New Mayor Same As Old Mayor

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In a move designed to surprise nobody, the Mayor announced today that he plans to stop pretending to have any progressive agenda for our city and will instead pull his ideas out of the tired old politician hat, preparing the various city departments for layoffs while promising to keep up the hiring of more police. In an informal poll taken by me, and verified to be completely accurate by nobody, it turns out that the excitement some had for this latest Mayor has quickly turned into resounding disappointment. (Somewhere in San Pedro, a former Mayor is giggling into his late night snack of Cheerios and Nilla wafers.) The fact that he’s turned into a typical political being is not surprising; cheating on the wife, boosting for other typical political beings, propping himself up for jobs to come, all of it is to be expected. But his succumbing to the typical law-and-order line at the expense of other city services is an unexpected low. And boringly, regrettably predictable.

I know that many think the answer to crime and gangs is to add more cops to the payroll. But as someone that grew up in fear of both the gangs and the cops, I have to disagree. If anything, he should be cutting the police payroll to fund programs that might have a meaningful effect on the communities that deal with gangs on a daily basis. The heavy hand of anti-crime efforts are basically lost funds, leading to overcrowded prisons and repeat offenders. I’d rather my money went to some prevention. Maybe Laura Chick should also do an audit on the effectiveness of funding LAPD anti-gang efforts, that always seem to be strangely overlooked.

Another oversight is the way normal working class people get lumped into the same social category of the gangsters that live in the neighborhood, as if all of us were individually responsible for the social conditions that create some of the worst anti-social behavior. I hate to break it to all you “middle class” people out there but unless you are willing to take responsibility for the actions of that crazy neighbor down the street, the one you suspect is on anti-depressants and complains about your dogs, then you really shouldn’t be lumping all the people that live in working class neighborhoods with the faults of a few residents. Take for example this appropriate report tonight from the fine journalists at Fox 11. Calling Ramona Gardens “a hotbed for emotions, for violence” right before they mention that according to eyewitnesses, a kid on a bike was tackled by LAPD, got away, then got shot three times and is in critical condition (the LAPD is claiming it was an “armed suspect”, no surprise there) it’s no wonder the neighborhood came out to protest the excessive violence against kids. Even though the gangs are a problem, at the very least they are a known entity that can be worked around, while the LAPD seems to act as a random package of excessive violence, one you can’t predict. And for all their faults, the gangsters amongst us are people as well, flawed but human. Too many dismiss them as nothings, but that’s not so easy to do when you actually know them as neighbors.

Being a product of the Eastside, you’d expect the Mayor to understand certain things. But he’s chosen to turn his back on any sort of vision and is instead flying the menso flag high and proud. Pobre de ti, Antonio.

PS. The pic above is a few years old and unrelated, though it is of some cops parking wherever they want, even though a space was available. They get to do whatever they want. After taking this pic they came out to “look me over.” Jerks.

10 Replies to “New Mayor Same As Old Mayor”

  1. Nice post and as always El Chavo I do like reading what you have to say.

    Please don’t make generalizations about the working class any more so than any other class. I don’t fit your mold for the middle. I give a shit about trying to make things better. I said on the other post you referenced where I think resources need to be put. Many of us in the “middle” support better schools, parent and education for all of us. My social circle is involved on all those levels because we care to make it better for the community, not just our street.

    What I don’t see answered here or anywhere else is how do we reach the root, get those so disenfranchised from society to want to make things better? I don’t want us all to conform, but destroying good people around you can’t be permitted either. How to reach those totally disenfranchised is a multifold problem and as I meander every day I ask people what we can do to break the cycle. Don’t have an answer yet, but I’ll dig until I at least understand better.

  2. I think it’s telling that he got his “born to raise hell” tattoo removed when he got into public office.

  3. I called it sometime last year: Villaraigosa is Mayor Carcetti from The Wire. Which is to say every mayor in any major city. Just a cog in the machine which does NOTHING to help the people it’s “supposed” to help.

  4. Here’s a deal I can live with – the Mayor gets more cops, and the LAPD starts paying its legal bills out of its own budget. I’m fed up with getting my street not paved or local cultural resource shuttered because some steroid fueled brat in blue shoots a kid/beats a protester/plants a gun on someone.

  5. He’s been disappointing for a while. I can’t pinpoint the moment, but I know I wasn’t that impressed with him when he was Speaker of the Assembly either.

    I remember the debate over Prop 21 about 8 years ago. Prop 21 had a bunch of different provisions, but one of the central components of the change was to decrease the age at which youth could be tried as adults and what constitutes a gang. Those against Prop 21 spoke about the need to put more funding into educational and prevention programs rather than prisons and law enforcement. But the voters didn’t listen.

    I wonder if we’d be better off now without Prop 21.

  6. The worse thing about Villaraigosa is his attempts to try and lose his East LA/Chicano accent. If we can have a governor that speaks a very accented, second language type Englsih than we can have a mayor who speaks like a native Angeleno. I guess he got some kinda lame handler/PR person thats been encouraging him to speak differently. Now he sounds just plain weird.

  7. Hey Antojino villagorilla (this name erases or clowns all of your brownness to appease your white/black/asian constituency you care so much about to the point of alienating the ES)

    I fell for you having a forearm tat, referencing my bus (68) in your mayoral speaches and all and all bluecollaring it down to rile up EastLos chicanos like myself into a loving fervor. Shite, I even volunteered on the phones down at El Leon Del Oro on 1st during your mayoral campaign, that’s how much I was down for you.

    At first you let me down, giving me the “what the fruck do you want” look when I introduced myself and my organization to you. Then you acted like a total dick to me while taking photos with me and some kids painting a mural a while later, smiling for the camera while ignoring the polite comments I made to help you keep paint off your shirt and then snapping at me to “just smile”, that freaken burned. If you didnt have security guards that would have been some old school East LA schoolyard chingasos, but I still sucked it up and told myself you must be stressed or some crap. Then I went to all your Latino Heritage crap, to see all the overpaid hyperbolic Raza lick your culo and try to show everyone else how more VIP they were than everyone else. I ignored the fact that these events seemed SO ridiculously overexpensive and posh, while your aides were trying to haggle down dirt cheap mural prices I gave them and nobody had the funding to respond to the numerous safety hazards I called them about in CD 14. Then I noticed how you had a few fine young Latinas looking like Secret Service/Robert Plant video extras in trenchcoats and short skirts, I know that cost a lot and I know it was an over the top wannabe scarface 1970s brown man thing, but it still was unacceptable to me.

    Then your scummy field dep Paul Hernandez got me to spend a summer in the Hazard PJs working with gang kids, and you didnt even pull over to say hi as we painted and you drove by in your limo to enact a gang injunction. That really hurt me,less for the snub and more for the shite I had to deal with because of your stupid injunction press conference. You guys plopped me down there (knowing it was sticky, to which i forged a genuine community bond and helped cool things down) and didnt tell me shite, and then did this injuction thing without so much as a word to me. I found out after the 10th cholo wanted to beat me down for being “one of them pigs” that morning, and had to personally cool off a lot of troublemakers which sucked up a day of productive painting. Then your little deputy gets all arrogant with a trouble giving store owner and tells her to fuck off, after convncing me to continue doing the mural “for our community” when the puta told me off, therefore cancelling a mural I was 80% done with. And what thanks do I get for my commitment and work? Paul then screws me over for $2000 (which is big money for a small nonprofit and a college student with 2 kids) and never calls me again after making numerous promises to redo the mural somewhere else (which he convinced me again to do “for the barrio” despite the money I’d lose on it). I never saw that $2000, and you arsewipe aides down at CD14 couldnt even help me move apitn down to my car for fear of hurting their spaniard hands.

    That was the last straw

    Remember the last Latino Heritage Day, with the same losers trying to be seen for status? How every connected brown city/county loser cut into the food line to the point where the first folks in line (with kids) never got a plate?

    Youletme down bro, you and all the other corrupt arrogatn Latino politicians. You jerks should take a dose of your own medicine and be a positive image of a Latino for once, not for the glory, but to show all the nice brown kids who want to genuinely fix things that it can be done. But it cant be done by you, huh?

  8. I can’t help but think you can’t change the system from the inside. I hate that I relate everything to old movies, but I do. I think of the movie Serpico with Al Pacino. I think that’s what happens when you try to change the system from the inside. The system changes you.

    In addition I agree with El Chavo and Arrt, LAPD should have nothing to do with gang prevention, they do nothing, but make it worse.

    Antonio is the Latino version of Tom Bradley, using that “I’m one of you,” while using you to make them look better. Tom Bradley mayor of LA from 1973-1993 totally sold out South Central while he was mayor, lots of people like to blame Darryl Gates for the events that happened in 1992, I like to point out Bradley had just as much to do with that as Gates.

    At the time if you were an adult you probably couldn’t see it, but if you look back and read about historical LA it to me is clearly obvious that Bradley had a great deal of responsibility for the inequality of LA.

    He helped make that invisible thin blue line that kept certain people penned in while keeping other people in fantasy land. Tom Bradley was a cop even while he was mayor, hopefully people are smarter this time around, but I’m not sure of the alternatives right now…

    I liked Mike Woo on paper he seemed great. Of course because he actually wanted to change things, so now they paint him to be a sort of freak.

    Browne

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