Senator Kevin de Leon: California’s Bigot Pro Tem

POLITICS--A funny thing happened after State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon shot off his mouth and attacked neighborhood councils, and all those volunteers strangling and handcuffing the Los Angeles City Council by their "NIMBYism"

Those volunteers got pretty riled up.  After all, badmouthing "community organizer" types, particularly those who've put blood, sweat and tears into efforts costing them money, time, sleep, and family happiness really isn't the right war to wage. 

And maybe there's a former President who might have thought that being a "community organizer" was a good thing. 

And as for housing affordability, it should be noted that the developers in LA and SoCal are almost all in bed with the Democratic/Developer political machine to build expen$ive housing ("market value") in a manner that is entirely against the desire of the Democratic Party base--or anyone else who wants a quality of life and nice neighborhood to live in. 

Maybe de Leon and his "political activist" and developer allies should focus on the City Council that is doing everything WRONG to push through truly affordable housing, and is ignoring the local leadership that have been screaming for years, and working with reasonable developers for years, to create modest and inexpensive projects with housing focused on the middle class. 

But then ... those are small developers with small pockets ... and they can't contribute to de Leon and his political machine.   

And to the political machine in City Hall that is notorious for its own conflict of interest while trying to convince the victims that they are to blame. 

The answers to affordable housing do exist, and the answers to traffic and economic growth do exist, but it's easier to point to those awful neighborhood councils and blame them, right? 

Maybe Senator de Leon could focus on the rising costs of generous pensions for UC officials while miserable, overworked state residents and taxpayers are killing themselves to pay for a higher education. 

Meanwhile the arrogant, insulated, self-absorbed bright boys and other drooling, moronic dip-wads who now pass for urban planning experts continue to dominate the discussion on urban planning, and suck up all the oxygen in the room while throwing common sense out the window. 

And you LET them, Senator.  Ditto to you, too, City Council. 

So much for listening.  So much for abiding by environmental law and the laws of physics.  So much for not demonizing and being above bigotry as whole neighborhoods are being gentrified out of affordability and sustainability. 

But as for those volunteer activists, community organizers, and neighborhood council leaders trying to achieve a moderate, pragmatic, compromising, environmentally-sustainable approach to development, affordable housing, open space, and economic growth? 

Oh ... THEY are the problem.  That's right, Senator.  You too, City Council. 

You go get 'em, Tiger.


(Kenneth S. Alpern, M.D. is a dermatologist who has served in clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties, and is a proud father and husband 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 He also co-chairs the grassroots Friends of the Green Line at The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr. Alpern.)