by ron kayE | ronkayela.com
Ron Kaye, former Daily News editor - a self-confessed anarchist who in the past seemed more wrong than right but now seems to be coming around (….or maybe 4LAKids is coming around …?) writes about his Saving LA Project (SLAP)/"Our LA":
The effort to create a community-based movement to change the political culture of Los Angeles and reform City Hall is making steady progress.
SLAP Town Hall Meeting, Saturday, Oct. 4, Charo Community Development Center at 4301 Valley Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90032 (easy freeway access from anywhere in the city)
I'm happy to report several positive steps toward the Saving L.A. Project's goal of serving as a catalyst to bring every type of community group together
to support each other in their local agenda and to develop a citywide collective agenda that will create stronger democratic grassroots organizations
and restore government to its role as servant of the people.
First, SLAP is now an official non-profit corporation registered as such with the Secretary of State. This will enable us to seek nonprofit status for tax purposes
and to start to raise the money we need and other community groups need to be more effective.
Second, some community activists who spent a lot of time and money developing a dynamic website as an online newspaper but never got it off the ground havegenerously turned it over to us. It is being professionally redesigned to serve as center for community news, information and empowerment for all of Los Angeles.
We are calling it Our L.A. The website will be www.ourla.org and community groups of all types will be able to have their own pages, and the ability to post their information directly to the site. Individuals will be able to blog, create forums and discussion groups. It has video and podcasting capability and all the bells and whistles needed to create an all-inclusive public conversation that matters to us all.
Its success will depend on the degree of participation we get from everyone whether they now have their own website or want to utilize the resources of Our L.A.
Third, a large number of issues are coming to head in city government that offer community groups the chance to support each other and show City Hall just how much power activists have when the pull together all across the city.
On Tuesday, for instance, the DWP Commission has on its agenda a proposal to create a ratepayer's advocate -- a professional paid position who will be authorized to dig into the numbers and represent the interests of the ratepayers who have been socked with repeated rate increases and empty promises of service improvements even as DWP workers -- by far the city's highest paid -- are getting 6 percent pay raises on top of other raises while many people can't afford gas for their cars, $5 a gallon milk and their mortgages. The meeting starts at 1:30 p.m. at the DWP building, 111 N. Hope St.
It's critical that we mobilize the largest number of people to go to the commission meeting Tuesday to show the public solidarity behind the ratepayer advocate proposal and the public displeasure with DWP's sweetheart union contract.
Many other important issues are also coming to a head, including the protection of Griffith Park from development, the restoration of the Southwest Museum ss a living museum, a moratorium on billboards such as the giant flashing electronic signs causing visual blight everywhere, the cyclists Bill or Rights.
There are many others and it's SLAP's goal to identify them and bring pressure from every corner of the city on our elected officials, commissioners and bureaucrats so that they put the public interest ahead of the special interests.
There also is a lot we can do to effect the November elections that have five state bond issues on the ballot, the community college and LAUSD bond issues, the MTA half-cent sales tax measure and the parcel tax for gangs.
In the face of the nation's economic crisis and the recession, this is not the time to raise taxes or go on a spending spree with the public's money. Neither the city nor the state dealt seriously with the budget crises they created by overspending in the good economic years and the bills for that failure will be coming due in the months ahead, threatening services to the public.
I hope you will come to the meeting Saturday and step up your efforts to make Los Angeles a great city. The political system is weak and unable to provide the leadership we need. Now is the time to step up, get ourselves organized and moblilized. We can make a difference.
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