CITYWATCH TODAY—You have an election to attend to Tuesday. You have a choice: vote or be fined! Not really of course, but in California … the laid back voting capital of the country … it might not be a bad idea. 

It may come as news to you, but democracy is NOT a spectator sport. A government of, by and for the people requires informed participation. That’s how this home of the free we keep bragging about got started. Some folks ‘didn’t want to take it anymore’ and they got involved. Then, there were those … rightly or wrongly … over the years who gave their lives thinking they were protecting that participatory democracy idea. At least the right to participate. So, another way of viewing it might be: you owe some folks. 

A Pennsylvania state senator proposed fines for non-voters. Voting is a duty, he said. Also...

CITYWATCH TODAY—It took until the last two paragraphs but the Times got it right today. If you’re going to mess with LA’s parks … LAT says …no advertisements, be open and transparent and involve the public in your thinking and decision-making.

Here’s the way the Times put it: … if government goes forward with public-private partnerships, it must do so without allowing the crass commercialization of precious park space or letting corporate sponsors dictate park policy. Cities and states should not put public spaces up for sale to the highest bidders.  Going forward,

CITYWATCH TODAY—CityWatch is about politics. And, it’s hard to make that fun and rosy. Julie Butcher puts a proud and positive spin on our city and proves it can be done. In Today’s CityWatch. Look for the head: Good News, LA! 

Few things generate more response and more passion than columns about animal politics. Phyllis Daugherty’s piece on the attempt by LA Animal Services to adopt out a pit bull with a history of violence got CityWatch reader’s blood boiling. We brought the column back and added ...

CITYWATCH TODAY—Let me direct your attention to some hidden treasure. Right here in CityWatch. Right in front of your very eyes. 

We call it Editor’s Picks and you’ll find it every issue in the upper right hand corner of the CityWatch Front Page. Its purpose is to provide an opportunity for op-ed’s, guest columns and some occasional in-depth perspectives. 

In Today’s CityWatch, for example, nationally known and read George Will guests. He wonders how American it is for a famous, now foreign-owned, brewery to rename one of its canned beers (Budweiser) ‘America.’ What’s next, advertising on the American flag? 

Does naming a canned beer ‘America’ mean we’re becoming ‘great again?’ Or, is this part of the problem? Check it out. Let us know what you think … about the name of what you drink.

CITYWATCH TODAY—Here’s one last thought for this Memorial Day, 2016. Courtesy of a veteran … and currently the Legislative Deputy for LA Councilman Bob Blumenfield … Jeff Jacobberger. 

‘As a veteran, I don't want anyone to thank me for my service this Memorial Day, because I am alive and never served in combat. Memorial Day is a day to honor those who DIED serving our country. And the best way to honor them is to pray for peace. 

Memorial Day was begun after the Civil War, in which about 750,000 soldiers died on both sides. In 1950, after the horrors of World War II, Congress requested the President issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States to observe each Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace. 

CITYWATCH TODAY—Despite how loosely we make the claim, we all know that free speech … even in America … is not one hundred percent free. You can’t yell ‘fire’ in a crowed theater. You can’t threaten the life of the Los Angeles City Council President. Just two examples. 

Depending on your perspective, a public speaker did just that recently and a number of folks … first among them, Mr. Wesson … are upset and want to put an end to that kind of behavior at City Hall. 

Two City Council regulars offer somewhat intriguing perspectives on what happened … and, what should happen … in Today’s CityWatch. You can let us know what you think … instantly … by clicking on LA Pulse … the CityWatch instant poll … and voting.

GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump is a serial liar. That’s not just an opinion … it’s a fact. Proof is available by the ton on the Internet. And, here’s another fact: no one cares! His myriad supporters are willing to take him for what he is. 

And for those who are not his supporters and harbor even a glimmer of hope that he will be defeated in this fall’s general election it is critical that they understand this most unique relationship in this most unusual time in our history. You cannot … will not … defeat Mr. Trump by simply calling attention to his numerous faults, ethics breaches and peccadilloes. 

Neil Gabler examines this paradox in Today’s CityWatch. How did The Donald become the nation’s Teflon king? Give it a read. Start the conversation. Let us know what you think. And, there's more...

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