ALPERN AT LARGE--Again ... come November, YOU decide.
Perhaps a bunch of us think that Gavin Newsom and Eric Garcetti are the best and brightest that the Democratic Party has to offer. And perhaps the three remaining Republican voters in the Golden State think that John Cox and Jim Brulte's GOP leadership are all the rage, to boot.
But as the return of Jerry Brown, and the experiment of his return to gubernatorial power to a state that once ardently rejected him, comes to a close, the question of "what next" inevitably comes to mind.
I would normally LOVE to push for sustained funding for the new gas tax, to which Governor Brown broke his promise of running it by the voters (at least they'll have a say now!). But the lack of road and sidewalk repairs from both Sacramento and Los Angeles, and the lack of prioritization of rail projects, and the favoritism of a few well-heeled bicycle enthusiasts over the rest of us, gives me pause.
As it does for the majority of transit and bicycle enthusiasts I know. The Venice Blvd. Road Diet that was rammed down our throats by Mayor Garcetti, and which has been eschewed by all other City Council Districts save CD11, still draws ire from alternative-transportation enthusiasts who have concluded that the now-Orwellian LADOT has lost its mind.
To say nothing of the data promised us by the LADOT, which is over a year in arriving, and which arguably appears to be non-forthcoming.
Ditto for the "New Planning" of Mayor Garcetti, which seeks to completely remove Neighborhood Council input and legal protest, and which will be as "top-down" as what Sacramento under the Weiner-laden apparatchiks seek to impose upon the once-Golden State.
And no matter what Garcetti promises, and no matter what Brown promises, and no matter what lost democratic processes are imposed upon us all, the special interests and developer-funded lobbies and the public sector union leadership who've lost complete respect for the voters of California will win, and we will lose...
...while enough of California buys into the diversion of "ooooh, lookie, President Trump is horrible" while Garcetti and Newsom slide one knife after another into our collective ribs while we're being distracted.
Affordable housing? Great idea--do we trust Sacramento and L.A. to do it right? Have they gotten it right so far? Are there new faces or policies to prove the cynics wrong?
Ditto for public education and transportation--paying twice, thrice, and yet more times for the same promised services is getting to be the new pastime among California voters, and yet we just keep "taking it" and voting the same jokers back in.
And yet...when any naive voters are placed in a position where they get paid more, and/or they need more from their government, they flee for their lives to a state that respects their RIGHTS.
So go ahead, scream all you want about Garcetti and Newsom, but when we elect them and empower them yet again, they will have realized that they have WON.
And do YOU feel like a winner now?
(Kenneth S. Alpern, M.D. is a dermatologist who has served in clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties, and is a proud husband and father to two cherished children and a wonderful wife. He is also a Westside Village Zone Director and Board member of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC), previously co-chaired its Planning and Outreach Committees, and currently is Co-Chair of its MVCC Transportation/Infrastructure Committee. He was co-chair of the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee and chaired the nonprofit Transit Coalition and can be reached at email@example.com. He also co-chairs the grassroots Friends of the Green Line at www.fogl.us. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr. Alpern.)