And even though Parks is the local, hometown hero to so many in the commuity at a grass roots level, it ain't gonna be easy. Cause the other candidate has the shady money backing his campaign and has TONS more money than Parks. But Parks supporters have what Ridley-Thomas HOPEFULLY can't buy: The hearts and support of the community!
And Zuma Dogg feels Parks has a better chance of winning, this time. Because last time, during the first election (that ended up in this November run-off), the other candidate DID have all that shady union money behind him. So why didn't he blow Parks out of the water?
YOU CAN CUT WHATEVER DEALS YOU WANT WITH THESE UNIONS...but when these individuals close the curtain of the voting booth...their union organizer is not there looking over their shoulder, and it looks like individual minds could not be bamboozled.
So that takes us to yesteday's Community Kick-off event for the next leg of Park's election campaign.
First of all, to let you know the level of my committment and energy I will be dedicating to this cause...I was already set up at Venice Beach on Saturday morning...and left the beach, to spend my precious gas money to make sure I was there, in the crowd, so I could at least work the crowd on why it was SO important and how they have to REALLY activate OTHERS in the community, as well.
But I had no idea that by the end of the event, Zuma Dogg would end up being the HEADLINER (that's how "I'M" spinning it) that followed the warm-up acts of CM Jan Perry, CM Bill Rosendahl, Supervisor Gloria Molina (who spoke on stage with Hillary Clinton) and Congressmember MAXINE WATERS -- AS INTRODUCED BY BERNARD PARKS!!!
So what a TRULY triumphant activist, elected official and community moment it was as Zuma Dogg got to live out a "dream come true" -- and a whole bunch of elected officials from the State got to have THEIR dream come true...of "Good" Zuma Dogg barking as loud as possible ON BEHALF, instead of opposition!!!
(I thought Jan Perry was going to jump off the stage when Parks called me up. AND SERIOUSLY...I actually hopped up onto the stage from the front, instead of taking the steps and walking past Jan, JUST SO SHE WOULDN'T HAVE TO BE DISGRACED BY HAVING VIDEO OF ZD AND JAN ON THE SAME STAGE!)
RE-CAP: I walked in while Gloria Molina was speaking, who I was pleased to see supporting Parks, because I GUESS I could have seen her endorsing the other guy, too. So the fact that she is behind Parks makes me feel better about her, and better about Parks. (I did some research into Gloria, cause there are two of them...Molina and Romero -- and there is a HUGE difference.
SIDEBAR: It is important to support Gloria Romero, cause Zuma Dogg says the WRONG Gloria, Gloria Romero will be challenging her Supervisor seat when it is up.
JAN PERRY gave a real good speech. And although I am no fan of her Downtown planning, she always delivers an impressive, articulate speech. She's the one who comes off as the the most "prestigous/classy/upscale/intelligent" when speaking of all the Councilmembers. (Even though...like I say...The Grand Ave Project is in her district, so how "warm and fuzzy" do you think we are?)
BILL ROSENDAHL: First of all...he may as well just calling himself "RosenTHAL", cause I don't think anyone EVER calls him by the correct pronounciation. But OH MY GOODNESS...I REALLY HAVE TO GET THE VIDEO OF ROSENDAHL'S SPEECH IN SUPPORT OF PARKS!
IT WAS A BILL I HAVE NEVER SEEN! He's stood up and had some passionate moments during the Council meetings. And it's fun to watch him get all passionate and emotional on TV.
BUT HE REALLY UPPED THE ANTE ON SATURDAY!!! He gave Zuma Dogg at his loudest, most passionate level a real run for the money! HE REALLY, REALLY SOLD IT!!!
And when you consider he is supposed to be an Antonio-guy, Bill is really jumping out of line and taking an independent stand, based on his working relationship with CM Parks, and I just KNOW it's gonna cause Bill some backlash.
MAXINE WATERS: Not that it is surprising that Congressmember Maxine Waters is endorsing Parks, but to have her show up and take the stage on a Saturday morning/afternoon, like that just HAD to be almost as exciting to the crowd as Zuma Dogg being there.
She has a big presence, too. And she gave a rally speech that helped confrim some of the concerns I had about Mark Ridley-Thomas, too. And she let the community know that the other side is buying the election with shady money. (To paraphrase into ZD terms.) And John and Ken are no fans of hers, I don't think...but to a crowd of Parks supporters, they ain't hearing that noise. THEY LOVE HER! And she delivered for them and everyone went home and told them Maxine Waters was there.
The former mayor of Culver City (I think) gave his endorsement of Parks.
THEN, CM Parks arrived. He appoligized for being late cause he was busy catching babies falling out of trees, or healing wounded animals, or something heroic. But even if he was still at home, watching a little football TV, or reading some report in his car as he waited to make his entrance...OF COURSE IT WAS THE ROCKSTAR MOVE to wait until the crowd was all fired up, THEN bring in Parks for the big entrance!!!
So he takes to the stage, thanks everyone. I think I almost noticed a hint of personality slip out that I haven't seen before.
And as Parks is kinda winding down, I see Bobbie Parks snap her head around to look for ZD, and she says to me, "Does he know you're here? Does he see you? Make sure he sees you!"
SHE WANTED ZD TO MAKE HIS WAY UP THERE!!! SHOCKER!!! You see, when ZD walked into the event, a pleasant looking lady who reminded me of Janet Jackson walks up to me and greets me, let's me know she sees me on TV during the Council meetings and really gives me the warmest response. And she says, "Bobbie Parks".
HEY PARKS?!?! How come you don't even say, "Good morning, or let ZD know that YOU KNOW he exists at the Council meetings? Some CMs give me the cold shoulder, some CMs talk to me sometimes, others a lot...but Parks has just always been kinda neutral. We never really croos paths on too many things. But I've asked him a question or two...he doesn't avoid me...
BUT COMMON, NOW!!! You've been stone-walling me Bernard! GLAD I CAME TO MY OWN CONCLUSION WITHOUT ANY PHONY "WARM AND FUZZY" TACTICS ON BERNARD'S PART. I came to this conclusion DESPITE his non-warmness to ZD. But Bobbie MUST have let you know she digs my act at SOME point. A little smile, once and a while couldn't have hurt.
But all of that dull, coldness made it even more triumphant, because before Bobbie ran up there on stage and grabbed the mic out of her husband's hand, herself and handed it to me...
"Her King" (as she affectionately called him upon seeing that good picture of him on ZD's blog/how cute), the Councilmember known as Bernard Parks, suddenly says, "And there's someone else here today in the crowd." (And I'm thinking, "Oh no...not Parks?!?!" I thought we were just about to wrap it up and hit the free food.)
But as he keeps talking, I kinda get the feeling....
YEAH, YEAH...HE WAS INDEED MAKING REFERENCE TO BIG ZD, FROM THE 213!!! (My cell phone number is in his distict, y'all!!!) And he doesn't exactly call me on stage...but I walk to the front of the stage...to take my triumphant bow and say, "Let me say something from right here." I didn't want him to be seen ACTUALLY having me up there on stage with all those other elected officials.
And Parks says, "I'm not giving you this mic." And the crowd busts out into laughter. But luckily he was just busting my chops, and told me to come up on stage. He gave the crowd his little take on ZD at City Hall, which said a lot too (just as my endorsement of a CM says a lot) and I don't know if he handed me the mic, or I grabbed it out of his hand...
BUT ZD WAS UNLEASHED, WITHOUT THE CITY ATTORNEY...NO SERGEANT AT ARMS...OUTSIDE, ON STAGE, BIG SOUND SYSTEM, CAMERAS ROLLING AND A BIG (ENOUGH) CROWD OF OVER A HUNDRED PEOPLE:
And I went into ZD politician rally mode...I felt I really got the point across in the way that I wanted to...and when I walked off the stage, Maxine Waters gave me a high five (as she did again on her way out). Gloria Molina thanked me and had a nice comment. And a lot of the people in the crowd told me I knocked it out of the park, for Parks. (Rally, as opposed to just inform.)
IT WAS THE MOMENT ZD HAS BEEN HOPING FOR!!! THE WAY I ALWAYS WANTED IT TO BE! I mean common...the way I'm spinning it, ZD was the headline superstar they brought out to rally the crowd -- and all those politicians had to sit there and watch ZD REALLY sell it! [No offense to ANY politician...you will NEVER be able to compete with ZD on stage, cause I'm the most compelling and entertaining stage performer of all time to begin with...so yeah, all you can do is be glad he's barking in YOUR direction. It's bad enough Molina had to hear the crowd bust out into cheers last time ZD was at the BOS meeting, where Y. Burke admonished the crowd and told them, "NO CHEERING. There will be no cheering of the speakers!"]
And the entire event, really did leave ZD feeling with a great feeling and spirit about the whole thing. So now, I am even more committed. (Sometimes you go to an event like this, and leave with "the creeps." Sometimes I can tell people are being "warm and fuzzy" to ZD out of fear, trying to "handle/manage/spin" him. ) ZD is the consummate outsider, so he really appreciates when people make him feel like family...and the Parks campaign did just that! It was a nice feeling of "welcome to the family" -- and TOTAL appreciation for ZD being there from EVERYONE I encountered at the event...NOT "oh shoot...someone get out there and "handle" him." (So I want all the people in the community to know that, because you can't fake it! Even Park's sister thanked me, "for supporting her brother" and introduced me to her kids and other family members.)
But, I'm still gonna make you slightly sorry ZD is in attendance. As Parks steps in to take a photo with a bunch of kids gathered, Zuma Dogg says to Parks quietly over the kids, "You're worse than the mayor." Some of the surrounding staffers laugh. And I add, "But at least you didn't step over them to get to the camera."
And if this doesn't say it all about Park's campaign, and why we need to help: Mrs. Parks asked me if I ate (as if you have to check up on if Zuma Dogg was able to find the free food); and I told her I really loved the Pad Thai. (Which was nice to see.) She tells me, "Oh yes, Mrs. 'So and So' made it." YOU THINK PARKS IS GONNA SPEND MONEY TO HAVE IT CATERED WHEN YOU CAN HAVE THE COMMUNITY MAKE THE FOOD. (And it was GREAT! There's nothing like home cooking, anyway!)
And Zuma Dogg would like to welcome Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti to "Team Parks"! Eric has joined Zuma Dogg in his support and endorsement of Bernard Parks for Supervisor.
So I am really glad I didn't just make the knee-jerk decision to try and throw a councilmember under the bus during an election, as I always hoped I would be doing. They always have said politics makes for strange bedfellows. Thanks again to Jan Perry for not diving off the stage...and remember...TELL EVERYONE YOU KNOW AS YOU GO ABOUT YOUR DAY AT THE COFFEE SHOP, GROCERY STORE, GAS STATION...EVERYWHERE...
YOU GOTTA VOTE FOR BERNARD PARKS FOR SUPERVISOR. TO SIT BACK AND DO NOTHING WILL MEAN YOU MAY AS WELL FLUSH THE REGION DOWN THE TOILET.