DONE WATCH-The following letter was written by Katherine McNenny, a Los Angeles resident and activist in the community of Skid Row. While DONE touted the turnout from Koreatown, none of it related to anything they did and further shows what a joke online voting is.
Ms. McNenny’s heartfelt comments show that the nation is not alone in the wish to subjugate the poor and to keep down those who are trying to lift themselves up. The shameful behavior of this department continues because members of management think they might get elected by selling out other ethnic or impoverished communities.
Our electeds must find their conscience. They must recognize that while words matter, actions matter more…
The letter was sent to:
- Grayce Liu
- Mario Hernandez
- Stephen Box
- Brett Shears
- Mike Fong
- Thomas Soong
- LANCC Terrence Gomes
- Darren Martinez
- Mayor Garcetti
- David Ryu
- Jose Huizar
- Herb Wesson
Dear City of Los Angeles Public Servants,
When I saw the results of the Wilshire Center/Little Bangladesh subdivision election, I became extremely angry. Angry because I can imagine how the community members of Little Bangladesh are feeling right now. They are probably despondent, which is how I felt after our Skid Row subdivision election last year (now being challenged in court).
This is the City's fault
You are not lifting up communities. You are pitting them against each other and wasting a ton of time and money to do it. And, it seems you are dancing on the grave of those who lost. Gross.
DONE, in its utter tone-deafness, seems to be celebrating the voter turnout as a reflection of how the system is working. Have you lost sight of the fact that you are cheering the crushing loss of an ethic minority community who is not economically or socially on the same footing as it's neighbors? If anything, DONE should be doing some serious soul searching.
WHY would DONE create, uphold and double down on such a system that pits communities against each other in this perverse gladiator-style tournament, where the weaker could NEVER win.
Is this what you are cheering? To me, this vote signifies a further rot at the core of DONE. I don't know exactly how these subdivisions should happen, but I know that what you have created is morally and ethically wrong.
Let’s think about what Little Bangladesh and Skid Row have in common:
-ethnic minority communities
-less economically well off than surrounding communities
-traditionally marginalized communities
...and we don't think racism plays a role here too? Come on.
It’s not wrong, of course, for the voters of this election to have voted the way that they did. There is no possible way (expect in court, which again, is more difficult for comminutes which suffer from poverty and racism), that either Little Bangladesh OR Skid Row could conceivably subdivide successfully at this point. This has everything to do with money and power. This is what DONE is upholding now.
DONE changed the rules of the Skid Row election because lobbyists were hired to force them to. Little Bangladesh has different issues, but clearly could never win either.
And before anyone tries to think that minorities do not or cannot bully other less-advantaged minorities, I would point you to the current writ just served to the Little Tokyo Business Improvement District (by me) which highlights some of the efforts members of Little Tokyo took to subvert the efforts of mostly Black Skid Row (image left).
I keep going back to the language of the Charter which to me is clear:
"Ensure equal opportunityto form Certified Neighborhood Councils and participate in the governmental decision making and problem solving processes ...
Create an environment in which all people can organizeand propose their own Certified Neighborhood Councils so that they develop from the grassroots of the community ...
Actively promotethe formation of Certified Neighborhood Councils Citywide, giving emphasis to those areas and Community Stakeholder groups with traditionally low rates of civic participation in government.”
(This advertorial was paid for by the DONE Watch Coalition, founded by Laura Velkei and supported by a coalition of Los Angeles neighborhood council activists.) Prepped for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.