Ron Kaye, former editor of the LA Daily News turned political activist and polemicist, launches the Los Angeles Clean Sweep Committee with a fundraiser Saturday at 1 at the Mayflower Club in North Hollywood. The goal is to field a slate of opposition candidates in the next city election.
There's little question that there's massive disillusionment about the direction of the city. The question is whether it can be mobilized in a city not known for widespread grassroots politics or civic engagement, outside of a few pockets.
Kaye hopes to build on the cobbled-together coalition that defeated Measure B, which would have developed 400 megawatts of solar power around Los Angeles, but was viewed as a giveaway to the DWP union that would have built the units while locking out private solar developers.
Some of the same outsider energy helped elect Paul Krekorian to the council in a special election despite being outspent three-to-one.
Now Kaye wants to come up with a group of legit candidates who can raise money and organize good campaigns. Credibility is key, he said.
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Kaye, who worked at the LADN for 23 years, said he's getting positive response from business and civic leaders who want a new direction.
"The city is poorly managed, inefficiently run and costs too much for what citizens are getting. The past year in particular, through this budget crisis, everything that's come up has exposed gross mismanagement," he said. He also cited subsidies for developers while middle and working class services like libraries get cut.
Sounding a bit like a 60s radical, he said, "consciousness has been raised, and a degree of organization achieved, and this is the next step."
"That's why we've stepped forward, to take advantage of the new, widespread awareness."