If a Mayoral Race happens in Los Angeles and no one is around to vote on it, does it happen?

or “Wait… we’re voting on stuff?”

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The primaries for our Mayoral race is tomorrow and I’ve barely heard a tweet about it. While searching online a week ago for any videos or information about who to vote for in this upcoming election I was baffled to find… none. ‘Cept this:

Click here to watch, maybe we can make the views go past 200!

This is the worst organization of any event I have ever seen – highlight of the video at 1:12 when the guys starts singing to fill time while Jan Perry puts her giant purse down… also the 12 year old moderator in his uncle’s suit.

Now, thankfully, there’s more stuff online, here’s a recent debate which took me over 20 minutes to find online… that’s like 50 years in “2000’s time.”

Lucky for me, I’m a registered voter* and I receive TONS of pamphlets and leaflets in my mailbox everyday; not only about the Mayoral candidates, but about the other candidates running for the various other offices. That plus some excessive google-ing has helped me to decide who to vote for this March, and I thought I’d share my choices:

MAYOR RACE

there ya go, but If you’d like more info, PLEASE read on.

WHAT ARE WE VOTING FOR?

  • Mayor
  • City Attorney
  • Controller
  • LAUSD Board of Education
  • LA City Community College District Board of Trustees, Seats 2, 4 and 6

WHAT THE FUCK ARE THOSE THINGS?

  • Mayor – duh, read a book. Our current Mayor is Antonio Villaraigosa
  • City Attorney – “an elected official whose job is to prosecute all of the misdemeanor criminal and civil offenses within the city of Los Angeles. In addition, the City Attorney litigates all civil actions on behalf of the City and represents the City, its boards and officers in all civil trials and legal proceedings in local, state, and federal court.” – Attorney.LAcity.org Our current City Attorney is Carmen Trutanich
  • Controller – “is the taxpayers’ watchdog and the City’s chief auditor and accountant. The Controller’s job is to investigate and publicly report problems with city departments” – Controller.LAcity.org Our current Controller is Wendy Greuel
  • LAUSD Board of Education Member – “is the governing, policy-making body of the Los Angeles Unified School District. Members of the Board make decisions on matters relating to public education in the City of Los Angeles and several surrounding communities”  – LAschoolboard.org
  • L.A. Community College District Board of Trustees – no idea… I’m assuming it’s like the LAUSD Board for Education, here’s the website, maybe you can find something
  • Prop A & B – I’ll get to these at the end…

WHO IS RUNNING? I’ll just go over the big ones… sorry but there’s just not enough time!

Mayor / All are democrats except for Kevin James, a Republican

  • Jan Perry – LA City Councilwoman
  • Emanuel Alberto Pleitez – Technology Company Executive
  • Eric Garcetti – LA City Councilman
  • Wendy J. Greuel – LA City Controller
  • Kevin James – Radio Broadcaster / Attorney

City Attorney

  • Carmen “Nuch” Trutanich – Current City Attorney
  • Noel Weiss – Attorney / Community Advocate
  • Mike Feuer – Assembly Member / Public Interest Attorney

Controller

  • Ankur Patel – Student labor Organizer
  • Ron Galperin – Efficiency Commissioner / Businessman
  • Dennis P. Zine – L.A. City Councilman
  • Analilia Joya Disability Advocate / Teacher

Now, let’s go over information I’ve found out, one section at a time. This is based according to my assessment of the videos and news I’ve digested:

Mayor / We’ve never had a female, openly gay man NOR a Jewish Mayor in LA.

  • Jan Perry – Jewish! I had no idea… / Currently not doing a great job in city council / does not advocate for the poor
  • Emanuel Alberto Pleitez – only true Latino running / 30 yrs old / hardcore grassroots campaigning / says Perry, Greuel and Garcetti “don’t deserve a promotion” / is literally running 20 miles a day, going door to door meeting people and shaking hands
  • Eric Garcetti – very educated and well traveled / plays up his Latino roots (he is either half or a quarter Mexican sources say) but is from a wealthy family who grew up in Encino / supported by Mayor Bloomberg’s super pac / is said to be indecisive / was president of LA’s city council for the last 6 years (as he let hollywood loose most of it’s work to other states…) / one of the highest paid member of any city council in USA
  • Wendy J. Greuel – worked with former Mayor Tom Bradley beginning in her 20’s / originally from the valley where she worked at her father’s small business / accused of “working for the DWP” because the unions have funded her campaign / has snubbed local papers’ requests for her public emails and documents although, it does take notoriously long to get anything in the gov.
  • Kevin James – Former radio broadcaster & Attorney / openly gay (yes, a gay Republican) / tolerant of cannabis laws / argues that, “city hall is broken, and they [Perry, Greuel and Garcetti] broke it” / inexperienced and a long shot, but a deff outsider to our corrupt system

City Attorney

  • Carmen “Nuch” Trutanich – lied about his term as city attorney and now he has to run for hi own office in order to keep his job haha / would rather go after Cannabis Dispensaries then dangerous criminals / refused to take a pay cut while his office has a higher salary than the mayor AND Attorneys across Los Angeles are being laid off
  • Noel Weiss – Attorney / Community Advocate
  • Mike Feuer – Assembly Member / Public Interest Attorney / started the city’s 311 program / endorsed by democrats, LA Times, Los Angeles and by Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein

Controller

  • Ankur Patel – very unknown but has good ideas
  • Ron Galperin – the one to beat / endorsed by LA Times and former City Controller Laura Chick
  • Dennis P. Zine – part of a corrupt system
  • Analilia Joya another long shot

LAUSD Board Member District #2

  • Monica Garcia – hated by most LAUSD teachers / was endorsed by the LA Times yet even they say, “it’s only because there is no one else,” not because they think she’ll do a good job
  • Isabel Vazquez – the only option to vote for really

Plan A is not supported by ANY of the candidates for Mayor. It’s is a silly tax height which will only effect the lower and middle classes.

Plan B  is hella confusing…

So after some careful calculating and thinking, these are my endorsements:

Mayor – Wendy Greuel

City Attorney – Mike Feuer

Controller – Ron Galperin

LAUSD Board Member District #2 – Isabel Vazquez

Member of the Board of Trustees, Seat No. 2 – Mike Eng

Member of the Board of Trustees, Seat No. 4 – Ernest Henry Moreno

Member of the Board of Trustees, Seat No. 6 – David Vela

NO on both PLAN A and B

Unfortunately as much as I’d like to vote for a less corrupt Mayor, I believe that Kevin James will just suck votes from Wendy Greuel and Garcetti. My vote, sadly is a realistic one. But if I had to vote otherwise, I think I’d pick Kevin James.

So, there you go. Now go vote!

It’s no big secret that the Los Angeles government is in a bit of shambles, failing educational systems, vigilante police officers, city council conspiracies, high unemployment and low high school graduation rates etc. It’s dismal but have we as Angelinos completely given up? No one believes that a government can be changed by its people anymore. If this is true then, sadly, our democratic system will fail soon; not because it doesn’t work, but because no one is looking at.

Angelinos and Angelinas, you should care about your city and care about yourselves….

*Lucky for you, YOU also have the right to vote.

dust and dreams or how I breached national security

Wednesday was good. I woke up and headed to the city museum. A cute old museum with few but important things. Not historically, but they displayed the life that the citizens once had in a way that was new and exciting to me. I saw patterns, toys, pictures… very cool. But I’ll just show you all I saw that day. On the way I managed to get some snaps along the way. This city is one big museum, there’s no entrance or exit, you just have to be looking instead of just seeing.

And now, How Vivian Breached National Security. A short play in 3 Acts.

Act One.

So I was walking around Casa Rosada and I saw el Banco de la Nacion Argentina. The light reflecting on the tarnished copper of the front doors was very inviting, so I walked up the steps to take some pictures and look at my map. I tried to go inside but there was a sign saying something about it being closed for security reasons and to use the door on a different street. So I walked around to find the other entrance.

Act. Two.

I found the other door.

Act Three.

So I go inside, walking by a security guard with my camera out (my camera is gigantic…) and find myself in a very old long hallway with people bustling about. There were business men smoking and walking around harumphing about this and that and people exchanging money. But I was more interested in how to get to the large domed area I had seen through the front door. I found a beautiful staircase and went down. Nothing down there but a weird old trophy case so I went back up then up one more while stopping to take pictures.

 

Beautiful staircase right? It reminded me of a vanilla cone at McDonald’s. Finally, success! I take the last step up the ice cream steps and find myself in the large domed area I saw before. There were more security guards up here and I saw no photography signs, so I clicked off my camera and slung it over my shoulder. I walked through the giant room and found a small gallery of art by the entrance. I love that this city squeezes art into every open space available. The artist’s name is Edgardo Manry and I can’t really seem to find him anywhere online. His bright art spoke using themes of floklore, and the mystic creation of life. They were very happy, beautiful pieces and each one made me smile. here’s what it said in the program, “Manry selecciona elementos tomados de la naturaleza y los elabora con el propósito de crear una fantasía casí de cuentos de hadas. Manry selects items from nature and produces with the aim of creating a fantasy about fairy tales.” It sounds so beautiful en Español. As I walked by the last photo two security guards who were sitting and chatting finally decided to notice me and yelled, “A donde sos?” I didn’t quite understand so I said, “California, los Estados Unidos.” They looked at each other and laughed then he asked me, “No, where did you come in here? How are you here? The bank closes at 3pm and no tourists allowed.” I apologized and told them how I came inside and showed them that my camera was off, “I haven’t taken any pictures in here,” I pointed to the big dome so I wasn’t totally lying ’cause the staircase wasn’t a part of the larger room. One was wearing a security uniform with bright gold buttons, the other had on a faded grey janitor kind of outfit with large abuelo glasses. The walkie talkie squaked on the belt of the younger one and he said something very fast (most likely, “Sin ella es sólo un turista tonto, no hay problemas aquí. Ella no es un terroristay no ha violado ninguna forma de seguridad nacional … pero mantener un ojoen ella. No she is just some dumb tourist, no problems here. She is not a terrorist and has not breached any form of nation security… but keep an eye on her.”) and then began to walk me out of the room, “You cannot be here. I don know how you get in but go now and no photo. The cameras everywhere see you.” He pointed up and around at the ceiling. For a split second I wondered whether I should tell him about the staircase photos I took but then he said, “Take this door, go down las escaleras. Stairs, entiendes?” I nodded and walked quickly back the way I had come in.

Haha, whoops.

Here is the full set of photos.