better than the empty pieties uttered by the man who is called her No. 1 competitor for mayor, Eric Garcetti, who swears on a stack of Bibles that the nation’s second most corrupt city government in the nation’s second most hated city is a “Temple to Democracy.”
By everyone’s analysis — and not just that of those lost in the fog of despair — Los Angeles is a city in crisis, its future at stake.
The city with the nation’s worst air, worst congestion, worst roads, failing schools, aging infrastructure, Rust Belt poverty and unemployment rates — what more do you need to know to convince you that we need leaders with the courage to speak the truth and the vision to see a way forward, not the invisible civic leadership that has gone along with failure for so long while the apathetic populace foolishly acted like it wasn’t their problem?
Greuel and Garcetti are smart enough and good enough people at heart.
The leadership provided and the decisions that are made by the next mayor and the next City Council are of the utmost importance to all of us in terms of the quality of our lives, our economic opportunity, our safety, the future of our children going to school and coming of age?
But have Greuel and Garcetti ever in their long political careers done anything substantive other than talk in hieroglyphics that deflect attention from the serious issues at hand?
Have they ever stood up in public and taken responsibility for the thousands of votes they cast and actions they took that put city government so deeply into the red that even now after what they claim is $1.5 billion in budget cuts, we still face massive deficits for years — if not decades to come — no matter what happens?
I bring this up because the only people I have heard anything concrete from were outsider attorney/talk show host Kevin James and the half-outsider who has given up the farce, Austin Beutner.
Maybe an angry woman named Jan Perry will find the motivation to stand up to the failure of the City Hall political machine now that AEG and Central City Association — the downtown power interests she pandered to so generously with public money and public policy — showed who they really are by abandoning her in the redistricting fight.
The hardest thing for me to understand about the tepid politics of LA is why in the last 30 years the closest thing to someone who promised to really change things was Dick Riordan and you know what happened to him.
He turned LA around but he couldn’t get it moving because the dark side coalition of developers and labor blocked his reforms. So he turned himself around and accommodated them in the name of “pragmatism” — the amoral justification LA’s rich so often use for surrendering their integrity.
What makes me so frustrated about this farce of national, state and then local elections is I don’t hear a word of truth coming from anyone — except from the candidates who don’t stand much of a chance.
Does it really matter who wins the costliest Democratic Congressional primary in history: A worn-out old political hack like Howard Berman or a not-so-old worn-out political hack like Brad Sherman?
Does it matter that Tony Cardenas — a wannabe worn-out old political hack is being given a free ride in Berman’s Valley seat and will represent the district just the way Berman did 99.99 percent of them?
That’s what troubles me so: I don’t agree with anyone all the time, not even myself. That’s not the problem. I’m not looking for agreements. I’m looking for someone with the courage and ability to lead, to move us forward.
I’m troubled when people like Wendy Greuel say things like they want to live a in a city “where you graduate from college and find a job … a city that is manageable in terms of quality of life, good recreation, parks, public libraries.”
Damn it, what about the fact that a third to half the kids never graduate high school? Is she out of her mind, so indifferent to the realities of a city where half the people live in fear every month where the rent is going to come from?
Did she not notice we closed the libraries two days a week and even though voters gave the libraries millions of dollars in more money, they ripped 90 percent of it off so there was only enough to hire back six fired librarians and reopen half a day on Fridays?
Life, recreation, parks — all gutted because we need a city of flashy subways and trains linked to a state with a bullet train so the rich can get to San Francisco.
There are two LAs: the rich and the poor. And just about everything you are hearing and all that you are likely to hear is lies covering up the truth.
Dance with the devils if you want. But we will never reach the light at the end of this dark tunnel unless we fight, fight what we want, what we believe in.
Fight we must. It is our duty.