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 LA'S UPSET NEIGHBORHOODS

People are Pissed! Can a Revolution be Far Behind

Dick Platkin and George Abrahams
LA IN MOTION-Throughout LA’s vast 500 square miles are many self-identified neighborhoods. Ninety-six of them have formed official Certified Neighborhood Councils (CNCs), as established by the Los Angeles City Charter. But, the real number of neighborhood groups is much larger, and they reflect tremendous differences in concerns, demographics,…

Exposed: Guess Who’s Leading the LAUSD Witch Hunt Against Teachers

Leonard Isenberg
CONSIDER THIS-How is it that the LAUSD's go-to outside law firm Sedgwick L.L.P. (that was embroiled in the Miramonte scandal and sanctioned for covering up evidence) is running teacher investigations, teacher jail, and the current witch hunt against nationally acclaimed teacher Rafe Esquith? As CityWatch has previously reported, LAUSD's latest…

DWP Ratepayers Facing Billions of $$$ in ‘Taxes’ Over the Next Five Years

Jack Humphreville
LA WATCHDOG-Over the next five years, the Ratepayers of our Department of Water and Power will be hit up for over $3.7 billion in taxes by City Hall as a result of the combined 20% levy on the power portion of our DWP bimonthly bill. And this does not include the billion dollar-plus price tag associated with the IBEW Labor Premium and its overly…

Politics: Let's Say Goodbye to the Snark

Ken Alpern
POLITICS FOR GROWN-UPS--It's been so long since the terms "liberal" and "conservative" were considered decent and honorable that probably most readers don't even know that they once were perfectly fine labels to bear with pride and respect. Ditto with respect to "Democrat" or "Republican". Yet after not one but two presidential eras where the…

Gang Wars: Don’t Just Send Cops to South LA

Ken Stone
URBAN PERSPECTIVE--With stepped-up police patrols continuing in South Los Angeles, community groups and clergy called on city and county officials Friday to bolster resources for gang-intervention programs and services for at-risk youth and adults. Twitter meme about Los Angeles gang violence.The groups spoke out in response to a wave of violence…

They Love Us This Much

Rick Risemberg
LA’S NEIGHBORHOODS--Yes, the photo is of a hole. Specifically, an incipient sinkhole on Hauser Boulevard where it runs through Park La Brea. It is about eight inches deep. It has been guarded for over a year by its faithful traffic cone. A companion pit behind it suffered the usual indignity of a half-baked cold-patch repair, and is now itself…

Latinos: More Concerned about the Environment than Average Americans

Fred Mariscal
LATINO PERSPECTIVE-Yes it’s true, according to recent polls, Americans of Latino descent are more worried about the quality of our air, water and the alarming effects of climate change already impacting our country, than the average American. Anyone who says that Latinos are only concerned with immigration doesn’t understand the complexity of…

Hey, Councilman Koretz … Westwood is for Bikes Too!

Joel Epstein
DEAR PAUL--LA City Councilman Paul Koretz that is. Say it ain't so! How sobering to read in the LA Times and The Daily Bruin that you now not only oppose bike lanes on Westwood Blvd but also want to strike the planned lanes from the City's Mobility Plan. Such a move would be totally unprecedented and would reverse nearly a decade of bicycle…

Could Molly Knight Be Vin Scully’s Successor?

Tony Castro
TONY CASTRO’S LA-For almost four decades, my summers have been passed listening to Vin Scully religiously, bemoaning the cutback in his announcing schedule and, I suppose, unconsciously preparing myself for that day when Vinny calls it a career. I am also one of those baseball fans who wears headphones and listens to Scully call a game on the…

 

Reynolds Rap Video: Korea Was Made in China.





Art or Ad? LA’s mural law written in gray ink

Escape the Room-Conan goes for the record … and the laffs


LADWP Rates Overview

 

 

  

 

 

 

City Hall: Everybody's Talking, Nobody's Listening

RETHINKING LA - Brown Act be damned, it takes a skilled tracker to navigate the City of LA's Byzantine process for communicating announcements, policies, meetings, hearings, agendas and actions.

Veterans of the bureaucratic jungle typically develop tracker instincts that allow them to monitor the subtle signs of City Hall activity and stay informed of impending actions on behalf of the people.
It shouldn't be that way. It shouldn't require such diligence to stay informed, to get involved, and to monitor City Hall as it engages in the business of the people.

Dave Meslin, a Toronto based artist and activist, contends that typical municipal communications come wrapped in a web of barriers that alienate everyday people. Meslin contends that public participation would increase if City Hall employed the same successful standards for communication that can be found in the private sector. After all, that's where businesses die if they keep old customers informed while engaging new customers.

"Public notices should be completely redesigned as marketing materials," says Meslin, "instead of the traditional documents that are characterized by small type, lack of color, lousy graphics (or none at all) and oodles of bureaucratic gobbledygook."

It may seem like a tall order to expect the folks within City Hall to turn into marketing experts overnight but the evidence demonstrates they already have significant skills.

The hallway to the DWP's cafeteria is crowded with colorful posters that are tastefully displayed on easels, all announcing retirement parties and featuring photos and hard to resist invitations to party one more time with a beloved co-worker.

When it matters, people know how to throw a party and to invite the guests with lots of time to prepare. If only those skills were put to work on the people's business.

City Hall has a big poster announcing the City Clerk's road trip to Harrah's Casino. It's colorful, enticing, and has a big headline announcing the "End-of-Year Celebration."

Perhaps if the people's business was treated as a celebration rather than an obligation, we'd see colorful notices that entice instead of confuse.

The bulletin boards at City Hall are full of well designed flyers that clearly communicate car pools in need of passengers, social events in need of participants, retirement parties in search of celebrants, and exercise clubs in pursuit of moral support.

Again, they're fun, well designed, and they successfully compete for attention in crowded hallways on cluttered bulletin boards.

The skills exist in City Hall, but the habit of erring in favor of the legal minimum when it comes to announcement, agendas, actions, and policies has resulted in what Meslin refers to as an insurmountable wall of obfuscation.

When it matters, the people within City Hall have the skills necessary to communicate as if they really wanted you to know what was going on and why you should be there if the City Council meetings were given the same enthusiastic billing.

It's up to the people of LA to demand that City Hall communicate with the public with the same degree of respect that the carpoolers, the stair masters, and the bingo junket riders get.

(Stephen Box is a grassroots advocate and writes for CityWatch. He can be reached at: Stephen@thirdeyecreative.netThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . You can also find him on Twitter and on Facebook.) –cw

Tags: Stephen Box, Rethinking LA, nobody’s listening, marketing, City Hall, public,







CityWatch
Vol 10 Issue 42
Pub: May 25, 2012


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