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Last updateMon, 25 May 2015 2pm

LOS ANGELES Thursday, May 28th 2015 5:05

WAGE RAISE RAGE

  • WHO WE ARE-Nearly half of Los Angeles just gave itself a raise. Following a wave of state and local minimum-wage bills and initiatives, Los Angeles became one of the largest cities to dramatically raise its hourly base pay and join Seattle to hit the magic $15-an-hour demand pushed by labor and community groups nationwide. The City Council…
  • ​City Snookered by Westfield Billionaires

    Jack Humphreville
    LA WATCHDOG-In March of 2014, the Herb Wesson led City Council and Mayor Eric Garcetti approved a 25 year, $48 million giveaway to help the $28.5 billion Westfield Corporation finance its $250 million development, The Village at Westfield Topanga. (Photo) But this subsidy championed by Councilman Bob Blumenfield was hardly necessary as The Village…
  • Slick With Denial: ‘Self-Regulation’ and the Latest Oil Spill

    Judith Lewis Mernit
    HISTORY LESSONS IGNORED-On Wednesday, May 20, the day after a Santa Barbara County fire inspector discovered a stream of contaminated crude oil flowing onto a pristine segment of the Southern California coast, a group of researchers published a study linking the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill to a mass die-off of bottlenose dolphins. The 46…
  • Scaremongering about the Patriot Act Sunset

    Jameel Jaffer
    FALSE CLAIMS EXPOSED-In a last-ditch effort to scare lawmakers into preserving unpopular and much-abused surveillance authorities, the Senate Republican leadership and some intelligence officials are warning that allowing Section 215 of the Patriot Act to sunset would compromise national security. (One particularly crass example from Senator…
  • Still the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave

    Ken Alpern
    ALPERN AT LARGE-It's been another year and another successful Flag Placement at the West Los Angeles National Cemetery. Crawling out of bed in the morning on a holiday weekend to show up bright and early for a show of American patriotism and respect to our veterans and fallen heroes, the region and nation saw yet again how the Boy Scouts, Girl…
  • Retaliation: VA Police Target Veterans

    Robert L. Rosebrock
    LOS ANGELES – Recently, I was interviewed by John Ismay, an Iraqi War Veteran who is the “Veterans and Military Issues Reporter” for Southern California Public Radio. We met at the Los Angeles VA to discuss the never-ending misappropriation of land at this largest VA in the nation, within our nation’s capital for homeless Veterans. We were…
  • City Controller’s Grandstanding DWP Audit is the Real Waste of Ratepayer Dollars

    Dennis Zine
    JUST THE FACTS-City Controller Ron Galperin’s Grandstanding DWP Audit results were finally released. Unfortunately, the conclusion and political spin that came afterwards from the controller was misleading. Here are the FACTS: The DWP’s Joint Training Institute and Joint Safety Institute are administered by DWP managers and representatives of the…
  • A Place Where ‘Special Interest’ is NOT a Dirty Word

    Denyse Selesnick
    MY TURN-We need to have a new word to differentiate the villainous “Special Interest” that everyone is always complaining about and the “Special Interest” that almost all of politicians and civic and social activists have adopted as a cause. It is impossible to have passion about multiple issues. I know I have mentioned this before, but it seems…
  • Alert! America’s Small Businesses are Being Screwed by Big Business

    Robert Reich
    THE ECONOMY-Can it be that America’s small businesses are finally waking up to the fact they’re being screwed by big businesses? For years, small-business groups such as the National Federation of Independent Businesses have lined up behind big businesses lobbies. (Photo: small businesses in Studio City) They’ve contributed to the same Republican…

 

  • Can Strawberries Help Fight Cancer?

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS-There have been a number of studies over the years that could show evidence of strawberries fighting off cancer. Tong Chen lead a study…
  • Study: The Best Way to Quit Smoking … Bet On It

    Francie Diep
    WELLNESS-Oftentimes, money speaks louder than words. Apparently, that aphorism applies to cigarettes too. A new study finds that money incentives…
  • Exercise Can Help Anxiety … Here’s How

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS-Statistics show that over 3 million American adults suffer from anxiety and there is no evidence that number will be declining any time…




ICYMI-Amy Schumer shows Dave her vagina

Remembering Ann Meara: 1929-2015

The Star Spangled Banner … like you’ve never heard it before

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

Is this “The Year of the Neighborhood" for LA?

RETHINKINGLA - Writer Dorothy Parker once described Los Angeles as 72 suburbs in search of a city. Since then the number has grown to almost 100, reflecting LA’s robust diversity and the fact that Angelenos tend to identify more with their neighborhood than with their city.

Some of the most heated battles in recent history have taken place over neighborhood boundaries as communities seek to claim unique identities that reflect their cultural, economic, and political personality and character.
The boundary between Hollywood and East Hollywood continues to stir debate just as the formation of Lake Balboa and Valley Glen did when portions of Van Nuys were renamed, giving real estate agents a shot at a better commission.

In some cities, this rich diversity of neighborhoods is celebrated in a municipal demonstration of the fact that the whole is greater than the parts. In other cities, such as Los Angeles, City Hall seems to struggle with this vibrant cast of community voices, urging community members to homogenize their message.

Sydney, Australia is a city of 4.6 million people, divided into 649 neighborhoods and 40 local government areas. Sydney identifies itself as a “City of Villages,” not just in words but in behavior. The Lord Mayor uses public transportation to take the business of City Hall to local communities, demonstrating that a large Alpha+ World City can be an international power at the same time that it establishes a connection with local politics.

Nagoya, Japan is one of LA’s Sister Cities, a relationship that is working better for Nagoya than it is for Los Angeles. The Mayor of Nagoya celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Sister City relationship by conducting a special seminar that featured LA’s Department of Neighborhood Empowerment and demonstrated his commitment to the concept of participatory democracy at the local level.

EmpowerLA’s General Manager BongHwan “BH” Kim and Russell Brown, then President of Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council, were guests of Mayor Kawamura who embraced the concept of local governance so much, he has since moved to devolve the City Council in favor of empowering local neighborhoods. He was recently reelected by a landslide, demonstrating that this is “The Year of the Neighborhood” in Nagoya!

A delegation from Venezuela recently toured the United States as guests of the Department of State, stopping by EmpowerLA’s office for a lesson on “Grassroots Democracy and Citizen Participation in the Political Process.”  America’s International Visitor Leadership Program recognizes the power to be found in the neighborhoods of Los Angeles and the value of sharing that power with other countries.

Meanwhile, City Hall stands tall as if a neighborhood unto itself, requiring communities to trek downtown to participate while other cities take their municipal show on the road.

With citywide elections on the horizon, Los Angeles is at a crossroads.

Will the candidates for Mayor, City Controller and City Attorney celebrate local politics and declare this “The Year of the Neighborhood!” or will they simply continue in the centralized silo approach with Neighborhood Councils lined up as spectators?

Will the candidates for the eight City Council seats commit to empowering the many neighborhoods that make up their districts or will they tender the usual promises of city services in an effort to quell any hint of discontent?

Most importantly, will the members of LA’s Neighborhood Councils declare this “The Year of the Neighborhood!” by supporting the candidates who have risen from the EmpowerLA community and answered the call?

(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, neighborhoods, Year of the Neighborhood, Sister Cities, Neighborhood Councils, Los Angeles, City Hall









CityWatch
Vol 10 Issue 37
Pub: May 8, 2012

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