Mon04272015

Last updateMon, 27 Apr 2015 9pm

LOS ANGELES Monday, April 27th 2015 10:18

  • Issue: LA City Workers Make Much More Than Private Sector

    Peter Jamison & Catherine Saillant

    Date: Apr 28, 2015 

    For almost a year, the labor groups representing roughly 20,000 Los Angeles city workers have battled at the bargaining table for people like Marshall Turner. 

    Turner supports his union. Yet when it comes to his job, he's not complaining. A 59-year-old garbage-truck driver, he made $95,696 last year including overtime. His three decades of city employment enabled him to buy a four-bedroom Rancho Cucamonga home and provide for five children. He recognizes his privileged place in an economy that has grown increasingly bleak for blue-collar workers. 

    "I feel blessed at the city of Los Angeles," he said recently over a ramen lunch during a break from collecting trash in South-Central. 

    That sense of satisfaction is not misplaced — at least not when it comes to his paycheck. Among the city workers who are currently threatening to strike amid contract negotiations that have stalled over pay and other issues, many collect salaries higher than those who do similar jobs in both the public and private sectors, a Los Angeles Times analysis has found.  (Read the rest.) 


Thu Apr 30, 2015 @11:30AM -
Town Hall: Raising the Minimum Wage
Fri May 01, 2015 @11:00AM - 02:00PM
Women for a New Los Angeles Luncheon
Fri May 01, 2015 @12:00PM - 05:00PM
Women for a New Los Angeles
Fri May 08, 2015 @ 8:00AM - 08:00PM
Greenlining Institute 22nd Annual Economic Summit in L.A. May 8
Wed May 13, 2015 @11:30AM -
Reflections on Leadership in the Museum World from an Outsider


Amazing! 500 years of NYC … in 60 seconds

LA Watchdog Jack Humphreville guesting on LA Roundtable … Making a Difference

‘Infinity’ folks … Mariah Carey’s latest

 

 

 

 

  

 

 


Passing the Buck

The Buck Stops Here

Most men in the early west carried a jack knife made by the Buck Knife Company.  When playing poker, it was common to place one of these Buck Knives in front of the dealer so that everyone knew who he was.  When it was time for a new dealer, the deck of cards and the knife were given to the new dealer.  If this person didn't want to deal, he would "Pass the Buck" to the next player.  If that player accepted, then "the Buck stops here".

 


 

 

Bike Share King: LA’s Antonio 4,000 … Chicago’s Rahm 3,000

RETHINKING LA - When Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced a citywide bike-share program that included 3,000 bikes in 300 docking stations, it must have stirred significant municipal envy in LA’s Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa because a few weeks later, he responded by announcing a citywide bike-share program of 4,000 bikes in 400 docking stations.
Los Angeles is a late entry into the bike-share business,  approximately 300th on the list of cities around the world that have some form of citywide bike-share in place, a list that includes Mexico City, Paris, Lyon, Munich, San Francisco, Washington DC, London and Melbourne.

Villaraigosa finds himself in an enviable position, able to learn from the successes and failures of bike-share programs around the world, tailoring a program to the unique geography and social environment of the LA area, ensuring success.

But he passed up that opportunity, instead jumping in feet first with a media company that has no experience with bike-share, announcing the program with no participation from the local community, setting in motion a relationship that is vague on details, and acting with complete indifference to the impact on surrounding communities.

Villaraigosa has in his hands an opportunity to demonstrate true leadership by reaching out to Santa Monica, home of America’s largest Bike Center, and to develop a bike-share system with regional impact and connectivity.

But instead, he charged ahead, leaving Santa Monica scratching its municipal head and wondering what they should do with the efforts they have initiated, only to find the largest city in the most populated state in the most powerful country in the world acting as if it is an island.

Is this the transportation skill set that belongs in Washington DC?

Villaraigosa is reported to have his eye on a federal Transportation position, one that has him working overtime to demonstrate his ability to move his transportation agenda forward.

But the devil is in the details and the City of LA is completely at a loss when it comes to installing bike racks, locating bus benches, painting bike lanes, and pursuing funds for Safe Routes to School.

Is this the time for the City of LA to be engaging in a 10 year contract with an unknown quantity while the City of Santa Monica is laying down innovation after innovation?

Villaraigosa’s bike-share deal with Bike Nation promises a $16 million investment in a 10 year contract that would see 4,000 bikes spread through several communities in 400 solar powered portable kiosks.

A conversation with Bike Nation’s  founders, Navin Narang and Brad Barlowe, reveals that the relationship is somewhat informal, not really a contract and not really an exclusive relationship.

It’s simply a private investment in a business that will be operated on public property, requiring the City of LA to facilitate the process and to provide permitting assistance, all in return for a bike-share program that gives Villaraigosa the opportunity to thumb his nose at Emanuel.

If only Emanuel’s performance with sidewalks, potholes, and green space would prompt Villaraigosa to higher levels of performance but that is fodder for another day.

Meanwhile in the bike-share vs. bike-share world, Chicago ran a test program and then opened the process up to bids from companies, then obtained federal funding and finally selected an operating partner with a fairly significant track record.

Los Angeles, on the other hand, took a pitch from a private party and threw caution to the wind, resulting in Villaraigosa’s press conference where “What could go wrong?” was the theme and bike-share was the snake oil.

The City of Los Angeles has a track record for poor oversight of contracts and partnerships. It is reasonable for the people of LA to expect the City of LA to demonstrate that its relationship with media company Bike Nation will be different, a partnership that will come with successful oversight and public benefit, not just more hollow promises.

The City of Los Angeles has a tremendous impact on the region and it is cavalier to move forward on issues of connectivity and mobility without consulting neighbors and synchronizing efforts.

The City of Los Angeles is in an enviable position where it can select from the best yet it acted rashly and without public participation from the advocates who have been involved all along.

Is this the behavior of a Great City? More importantly, is this the behavior of a potential Cabinet member, one who would be responsible for transportation at a national level?

(Stephen Box is a grassroots advocate and writes for CityWatch. He can be reached at: Stephen@thirdeyecreative.net. You can also find him on Twitter and on Facebook.) -cw

Tags: Stephen Box, Rethinking LA, Mayor Villaraigosa, Bike Share, Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Bike Nation







CityWatch
Vol 10 Issue 33
Pub: Apr 24, 2012


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