THE DOCTOR IS IN - Contrary to the assertions of the top-down fascists who took over CD11 and Downtown over the past four years, the election of both Traci Park and Karen Bass to public office WAS a mandate for change.
Like so many of you who are and/or were involved in City politics, I get all sorts of public and private correspondence relative to what is going on with respect to transportation, urban planning, homeless and affordable housing-related issues, and the like.
Among the correspondence I got was an e-mail--and frankly, a bit of a warning--that the takeover and four-year reign of Westside politics by so-called progressives (they're anarchists and fascists, really) within the CD11 sphere of influence was NOT over.
In other words, Erin Darling--who deserves credit for a spirited and sincere campaign--really SHOULD have won, and that Traci Park's victory was neither appropriate nor indicative of Westside sentiment.
I truly "get" the idea of pain and disappointment of "your guy/gal" losing in a close election, and I certainly have similar sentiments about the Caruso/Bass race.
Count me in as one of those who really does NOT believe that late ballots in the middle of the night, and days to weeks after an election, ALWAYS changing the outcome of a given race towards what is ALWAYS a leftward shift, passes the smell test.
But let's focus on the facts:
1) Darling got as far as he did, in large part (and this is NOT a slam at Erin Darling!) because of big money sources that began with his predecessor Mike Bonin (who, like his predecessor Bill Rosendahl, was once a man of the people and supported predominantly by the grassroots before getting re-elected).
2) Rick Caruso got as far as he did, in large part (and this is NOT a slam at Rick Caruso!) because of big money sources (his own money, for the most part). I believe Caruso honestly meant well, and is an enthusiastic Angeleno.
The grassroots won, and did so despite the aforementioned oney and the media inundation, and now we have CD11 Councilmember Traci Parks and Mayor Karen Bass to represent the coastal Westside and city of Los Angeles, respectively.
But let's focus now on the rabble-rousing creeps who--in an organized effort--shouted down and disrupted Ms. Park's swearing-in ceremony, one after the other.
YOU NOT ONLY LOST, BUT YOU PROVED EXACTLY WHY YOU NEEDED TO LOSE, FOR CIVILIZATION AND DEMOCRACY TO SURVIVE.
I really don't have any sympathy for those a-holes who swarmed into the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. on January 6th, 2021, and I really don't have any sympathy for anyone who creates illegal havoc in L.A. City meetings and politics.
As I've opined before in CityWatch, I entirely am on Paul Koretz's side with his "eff you" to those disrupting and crazy-making City Council meetings.
Peaceful and spirited debate and protest...yes. Chaos, anarchism, and the disruption of democracy...no.
And I assure you that those who allowed new paradigms of terrible urban planning, homeless/crime proliferation, disruptive and dangerous transportation policies by attempted takeovers of the Mar Vista Community Council and Venice Neighborhood Council, are entirely fascist, and entirely dangerous to democracy.
I saw a lot of very good, liberal, and volunteer heroes in those and other neighborhood councils get slandered, gas-lighted, and psychologically violated by individuals who had no consideration for Majority Rule and Democracy.
Right now, Traci Park and Karen Bass have to:
1) Reduce homelessness...for reals.
2) Increase affordable housing...for reals.
3) Create viable, environmentally friendly, and sustainable transportation and infrastructure projects and policies...for reals.
4) Restore the independence, relevance, and respect that neighborhood councils (created by former mayor Richard Riordan, and under attack for the past 10-15 years) once enjoyed, thereby strengthening grassroots involvement in L.A. City politics and policies...for reals.
5) Promote better public health policies...for reals.
6) Reduce crime...for reals.
7) Smash insider/developer/lobbyist monopolies that have ruined Los Angeles...for reals.
And so on.
Shouting down, breaking down, and tearing down the efforts of honest individuals to restore and strengthen our democracy won't help us.
Those attitudes and actions are NOT progressive, and NOT democratic, and NOT heroic.
In fact, they're nothing new.
Fascism, anarchism, and totalitarianism is just not new.
So...to Ms. Park and Ms. Bass...tag, you're it. Congratulations...I think (LOL).
But to those who threaten our democracy...we're watching you, too.
(Kenneth S. Alpern, M.D, is a dermatologist who has served in clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties, and is a proud husband and father to his wonderful wife and two cherished children. He was termed out of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC) twice after two stints as a Board member for 9, years and is also a Board member of the Westside Village Homeowners Association. He previously co-chaired the MVCC Outreach, Planning, and Transportation/Infrastructure Committees for 10 years. He was previously co-chair of the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee, the grassroots Friends of the Green Line (which focused on a Green Line/LAX connection), and the nonprofit Transit Coalition His latest project is his fictional online book entitled The Unforgotten Tales of Middle-Earth and can be reached at [email protected]. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr. Alpern.)