By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
Re: “The Divided Greens” [June 6–12]. Oliver Lukacs has written several articles in various media defending Mike Feinstein against allegations of financial wrongdoing. Those allegations stem from Mike’s deposit of a $10,000 check — written to the Green Party of L.A. County — into an account only he controls, without the knowledge of the GPLAC. Mike then failed to make the necessary legal filings reporting that he had received and spent that money.
Like Lukacs, the Green Party is grateful to Mike for his considerable work building the party. Unlike others, this political party is based on inclusion and transparency, so our group-decision process is critical. Though perhaps not always efficient, consensus is valued by Greens for including the diverse opinions and perspectives of those affected. By contrast, Mike has an independent, get-it-done style. His solo style may sometimes be efficient, but there is no group consensus. There is no group.
The core issue is this: Mike received and spent $10,000 that was not his. He did not ask the intended recipients — the L.A. County Greens — how they wished to use their money to build the party, as the donor had intended. Mike chose how to spend the Greens’ money, and did so. Now, having made that deposit into his account, Mike is legally required to report it. The Green Party of California offered to do it, but Mike has not provided the necessary documents. After nearly two years, that filing has yet to be done. This leaves several entities at risk, but Mike alone controls the documents to make the filing. He now faces a legal investigation of the matter. The GPCA has therefore asked him to temporarily put aside his Green Party work to focus on quickly resolving his legal issues.
Mike Feinstein has made significant contributions of his time and talents to the growth of the Green Party. He is a friend and mentor to many Greens, and will be heartily welcomed back to Green Party work after he has settled this matter.
—Beth Moore Haines Green Party of California spokesperson Nevada City
Micah Penn’s letter [June 6–12] in response to Harold Meyerson’s “Which Black L.A.?” article began strongly, detailing key issues that seriously need addressing. Parts of his argument, however, have to be commented on:
1. L.A.’s social and political problems aren’t only ethnic-based, but class-based even more so. Whether it’s the MTA’s reluctance to ante up an injury settlement to a 97-year-old woman who sued them, city government’s confused methods of solving the homeless problem by attacking the homeless instead of the problem, or Korean restaurant workers protesting the questionable business practices of their Korean bosses — all us Angelenos who aren’t movers and shakers are in the same boat, regardless of color.
2. Penn’s dredging up the old saw about “Latinos and illegal immigrants getting all the jobs” to put across his point about racism toward blacks can itself be misconstrued as a racist statement, even if it wasn’t intended as such. Isn’t it time we evolved from utilizing the same tired clichés to confront our societal woes?
3. It’s a home truth that Jim Hahn was elected partially because of his father’s legacy of dedicated service to the black community. Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny? There are some in that community, disillusioned by Hahn’s mayoral performance, who’d disagree. It’ll require time and hindsight to determine Martin Ludlow’s effectiveness just as it would any other politician’s. If he fails, all we can do is try again.
4. The increasing usage of the terms “liberal” and “conservative” and the constant bickering and finger-pointing between those two camps have reached overbearing proportions. At the risk of sounding too metaphorical, let’s throw those labels out, find a new road, and search for a better way of communicating with each other, rather than at each other.
—James Nolan Los Angeles
Individuals like Micah Penn, who expresses apprehensions about the changed political landscape in L.A., need to understand and appreciate one thing: Latino workers who now constitute a majority in local service industries did not displace anyone. They simply accepted work that no one else wanted to do. Mr. Penn asks if Antonio Villaraigosa will assist in the desegregation of the local food-and-beverage industry. I want to know if Maxine Waters will assist in the desegregation of USMC combat units, which are “shockingly” Latino. I think not.
If Mexican, Central American and other Latino immigrants, legal or undocumented, have gained anything in America, it was because of their own hard work, their willingness to focus their energies, and their willingness to do anything that is moral and legal to succeed in their pursuit of the American Dream. If that reality offends anyone, they need to check themselves and not attempt to degrade people like my grandparents, my parents, or my brother, who just got back from frontline duty in Iraq.
HERE, THERE AND EVERYWHERE
Re: “Giving Up the Ranch” [June 6–12]. Kudos to Greg Goldin. His writing shows us that this is not an isolated issue. I live in south Santa Cruz County, and we are facing a similar encroachment — albeit on a much smaller scale — in an unincorporated area skirting the city of Watsonville, called Buena Vista. The issues are much the same: traffic increases, population density, environmental and ecological effects, geological considerations, water quality, increased local housing with few local jobs, and the changing quality of life in general.
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