Monday, December 1, 2008

Why Zuma Dogg Wants To Be Candidate For Mayor of Los Angeles (Part 1)

For the past month, I have been out on the streets of Los Angeles gathering signatures for my nominating petition to get “Zuma Dogg” on the ballot for the mayoral election in March 2009.

A candidate needs 500 signatures to get on the ballot for the election (Mayor, City Council, LAUSD), but it’s not as easy as you think.

Some candidates pay people to gather the signatures, or have staff members gather for them. But Zuma Dogg has been getting them the hard way…one by one on the streets of Los Angeles. (Sidewalks, actually.)

And although my body is heavily taxed at the end of the process from running all over the city, it was a great opportunity to discuss the different issues (problems) with the city with constituents from across the city.

So here are some of the main issues (reasons) that resonated best with people as I had to the same basic question -- over and over -- a thousand times, “Why do you want to be mayor and what is your platform?”

Well my name is Zuma Dogg, and after attending most of the city council meetings over the past two and a half years (including a recent six month stretch, without missing a single meeting), I do not like what I see regarding the way the current mayor and city council is running the city.

First of all, the City of Los Angeles is worse than Vegas. At least in Vegas you have set odds. The City of LA will try to get away with anything (in violation of the Constitution, City Charter or even State or Federal Law), then it’s up to YOU, the constituent to sue the City; but most people can’t, the city knows that, and that’s what they plan on.

CLEAR CHANNEL BILLBOARDS: Look how all of these bright, flashing (UFO) Clear Channel billboard have popped up all over the place, in places they were NEVER intended to be installed. (You are NOT supposed to have a backyard view.). And now, someone showed up at City Hall, last week, claiming that many of these billboards were installed under fraudulently signed permits. Even Councilmember Eric Garcetti is now saying that many of these billboards are in places they were never intended to be installed.

HOUSING: The city has continued to warn us how they have to keep building massive density housing structures to keep up with the population boom migrating to Los Angeles. However, in case you hadn’t noticed (and everyone ZD has spoken to HAS), the city has gone all upscale million dollar condos across the city and forgot about all the moderate-priced housing for people who work in the city. People like teachers, police, clerks, cooks, labor workers, staffers, retail workers – AND EVERYONE ELSE WHO KEEPS THIS CITY FUNCTIONING.

Now, all the million dollar housing (much of it built in violation of zoning and vacancy laws) is sitting vacant; and people are forced to live outside the city and commute back in, each day, which makes traffic much worse.

We need to focus on providing moderate-priced (workforce) housing, because you cannot have a city where all the rich people live in one area, and everyone else is pushed out or into the streets.

: It’s a Citywide issue that affects every DWP rate payer in the Boulevard Sentinel reading area; TRASH COLLECTION FEES! If you check your most recent DWP bill, you will notice the trash collection fee (solid waste fee) has TRIPLED over the past two years. When they created this fee, they said it was to hire 1000 new police officers (LAPD). Now, not only do we find that after tripling the fee, they haven’t hired the cops, but NOW, City Council is talking about a hiring freeze on police! (Then are you going to refund the trash collection fees that you said was in a “lockbox” fund that would not be used for anything else?)

FEDERAL AND STATE MONEY EARMARKER FOR THE COMMUNITY ENDS UP EARMARKED FOR CRONIES, BILLIONAIRE DEVELOPERS AND SPECIAL INTERESTS: This is Zuma Dogg’s pet peeve issue, after attending a couple year’s worth of council meetings. THE FRAUD, WASTE AND ABUSE OF FEDERAL AND STATE MONEY, TO PROVIDE SERVICES AND DEVELOPMENT IN THE COMMUNITY (mostly through non-profits)…then the money is diverted into “shady” non-profits and given to billionaire developer projects, instead of going into the communities for the intended purposes. THEN, they come back and raise your fees and say they need new property taxes to help solve the problem; after they just wasted most of the money they were given for the problem.

For example, there is billions of dollars in CRA (Community Redevelopment Agency) to redevelop BLIGHT in the community. Emphasis on the word, “blight.” It’s for “blight.” (Get it!) So what happens? They end up handing your tax increment money over to Billionaire Eli Broad, Related Co (one of the biggest developers in the world); in partnership with the Arab Emirate Family of Dubai for the “Grand Avenue Project.” A project that boasts of a Mandarin Hotel, tippy-top of luxury (and expensive) condos, “boutique” shops and eateries. (How about some actual amenities people living downtown actually need? Instead of some international millionaire play palace mall?) That is not redeveloping a blighted community!

Zuma Dogg as mayor, will make sure that if you are applying for money from the City of Los Angeles, it is going into the community…not a bunch of shill, front-end loaded, crony deals.

OVERALL, between ballot measures that are written to be intentionally deceiving (they called a council term extension a “limit” on the ballot; and the new Prop S phone tax a “reduction); violations, variances and exemptions of every planning issue imaginable; and what appears to me and many activists who attend the council meetings regularly; the “fraud, waste and abuse” of public money to provide services to the community (and everything else that comes across the council agenda on a daily basis); you got one guy who is pissed-off and doesn’t like what he sees. His name is Zuma Dogg; and I hope to knock Antonio out of the box and help get on top of some of these issues and help reduce the waste and help reflect the spirit of the community, not the bank accounts of the career politicians and their cronies.


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