Thu, Mar

All I Want 4 Xmas

NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS- Let’s talk about getting back-to-the-basics in these days of government-by-for-profit-interests. 

It’s usually genies who grant three wishes. But in this season of commercialized gifting, I’d like to rub the Aladdin’s lamp of Los Angeles. 

Our Councilmembers have stuffed their view for the City’s future with visionary plans. At times, these are driven by those who fund their campaigns but many with all the best intentions. However, each plan comes with a price tag. 

What would it take to thank them for these aspirational ideas but encourage them to give back to those who elected them by first providing the back-to-the-basics approach to Angelenos’ most urgent needs, and then pursuing ways to further improve our quality of life? 

My three wishes to the LA Genie: 

  • Beg the Council to stop burying our kids in a mountain of debt and pension liabilities. 
  • Request the Councilmembers rebuild the city’s infrastructure before trying to graft bells and tinsel onto an increasingly shaky foundation. 
  • Grant all our elected the huevos – uh, that’s Spanish for guts – to break up the current city bureaucracy to find the savings needed to fulfill their existing obligations to the people of Los Angeles. 

We’ve all had the experience of overspending, especially when the good times are rolling, to please friends and family or, in this case, supporters, only to have the initial euphoria come crashing down when the bills are due. 

Mayor Garcetti and the 15 reindeer: Please stop trying to be everything to all people and just go back to those basics you talk about, first and foremost. And then build prudently and holistically to ensure a good future for our children, all our children. 

And to the rest of us – please cease with trying to buy universal goodwill with a plethora of items, too often mass-produced in China, headed all too soon to our over-stuffed landfills. 

Instead, let’s look at giving something of ourselves this holiday season through volunteering our time and experience.


(The Budget Advocates are an elected, all volunteer, independent advisory body charged with making constructive recommendations to the Mayor and the City Council regarding the Budget, and to City Departments on ways to improve their operations, and with obtaining input, updating and educating all Angelenos on the City’s fiscal management.) Prepped for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.