Learn All You Can, Then Choose By Being Informed

The Mayoral candidates are going to be living in South L.A. over the course of the next 6 weeks or so.  We are supposed to be the voters to carry Gruel or Garcetti into office.  YAY, us!

I'm asking everyone to take the time to get to know each candidate then choose the person who will not forget about South L.A. after the election is over.  Pension reform, cuts to services, DWP blah-blah-blah...  All of that is in the mix.  And all of it concerns every voter in South L.A.  We have to be finished with falling under the spell of the next Mayor's election promises by learning where they stand on our issues and how they plan to follow through.  And then we have to hold him or her accountable.  These are a few items on my personal checklist:

1)  DON'T FALL UNDER THE SPELL

  • I will ignore promises of Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and Cheesecake Factories.  Neither candidate has these retailers in his or her back pockets.

-  South LA needs Grocery Stores.  We need good, solid food retailers that aren't going to price-gouge residents.  If the big chains are not going to grace our major intersections, then the Mayor's Office owes us plausible alternatives.  I want to hear what those are.

  • Celebrity endorsements are great, but Bill Clinton doesn't live in L.A.

-  I'm going to listen to what each endorsement is saying about the candidates.  "Business-friendly" and "Team-leader" are awesome descriptions, but how does either fit in South L.A. where businesses are few and there are no team players?  If I wouldn't trust Kim Kardashian as a spokesperson for Motherhood Maternity, I'm going to pay attention that the endorsements I'm being influenced by mirror my political views (and that the 'endorser' is still alive).

2)  PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE ELSEWHERE, BUT IN SOUTH L.A. IT'S A SENTENCE FOR NOTHINGNESS

  • I have heard far too many times to be grateful for what I have because I could live further east or south and have access to less.  That is not cool. 

-  The Ralph's remodel at La Brea/Rodeo is it coming at the expense of the stores on Western/King and Crenshaw/Exposition.  Neither of those stores is being replaced with something comparable.  The next Mayor has to stop playing gimme with South L.A. communities.  We're not asking for better if all we've been asking for is equal goods and services compared to other parts of the city.

  • If there is a major disaster, how will South L.A. fare?

-  If I name the medical facility close to my home then envision if every street in the city is blocked...  Can I walk or be carried there?  I will thank each candidate for offering more retail, but if my vote is important, my health is too.  The Mayor's Office needs to make South L.A.'s medical infrastructure a priority.

  • The Mayor's Budget Survey should be the spending guide to South L.A.

-  No one knows what South L.A. needs more than its residents.  Each of the candidates should read the survey results and speak to our issues.  Villaraigosa gave us parks without the means for keeping them clean or open.  We want clean parks and we want them open.  We want improved streets and our street trees cared for.  Yes, we want retail and sit down restaurants, but we also want solid employers and small business development.

3)  BEWARE OF BUZZ TOPICS

  • Each candidate believes the Crenshaw/LAX line needs to be underground through Park Mesa and Leimert Park should have a station. Neither candidate has expressed how to make that happen.

-  Metro didn't create an Environmental Impact Report for going underground.  Which means both candidates would have to be willing to put Crenshaw/LAX on hold while the EIR is done.   That will cost $$$, even if the EIR is fast tracked like Farmers' Field's was.  A new budget would have to be created.  That will cost $$$.  The rest of Los Angeles thinks we're being whiny about trying to save our trees and the Crenshaw business district.  That will cost votes.  Crenshaw doesn't need more sympathy; Crenshaw needs a firm plan.

I'm going to be very preoccupied for the next few weeks...

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Comment by Yvonne Ellett on April 20, 2013 at 11:06am

We will eventually elect someone.  '...pay more attention to what they accomplish...' is exactly what we should do, Pamela.  That we let Mayor V spend the last 4 years paying attention to everywhere except our communities is not something we can let continue to happen. 

Comment by Pamela Garrett on April 19, 2013 at 10:46am

Good points Yvonne. I try to get out to the different forums to observe and listen to the candidates myself. I was particularly amused by the recent photo op in the Sentinel on behalf of candidate Greuel. Those people are not my "leaders" as is suggested. Plus aren't those the same people that said the current Mayor would do wonderful things for the South, South Central and East Central communities? The problem is politicians say the right things and use the buzz words when they want to be elected.Talking loud and saying nothing. It is the same people moving around from office to office. Hm-m-m maybe another tactic would be to pay more attention to what they accomplish and for which communities while they are in office. Afterall action speaks louder than words.

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