By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
Just because some idiot knows how to string together words â doesn’t mean that the Weekly should give him a bully pulpit to spew nonsense. You already have Marc Cooper on the payroll, for crying out loud!
—Bill Cody Los Angeles
If D.J. Waldie — or Lalo Alcaraz, for that matter [cf. “L.A. Cucaracha,” May 31–June 6] — thinks the San Fernando Valley is some sort of upper-middle-class, lily-white enclave, then you are very ignorant about the Valley. Not that ignorance should stop you from having an opinion of a community that you don’t live in, or excuse you from the race-baiting that is so characteristic of L.A. politicians. And what do all politicians want? Power! And if the city is split up, then the city politicians will have that much less of it.
Regarding the story about the secession movements of Los Angeles — it is great to finally see alternate, more realistic views on the subject and not another revolutionary-glorification piece. I would like to address those who think they are going to save tax dollars and expenses by breaking from L.A. with an admittedly unglamorous analogy: Which is cheaper, living with your parents or moving out on your own?
—Yogi George San Gabriel
D.J. Waldie’s melodramatic, meaningless diatribe is a joke, right? "To be a citizen of Los Angeles means, in this hour, not to dream, but to pick up the burden and gift of bearing witness to this place" — what the hell does that mean? Reality to witnessing citizen of Lakewood Waldie: There is nothing "vulgar" or "cowardly" about citizens working together, petitioning the government and organizing themselves for better local control — it’s called participating in a democracy, and it’s how this country was founded. "Backward-looking"? Boy, have you got it wrong. It’s forward thinking at it’s finest. Can’t any of you think outside the box?
Under the "never reorganize" theory, Waldie and his fellow writers appear to think it will be just fine when, 200 years from now, there’s a city of Los Angeles with 100 million people. Sorry, but that is not local government, which is what cities are supposed to be. Cities are the only voluntary form of government. You have to live in a state, and a county. But cities only come into existence when a group of citizens gets together and chooses to form a local governing organization. It’s obvious if you think even a little about it, that as cities grow beyond a certain size, there should be a systematic, non-hysterical method for breaking them back down into more manageable entities — maintaining local government. Under Waldie’s theory, why have any cities at all? Or counties for that matter? How about just citizens of the State of California? Of the U.S.?
A reorganization of Los Angeles will rejuvenate all areas of the city. It will empower the poor and provide the average citizen with closer representation, and an opportunity to regain control of what has become an amorphous, corrupt system that subsidizes the wealthy at the expense of the middle class.
Of all the media in Los Angeles, I felt for sure that L.A. Weekly would "get it." I have spent years reading your objective, hard-hitting work in exposing stupidity and corruption in L.A. City government. If anyone could understand the need for change, it would be you.
So what do we get when you decide to approach the secession issue? A knee-jerk series of articles that attack the idea, written by opponents who in most cases don’t know the Madrid Theater from Hansen Dam. Arguments talking about "white flight," based on how the Valley was populated a generation ago. Ignoring any possibility that residents of the Valley have significant grievances about government services.
Why don’t you do an article on the disparity of city services in the northeast Valley, where low-income minority residents are regularly denied the benefits of federal grants because they are not "contiguous" to the downtown minority populations? Where were you when the Woodland Hills Neighborhood Council racially "cherry picked" territory, including Topanga Mall and Boeing, but excluded directly adjacent minority areas, with the full support of the L.A. Department of Neighborhood Empowerment? Did you cover the ensuing hearing where 50 people, including spokesmen from the Latino community, testified in protest, only to be rebuffed without comment by the ruling board? In reporting polling data, you omitted the information that the greatest support for secession was to be found in the largely Hispanic northeast Valley. Why was that?
I could give you example after example of legitimate individual instances where the Valley is being defrauded. I’m not talking about not getting "our fair share." I know that a city has an obligation to support areas that need it, and you don’t look for exact parity in funding. But $1.7 billion taken out of our area for rapid-transit projects, without a penny in return? How about $1 billion or more for erecting a downtown football temple that nobody wants?