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Special to CityWatch: Can Jorge Ramos Save The American Immigrant Dream?

Tony Castro
TONY CASTRO’S LA- President Barack Obama’s disappointing failure to champion immigration reform, what The Washington Post called his “immigration train wreck,” may be the consummate example of the failure of the Obama presidency on Latino issues. It is also a tell-tale sign of the potential trouble the Democratic Party could find itself in…

Museum Row’s Billion Dollar Block Party

Tim Deegan
EXCLUSIVE TO CITYWATCH--City planners, developers, community members and other stakeholders are having a block party in the Miracle Mile: no champagne but plenty of stress served to order, depending on who you're aligned with. Issues with development: take a seat. Raising hundreds of millions of dollars for development, take several seats. Here…

What Is It About The Homeless That Makes Us So Angry?

Bob Gelfand
GELFAND’S WORLD--It was a long public hearing at my neighborhood council the other night. Outraged, obviously frightened homeowners were pitted against advocates for the homeless. At least that's how it started, but it's not how it ended. It's curious, but in this contentious culture of ours, it turned out to be possible to have a meeting of the…

Kill the Transit Tax, Kill the Olympics

Ken Alpern
ALPERN AT LARGE-You know, it's indeed possible that there will be enough voters who won't remember (or care about) the current shenanigans and budget games in the City of LA--enough to allow a 2/3 vote to pass a new sales tax measure in November 2016. Then again, maybe enough voters will remember, and the initiative will (like its predecessor…

Headlines Don’t Lie – LA Needs Leadership

Dennis Zine
JUST THE FACTS-I’m talking to you as a man who policed Los Angeles streets for over 30 years and established policy for another 14 years -- two years as an elected Charter Reform Commissioner and 12 years as an elected Los Angeles City Councilman. Take a look at the latest Los Angeles News and Breaking Headlines. They tell a frightening story…

Airbnb Just Floats by the PLUM Committee

Tony Butka
THE CITY-I was going to do my usual flip and cynical kind of a piece on the Airbnb hearing, but the issue is too important, and just maybe, all is not lost. The Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee hearing was scheduled in the Public Works Hearing Room, but so many people attended that they had to move it to City Council Chambers…

Bikeshare Comes to Los Angeles … Sort Of

Richard Risemberg
WAITING ON LA--Here’s photographic confirmation that bikeshare has arrived in LA: Not the City of Los Angeles, though; not quite yet. That’s a live bikeshare station in Santa Monica, on Main Street, next to one of the two bike corrals that grace the block south of Ashland. (There’s another and very busy bike corral two blocks north.) This is a…

The Summer of My Discontent ... LA Version

Denyse Selesnick
MY TURN--I think there is such a thing as the "Dog Days of Summer" since my usual sunny disposition ... glass half full demeanor ... seems to be out of sorts of late. There is a litany of things that are annoying me, aside from the heat. I am disappointed in our local government ... not all of them, but a majority. Like many of you I studied the…

Marilyn Who? Ask Councilman Krekorian or Mayor Garcetti

Richard Lee Abrams
PRESERVATION POLITICS-Who doesn’t like Marilyn Monroe? Councilmember Krekorian, that’s who! Why else would Councilmember Paul Krekorian support the demolition of one of the most significant homes of Marilyn Monroe? With the blessings of Mayor Garcetti, who believes in eradicating as much of Hollywood’s history as possible, and with the support of…





Record Breaking! Josh Groban sings Trump


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Occupy LA: Time to Get Off the Lawn

RETHINKING LA - The Occupy LA movement has divided the community into two groups, those who support the movement and those who are opposed, and then it has done the impossible, it has created an opportunity for the two sides to come together.

Those who oppose the Occupy LA movement’s occupation of LA’s City Hall Park charge that the leaderless disorganization of the opt-in crowd lacks a refined and cohesive message and is therefore an exercise in noise and obstruction.
Those who support Occupy LA contend that their complaints are valid and that the long litany of issues that have been raised are not only accurate, they represent a critical call for action that demonstrates the need to raise up real leadership.

The two positions aren’t necessarily exclusive, in fact, there may be more common ground than either side has recognized.

If the opponents of Occupy LA really want to see the tents disappear from City Hall Park, the simplest solution would be to step up and demonstrate the leadership necessary to tackle the big issues, to ask the tough questions, and to take meaningful action.

If the supporters of Occupy LA really want see this movement actually move, the most effective tactic would be to step up and provide the leadership necessary to take the action inside, to the Mayor’s office and to City Council, where the decisions are made.

The ongoing debate over the lack of leadership and coherent message from Occupy LA has allowed the Mayor and City Council to quietly continue to debate barking dogs and parking tickets while avoiding the tough issues that are the substance of the debate on the street.

The Mayor and the City Council have a vested interest in this debate continuing because once it ends, the focus will shift and they’ll be left to answer for their failing performance over the last several years.

As Occupy LA rails against Wall Street, LA’s investment portfolio shriveled, yet City Hall has shrugged it off as inevitable and allowed the people of LA to make up the difference at the expense of our infrastructure and the delivery of critical city services.

As Occupy LA charges banks with their role in a collapsing economy, the City of LA experiences unprecedented home foreclosures that destroy families, blight neighborhoods, and reduce property tax income to a city already in a budget crisis.

As Occupy LA calls for leadership that will deliver economic justice to the quickly disappearing middle class, the City of LA experiences unemployment that exceeds the national rate by 40% and homelessness that is three times the national rate.

The supporters of Occupy LA want to see the movement move forward and they want to see the issues addressed in a meaningful and effective manner.

The opponents of Occupy LA want to see the occupation of City Hall Park come to an end and they want to see real leadership take on the issues with a coherent message.

Fair enough.

It’s time to take the baton from those who have effectively brought the conversation to the marketplace of ideas and now it’s time for the supporters and the opponents to put up, to step up, to demonstrate the leadership that is missing, and to take the movement inside City Hall.

It’s time that we stop looking to the tents at City Hall Park and instead look inside City Hall and ask the Mayor and the City Council the tough questions, “Where is the leadership and what is the plan?”

(Stephen Box is a grassroots advocate and writes for CityWatch. He can be reached at:   Stephen@thirdeyecreative.net .) –cw

Tags: Occupy LA, City Hall, City Hall lawn, Wall Street





CityWatch
Vol 9 Issue 92
Pub: Nov 18, 2011

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